Special Needs Sunday


This is my first time participating in Special Needs Sunday!  I am excited to collaborate with other teachers of exceptional children!  The topic for this Sunday is word problems in math.  I have had to completely modify word problems in my classroom because none of my students are readers yet.  So, bring on the visual supports and manipulatives!

Mrs. Krumm: How many orange M&Ms do you have?

Frank: Three

Mrs. Krumm: (Writes 3 under the orange M&M marker) Awesome and how many green ones do you have?

Frank: Two

Mrs. Krumm:  (Writes 2 under the green M&M marker) You got it!  You have three orange M&Ms and two green M&Ms.  How many M&Ms do you have all together? (Writes a plus sign between the 3 and 2)

Frank: Five!

Mrs. Krumm: (Writes an equal sign followed by a 5) Perfect!  3+2=5!  Eat those M&Ms!  Now how many do you have?

Frank: (With a chocolate grin) None!


In addition to working on self-control (I have a hard time not sneaking an M&M or two during this activity), I am also able to work on simple addition and subtraction while introducing the concept of word problems.  I also write the number sentences on a dry-erase board so the students are seeing the operation symbols and number identification is being reinforced.  For the rest of you with non-readers, how do you approach word problems?


About krummme

I have been working with children with special needs in some capacity or other for the last 9 years. I am currently in my third year teaching in a self-contained classroom for students with Intellectual Disabilities. In addition to my classroom responsibilities, I am also a wife and mother. While the jobs of wife and mother bring me the most joy, I get so much out of my work with my students. This blog is the musings of my life.
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5 Responses to Special Needs Sunday

  1. Kim says:

    I found your blog through the Special Needs Sunday linky! I like how you make your word problems visual…and any excuse to eat some M&Ms is a good idea in my book! When I work with non-readers or other students that are SLD in math on word problems. We discuss about what type of problem it is. For example, it could be part/part/whole, compare, or a change problem. This gave me a great idea for a blog post to show you what I am talking about! I will get on that this week! 😉 Come check out my blog soon and I will have a tutorial up for you about this! I love math!!
    Mrs. H’s Resource Room

  2. Angelia says:

    Everybody seems to be talking about word problems this week! I have nonreaders too. I always read the problem and make them tell it back to me. Johnny has 3 apples. How many apples does Johnny have? Kids respond 3. He also has 2 bananas. How many bananas does he have? Kids respond 2. And we do this a few times to help them remember. Then we draw a picture to go with our word problem. Love your M&M idea!

    Extra Special Teaching

  3. Ashley says:

    Word problems are tough at any age, I think! I love that you included the M&Ms.. it would definitely be a self control lesson for me (and not eating the leftovers after the kids leave!).

    Thank you so much for linking up! =)

    The Resource Room Teacher

  4. Love using candy to work on stuff like this – what is motivating, right! And self control is always a great skill 🙂

    – Sasha
    The Autism Helper

  5. I know it is a math activity, but it is also a great Idea for a receptive language activity for speech therapy — thanks.

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