Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Recognizing 11-20

I taught my daughter to count 1-20 using the Signing Time Counting Time DVD, and the we solidified it by counting as we would swing at the park.  And she learned to recognize visually the numbers 1-10 using her little number board books.  But for the longest time I couldn't figure out a way to get her to recognize 11-20.  Nothing I tried worked.  But this past week I had a breakthrough.  Not that the idea was incredibly brilliant - it is kind of mundane actually - but I was startled at how well it worked.

I cut a few regular sheets of computer paper into small flash card size rectangles.  Then I got out her little colored pencils.  She would choose a color and hand me the pencil, and I would write a number on one of the rectangles.  We did them in order, 1-20.  She paid almost no attention to the numbers as I wrote them after awhile, and she got bored half way through it (which has been the problem - her attention span won't last past 10).  

BUT, then we put TAPE (and she helped) on the back of the rectangle with the number 1 on it, and we taped it to her chest of drawers.  Then we put tape on number 2, and put it next to number 1.  After around number 10, she started rocking her teddy bear.  So I suggested letting the teddy bear put the number 11 up on the chest of drawers.  She thought that was a fun idea, and so she helped her teddy bear do it.  We put the 11 directly under the number 1, and I showed her again "11 is a one with a one in front of it."  Then teddy bear put up number 12 under number 2, and I showed her "12 is a two with a one in front of it."  I pointed the teddy bear's paw - "2" and "12," "2" and "12," "2" and "12."  My daughter's little head bobbed up and down as she followed the paw - it was adorable.  This worked all the way through 18, by which time she was rocking the teddy bear again.

I didn't know whether or not she had understood what we did.  She went back to the numbers again after a little while and started ripping them off the chest.  But then - the magic of these moments! - she ran up to me with a little rectangle, saying, "Mommy!  14 fell down!"  And sure enough, there in her hand was "14."  =)  

Friday, August 1, 2008

ABC Puzzles and Play Dough

I've been trying to come up with a new way of reviewing the ABC's with my daughter.  She's learned them all, but I've noticed that she forgets if we don't review them.  She's gotten bored with all the old techniques.  So the other day I got out some play dough and her Melissa and Doug's ABC puzzle board without the actual puzzle pieces.  I started smushing the play dough into the letters on the puzzle board, reviewing with her the names and sounds of the letters.  She loved it!  We had a really fun ABC review time.