Incredible Minds Working with Exceptional Students – Large Print Readers



In my previous post titled nearly the same only targeting object and symbol readers, I gave the following intro. I have attached here for a reference point for this post.

Being an itinerant teacher I get to meet many people across multiple school districts in my travels. I titled this post “incredible minds” to highlight the ideas that some of the paraprofessionals I work with came up with which my student has had the pleasure of experiencing.

I have quite a few students with sensory issues that I work with and some who do not have any. Another student I would like to share about has some sensory challenges. His one-on-one is totally synced with him and they are an incredible match!

A little background information on him is that he accesses the curriculum using standard print and some large print. He utilizes a CCTV to access the curriculum at distance. He is in a mainstream class his entire day and is only pulled out occasionally for supports.

This particular second grader of mine has to be the biggest basketball fan on the planet. He is always talking about playing basketball with his dad and watching his favorite basketball team play on TV, the Celtics! I do not think I have ever seen him not wearing either a Celtics jersey or more recently a Golden State Warriors t-shirt. Basketball is this little guy’s life and his paraprofessional knows this and uses it to motivate him in the classroom to do his not so exciting math work.

She has taken many of the Celtic players names and numbers and made a simple list that she keeps on his math binder for quick reference as she does not know all the players and numbers by heart like her student. This can easily be created by going to any professional sport team website and download the player roster and jersey numbers. Here is the Celtic’s roster if your student happens to be a New England resident and Boston fan!

The basic idea is that student picks players from the list and has to add them together. He is in second grade and is working on adding 2 digit numbers to other 2 digit numbers. After doing the required problems for his teacher, the paraprofessional asks the student to choose 2 players from the list to create his own problems. He has to do 4 of them on his own.

The student calls out names of players and together they look at the roster and pull the jersey numbers that correspond to the player. He takes the two jersey numbers and then puts them together in a math addition template that he has provided to him.

So, if he called out Hayward and Irving he writes on his paper;


Baynes and Smart;


I am sure you can see how this can continue on… This can be modified and adjusted for any fan if  student is really motivated by a particular sport or team. If the team is in season you can review other math concepts with the two teams jersey numbers including but not limited to;

  • greater than less than
  • putting numbers in order from smallest to largest
  • mean, median, mode
  • addition, subtraction, multiplication, division
  • going beyond the jersey numbers, additional stats can be explored to work on percentages, etc.

This was one of my most favorite discoveries in my travels this winter, and I can’t wait for my next visit to see what other little tricks and ideas that are working to keep my student motivated!




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