So I had a realization lately (sadly this realization occurred last weekend when I was reorganizing my pinterest boards… but realization nonetheless) – my math resources are L-A-C-K-I-N-G! Although I initially realized this as it pertains to my bog posts and TpT downloads – this unfortunately mirrors back to my classroom. I get so overwhelmed with teaching reading since there are so many essential component skills my students are missing! Reading combined with social skills and communication instruction, life skills training, science and social studies, community based instruction, teaching pre-vocational skills – ahhh math seems to get lost among these things for me. Last year and this year I have really committed to using my ‘teacher time’ or direct instruction station basically solely for math instruction. My kids get plenty of reading instruction in morning group, Guided Reading groups, and reading centers so I don’t think I need to use any precious teacher time minutes on reading.
How/when/where my math instruction occurs:
- Teacher Time: direct instruction station where I work one on one or two on one with students, I like to use mini white boards to target math operations according to IEP goals. I also use adapted materials to teach new money and time skills. I also work on basic word problems and iPad apps!
- Fluency Station: Most of my students work on math operations, time, and money in their fluency station. Check out yesterday’s post!
- Table Time: I have some functional math skill tasks included in my table time independent work station. Check out my post on table time or my work station pinterest board.
- Hands-Materials: In my independent work station center, I include hands-on math materials to reinforce mastered math skills.
- Homework: Most of my students get one worksheet of previously mastered math problems included in their homework packet each night.
Teacher Time: In my teacher time station I really love to use white boards to practice math facts. It saves paper and time and you can adjust the type of problems you are working in a flash.
I love working on word problems with my students. I printed out a bunch of different word problems of varying difficulty (mostly 1st and 2nd grade level), put them in top loading sheets, and kept them in one binder. Then we work out the problems on a mini dry erase board. Word problems are super difficult for my kiddos. Language is already so difficult and then combing that with math – ouch! But it’s good to keep them challenged 🙂
Another big focus of my teacher time math instruction is MONEY! In my mind, this is one of the most important math concepts because it is such an essential life skill. This incorporates right into community based instruction. Using money fluently will enable my students to be even more functionally independent! I recently uploaded my Money Mega Pack to TpT for $5. It has tons of different visual materials to work on coin identification and adding money. This packet is great for a variety of types of learners – to work on easy math skills as well as more complex money tasks.
Included are set of coin posters to post in your class, these are great for kids to refer back to while working:
… a variety of worksheets for coin to name, front of coin to back of coin, coin to value, add coins to value, and which coin group is more…
… match coin to value hands-on activity ….
… and my fav – an “I have, Who has?” Money Edition Game. This game is haaaaard and I love it!! What can I say? I love to challenge my kiddos!
I also love using the iPad for math instruction in teacher time. This is also great when I’m working with one student, the other student can use a math app to work on math skills independently. Ahhh- no time wasted people!! Check out my math app post and be on the look out next week for an app review on another great math app 🙂
Hands-on materials: I wanted some more hands-on math materials for my students to use during independent work time. I decided to make a set of math puzzles for addition, subtraction, and multiplication. I started making fall themed ones and then got a little crazy and made winter and spring themed ones as well (bahhhh – don’t you love planning things for the whole year!). I love how they turned out! I did six different matches in one set but I may increase the amount once they get better with these. I store them in snack size ziploc baggies and taped the label on the front.
I put on the directions to write the problems after doing the puzzle. This will be a great way to reinforce the skills even more.
This set of Seasonal Math Puzzles is on sale in my TpT for $7.00 includes 540 puzzles for addition, subtraction, and multiplication. There are 10 sets of 6 matches for each math operation for fall, winter, and spring. Labels are also included.
So I’m trying to up my math game. Although, I’ve got to admit it – I don’t love teaching math. It was never my strong suit – let’s just saying there was many a tearful homework session as a sixteen year old taking precalculus back in high school. My biggest math recommendations for kids with autism: repetition, fluency, hands-on, and visual! Happy Sunday everyone 🙂