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This website contains general information about medical and educational conditions and treatments. The information is not advice, and should not be treated as such.

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tips for the struggling math student

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    tips for the struggling math student

    While preparing for one of our special-needs workshops next week, I stumbled upon this nicely compiled list of recommendations for students with dyscalculia, a mathematics learning disability.

    If interested in more, visit the *site for full context, a list of symptoms, potential causes of dyscalculia, and more.

    In the meantime, please find 10 highlights edited, adapted, & shared below from the well-organized website linked above:

    STRATEGIES TO ADDRESS OR ACCOMMODATE DIFFICULTIES WITH MATHEMATICS


    1. TEACH THE LESSON AS BOTH PREVIEW and REVIEW


    When presenting new material, make sure the student is able to talk through it. Go over the upcoming lesson with the student, so that the lesson becomes more of a review than a lecture.


    2. BE FORGIVING


    Rather than allowing only-one-try, allow the opportunity to do the problem over once s/he is wrong. Often mistakes are the result of "seeing" the problem incorrectly. The opportunity to correct one's own mistakes fosters mastery and confidence.

    3. RELAX

    Provide more than the publisher's recommended time to complete problems. Check to see that student is not panicking (tears in eyes, mind frozen). The student with math difficulties likely has trouble with working memory, processing, and retrieval. This necessitates more time to complete written problems.

    4. BE VISUAL

    Encourage students to "visualize" mathematics problems. Draw the problems and provide visual information (picture, chart, graph, etc.)

    5. BE AUDITORY

    Have the student read problems out loud and listen very carefully. This allows them to use or strengthen their auditory skills.

    6. USE REAL LIFE

    When reasonable and not distracting, provide examples from real-life situations.

    7. PROVIDE VISUAL ORDER

    Provide students with graph paper and encourage them to use it in order to keep the numbers and operations in line.

    8. PRESENT "CLEAN" WRITTEN WORK

    Provide uncluttered worksheets so that the student is not overwhelmed by too much visual information (visual pollution). Especially on tests, allow scrap paper with lines and ample room for uncluttered computation.

    9. INCLUDE MUSIC & MOVEMENT

    Students with math difficulties may benefit from rhythm or music to help memorize facts, definitions, or formulas.

    10. TEACH DIFFICULT CONCEPTS ONE-ON-ONE

    The student may need one-on-one attention to grasp certain concepts in mathematics.


    *See the full, unadapted presentation of material.



    For 25 additional dyscalculia strategies with some repetition of the above, consider this link.


    Finally, consider placing mathematical understanding in a story context. We enjoyed the Sir Cumference series from our library, especially when studying the Middle Ages. Imagine the impact of reading "Lady Di of Ameter," "Sir Cumference and the Sword of the Cone," and "Sir Cumference and All the Kings' Tens" alongside Famous Men of the Middle Ages!


    Looking forward to seeing some of you very soon -

    Cheryl

    Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child
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