February 17, 2007

13 and 15

Ciaran has been working on counting to 20 lately and I noticed a consistent pattern of leaving out 13 and 15. My first thought was the page in Alexander and the Horrible, Rotten, No Good Very Bad Day book when he leaves out 16. Then I noticed something 13 and 15 are unique because they do not use the number before think about it thirteen, fourteen, fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen. They both abbreviate the number before they add teen. Anyway that realization make sense with Ciaran and his learning style I can't explain it but it just fits.

So today we decided to work on it with him. I decided he just needed to practice saying 13, 14, 15 over and over again and printed him out the numbers on a sheet with a picture of a frog his favorite. But it was Serona who came up with the idea that worked. Walking up and down steps saying one number on each step over and over again. Whenever he got one wrong he had to start the whole staircase again and then it was suddenly a game and something he wanted to win. A few times and he got it. It really worked for him!

Then we had him walk the stairs and do all the numbers between 1-20 and again he had to start over if he messed up - he never messed up 13-15 but did get confused occasionally with other numbers. Serona walked up and down with him with the promise of playing his new GameCube game if he got it right. Yes we reward (okay some might say bribe) Ciaran with video games. But he did his numbers 1-20 and is playing Cars with daddy now. We will practice a few more times over the next few days until I am sure it is stuck in his mind.

Sometimes a little creativity is all we need. Thanks Serona for being the creative one!

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