Children face learning difficulties in reading (Dyslexia), difficulties in the language (Dysgraphia), difficulties in Math and calculations (Dyscalculia), difficulty in fine motor skills (Dyspraxia), difficulty in interpreting sound (Auditory Processing Disorder) and difficulty in understanding visual information (Visual Processing Disorder). Research suggests that a learning disability may occur due to genetic causes, neurological challenges, premature birth, poor nutrition or environmental factors. It is also important to note that these children have an average to a high IQ and therefore are not disabled, but just face difficulty with learning. Also, a learning disability cannot be cured completely. However, there are strategies that one can use to cope with.
BWEducation gives us 12 ways to overcome these challenges in our link for today
With all due respect to Robert Recorde who invented the equal sign about 500 years ago, I’m going to suggest to changing it a bit to clarify some things.
As you may know in his book The Whetstone of Witte, Robert Recode got tired of having to write that both sides of an equation were equal so he wrote:
” Instead of using a phrase to convey meaning, he would convey the same meaning with a symbol. What symbol could be more appropriate than a pair of equal-length lines? Nothing, noe 2 thyngs, can be moare equalle.”
In our history of working with children who have dyscalculia for over a decade, we have seen a lot of confusion about the = sign. Children believe it to mean “action” as they see the answers popping up on their calculators when they hit the button marked =. In Robert Recorde’s time there were no calculators to add to the confusion, so the problem never may have occurred to him.
Today we want to present a new design for the equal sign. Something that will make it easier to explain that both sides are in balance, are of equal value, have the same weight.
As you can see we have tried to use an icon of a seesaw, to replace the equal sign. This will remind the children immediately that both sides need to be balanced. The choice of the seesaw is just a little departure from the equal sign but we believe the impact will be large.
The high school science teacher turns his students into ‘electrons’ and gets them to walk along a prescribed route in the classroom, reinforcing concepts associated with circuit diagrams and electricity. The primary school mathematics teacher gets her students to make funny shapes with their bodies that represent the numbers 0 – 9, creating a fun way to tackle mental arithmetic problems. The ICT teacher creates a variety of ‘human graphs’, getting students to line up in columns based on their chosen answers to assigned questions.
What do all of these examples have in common?: The students are using movement to solve problems and, in doing so, are engaging multiple regions of the brain.
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