Friday, April 3, 2015

Teaching Through Play: Car Game Math with ADD and Slow Learners

by John and Diane.
All parents spend a lot of time in the car, but when I am driving around with my foster boys it feels like I spend ALL my time in the car when I should be doing more important things, like helping them with their homework. Although my kids do get help after school with their studies, my ADD and “slow learning” kids need extra help so I add it in every chance I get. So, when I drive my boys to games or school we do math-games-on-the-go.
For Math and Memory
The first game I play with my kids’ works on both their math and memory skills. One of my kids has memory issues that go back to a brain injury, so working on this everyday is vital. This is how we play a Math and Memory game:
First I count from 1-10.  I let the kids listen to me count out loud.
Next time I count I leave out one number.  I count slowly so it’s easy for the child to catch what number I leave out at first. As the game goes on I will speed up.
When I get to 10, the kids can tell me which number I left out, if they can remember.  This way, the child has to:
1.     Figure out what number I left out – showing his knowledge of his numbers and sequence and
2.     Remember that number until I finish counting through the rest to get to the end- showing his ability to remember.
You’d think this would be easy, but I have found that kids learn their numbers with learning-songs. If the songs get disrupted, they can’t remember their numbers. So, if you do not let them sing the number song they learned, they are lost. By mixing it up, and leaving out numbers, you force them to think of numbers in a different way.

Building Up the Numbers
I have found that when I play the game, as soon as the child with the memory issues finds out which number I left out, he’ll want to tell me right away, and like I said, I can’t let him, because I want to challenge him to remember until I get to the end of the count. You want them to remember the number in there head for a short time.
 I even had to start with the number 9 just so the child could win.  That is how impaired his memory would be as we started the game.
Eventually I could leave out the number 2 or 3 and then I know he was learning to remember longer. Next I move to counting up to 1-15 and then to 1-20 and so on so the child had to hold the number in his head much longer. So, for example, a real challenge would be to leave out the number 5 and you are counting to 30.  See how it works?  
Adding and Subtracting Games
Sometimes I found math would intimidate my kids just because it was “MATH” and so the words themselves, “adding” and “subtracting” would scare them. They’d feel like they were too “stupid” to learn big-ol’ scary “MATH” so, I would have to trick them into it.
So, my Car Adding and Subtracting Game was born.
For adding, I would simply ask, “what number is above 3?” and the child would be able to answer “4” and so on. They found this really fun because they were successful at it and could answer easily.
I did the same thing for subtraction, “What number is below 5?” “4!”  No problem!
 After we would do this for a while, I would sneak the words, “plus” or “minus” in.  At first my kids would say they couldn’t do it, but then I would go back and show them that “plus” and “above” were the same, and before they were even aware of it, they were adding and subtracting simple numbers.
So, not only are the kids learning, they are happy in the car, because they are successful, and they are competing in a positive way against each other, and there are rewards for doing well, such as the winner gets to ride in the front seat! They also get to play a game with Dad, their favorite toy!
The competition is not just between the boys; it is with me as well, which they also love. Every time they both miss a number, I get a point, if they get a number or problem correct, they get a point.
So, even though the math is easy, it reinforces the basics, which is necessary for my kids, and helps keep information fresh in their minds and occupies my ADD kids on the numerous errands and car trips we all must endure daily.
Got some simple learning car-games to share? Please comment here!
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  2. bringing Car Games and many other games for polishing the skills of the kids is and an amazing technique. Many experts have proved the great impact of the games on the kids and hence it is clear the stop blaming the gaming.

  3. Thanks Sofia for taking the time to comment!

  4. I enjoy this site, cool games and cool people use this site. thanks for sharing it..
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