Advice on Consumer Math curriculum for students with ASDs

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by wordsmith, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. wordsmith

    wordsmith New Member

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    Mar 18, 2011

    First post on these forums, so please bear with me.

    I am beginning a new position at my school as a special education teacher (was previously a 1:1 ABA program implementer with individual students). Our school is a private school that uses applied behavior analytics to stabilize behavior and increase academic achievement to prepare students for reintegration into less restrictive settings. All of our students are severely behaviorally disordered and this has damaged their academic progress. They are generally referrals from public school districts that are not equipped to meet their needs or handle their behavior. Many, but not all, of our students have diagnoses of autism spectrum disorders. Our instruction is primarily one-to-one, and as the student progresses and reaches suitable behavioral and academic benchmarks for transition back to their school districts, they are gradually moved to small-group instruction that more closely resembles traditional classroom environments.

    In my new position, I have been tasked with, among other things, locating a mathematics curriculum that is appropriate to our students with consumer math goals in their IEPs. We currently use Remedia Publications' "Real Life Math" series' Menu Math, Market Math, and Department Store Math, and Alpha Omega Publications' Checks & Balances curriculum.

    What I need is something in between the two, in terms of level of difficulty/complexity...many of our students who have progressed beyond the more simple operations in Menu, Market, and Department Store Math are not yet ready for the more complex, simulated banking transactions, account reconciliation/balancing, etc. in the Checks & Balances program. There is a gap in between the two styles of curriculum that I need to try to fill.

    I was wondering if anybody had any experience with a hands-on, real-life simulation style of math program that would be appropriate for students 14-18 with autism spectrum disorders and behavioral issues, and teaches skills for generalization in making community purchases and other independent living goals.

    Thanks, in advance! I'm not working with a large team, here, so others' experience is very important to me for brainstorming!
     
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  3. manda80411

    manda80411 Rookie

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    Mar 18, 2011

    Book

    I just found a book called Your Checking Account Lessons in Personal Banking. It is up to date and has a teacher edition to go along with it. I also have my different books about consumer shopping and Books called Menu math with both +-*/ problems in the book. Hope that helps.
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Mar 18, 2011

    HI and welcome!

    I just had a huge reply typed out and lost it. Take two:

    I'm well out of my comfort zone here-- I know of no programs or curriculum. But since your kids are teenagers, you could talk about:

    - Getting a job. Getting paid by the hour, pay cards, gross vs. net pay, FICa. If you wanted to work on social skills, you could also talk about interviewing.

    - Getting an apartment. Rent, deposits, furniture, renters insurance. You could have them make up a scale drawing of their apartment to figure out where the furniture goes. (IKEA's website give the dimensions of their stuff.) Again, if you wanted to work on social skills, they could be paired up and asked to decide on the house rules.

    -Buying a car. New vs Used vs Leased. Options, base price, insurance.

    - Planning a trip. OK, of course I'm going to say Disney World, but you could do NYC, LA or anywhere in between. If you choose a foreign country you could also talk about passports and currency exchanges.
     
  5. wordsmith

    wordsmith New Member

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    Mar 21, 2011

    Most of these students are additionally in small group life skills and job skills classes where we are covering much of what you describe...interview basics, getting along with others in the workplace, how to job search, how to fill out applications, how to self-manage time and ask for additional duties when/if you complete the tasks you have been assigned, keeping a personal schedule and managing a variable work schedule, clocking in/clocking out, etc.

    As far as housing/driving stuff, most of these students will not live anymore independently than group home settings, and will not drive, so there aren't a ton of practical applications for those particular independent living goals for them, directly, although some of those skills are incorporated into other goals.

    I'm all about creating individualized curriculum for these kids, but I was asked to see what's out there already developed that fills the gap we've got going on between too easy and too complex. Thus far, no real luck with that. I guess that's what I'll report back. There doesn't seem to be much of anything pre-made that exists in a grey area between basic operations of arithmetic using menus and pricing guides to get the figures, and more complex simulated banking and budgeting transactions. I suppose the answer is to take the more complicated of the curriculum and have the 1:1 instructors modify it as needed (which is what I've always done in my time as a 1:1 instructor). But other people in my former position always want things pre-made, sigh. I'm all for not reinventing the wheel, but in this case, there doesn't seem to be a wheel to reinvent, so it stands to reason that instructors are going to have to take what they know of their students and do their own modifications, if the way something is made doesn't fit their needs. Not everything comes pre-made and ready to go for every ability level. That's why they call it "teaching."

    Man, I've only been in this supervisory role for a couple of weeks, and I'm already getting some major eye-opening as far as how some of my compatriots view their work duties. I've never been a big one for using canned curriculum for highly individualized ed and not expecting that I'm going to need to modify and personalize, but apparently, I'm in the minority.
     
  6. teacher12345

    teacher12345 Cohort

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  7. WaterfallLady

    WaterfallLady Enthusiast

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    Mar 22, 2011

    Both Pacemaker and AGS produce several consumer math textbooks. I love their stuff.
     

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