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Skip Counting tips for Dyscalculic students

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DD9 is going to be spending the bulk of her summer preparing for MUS Gamma.  The first step of which, will be to memorize, as much as possible, skip counting.  


I already have the MUS music CD, and we will definitely incorporate that, as DD tends to be more musically inclined.  


Does anybody have any other suggestions for helping a student with very weak number sense, learn skip counting?  Apps?  Websites?  Games?  

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We have used you tube videos.  I can't link right now but there are some good ones that incorporate fingers or dry erase board or construction paper, etc.  Also, we often target one skip counting group by writing it on the dry erase board as we say it out loud then analyze any patterns.  Then sometimes we may rewrite the numbers to show the pattern better (like with 6s).  Then we do multiplication of that number set.  Then division with that number set.  Then skip count again.  We target that one group daily for a couple of weeks.  Then we start with another one but still review the previous one, just not at the same time or DD gets confused.  DD finally has the 6 times tables down doing it that way.  She never could before.

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Well, I had DD skip count while jumping on a trampoline and then moved to bouncing a very large ball (so slowly)... I did it to have her work on rhythm, but it really solidified her skip counting.  To give a level of comparison -- when we started on the tramp, she had to start with counting by 1's, because she could not count by 2's and jump at the same time.     Nowadays if I want her to memorize something to the point where it's 'automatic' then when she gets to be generally correct I have her do something else at the same time.  The ball bouncing isn't always convenient so I'll have her stand on one foot or something like that to distract her.  This has done far more to cement things in her brain then just pure repetition.


Note: from what I've seen (VT/Pace) a metronome is the classic way to do this -- but the metronome doesn't really work for DD because of the whole rhythm thing (although she's far better at it now then before).  And there are lots of metronome apps out there.

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One suggestion: hold off on skip counting until regular counting is well established.



Yeah, that would make sense.  Unfortunately, I'm not entirely sure she ever will truly master routine counting.  At least, not in the higher numbers.  She has rote counting between 0-100 mastered pretty well, as long as its counting forward.  But counting backwards?  Or having her cross a place value threshold?  Nope.  Counting at higher numbers?   Not there yet.    


At some point, I have to move her forward as much as she can move.  It doesn't do any of us any good if she sits at addition and subtraction for the rest of her education because she just can't make her brain count backwards or forwards consistently.  


She does have to take standardized testing in 5th and 7th grades, and I'm certain multiplication and division will be on that test.  :-(

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Mastery of counting forward from 0-100 meets my previous suggestions. That's fine. :)


I like using colors. You could each hold a different color and take turns writing 1, 2, 3, 4...all the way to 20. If you start, then your child will be writing 2, 4, 6.... Then your child can read only the numbers she wrote and she'll be skip counting. It shows what skip counting. Do that method to teach 2's.


I'd start with either 2's or 10's. (Tens can sometimes help establish regular counting too as it reinforces what comes after _9's.) To work with 10's with colors, again let child pick 2 colors. Have child write 1, 2, 3...up to 10 in one color. Using your color, add the 0 to change the 1 to 10. This helps show the pattern of what's going on with the numbers.


White boards may be helpful if the child has any writing issues, otherwise just a plain piece of paper and crayons, markers or colored pencils work fine.


I'd also somehow manage to work in food. While working with skip counting we made chocolate chip cookies with each cookie having the chips carefully counted. Five (or 10 chips) per cookie, then count chips by skip counting on each cookie.

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