Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Seeing Numbers

My children and I had an interesting conversation this evening. My 5th grade son is having a difficult time memorizing his times tables so we've been working with flash cards. While we were playing around with them tonight he made the comment that many of his classmates say that they see a picture of the problem in their heads, and that's how they've memorized the tables. He does not see these pictures. I do and so does my daughter. In fact, she sees her number picture in color. The numbers are blue on a purple background. I'm sure there is something about multiple intelligences in that. What most intrigued me, however, was my son saying he doesn't see the number sentence with the answer attached. He works the problem every single time he sees it. He has memorized probably through his 3's. Now, why is this intriguing? Because he's dyslexic and I'm left wondering if this is just one more manifestation of it.


Heidi said...

I don't have problems reading, but I've been told that I have a mild form of dyslexia. I'm 25, and I never learned the times tables properly, and I also have tiny issues like having to look at my hands to remember which is right and left, and if someone says the time is half past eight, I hear 7:30. If you haven't already, you might want to look up "Gerstmann syndrome".

I like your blog, by the way. I've been following it for a few months.

Heidi said...

Thank you for your comment/reply :)

As far as I know, head injuries as a cause only applies to situations where the symptoms suddenly appear in adults. I think children can be born with the syndome.

Susan said...

Have you ever read the book, __Right Brained Child in A Left Brained World__? It really helped me understand how a couple of my children learn, and why traditional methods don't work well for them. (My oldest daughter is dyslexic.)

Here is an idea for learning the multiplication tables that is kinesthetic, rhythmic, visual, and auditory: Take a beach ball and draw a circle around the diameter(like the equator) with a marker. Now number each section with the numerals 1 through 12. To play, toss the ball to a player and have him call out the number his right thumb lands on as he catches it (this will be the first factor). He then tosses the ball to the next person who calls out the number that his right thumb lands on (this will be the second factor) The ball is then tossed to the next player who must call out the answer (product). The ball is then tossed to the next person and the process begins again. You can play with two or more people. It should be done in as rhythmic a manner as possible. You can also use a kickball and bounce the ball back and forth among the players for a more rhythmic feeling game.

Prior to playing the game it is a good idea to chant the multiplication tables together :-)

Marianna said...


Thanks so much for the idea! I'll definitely give it a try. I have consciously avoided flashcards, but his teacher sent them home and he has been having fun with them so we've been using them before reading. But the beachball too will be even more fun.


Now I'm really intrigued...I've always been puzzled by his reading ability coupled with the dyslexia diagnosis. He reads above grade level, which is virtually unheard of for dyslexic students. However, he can't spell even the simplest words correctly from sentence to sentence. Thanks again for the info.


Anna said...

I was the same way with numbers. I had the hardest time learning my times tables & to be honest I still have to think about some of them before I answer. (I have ADHD). But I was always way ahead in my reading skills. Good Luck!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails