A few months ago I got a phone call from Vincent’s Kindergarten teacher from last year. She left in the fall to pursue an education in Early Intervention. She called to see if we would be interested in taking part in a EU project focusing on kids with Down syndrome learning math. The project is called Yes We Can, and of course we were interested.
From the web page you can read:
At the beginning of this year (2010), a multi-lateral co-operation of six countries themed ‘lifelong learning’ for all EU citizens started, aiming for the development of mathematical competences for people with Down Syndrome.
The project is called “Yes we can!” and Austria will be its lead-partner – supported by five European countries: Italy, The Czech Republic, Rumania, Denmark and Germany.
On May 9th Vincent along with three other kids with Down syndrome started his math class. There are three teachers to the four kids. The kids are 3, 4, 5 (Vince) and 6 years old. It is once a week and the ‘lessons’ lasts for approx 80 minutes.
The first class Vince was not really sure about what this was and made me stay with him during the whole class. But he still participated. The first time was mostly getting to know each other. Then focus was kept on colors, shapes and some introduction to numbers along with some matching games (use these figures to rebuild what you see in the picture), and some position things (under, behind, in front of). They were also introduced to the magic math box, which each kid has one. The box is filled with different means to help in the math exercises.
Today was lesson number three. I call it lessons, but as we the parents wait outside, all you can hear through the door is laughter, clapping and a lot of supportive words celebrating the kids. They do the whole thing in a playful way that really speaks to the kids.
I am amazed to say the least, that Vincent manages to stay focused for so long, and this in the afternoon after a whole day of Kindergarten which on Mondays includes two hours Physio Therapy (PT) too.
In the coming weeks there is also a parents night where we will get more insight into what they are working on more exactly and of course more tips and tricks that we can do at home. So after that takes place I will let you know more.
Are you interested in this program? Then click on this link and then further on one of the flags to select your language.