The Education Endowment Foundation has published guidelines for primary and secondary teachers on how to boost math skills with children. They make the following observations:
Pupils should master basic mental arithmetic – addition, subtraction, multiplications and division – and be able to recall their times tables quickly. Those who don’t may well have difficulty with more challenging maths later in school.
Pupils sometimes think “multiplication makes bigger, division makes smaller”. This is accurate with numbers greater than 1, but isn’t right when applied to numbers less than 1. So, 5 x 5 =25 but 0.5 x 0.5 = 0.25.
Learning how to add fractions together can often cause difficulty. For example, many think the answer to 1/8 + ½ is 2/10. Teachers can help pupils to understand that the right answer is 5/8 using diagrams which help to visualise the different values of fractions.
The results of covariance analysis showed that cognitive rehabilitation interventions did not lead to a significant difference between the experimental and control groups in inhibitory, omission, commission and reaction time scores
New learning requires the linking of new information with information they already know and understand, we should be intentionally planning our lessons with this in mind. A great place to start new learning is through the use of a meaningful context and utilizing concrete manipulatives that students can touch and feel. When we teach in this way, we minimize the level of abstraction so students can focus their working memory on the new idea being introduced in a meaningful way.
Early screening for Dyscalculia is very important to ensure the children get adequate support as soon as possible and prevent later possible Math Anxiety.
Dyscalculia Services has a screener/checklist on their website and many people use that. Now they have also launched this Quick Dyscalculia Screener Checklist as an app for Android (iphone will follow later).
This is a great way to get a fast early screening done. As a teacher you can install it on your phone and screen your whole class to get an early read on who is at risk for Dyscalculia.
Thanks to @MrOrr_geek who shares with us some lessons connected to real life. It is important to keep your lessons connected to something the children can relate to. With all the fancy lesson plans and shiny new technology it may sometimes be overwhelming for students and they may be able to do the lesson but not see the connection with real life. The lesson in the link for today are great and will solve that issue.
A very interesting study has been completed. They compared people with dyslexia, dyscalculia, both and neither. They focused on the corona radiata and the arcuate fasciculus, two tracts associated with reading and mathematics in a number of previous studies. Using Bayesian hypothesis testing, they showed that the data showed no differences between groups for these particular tracts, a finding that seems to go against the current view in other studies.
This outcome, if confirmed, suggest that structural differences associated with dyslexia and dyscalculia might not be as reliable as previously thought, and this may have some impact on how we approach remediation.
This little gadget lets us estimate angles. A nice distracting game to play and it will help the conversation about the system of angles with your students. Thanks to NRICHenriching mathematics for the link.
See the wonderful way the people in Mexico use the ancient Maya method of calculation to teach the children. This is badly needed as the comparison show:
Maths is one of the areas in which Mexican students are failing most comprehensively, according to the OECD’s latest Pisa evaluations, which assess student performance around the world at age 15. Despite being Latin America’s second-biggest economy, Mexico ranks bottom of the class in maths among OECD member countries and 58th overall, of the 72 nations ranked.
Some 57 per cent of Mexican students fail to reach the baseline proficiency in maths — significantly worse than the OECD average of 23 per cent.
Working on math with children doesn’t have to be complilcated. See the fun game Simon Gregg did with his class.A Cuisenaire race game: roll the dice and take the corresponding rod. Who gets to thirty first?
The School Wide Integrated Framework for Transformation Center (SWIFT) is a national center based at the University of Kansas and built on an initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Education Office of Special Education Programs
Great story with some nice tips for teachers to help students with learning disabilities. Some are more practical than others but I want to draw you to a super quote in the article:
It is a disservice to underestimate the intelligence and potential for success of students with a learning disability and other disabilities. Learning disabilities are not indicative of low intelligence. Some of the most daunting disabilities have been overcome by some of the world’s most successful people. Galileo had a visual impairment. Elton John has epilepsy. James Earl Jones had a speech impediment. John F. Kennedy had a learning disability. Howard Hughes had OCD, as does David Beckham. Winston Churchill and Teddy Roosevelt suffered from bipolar disorder, as do Buzz Aldrin and Jim Carrey.
Today we highlight a post from The Recovering Traditionalist. She is a believer is CGI and here is her point about it:
I am of the belief of what is known as Cognitively Guided Instruction or CGI, and it is to use the knowledge and understanding of what our students have currently and use that to determine what should be our next course of action. If you Google Cognitively Guided Instruction, you’ll find a lot of information about it but the general premise is that we give students mathematical problems in a context and then just let them solve it, see how they’re solving it and then we use that to try to make their strategies a bit more efficient and to help them become more flexible with their strategies.
The Understood organization has a great resource. The tech finder. It allows you to type in the issue you are facing and the grade of the student plus what system you have and it will return apps that are helpful.
Very interesting study about finger training and how interventions involving the fingers may improve skills:
This study has shown that an intervention that combines finger training with number games can improve quantitative skills among 6–7-year-old children. It supports the findings of previous research arguing for a functional relationship between finger gnosis and numeracy. We argue that this study provides evidence that fingers represent a means for children to bridge between other (verbal, symbolic, and non-symbolic) representations of number and that this contributes to children’s developing understanding. The large effect size suggests that with further refinement and replication, the combined finger training and number games intervention could be a useful tool for teachers to use to support children’s developing understanding of number.
Listen to the story of a single mom who tried to get support for her child with dyscalculia. When that didn’t work out she took action and changed her life to support her child.
To support Moms like this Dyscalculia Services has developed a resource of over 35 videos and over 150 downloadable pages with tips, examples, tricks and games to help teach your child Math. See it at MomsTeachMath.com