SporkUK Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 I am baffled by my 5 year old (August born) and I am not even sure how to explain it. I'm hoping someone had seen similar in their children and can help me help her and she is getting quite frustrated. I'll use today as an example of how her number knowledge is confusing. Today, she did 4 columns of subtraction problems (26 in all) entirely by herself with very few mistakes - and those few were ll caused by when she put the answer to one in the box below it. The right numbers were written in. She wrote addition, subtractions, and inequalities to match pictures today and other than a couple of backwards numbers, she did them all perfectly without wanting or needing my input. When I write down a number up to 9, she will give me the right number of blocks automatically. She is quite good at describing numbers up to 9 with problems and, when reminded, inequalities/more than X by Y. Maths has really clicked for her in the last few months after a rocky start (when guessing random numbers was her favoured method). Today, When asked in to colour in 7 circles, she did up to 4 just fine, then counted through 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 again before filling in the next one, then counted 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 before filling in the next one, then counted up to 7 again before filling in the next. If I ask her what a number over 5 is called, pointing to a number, she will count up to the number to get the name. When I asked her to write a 7, she wrote it backwards, then an 8, then a 6. She obviously understands what each written number means because she can do the maths with them without blinking an eye, but she can't recall their names without counting up to it or really use numbers over 4 out of context - she can do them in maths, but writing them outside of a problem means they are more often backwards, illegible squiggles, or an entirely different number. I am at a loss of how to help her with this and worry about moving forward to bigger numbers when she's having these difficulties with smaller ones. We use MEP for maths, she's using the new Year 1 book where it is 1 book rather than the previous 2 books and every 5th pages format that is still true of the older years her siblings are uses - those revision pages are available separately on the site to print and we've spent the last week or so doing the revision pages using numbers up to 10 to try to help her but we're coming close to the end of those and I am unsure about moving forward. She understands the maths, how to use the numbers, but this counting to remember is really slowing her down and frustrating her and knocking her confidence even after she's done over 20 problems perfectly with no help. I feel it is related that she can also write all of her letters quite nicely for a 5 year old in cursive, but cannot recall most of the letters names when asked and, prior to using Starting at Square One, couldn't remember almost all of the sounds on the letters she can write. When she asks how to spell something for her own writing, she'll often ask me 'which one is that' if it isn't one of her square one letters - I can now often just draw in the air for her now to remind her. If she has a copy even just on a board or printed book, she's fine in starting and forming the letters and words in cursive writing. We've been using Starting At Square One for just over a month which has helped greatly in her remember letter names and sounds (I used Blend Phonics with her older siblings but M-5's lack of letter memory meant she needs more letter help) even to the point she's reading the first Piper Books (which made her very very happy), but it is slightly baffling to me that she can write beautifully entire sentences but cannot remember letter names or even really remember the whole alphabet at times. I am at a loss in trying to figure out how her mind is working to help her move forward and deal with these frustrations she is having in these skills. Thank you to all who read all of this :) Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

mathmarm Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 I have no experience with this, first of all I'm just trying to better understand what you are saying better. Are you saying that she is forgetting the symbols for numbers? She understands and can manipulate the quantities and such, but can't recall or struggles to recall the symbols that stand for each quantity? What about the letters and reading? Am I to understand that she (and does) read books (What are the "Piper Books"? Piper Reed?) but has trouble remembering the alphabet/letters out of context? Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

luuknam Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 When you say she can write sentences, do you mean copy them? Because you could copy a sentence the same way you'd copy a drawing - no memory of letter names or w/e required. If you ask her what number comes before/after another number (e.g. what number comes before 6), can she answer you? With or without counting, or not at all? Somewhat irrelevant question, but curious how high she can count. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

SporkUK Posted March 26, 2015 Author Share Posted March 26, 2015 She seems knows which symbols goes with which quantity but not the name. If I put 7 blocks in front of her, she will write a 7 - if I then ask her what that number is called, she's just as likely to say 8 or 6 unless she counts up. Last week, we did a similar set of subtractions as today and when I tried to go through them out loud after she answered them, she found it difficult to read them out and would count up to the numbers to remember the name even though the answer she got on the page is right. She sees 9 - 4 = 5 on the page and whispers to herself '1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9' then says 'Nine take away four is five'. She doesn't count up like this while she is doing the maths and writing them, just when talking about them and if I ask her to write a number outside of maths, she struggles. She isn't using a number line when she does this, she just counts up until she gets there, it's really hard for me to see how she's doing this but for her she knows that that amount of counting equals that symbol or something. I asked her to count: she counts to 25 (missed 16), says that is as high as she can go, when I asked what comes next she continued counting 26, 27, 28, 29, 'twenty-ten', when I reminded her of 30 and then she goes and stops at 40 and repeat up to 50 before I called done. She does one more and one less, though it takes longer on the bigger numbers - she isn't counting outloud and doesn't seem to be counting in her head. When we do describe a number as part of MEP lesson plan, she will happily give me addition and subtraction equations, will do greater than or less than with encouragement without her counting. She copies during lessons, she also writes her own sentences (one of her and my 8 year's favourite things is to make cards, piles of cards...) but she gets frustrated with spelling words she doesn't know when we spell out loud for her as she doesn't remember which letter name goes with which symbol. Piper Books are the UK I See Sam books and she is on book 7 of the first set which has been an amazing jump for her having started a few weeks ago because before Starting from Square One that we started about two months ago we would have to rego through the sound of each letter every-single-time when she knew how to write the words just fine and for her, who has been begging to learn to read for ages and hitting this mental block each time, it was difficult for her. She now knows the names of the letters we've done so far with Starting from Square One and those sounds we've done, but other letters she can write, uses to write words she knows, that we've gone over many times like with the names of numbers, just not reliably known yet. The only letter she could do prior to Square One is the m that starts her name even after she could write the whole alphabet in cursive and has been able to for almost year now. "Her letters" (as she calls them) now are a, b, c, d, e, i, m, r, s, t, y. She seems to know things when she writes them but getting it her working memory to speak and talk about it is a barrier for her. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

OneStepAtATime Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 You might post on the LC board. There are a couple of posters there that were discussing something similar a while back, IIRC. Also, at her age there may be a developmental thing going on with linking word symbols to concepts. That can take time. She sounds incredibly bright. She just may need more time for the labels to gel. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Sherry in OH Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 When you do MEP with her, are you following the lesson plans or just having her do the practice sheets? Counting to 10 or 20 (depending on where she is in the year) forward and backward appears regularly in the year one lesson plans. So do number rhymes and songs. If you are doing the entire lesson and it isn't enough, add in some counting concept books. 10 Apples Up on Top, is one that comes to mind. Do the same with the alphabet - sing the alphabet song and read ABC books together. There are a ton of them. You could also get the Leap Frog DVDs and let her watch them over and over again. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

mathmarm Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 OP, I don't know what that symbol-knowledge disconnect could be, but have you considered teaching the manual alphabet so that when you want to spell something you can say and sign it for her? I know that British Sign Language requires both hands to form the letters, but American Sign Language requires only one hand and since you would be doing manual alphabet as an educational aide, you could use which ever on your daughter likes better. Personally I think that ASL is more convenient since you have one hand free! Here is BSLs manual alphabet. and here is ASLs manual alphabet Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

displace Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 I think counting on is still normal at this age, and likely just a habit that will be outgrown. Seeing numbers and associating with the names may take some time. Hopscotch is good for that. You can modify and just ask her to hop on numbers randomly. Hop on 3, 7! Etc. but have her always facing the "right direction" so she's not looking at numbers upside down. If problems continue I'd consider may be a vision check. 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

sweetpea3829 Posted March 26, 2015 Share Posted March 26, 2015 Ok... 1) She is 5. Her math skills are actually pretty good for a five yr old. My almost 6 yr old is not yet doing computations and is working on learning his number bonds. We are using Singapore K (which I don't love, but I do love the rest of Singapore). Much of what you have described could absolutely be developmental. However... Much of what you've described are also classic flags for dyslexia/dyscalculia. Or a spatial processing issue. Or a visual processing issue. What strikes me as most concerning is that you've clearly been working a lot with her and she is still having these difficulties. DD9, has dyscalculia (and probably dyslexia, though we are still on a rule-out for that). She knows what a number means and can represent its quantity but it took YEARS for her to actually be able to compare number symbols. We worked very intensively. For the longest time, she could not decide if 8 was more or less than 2. She could not decide if 92 was more or less than 8. She had extremely weak number sense. In addition, because of her spatial processing delays, she struggles with placing a number, mentally, on a number line. So counting backwards is a challenge, especially if you ask her to cross a place value threshold (32, 31, 30, 29). Learning how to form letters and numbers was very challenging for her, again because of her spatial weaknesses (and visual/motor integration). She could do straightforward letters and numbers but if there was any kind of curve or change of direction....forget it. It took her a couple of years of daily practice to master those. Currently, DD can add, subtract and compare numbers. But, things like rounding are still very difficult for her. Because of her spatial weaknesses, directional orientation is difficult, and that makes it difficult for her to consider which ten or hundred or thousands is below and above the number she is trying to round. So she gets that she rounds up if there are 5 or more in the next place value...but for a number such as 288 rounded to the nearest hundred...she would be confused as to which hundreds would be possible...she can't see that the choices are 200 or 300. The other part of your post that sticks out to me is her difficulty in remembering letter names and sounds, despite the time you have spent working on it. All of this *could* just be developmental. But I would definitely be keeping an eye on it and at the very least, I would have an OT eval done, as well as a developmental vision screening (not a regular eye doc...you want a developmental optometrist). You can find a D.O. at www.covd.org Hope that helps! 1 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

SporkUK Posted March 27, 2015 Author Share Posted March 27, 2015 Thank you all for your help & time. I'll look at the LC board. I agree that her maths skills are good especially from where she was 6 months ago when we started formal maths (she's picked up the 8 year old's perfectionist panic/flail/guess habit when faced with things unknown which was an issue for a while), it's simply this label barrier I want to help her with - the look on her face when I ask her to read a maths problem out loud or ask 'what's this number called' or the frustrated tone in her whisper as she counts up again and my difficulty in seeing shows to me that it is bugging her and I'm having difficulty understanding why and how she can count up to the right number name which makes it hard to help her which is why I'm looking for input. We do do most the lesson plans for MEP, though right now we're doing the revision pages on numbers up to ten which doesn't have lesson plans. She counts pretty well for her age, but knowing the name of numbers over 5 outside of counting is a block that is frustrating her as was her knowing the names of the letters of the alphabet. We have tons of counting and alphabet books, she struggles with doing so out of context. She actually will only count on in maths with encouragement and reminders, she prefers counting from one when doing things like 'add these two groups of sticks' as was a problem in today's maths. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Rosie_0801 Posted March 27, 2015 Share Posted March 27, 2015 That sounds like rather a lot of maths for a 5yo for one day. Are you sure she's not just tired or dehydrated? 2 Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

Sherry in OH Posted March 27, 2015 Share Posted March 27, 2015 She actually will only count on in maths with encouragement and reminders, she prefers counting from one when doing things like 'add these two groups of sticks' as was a problem in today's maths. This is normal at age five and six. It is normal even when adding using a number line. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

SporkUK Posted March 27, 2015 Author Share Posted March 27, 2015 I hadn't thought of her being tired or thirsty as even on days off, she would not be able to tell me what numbers over 5 are called or read a maths equation with numbers over 5 reliably without doing the counting up. We can read through the a set of problems and she will do the count each and every time she gets to a number more than 5. We do one page of MEP a day as the first thing after breakfast. For the last week or so, she's been doing one revision page (which has no lesson plan or other activities with it) and sometimes a block game if she finishes quickly and asks for more which she does regularly. Today's maths was maybe ten minutes with a addition section with sticks, continue the pattern section, filling in a table with numbers adding up to 8, and a word problem with drawings (Kate bought 3 cakes, Bob bought 2 less...) with no block games as she wanted to go fill the back of the page with a picture. She enjoys maths - as long as it doesn't involve reading the problems out loud or saying what bigger numbers are called she is a happy bunny and liked doing a bit extra to answer people's questions. Her frustration with the labels and my confusion on how her mind is working that she can count up to the right number just by looking at a symbol without a number line or other guide is what I'm looking for help on. I figured her counting from one was normal and only brought it up as someone mentioned that counting on was developmentally normal. She isn't really counting on in maths, she is counting up when dealing with picture groups or when she's trying to figure out the name of a number over 5 when looking at the symbol. The latter part is causing her frustration. She sees 7 blocks and writes a 7, ask her what it is called and she will give a frustrated look before counting up to 7. Take the blocks away and ask her to write a seven with no context gets mixed results. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

sweetpea3829 Posted March 27, 2015 Share Posted March 27, 2015 I hadn't thought of her being tired or thirsty as even on days off, she would not be able to tell me what numbers over 5 are called or read a maths equation with numbers over 5 reliably without doing the counting up. We can read through the a set of problems and she will do the count each and every time she gets to a number more than 5. We do one page of MEP a day as the first thing after breakfast. For the last week or so, she's been doing one revision page (which has no lesson plan or other activities with it) and sometimes a block game if she finishes quickly and asks for more which she does regularly. Today's maths was maybe ten minutes with a addition section with sticks, continue the pattern section, filling in a table with numbers adding up to 8, and a word problem with drawings (Kate bought 3 cakes, Bob bought 2 less...) with no block games as she wanted to go fill the back of the page with a picture. She enjoys maths - as long as it doesn't involve reading the problems out loud or saying what bigger numbers are called she is a happy bunny and liked doing a bit extra to answer people's questions. Her frustration with the labels and my confusion on how her mind is working that she can count up to the right number just by looking at a symbol without a number line or other guide is what I'm looking for help on. I figured her counting from one was normal and only brought it up as someone mentioned that counting on was developmentally normal. She isn't really counting on in maths, she is counting up when dealing with picture groups or when she's trying to figure out the name of a number over 5 when looking at the symbol. The latter part is causing her frustration. She sees 7 blocks and writes a 7, ask her what it is called and she will give a frustrated look before counting up to 7. Take the blocks away and ask her to write a seven with no context gets mixed results. So just to clarify...when she looks at a group of objects, she has to count them each time? Is there a certain number of objects that she can look at and know what number is there? I believe most kids can look at a group of up to 5 objects and know the quantity without counting. DD would be stumped if there were more than 3 objects in the group. Her neuropsych specifically pointed out this particular dyscalculia flag. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

SporkUK Posted March 27, 2015 Author Share Posted March 27, 2015 With blocks (wooden cubes of various sizes), she can do up to 8 or so without counting. Today with sticks drawn close together on the page, she could do up to 4 without counting. If she is asked to add the 2+ picture groups together, she will count them regardless of amount even if she knows how much is in each group and could add them without counting if written symbolically. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

sweetpea3829 Posted March 27, 2015 Share Posted March 27, 2015 With blocks (wooden cubes of various sizes), she can do up to 8 or so without counting. Today with sticks drawn close together on the page, she could do up to 4 without counting. If she is asked to add the 2+ picture groups together, she will count them regardless of amount even if she knows how much is in each group and could add them without counting if written symbolically. To me, that sounds developmentally appropriate. But again...I would still have an OT eval and a developmental vision screening done. Just to be sure. Also...bare in mind that they won't/can't typically label dyscalculia/dyslexia this young. With my daughter, I KNEW there was something amiss as young as 15 months. I just knew it. But everything that I was seeing was also "normal" developmentally and she was 6 going on 7 when she finally had the complete neuropsych eval and received the dyscalculia diagnosis. Still...I started evaluations when she was 3 and her earliest OT evals showed spatial weaknesses. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

displace Posted March 27, 2015 Share Posted March 27, 2015 Sounds more vision or dyslexia associated than math, if she's having difficulty with letter names too. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

SparklyUnicorn Posted March 27, 2015 Share Posted March 27, 2015 She sounds pretty amazing for a 5 year old. I think some of this is normal. Or at least I recall both of mine doing some pretty wonky things with numbers (and other things) at that age. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

luuknam Posted March 27, 2015 Share Posted March 27, 2015 So just to clarify...when she looks at a group of objects, she has to count them each time? Is there a certain number of objects that she can look at and know what number is there? I believe most kids can look at a group of up to 5 objects and know the quantity without counting. DD would be stumped if there were more than 3 objects in the group. Her neuropsych specifically pointed out this particular dyscalculia flag. It's called subitizing, if I remember correctly, and most people (not just kids) can only do 5, and yes, not being able to do 5 by a certain age is a red flag for dyscalculia. I'm not sure if the OP is doing this correctly, since 8 would be quite a high number to subitize. I can't do 8. If you were to drop 8 small objects on the floor (close enough together), I'd have to mentally group them to be sure how many there are. I wouldn't have to count them - I could maybe see four on the 'right' and four on the 'left' means there are 8, but I wouldn't be able to look at them and say '8' right away the way I'd be able to say '5' with any random scattering of 5 or fewer small objects. Specific patterns don't count for subitizing... if you have, for example, a dominoes set that goes to 12 dots, you could learn the pattern of 12 dots and not have to count or w/e. But subitizing is about randomly scattered objects. Interestingly some animals can also subitize, I think some birds can go up to 3? Other question for the OP: does your daughter have word retrieval problems? Like frequently needing a moment to think of the right word, or using more general words? Like, "could you hand me those things over there" instead of "could you hand me the crayons"? Of course we all sometimes say things like that... I'm just wondering if she does that kind of thing a lot. Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...

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