Mathematics Diagnostic Game #1: Number Recognition: Observations of Patterns in Mathematics (c) Tara Pelton.
For particular use in Special Needs Education for Exceptional Children
Materials: A deck of cards, large table
Student Actions: Shuffle cards well. Flip them over. Now, put the cards by by number Ace through King.
Teacher Actions: Observe student’s ability to recognize numbers. Note any pause or slowness such as being unable to differentiate. Allow the student time. If the student has difficulty, go back to the Game #1. Some students will like to time themselves, which should be allowed and the student allowed to beat his target and so forth, if he wishes.
Teacher Modeling: Across the table from the student, the Teacher may use a second deck of cards. She may then play the Game #2 and allow the student to watch. Teacher may also play competitively with student if student so wishes. Teacher plays slightly above the level of the student’s ability … unless student is better than the teacher already ;-) . Teacher explains her actions in words and gestures.
Vocabulary: Pattern. Help the student to understand that mathematics is a science of patterns and that numbers are symbols used to distinguish patterns.
Additional: If the student needs to / does not already know what a number is for: counting, establishing value, then explain and/or help the student using one of the Games for Number Theory or use an abacus.
Observations and Recommendations: Teacher writes her Observations by: Student Name, Student Number, Grade, Age and any educational plan of which this is a part.  Teacher provides Evaluation as to the ability to differentiate numbers and a pattern of numbers.
Tara Pelton, B.A. is a graduate student at Northridge University in the field of special education. She is also a tutor. She works in Los Angeles.