Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Learning Our Address and Phone Number

A few years ago I set Gess to memorizing her address and phone number. I started by teaching her what city she lived in. I found a state map of Kansas and had her locate our city on the map. Eventually she could point to that general vicinity, even when the city was not marked on the map. After she learned the name and location of her city, I had her start memorizing her address.

The reason I wanted her to understand her city first is that we travel out of the city quite often (mostly for doctor's appointments). While she is improving now that she is older, when she was younger she was quite the wanderer. If she got lost and someone asked her what her address was, I wanted her to be able to clearly tell them where she was from. Whether or not they could understand what she said was another issue but practicing this quite often really helped her articulation to improve.

After she knew what her city was called and where she lived I had her memorize these two sentences (one at a time, but eventually spoken together). I always have her memorize by reading the words. She really does well with visual helps rather than simply repeating words I say. She actually did not know most of these words until we did this, so it helped enhance her sight words as well.

Then I would ask her, "where do you live" And she would repeat the entire thing. If I asked her, "what is your address" she would respond by saying just the second sentence. I believe this was enough to help if she were to find herself lost and a police officer asked her where she lived.

The only problem is, those are the only ways she knows to answer those questions. When asked what street she lived on the other day by her gymnastics coach, she answered "gymnastics." He told her that was a great street to live on! However, it was inaccurate. So I figured it was time to teach her some various ways to respond to these questions. So what I have done is made this chart with her address listed on it. (Of course I am not posting our actual address for you all to see, just using a generic example)

Now she is visually seeing which category each part of her address goes in as she says it. Then I will ask her, "what is your house number", "what is your street name", "what is your city", etc. This way she is realizing that each part of her address has a particular reason for being there and she will know what that is. Once she gets this down, we will take her address out of the equation and make her place each one in the appropriate spot using cards like this.

After that we will place each category in random order such as State, House Number, City, and Street and see if she still places them correctly. I might also make a house, and draw a street to put it on. I will place that inside a drawing of our city which we will then place on a map of our state. I am not sure exactly how that will pan out but you get the idea.

Our goal is to have her be able to answer each part without any visual cues. I think this will be a fun and more visual way to learn not only how to say her address but understand what it all means. I am hopeful that whenever she is asked about her address in the future she will understand how to communicate the information correctly, no matter how she is asked. (Then we will have to teach her to not share that information with just any stranger! Boy, the lessons just never end!)

We memorized her phone number in the same manner. I had her memorize the sentence "My phone number is 123-4567." Then when I asked, what is your phone number, she would repeat the sentence, not just the numbers. This was tougher because keeping the numbers in order is tricky! I also cheated and had her say the last part in 2 double digit numbers. Let's say it was 1345 she would say "thirteen forty-five." I know I will have to undo this as she learns to actually dial our number but I have three digits that repeat themselves in a row and it was just too confusing for her! We are starting to work on dialing it now but it is going slowly. We found a cute Fisher Price Phone that helps you do it though, so hopefully this will make it more fun!


stephanie said...

I like those ideas. Especially the phone number. Andrew was supposed to learn that one last night. Dropped the ball on that one. But we will try your method tonight. What great timing!

Beverly said...

great ideas! thanks for sharing

suelmayer said...

Great ideas, I especially like the breaking down of the address. We also use tape recorded messages to help Sam learn his address and phone number. Each day while he played I would play a tape that said his name, address, phone number, name of his Dad and Mom, how old he is and so on. Love your blog.

Lori said...

The tape recorder is a great idea, thanks for sharing that!


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