I did not see my learner last week because she was sick. Today, we started off by reviewing what we did two weeks ago. We then combined our addition and coin value recognition skills to start adding coins. She did very well with this and I was so proud. We ended up having to go back and do a more in depth review of place value because she was starting to get confused. I think it is best to do what I have done before and give her "warm ups", even though they are very repetitious. I feel like she really understands the concepts but needs to get her mind geared towards math instead of just jumping straight in. At the end of the session, I started using real coins rather than the worksheets I had started with and she was very excited about that. Her staff forgot to tell her about the celebration details so I informed her. Overall, I think it was a very good session.
This is the first time my learner and I have met in a couple weeks unfortunately because my learner's staff has been traveling and was unable to bring her, and because I was not here over spring break. This week she also felt comfortable with me alone and told her staff to stay in the lobby and read her book. I was worried that maybe my learner would not remember all that we have done so far, but she completed the homework I gave her and when we reviewed she did very well so we were able to make more progress instead of getting stuck on review. I gave her a couple connect the dot sheets to help her warm up with numbers and I even found a skip counting connect the dot sheet which was perfect for what we had been working on. We then practiced more addition, but with bigger numbers. She is very capable of answering the questions but I find that she gets very caught up in her head and makes problems more complex than they actually are. I had her talk me through solving the problems, which allowed her to slow down and think through the steps, but also helped me to understand where I might help correct mistakes. I had a worksheet on the computer this week rather than printed out because she likes the computer. We were about to move on to coins after the last addition problem, but I asked her to read the answer aloud because I was writing something down, and I realized she does not understand place value in the thousands. Even though it was not the original plan, I went ahead and explained place value to her and had her practice reading a variety of numbers aloud and then I said numbers aloud and had her write them down. Finally, we got to coin recognition and value, and got a little practice in with that. I found that she knows her coins and their values, but not necessarily their relation to dollars (like how many quarters in a dollar). I was about to just tell her all the relationships, but I realized we could use our skip counting and addition skills to figure out how many pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters each make up a dollar. I figure it is more valuable for her to understand how to get there rather than just giving her facts to memorize. She was excited that we were finally actually getting to money. We ran a little over time because I was not paying attention but overall I think it was a good session. I asked her if she was proud of herself and she said yes with a big smile! Even though I routinely encourage her and make positive remarks, I just want to make sure she also has a sense of accomplishment within herself.
I really enjoyed the guest speaker, Nicole Weeks. What I took away most from what she said was treating people with developmental disabilities the way they should be treated for their age instead of like young children, not only out of basic respect but as to properly engage them. I feel that I subconsciously have this tendency to assume a demeanor appropriate for someone younger when dealing with someone with developmental disabilities. This will allow me to be more conscious of it and take on a more appropriate tone. I also really liked what she said about turning "I can't" into "I can", and making compromises. She was a very good speaker and I wish she had more time to speak.