Monday, September 08, 2008

Letters vs. Numbers

Nicky can recognize all the letters, tell you what sound they make and even tell you some words that start with that letter. He knows that putting letters together makes words and can even recognize a few sight words. But, for some reason numbers are really tough. He can count to ten but if you show him a number he can't make the connection between the number and the word for it. I find it both fascinating and frustrating and for the same reason. He can obviously make a connection between an abstract concept of a written letter and the sound it makes. And the connection between a group of letters and a word and what the word means. But he does not apply the same numbers. With my older kids learning letters and numbers happened simultaneously, why not Nick? Something more to ponder and research.

2 comments:

Beth said...

I remember reading a book of short stories by Zenna Henderson, who I think had a day job as a teacher, and one story was about a teacher who made a reference to working with a boy in first grade who couldn't get that you could represent the quantity two by both writing two or 2. And it was told in an off-hand way as if this was a fairly common thing that first grade teachers saw.

Anyway, I can't remember anything else about the story, but that bit stuck with me because as a kid I couldn't figure out how you couldn't get that, but now Nicky in real life is imitating art. I dunno, I thought you might like to hear that Nicky didn't invent that mental block :-)

starrlife said...

My theory is that "typical " learners kind of learn in a more intuitive appearing manner, all of a piece, grasping the relationship between concepts almost simultaneously with the concepts themselves! With our children it is actually fascinating to watch exactly each separate piece of the process slowly move into place. It can be frustrating but rewarding when finally each new piece clicks.
Just visiting from 31 for 21!