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JMonk 01-28-2008 05:26 PM

calculators for math (appropiate?)
I am homeschooling two special needs kids. One is 9 (probably on a 1st grade level) and the other 13 (has Downs). I have been working with them in math, on adding and subtracting. We have used manipulatives and have also used a number line.

Is is ok for them to use calculators?? I don't want to "PUSH" them. I want to do what is realistic for them. They can use manipulative's, however it takes a long time for them to answer the questions.

We have also been working with coins, having a HARD time with this concept. If anyone could offer any suggestions I would appreciate it.

speeder1 01-28-2008 06:37 PM

Life Skills
I feel that it is OK for students to use calculators to reinforce thier learning. We all use calculators in our everyday life and students need to know how to use them as well. They don't need to rely on them but could use them to check their work.

As far as money goes....Have you heard of touch math? There is also a program called Touch Money. I teach life skills and my students had a hard time with money as well. I used program and my kids did learn money. It firsts starts out with getting them to count to 100, then counting by 5's to 100. Once the student can do that successfully, touch points are introduced. A nickle had one touch point (in the center of coin), a dime has two touch points (top and bottom of coin), and a quarter has five touch points. The kids learn to count coins by touching thier points. Pennies have a line under them and they learn to count them as one when they are finished with touch points. I hope this had made some since.

Good luck

Rosberry 01-29-2008 11:09 AM

I am working on my paper for my special ed class and the topic is to do with math and learning disabled students. I just came across this article and thought that you might be interested.
It discusses the use of calculators.

I second the suggestion for using TouchMath. You can look at samples on their website online. I have heard good things about it.

Just keep working on the concepts. They obviously need more practice than other students and that is okay.

JMonk 01-31-2008 07:19 AM

thanks again
I'll take a look at this website. I actually let my kids use calculators to "check" their work. To my surprised, they enjoyed it. One of the kids had never used a calculator before (YIKES). I'm thinking this is a good thing, to introduce it.

lisandom 02-12-2008 03:04 PM

Calculators are fine as long as a students learns how to use them. Children have difficulty with money because they often do not see people using cash and do not get an opportunity to use it. I have a student w/ Downs who I have just implemented a picture exchange system in his wallet. He has a card with an example of the coins nickel, quarter, dime = $0.40 with a picture of lunch ( from Mayer-Johnson) and $0.50 = ice cream. He counts out his money.
We also play a game with 9 and 10 sided dice to create the money value using dimes and pennies to start. Then once students get comfortable we show it another way exchanging the coins for nickels and quarters. Hope this helps.

JMonk 02-12-2008 09:21 PM

thanks for the idea... I'm working with them and they are enjoying it. Love the money idea... thanks again

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