How to teach math to students with dyscalculia
How does dyscalculia affect learning math?
Dyscalculia is a specific learning disability that affects a person's ability to understand and work with numbers. It can include finding it difficult to memorize numbers, mathematical concepts and steps in math problems. This not only affects how students work and understand in the math classroom, but can also lead to difficulty when math is used across the curriculum and in everyday life.
Dyscalculia is not a reflection of a student’s intelligence, but instead a neurological difference in understanding mathematical information. This means when given the right support, students with dyscalculia can thrive in the math classroom. It’s also important to know that each student with dyscalculia will have different strengths and challenges, so it’s important to provide the right support for each student.
How to teach math to students with dyscalculia
Use physical objects
Relating math to everyday objects can help students with dyscalculia visualize and understand math concepts in a more concrete way. Objects like blocks, coins, and manipulatives can help make math problems less abstract.
Break down problems into smaller steps
Students with dyscalculia can get overwhelmed by complex or multi-step problems. Break down these problems into smaller steps that are easier for the student to understand.
Provide visual aids
Visual aids, such as charts, graphs, and diagrams, can help students with dyscalculia to understand math concepts. ‘Drawing the problem’ with images that they understand can also help these students work through the problem in a more tangible way.
Use real-world examples
Connecting math concepts to real-world examples, such as measurements in cooking or when doing groceries, can help students see the relevance of math in their everyday lives. This can also help make lessons more engaging.
Provide extra time and support
Students with dyscalculia may need extra time to learn math concepts and complete math problems. Be patient and provide them with the support they need to be successful.
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What accommodations can we make for students with dyscalculia?
Provide extra time and support: Students with dyscalculia may need extra time to learn math concepts, complete math problems and finish exams. Be patient and make time accommodations if necessary.
Use of calculators: Calculators can be a helpful tool for students with dyscalculia. They can use calculators to complete calculations quickly and accurately, avoid careless mistakes, and build confidence in their math abilities.
Cater to the student’s unique needs: Students with dyscalculia are all unique, and may each require accommodations catered to their needs. Other accommodations may include, preferential seating, reduced noise levels, and breaks.
How can students with dyscalculia benefit from inclusive technology?
Inclusive technology allows more flexibility in the classroom. It can also help to reduce a lot of the challenges that students with dyscalculia might experience.
Here are some ways Equatio can support students with dyscalculia in becoming more empowered, productive and confident learners:
- When used with Read&Write, the math-to-speech function can be used to read text and math equations aloud. This provides auditory support for students with dyscalculia who may have difficulty reading numbers or understanding math problems.
- Equatio’s powerful equation editor allows students to easily create and edit math equations. Students can hand write annotations, sketch free-hand or use shapes to document their thought process. Being able to easily map out math equations on a digital platform can be extremely helpful for students with dyscalculia.
- For many students with dyscalculia, it’s important to see math concepts represented visually. With digital graphing tools, students can see challenging concepts in a visual form, like a graph. This can help them explore equations, plot data and study new math concepts in a more tangible way.
- Equatio allows students to collaborate with math problems in real time, which can be helpful for students with dyscalculia who may need some extra support. What’s more, Equatio’s Rapid Reviewer, means teachers can quickly scroll through student submissions for a quick check on how close they are to achieving learning outcomes.
Makes math both digital and accessible. Type, handwrite, or dictate any expression, with no tricky coding to master.
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