Discussion in 'Mathematics' started by rachie_j, Jan 26, 2011.

1. ### rachie_j

Trying to do counting on today with one of my students.

Me- "right copy me... 5, 10, 15, 20, 25!
Boy- "5, 10, 20, 40, 43"
Me- "im not sure thats the same, lets try again... 5, 10, 15, 20, 25"
Boy- "5, 10, 20, 33, 72"
This is a secondary school student who is not "playing thick"!
How on earth can I teach him anything until he can count? He is ok counting in ones until 15 and then he struggles!

2. ### rachie_j

Trying to do counting on today with one of my students.

Me- "right copy me... 5, 10, 15, 20, 25!
Boy- "5, 10, 20, 40, 43"
Me- "im not sure thats the same, lets try again... 5, 10, 15, 20, 25"
Boy- "5, 10, 20, 33, 72"
This is a secondary school student who is not "playing thick"!
How on earth can I teach him anything until he can count? He is ok counting in ones until 15 and then he struggles!

3. ### bigkidNew commenter

I would ask a primary school teacher if I were you.

4. ### DMNew commenter

I remember when this happened to me on teaching practice.
13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 93, 72, 43, 68 ...
This has left me with a deep sense of unease about my teaching skills at the lowest ability. I have absolutely no idea about how to go about preparing them for GCSE (we enter everyone).

5. ### rachie_j

He is working at level 1 currently and is in bottom set but the others in the group are all level 3's so its so hard to differentiate for him.
We have done adding and subtracting by using counters but once we get to more than 20 he can't do it.
2 lessons a week isnt enough to get him competant with numbers!

6. ### ResourceFinder

I taught a Y11 boy who responded to the question ... what is 3+4 by counting 1,2,3 fingers on one hand and then counting 1,2,3,4 fingers on the other hand ... and then counting the fingers 1,2,3,4,5,6,7

So far I am ok ... at least he can count ... however I followed up by asking what 4+3 is and he had to start again and go through the whole process

He got a GCSE

7. ### mathsteacher1953

Over the weekend I copied an image of a male from the Yupno tribe of Papua that was illustrated in one of my Christmas present books. Idrew it lifesize and it shows how they allocate numbers from 1 to 33 to various parts of the body with the last three being left and right testicle then the penis! (34 is "1 dead Yupno".)
It is now on my classroom wall and is the cause of much amusement and discussion! It went up at 9:00 am and by 10am it had apparently gone through puberty!!!!!
Perhaps the boys in my classes will now be able to count up to 33 and the girls up to something a bit less.
All the classes I have had since then have listened very intently to my 'lecture' on various counting methods amongst Amazonian tribesmen. Also they have heard a song from a Jake Thackeray CD in which he explains the shepherd method of counting, "Yan, tan, tethera etc." and then sings a song using it as a refrain to lyrics about a Swaledale shepherdess. I couldn't believe how well my seriously bottom set year 11 listened.

Nobody ever told me that teaching Maths would be like this when I did my PGCE!

8. ### anon261

Have you ever seen the Early Years Foundation Stage goals? That will help you to start him off in the right direction.
I would start by making sure he can count to 10 and with number recognition (0-9). Once you've got past this, then move on to 15 then 20 then 25... - but not too fast or you'll confuse him. Only when he's absolutely secure with counting in 1s can you move on to counting in 10s up to 100. Once you've got this far then move on to 5s but again - not before he's secure with 100s or you'll confuse him.
I would do very small chunks of working - 10 mins at a time of complete repetition, then move on to something easy for him (shape recognition for eg). Then do another 10 mins repeating yourself with the first info, then something easy.
Little and often! Hope that helps.
Good luck

9. ### florapost

and when he is ready, number squares show up 5's and 10's patterns - and 2's for that matter
after that, it gets more complicated
however - maybe you need to ask what do you want this lad to be able to do mathematically by the time he leaves? have you asked in special needs?

10. ### Betamale

Question for the OP
Is it a case of 'head banging' as this is not normal in kids.
If you have a whole class of year 10s who cannot multiply basic small single digit numbers then that IMO is head banging land
This is just a case of a pupil not being suited to education and maybe we have to embrace that and plough time into what they are good at.
There comes a certain time/level when its nothing to do with teaching ability or style, its just the learner was not designed to compute such things. Personally I believe time is better spent equipping them with other basic skills.
Soeak to your SEN on dyscalculia

11. ### kirbatron

I agree that sometimes pupils are not suited to academic pursuits but there is no more basic skill than being able to count. That is why it is important for the OP to find a way to encourage progress in this pupil.

12. ### Betamale

I appreciate the blue print for life but some are just not suited to it. Bang for buck in terms of development, despite our desires for our fellow humans, I honestly believe you just have to sometimes (and very very 0.000000001% of the time) move on to skills they can handle and make them productive and happy.
In my life I hve met 2 adults who cannot count who live in a happy world with other skills.