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Persevere or back off?


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We have a child (44 months) who is emerging 22-36 and developing 22-36 in Mathematics and just on the cusp of emerging 30-50 in Literacy.

 

She hasn't got a grasp on any colours, shapes or numbers. We play games to try and make it fun and there is no consistency in how she gets them wrong. You can tell her what the colour is and she will still get it wrong! We are working on numbers 1-5 and again you can show her the number, tell her what it is and she will still get it wrong.

 

She is only interested in role play and will only come to play a game or do an activity with you if another one of her friends is there but spends most of the time looking at what is going on around her and trying to do it as quickly as possible to escape back to role play.

 

Do we persevere or back off?

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I would let her role play - you can use this interest to build her skills in other areas. If you are trying to get her to come to do an activity when she is busy involved in her own game then she will already be without motivation for your activity. I would be trying to play with her, rather than trying to get her to play with you. She might be more interested in numbers if she was counting out biscuits for a tea party or getting the 3 bears cottage ready for Goldilocks. Is she secure in all her Prime areas? She might be able to do some of the things you are asking her to, she might just not want to in the way you are asking her to. I would do a close observation of her, whilst playing along side and I would be listening carefully to see if she speaks as a 44 month old - she might be using maths language as she plays - she might be developing complex ideas and thoughts about how the imaginative games plan out - she just might not be ready to share them with you. I'd be really interested to hear how you get on - I've had children completely hoodwink me about what they can do by themselves and what they're prepared to let me know that they can do!

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Good idea. She loves dolls so may set up the home corner next week with lots of chances of counting and sorting for her and get her key worker to observe her whilst playing with her.

 

We are out at Forest School tomorrow where she loves digging and we have different coloured trowels and watering cans so can make a start then. I have an activity for them to do first off so might incorporate counting into what they have to do.

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Why don't you let her start digging, then you start digging beside her or use a dibber and begin planting 'beans' and tell her about Jack and the beanstalk - she might help you count the beans into the holes - or give her lots of different pots and let her play filling and emptying, you can include full/empty, too much/ not enough as she makes mud cakes for a teddy bears tea party - take some bears with you into the forest - sing 'if you go down into the woods today'

If she is using watering cans - does she know the rhyme 'Mary Mary quite contrary'? she might like that and she might like to set up Mary Mary's garden.

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I had a child a few years ago who did not seem to know his numbers, colours etc. everytime he was sat down to do an activity he used to get it wrong, muddle the colours up, get the wrong numberetc BUT in his play when he didnt know we were observing he could sort his colours and used numbers in his play. He was quite clever in other areas and I think he just used to play us off, he knew we knew what the right answer was and he was NOT going to tell us! :ph34r:

That aside there are some really good suggestions here. :1b

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Hi starsdance, great advice from Rebecca.

I'd not worry too much about the things you mentioned, number recognition and naming shapes come later in the development matters for a reason,(40 to 60). Much more important to see if she is counting (eg does she join in with number songs), and can she pick out two or three things from a box eg put 2 pieces of fruit at snack time, lay the table for 3 friends, put two cups of flour in the playdough. This will give you a sense of her understanding about number and quantity.

equally colour recognition, some children get this later than others, but it doesn't mean they can't experiment, explore and combine to express creative ideas.

 

How are her assessments in the prime areas, and what have you noticed about characteristics of effective learning..This will tell you plenty about whether or not should be concerned about her development.

enjoy the forest school time alongside her, model the language of the trowels. ..'I'm going to choose the red one and make a hole here'. How does she respond?

 

Good luck,

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I agree...let her play and expose her to the language as she does so...make sure to have different coloured and shaped resources to explore in the role play area, items to sort / match and count (make simple recipe books , phone books ...) be sure to model the relevant vocabulary as much as possible and talk about the colour, shape, quantity of things in meaningful, real contexts rather than as separate activities...​..oh and I think I'm right in saying that there is nothing in the EYFS that says a child must learn the colour names at all anyway...only to 'explore and experiment' with colour..so you can definitely afford to relax on that aspect :1b

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Sorry I haven't been back. Forest School last week was good as we had a delivery of top soil to get into the digging pit so I asked her to get the yellow trowel from the bucket as it was better than the blue one. She walked off until I had moved then came back to pick up a trowel and start digging herself. She seems to move away when she is given any sort of instruction relating to colour, number or shape.

 

I have now done a little research and have re-looked at the communication carousel on our SALT website and it's showing some concern and suggesting she should be referred. I did give mum a referral form back in January and decided to follow it up today and it looks like she has never phoned for an appointment. The SALT have suggested I get mum to sign another form and I send it in and ask them to come to the setting.

 

Funny you should say about dyslexia as I know her dad is dyslexic and wondered if this was coming through in her. But I think I need to get speech and language sorted before we can go down that route.

 

Wish me luck in talking to mum tomorrow as I know she is going through a bad time at the moment as she has split from dad and is finding it difficult.

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mention the dyslexic link to SALT. Unfortunately most counties seem to have a bit of an issue about this very common condition and assume it is all to do with reading and writing,,,it is not! The processing of information can be quite tricky. Whist waiting for any referral try to engage all of her senses whilst teaching (playdough is a fantastic medium for this_ try to find out her preferred method of learning (visual/auditory/kinaesthetic etc Which will help you to target a way of teaching. She may be using avoidance tactics if she is uncertain of information.....give her the information frequently (i'm picking up the red trowel im going to give you the red trowel oh now sophies got the red trowel etc) Teach ONE element at a time not all colours a range of numbers and a range pf letters!!!

 

I was once given a very useful piece of advice which was to assume all children are dyslexic because the methods you should use to teach them are the best methods to teach anyone...but please don't feel you need to wait for salt to get back to you ...try to help now ;);)

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Good advice finleysmaid thank you.

 

I had a chat with Mum on Friday and we filled in the SALT form together and she asked if I remembered that dad was dyslexic and could it be that as she finds at home the child will avoid all aspects of anything that she has to give an answer to. I will be writing to the SALT as well to ask if they can come in as mum works and will find it difficult to take her anywhere.

 

Lets hope we can get them out before we break up in July!!

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