I'm currently a Sped teacher, who is working with lower level students in the 1st grade. Many of these students are lower than my IEP students. I've noticed that some will say the correct number out loud, but write a completely different number down on a worksheet- or when counting sets, like 2 puppies plus 2 puppies- they will count 1...2...then...1...2...again, instead of continuing to 3...4. Some also write some of their numbers backwards- could I just have them practice writing 1 through 10 for a little time each day...would that help? What would work best in assisting them? I've considered Touch Math, but is there anything else I could possibly do to aide them? The little ones are very new to me, I'm used to the older ones! Any help would be greatly appreciated!

I usually use blocks/unifix cubes for my little ones that are just learning to count. I model, we do it together, and then they do it by themselves, and we repeat that several times until I think they have a good handle on it. If we've practiced a lot and I just want to quickly review, I'll sometimes start a lesson by just asking them to get out a certain number of blocks from my bin. Then we count them together to make sure it's the right number. I also made simple number flashcards last year. I'd start with 1-10 and keep adding on in increments of 10 when they were ready to move on. You'd think flashcards would be boring, but it's a quick activity and I kept a "right" pile (while putting ones they got wrong back in my hand to try again) and they got really excited about seeing how many they could get right each time. I also took out small white boards and would name a number and ask them to write it down. I also let them name numbers for partners to write down (or they could tell me what number to write if it was 1:1). I had sand trays for a literacy program I have, so if I felt like we needed to change things up I might have them trace the numbers in the sand. At the end of the week, I'd give them a little "quiz" to see how many numbers they could name and write (for progress monitoring) and I let them keep track of what number they could get up to on a sticker chart. I found that to be really motivating. I don't use it in my classroom, but my dad's also a special ed teacher and he is really big on using a 100's chart. He practices a line each week and he says the kids pretty much memorize it. I'd definitely make sure they have the numbers/counting down before moving on to adding. Once you get there though, I think touch math is an excellent strategy. Not all kids will pick it up, but for the ones that understand it and use it, it can literally change their whole math life, haha. I'd say about half of my students use this strategy well independently. I had a 1st grader last year who came to me for math RtI. When I got him, he couldn't count past 5 or identify numbers 1-10, and he had no 1-1 correspondence. This was in november, and he'd been to a full year of kinder as well. I did all the activities I mentioned in the first paragraph with him, and once he was ready we did touch math for adding and subtracting. He picked it up within a week and was able to use the touch math dots without the visual (so just tapping his pencil on the regular number, like on anything he'd see in his regular class) to add and subtract. In 4 months he went from being at a pre-k level to being in the 85th percentile according to progress monitoring/benchmark data...above grade level expectations. Needless to say, he doesn't need me anymore. I've had several kids come to me for math RtI who only needed the touch math strategy to help them get to benchmark. It's not a "miracle cure" or anything- I did have some kids who just weren't visual or kinistetic learners who simply couldn't pick it up, but I do try it with everyone because if it does work for them it makes such a huge difference.

I'd have them do some counting stations. Place some cubes in a bag. Have them reach in and grab a handful. Count how many. Get different sized strings. Have them count how long it is in cubes. Get different sized containers. Have them fill the container with cubes to see how many fit inside. Have a set of cards with different sized lines on the cards. Each card should have a different shaped line. The lines should be straight but can have turning points. Not sure what to call them. Can sort of look like this: ________/ or __________ / /______ Have the kids line up the counters to see how long the line is. Start with short strings, short lines and small containers. Have them count and write the number that goes with it. Once they are good at that, use longer strings, longer lines and bigger containers (or smaller measuring items) so they can work with larger numbers. When they write the number backwards, correct them. Make them use a number line and make them look to see if their 3 looks like the 3 on the number line. Enforce the correct formation of letters.

and those lines from my previous post don't depict what I typed. Sorry. Just imagine a line with angles in it.

I personally LOVE touchmath. I also suggest using number lines. Really Good Stuff has an adorable set of number lines with a moving frog... I had a similar problem last year. Every morning after calendar, we'd all sit together, look at the hundred chart and count to 100. By 1s. Then by 10s, 5s, and 2s. The repetition seemed to really help them. We ultimately began counting backwards from 30 every morning as well. Not exactly the most exciting activity but it didn't take as long as it sounds, and it actually really did help!