One of the ways of helping bring Maths to life is by making your very own Skeleton. This exercise was beneficial to The Sensory Seeker because it was a very concrete activity. By that I mean he had a visual way of processing the information – as opposed to an abstract idea in his head.
Real Life Measuring
First we measured different things – our hands, a chair, the table. We measured them using our hands. We compared how different sized hands (mine Vs the children’s) needed a different number of them for the measurement of the different objects. We then moved onto tape measures (soft and hard), rulers etc and talked about cms and inches.
This was a fun way to introduce measuring and was much better at holding The Sensory Seeker’s Interest.
Measuring Yourself to Make a Life-Sized Skeleton
The following week we made a life sized skeleton. We did this by taking different measurements on the body and then drew the same size for each part on a piece of paper. We then cut it out and attached it together. It was good to demonstrate how something the size of The Sensory Seeker could be put together from the smaller parts. It also gave him a better understanding of his bone structure – as well as things like fine motor practice (drawing and cutting), number sequencing, attention, instructions etc. We used blue tac and a biro to make holes for the split pins.
I think it was also good for self-esteem as now we have a bony version of The Sensory Seeker proudly hanging on the back of our kitchen door. It also fits in very nicely with our Pirate theme – which really began when we spent the night in a Pirate room at Legoland Windsor.
This week we learnt about Shapes as part of our Maths family lesson. But it was also combined with numbers. We were explained what the different things that each year group were expected to know and I have to say there’s a massive jump between Reception and Year 1. Again the activity was able to be adapted to suit different ability levels.
Shapes Maths Monsters or Number Worms
This week we made a Maths Monster. Well that’s what I called it anyway (I am sure it wasn’t quite as fierce when the tutor said it – maybe a number worm or something). The children had a number of shapes to pick from. At this point you could make sure they know the names of the different shapes, or talk about the different properties – how many sides, angles, and even go as far as talking about perimeters and circumferences (but not with children as young as primary I expect).
Next the children were given lots of coloured paper from them to chose from and draw around their shape. Great for pencil control, hand-eye co-ordination. I like how they have so much choice (shape and colour) as this is good for independence and self-esteem. Next some fine-motor development as they cut and stick their shapes. This could either be to each other or on another piece of paper. Arranging the shapes into a monster or worm. Again this is great for placement, creativity etc.
Shapes and Numbers adapting for The Sensory Seeker and his Older Brother
The Sensory Seeker needed help with drawing around the shapes more than his older brother. The older brother needed just reminding to hold the shape still with one hand. The Sensory Seeker is crossing his arms across and not quite figured how to just go all the way around.
Each of the shapes then had a number written on in a set pattern. Starting at the simple end of children writing numbers up from 1 (in ones) to making it more complex such as writing numbers in multiples (say the 3 times table). For The Sensory Seeker it was about writing the numbers the right way around (and he did do 3 backwards). I am pleased to see his progress that if I say the number he has a good idea of what it looks like. I am pretty sure that he does know the order to 10 too.
This week saw the start of a new Maths course at the school. The Sensory Seeker is coming along but is still well behind his peers in this area. His brother, who is in the year above, is flying and knows all of his 12 times tables. So when an opportunity came up for the 3 of us to spend 5 weeks at school on Maths I thought it would be a nice idea for them to help each other. We made a Snakes and Ladders game.
There are some fantastic Number Activities link up to the Weekly Kids Co-op and as it is an area that I am going to be focusing on for over the next month I thought I would share with you some of the posts that have linked up. I think that it is important that children develop not only their mathematical abilities but a love of the subject through the Number activities.
Number Activities from The Weekly Kids Co-op
Counting with Foam Numbers – great for fine motor.
Simple Educational Activities: Money – very good for helping with relating Maths to the every day World.
Math Games: Number Fences – My favourite thing about this is the excuse to eat more lollies!
Counting and Number Recognition: sticky Wall Activity – This is good for hand development too – getting him to flatten his hand up the wall is something the OT told me to do.
Free Math Fact Houses for Multiplication & Division – There is also ones for addition and subtraction – a good fun way of helping with the basics.
Paint by Numbers in the Shower – I absolutely love this there is no activity more perfect for The Sensory Seeker as it is messy but in an area where he can be cleaned straight away.
Coloring Race – Great idea as it helps with fine motor skills and social skills as well as number.
Hook a Duck – this one helps with hand-eye co-ordination too.
Playdough Numbers – As it is so easy to get different textures and smells into Playdough.
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