I'm a math facilitator and a high school special education teacher approached me about helping one of her tenth grade students. She said that her student can count just fine, but has no understanding of quantities. For example, she can count to 2 and count to 4, but if you put 2+2 in front of her, she doesn't understand how to put those "symbols" together to make 4. I'm outta my comfort zone here....what are you ideas to help this student?

Second grade level? That's early first... even kindergarten. Ugh. I don't even know where to start with that. Sorry I can't help, but good luck to you.

If the student is counting, but has no number sense, she's learned via rote memorization only. I'm thinking the best way to move forward is to go as concrete as possible using manipulatives. Sometimes, the best way I can get my kids to understand is to relate it to money. Maybe play money (or tiles or blocks or other items) for the student to "count" groups forward as the starting point.

She will need to use manipulatives and visuals, and each individual student will learn to "join" sets in different ways. Use manipulatives (blocks, coins, bills, dots, etc.) Use a number line, or use tally marks or lines, or use touch math numbers. Some students don't understand the concept that the last number counted is the amount of objects. She may need to do some more testing of the student to understand exactly what the student's number sense deficit is.

Thanks, I felt like she needed to be doing a lot of what we doing in elementary with CGI, but it's really hard for me to fathom a 10th grader needing that. But...it's sounds like she does, so that is where we'll go..thanks for the help!

First off, I would ask to see any beginning of the year assessments that this child has taken to see what concepts he or she is capable of doing. Find out the child's disability. From what you described, this child sounds ID and in need of a self-contained class such as Life or Applied Skills. Just to put things in perspective, I have two ID kids that are in 1st and 2nd that can add and subtract numbers 1-12 with the use of interlocking cubes. So, find of their disability. Look at their current IEPS and present levels of performance to determine what they can do. Can the child read? Are they in other grade level classes and doing okay? If the child is that low in the 10th grade I would venture to guess that they are not in resource or basic only. Use lots of repetition, visual aids such as flash cards and lots of manipulatives such as cubes, counters, clocks, base 10 pieces, etc. Can this child count to 100? Recognize numbers with flash cards?