Monday, January 18, 2010

Math Made Easy

While in Gibraltar presenting an eReadingPro reading workshop recently, I was fortunate to meet with Vikki Horner of Maths Extra Limited. Vikki was scheduled to speak the evening after I spoke, hosted by the Down Syndrome Support Group of Gibraltar.

Often after I have presented my reading program, parents ask if I also have any recommendations they can use with their children for math. While often offering a handful of strategies they may incorporate, I had yet to suggest a particular program.

However, after meeting Vikki, I believe I now have a math program that I would recommend. Maths Extra is a multi-sensory approach to the first years of mathematical instruction.

The system allows the student to:
  • See pattern in numbers
  • See connections between numbers
  • See structures within numbers
  • Picture base ten structures

The use of various multi-colored apparatuses is the key to this system, and is based on some Montessori concepts, but particularly on the Structural Arithmetic Programme by Dr. Catherine Stern. The system begins with 'no number' puzzles, 'naming the plastic shapes' and then gradually works into introducing the actual numerals. It is a very gradual but systematic process - much like eReadingPro!

It is a system that Vikki used with her daughter Charlotte, who was born with Down syndrome, and was struggling with counting and the meaning of numerical concepts. Having such success with Charlotte, Vikki went on to introduce this system across the UK. Today she is an international speaker and presenter - which is how I came to meet her in Gibraltar.


heather said...

Thanks for posting this. I have been lost on how to teach math to Morgan. She has done great with reading and implementing the steps of your program and flash cards. I will definitely look into this program. Thanks again.

Denise said...

Hey Heather, I'm so glad to hear how well Morgan is doing with eReadingPro. I hope you also find success with Vikki's program!