A parent just contacted me for advice for teaching subtraction for an older child and number matching for a younger child (both on the spectrum) while using play equipment
here are my easy to implement suggestions below:
hi therethanks for bearing with me while we were travelling
ok - here are my answers
subtraction on the trampoline: have him where a certain number of articles of clothing. every time he takes off one item we bounce the number of items he has left. they get smaller and smaller. you can start by putting him in three overcoats and five hats so its a bit silly and there are more items and the game lasts longer. if its a hot day at the end he gets sprayed with a while bouncing once hes down to his shorts or trunks
another simpler game is start with ten bounces. then say we are taking one away. so we bounce nine. and so on. once he has done this with just a subtraction of one you can do groups. ie you start with ten bounces. then say we take four away. that eaves us six bounces etc.
subtraction in the pool: you chuck a number of pool toys into the water. hopefully they are toys he really likes. one by one he removes an item and takes it to another location (maybe the side of the pool, maybe a corner of the pool). each time we see how many items we have left. again you can first do this with on item at a time and then groups of them. the swimming back and forth will produce a lot of bdnf as will the bouncing outlines above.
another option is to count how many strokes it takes to swim a width of the pool. then how far do we get every time we reduce the number of strokes by one. and then by groups.
on the slide:
time how far from one to ten you can count while we slides the whole way. then count one less and stop him partway down the slide - he then has to climb back up. then count one less again and so on.
you can also chuck a bunch of toys down the slide. one less, then more than one less, etc counting how many we have left, and climbing back up the slide in between
on the swing
start with swinging ten times
then say you are going to subtract one - and swing him nine times etc. again once youve done increments of one, try groups. ie start with ten swings. then say you are subtracting three swing, and swing him seven times.
rolling on a grass slope
you put out objects that you roll towards. perhaps ten of them if its a long slope. first you roll all the way down. then you take one object away so you only roll to the ninth object etc.
jogging is all about counting steps. then taking them away. with this one you can start in increments as it makes logical sense when running. you run a hundred steps. then you say, lets take away ten (easier to run so therefore attractive after the first sprint is done) so its ninety. then eighty etc. each sprint gets easier.
VERY IMPORTANT; DO NOT ASK FOR FEEDBACK OR TEST HIM. JUST DO THE EXERCISES/GAMES AND PROVIDE A RUNNING COMMENTARY UNTIL AFTER SOME WEEKS HE BEGINS TO OFFER ANSWERS AND CHANGES IN THE GAME SPONTANEOUSLY. IF YOU PUT HIM ON THE SPOT AND TRY TO TEST IF HES GOT IT, HE WILL SHUT DOWN. YOU NEED TO DISCIPLINE YOURSELF A LOT HERE.
Ok, Matching numbers to quantities
trampoline: put a number of favourite toys on the tramp and then bounce that number. the toys will all bounce too, making it funny.
in the pool: do the same thing but replace bounces with splashes
on the slide:put a basket at the bottom of the slide. take a bunch of toys up to the top and then roll them down so they all go in the basket. if you count them before you throw/roll them down and then count them again when they are all in the basket you get matching and addition.
on the swing: put the toys on the ground. count them. then swing him that number of times. make a song out of it to help it stick in the brain as he swings.
jogging. carry a certain number of toys in a backpack. lets say he has ten dinosaurs in the backpack. then you jog between ten specific and obvious points (tree, lamp posts etc)
again - dont ask for feedback - this is incredibly important.
once you get them used to these games, more will develop spontaneously. youre going to get very fit!
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