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Training to develop sense of numbers and quantities for preschool children with special needs

Petra Kuplenk (2017) Training to develop sense of numbers and quantities for preschool children with special needs. MSc thesis.

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    Children as well as adults have to cope with mathematics every day either at nursery school, at work or at home. Mathematics has a great impact on our lives and work. When I was working with children with special needs I noticed that they found it very difficult to understand numbers and numbers relations. That is why I devoted my diploma work to preparing a complete training for developing a feeling of number sense with children with special needs. I believe that it is of great importance that children in the pre-school age develop the number sense, which is the knowledge base for their further mathematical skills. The aim of Master's thesis is to develop strategies which would help pre-school children with special needs to develop number sense. Therefore I planned a training that included creative activities that helped a great deal to develop the feeling of number sense with these children. Furthermore, I wanted to find out what methods parents and teachers had already used to develop the feeling of number sense. The children who were supposed to participate in the training had to take the Number sense Examination (Jašarević, 2016) beforehand. It was also important to find out how the teachers assessed the children's abilities and skills. So I made a questionnaire on this topic which the teachers had to fill in. Also the parents were given a questionnaire about how often the number sense activities had been carried out in children's everyday lives. The research contained the programme of the training, its actual realization and finally its overall evaluation, too. 4 children with special needs (2 children with speech and language disorders and 2 physically handicapped children) participated in the research. They were to start school the following year. All these 4 children had had special education and had been given some extra help by a special education teacher. The training course lasted 4 months. During this period I worked with children for 30 minutes twice a week. Two children had an individual treatment, the other two were given the training together. The teachers and the children's parents participated in the training, too. During the training course I informed the teachers about the regular activities once a week. I had 3 meetings with parents, too. All the activities that were done during the training were presented to the teachers who could later on demonstrate these activities to all the other children in a group. To determine the efficiency of the training the children had to undergo the above mentioned test once again after the training had been completed. Also the teachers and parents were asked to fill in the questionnaires again. I issued a manual that contained all the tasks and activities that were practiced during the training together with some useful didactic advice. Also parents got some advice how to exercise at home and were given a collection of all the tasks and activities. The final results of the research show that all the children that have taken part in the training have to some extent successfully developed the feeling of number sense. What is more, besides having learnt basic mathematical knowledge and skills, they have also learnt some strategies which enable them to solve math problems efficiently. All the children have found it interesting and challenging to continue with solving mathematical tasks and have also developed motivation skills for mathematical activities.

    Item Type: Thesis (MSc thesis)
    Keywords: pre-school children, children with special needs, number sense, training to develop the number sense
    Number of Pages: 97
    Language of Content: Slovenian
    Mentor / Comentors:
    Mentor / ComentorsIDFunction
    izr. prof. dr. Marija KavklerMentor
    Link to COBISS: http://www.cobiss.si/scripts/cobiss?command=search&base=50126&select=(ID=11788617)
    Institution: University of Ljubljana
    Department: Faculty of Education
    Item ID: 4850
    Date Deposited: 26 Oct 2017 14:39
    Last Modified: 26 Oct 2017 14:39
    URI: http://pefprints.pef.uni-lj.si/id/eprint/4850

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