Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Special Ed Teacher Needs Math Help

VISITOR: I just found this site and I am a bit overwhelmed. I have been teaching students who have been identified as having learning disabilities for about 30 years. Some I have real questions about. I do know they are behind their peers academically. Most have “gaps” in their learning that I have tried to help them with by using different methods or just having them in smaller groups.  Math is an area that I would like to learn more about to help my students, I am currently working with third and fourth grade students who have difficulty with all basic operations especially regrouping in addition and subtraction.  Multiplication is very difficult for my fourth graders. I have tried different strategies, but I feel I need something else. Can you recommend something that I can use or something I can read?  One student has me really confused when she is doing multiplication.

Thank you, I would appreciate any help you can give me,
-Elementary Resource Teacher in South Carolina 
DYSCALCULIA.ORG: 1. Substitute constructive assessments for cumulative paper tests: student creates instructional lessons as video, animation, slides, Webs, illustrations, demonstrations. Grade with rubric.

2. Math exams & practice: single digits, simplify, use handbook, reference, examples, or take-home

3. Extended time (3x) for math learning, assignments, assessments, courses, "independent study.

4. Proof of mastery before testing, and ability to retest until > 80% mastery is achieved.

5. Allow multiple opportunities to succeed on tests, practice, quizzes, projects.

6. Preview lessons with instructor. Get detailed homework and test feedback.

7. Supervised 1:1 exams for monitoring of unconscious dyscalculic/retrieval/procedural errors.

8. Halve number of practice problems and exam items; simplify, single digits, test only practiced.

9. Mandatory calculator use to learn, practice and test (w/ audio feedback & earbud).

10. Color-code to organize; isolate digits/rows/columns; use graph paper to minimize errors.

11. Always talk through, illustrate, and demonstrate quantitative ideas for learning, practice, and tests.

12. Pass-fail grading for math classes, to prevent disability's impact on GPA.

13. Change grades in failed math courses to FAIL and recalculate GPA to mitigate impact.

14. Assistive Technology for math & writing tasks: [talking] calculator apps, programmed instruction, visualization and organization apps, drag & drop apps, digital texts, speech-to-text tools, proof reader.

15. Study the language of math (affixes, morphology, syntax, decoding & encoding.)

16. Avoid unproductive, frustrating, stressful instruction and methods; seek alternatives.

17. Earn transferrable college math credits before high school graduation: transition plan.

18. Tier 2/3 RtI/MTSS intensive remediation - 30 min x 5 days/week: place value w/ money.


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  3. Greetings! Great advice, thanks. I hope it will help me do my math assignments faster harder better stronger (like in a song hehe) Well, to be honest, it is great to learn something new, it is even greater to understand honestly, that you need some help in doing something. And it is completely awesome, I wish I met more teachers like this one in my school!

  4. Multiplication is very difficult for my fourth graders. I have tried different strategies, but I feel I need something else.


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  7. Yes, math can be really challenging especially when you are a fourth grader. And being a math teacher - even more challenging. But still I think that it is not about some learning disabilities of children but about their priorities in learning. Great musicians or writers or linguists are mostly not good in math as well but they turned out to be great in other areas. Let your students make their choice.


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  13. Multiplication is very difficult for my fourth graders. I have tried different strategies, but I feel I need something else.

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