The numberdyslexia blog shares with us today a great article about “gamified manipulatives” for first graders. As we always say “games are the new worksheets” this is a great resource and they even put buttons on where to buy them.
So how are those with dyscalculia diagnosed? Diagnostic professionals may look for a number of symptoms. A person with this disorder may . . .
have spatial problems and difficulties aligning numbers into columns.
have trouble with sequences of numbers and concepts (left/right orientation).
confuse similar numbers (in sound or appearance).
have difficulties understanding word problems.
have difficulties using a calculator.
have difficulties with abstract concepts of time and direction.
have difficulties recalling schedules or keeping track of time.
lack “big picture/whole picture” thinking (like the ability to grasp or picture mechanical processes).
produce inconsistent results in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division.
be unable to grasp concepts, rules, formulas, sequences, orders of operation, and basic addition.
have difficulties with memory (e.g., long-term memory or concept mastery).
The Difficulty of Diagnosis
Still, dyscalculia is not often the first designation a psychologist or a special educator may give a person with this condition. If it can be proven, a person may be diagnosed with a learning disability such as visual processing disorder (since it appears that this condition may be associated) or something else. When there’s nothing else there to definitively prove it’s one of those learning disorders, dyscalculia may be written down as the person’s learning disability if the one area affected happens to be math skills.
Studies suggests that between 4-7% of students have experience difficulty in math compared to 26% of children with ADHD.This may be the result of the working memory, problem solving skills and inattentive skills all characteristics of a student with ADHD
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.
We know that people who can easily work with both actual quantities like objects or dots and with written arabic numerals and can also easily translate between them so between the non symbolic and symbolic information, have good math skills. Reason to look into the question how the brain codes numbers like 2, 4, 6, 8 if brain sources are used for both symbolic and nonsymbolic information or that they is located in separate spots. Researchers from Western University in Canada and VanderBilt, Nashville did an fMRI study with 139 healthy adults. They used a 7 Tesla machine, which is very powerful so a great signal noise quality. They found that for specific numbers, like 4 and 6, the same neural resource was used to code for quantities of dots and written arabic numerals and also that both the left and right parietal lobes were active, also the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and that the process is specific to individual numbers in multiple formats. Not everything can be unraveled yet and how this relates to math performance and that there are individual differences in working with symbolic and non-symbolic numbers depending on their math skills
On facebook we read the solution Laurie Graham found when dealing with this
“For piano, I have been using “simply piano” app, (with a midi cord on an electric keyboard- makes a big difference).Unlike traditional sheet music which needs to be scanned with your eyes right to left , this app presents it rolling along in front of me, highlighting the notes I’m playing correctly in green, and I can play basic popular songs in a way that has eluded me after years of lessons.”
Even before the current pandemic started, this research was done to see if children with Dyscalculia who are being taught by teachers with the use of technology learned better than the ones who were being taught traditionally.
It is probably also dependent on what technology and they used the Geogebra software package here, but the outcome shows that it would be wise to embrace technology when working with children who have dyscalculia.
MathFun is a mobile app created by the mobile app developer while following the Calculic Model approach for Malaysia Dyscalculia children. The outcomes of this paper view on the effectiveness of the model towards building a mobile application for these children. Usability was performed in order to assess the usability and verifying the effectiveness of MathFun. This study involved 3 teachers and three children. Descriptive analysis was performed from the collected data. Based on the outcome, it’s shows that by using the suggested model there is an increased in the acceptance and usability of the application by the children.
Rizawati Rohizan et al 2020 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser.1712 012031
The post in our link for today is interesting as the writer makes a connection between symptoms for Dyslexia and Dyscalculia. The point being that both learning disabilities are related and often are both present. By looking at these symptoms and realizing that they may be in indication for both, you’ll be ahead of the game for detection.
Dyscalculia is one of the less well-known learning problems in mathematics due to lack of exposure and study. Children with dyscalculia usually face arithmetic and symbolic number comparison issues, with about 3-6 percent of individuals affected. The lack of wide-ranging study and inconsistency in the condition’s characterizations through studies have impeded progress in identifying the root causes of dyscalculia and how best to handle it. This problem can be more serious because it can prolong up to adulthood. Therefore, this paper will discuss the general aspects related to dyscalculia problems and their effects on children in their lives. This paper also explains the signs and symptoms that are needed to understand children who may have dyscalculia. Finally, this paper discusses what treatments or methods can be used significantly to help children improve their mastery and mathematical skills,
 Muhammad Sofwan Mahmud , Mohd Syazwan Zainal , Roslinda Rosli , Siti Mistima Maat , “Dyscalculia: What We Must Know about Students’ Learning Disability in Mathematics?,” Universal Journal of Educational Research, Vol. 8, No. 12B, pp. 8214 – 8222, 2020. DOI: 10.13189/ujer.2020.082625.
Here is someone who has trouble reading price tags on products and the solution they propose is to develop a new number system for people with dyscalculia. A system that would make more sense and would be easier to decipher.
How about that? Do you believe there is merit to it. See the proposal in our link for today.
Edutopia has a nice article with tips to help your student finish their homework. Dr Schreuder also has a video series to help you work on the child’s math homework, see that at https://MomsTeachMath.com
Parents, Teachers and Tutors together with the students are the four legs that math support rests on.
Certainly students with dyscalculia need the extra support from Tutors and Parents and in uor link for today some ideas on what Parents can do together with the teacher to keep the math learning on track
To support these efforts we have organized a major reduction on the price of our “Moms Teach Math” video series, that is meant for parents trying to help their children at home with the math homework. Take advantage of this offer, click the picture.
Mornings can be so stressful, but it is not necessary. A bit of planning and a bit of extra time will make the whole day go a lot easier. It is important, not only for you but also, for your child, certainly if they have learning disabilities. Every day for them is filled with so much more challenges than their peers that they deserve and easy rise in the morning and a relaxed start of the day. PBS.org brings us a few nice tips on how to accomplish this.
The results of this large study show no significant impact of the home math environment on the children’s numerical and patterning skills. However the authors remark the following:
One explanation for these findings might relate to the characteristics of the general preschool system in the country of the present study (Belgium). Future studies should consider the effect of the preschool learning environment because it might explain differences between studies and countries with regard to the home math environment and its association with mathematical skills.
De Keyser L, Bakker M, Rathé S, Wijns N, Torbeyns J, Verschaffel L and De Smedt B (2020) No Association Between the Home Math Environment and Numerical and Patterning Skills in a Large and Diverse Sample of 5- to 6-year-olds. Front. Psychol. 11:547626. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2020.547626
In Scotland they work on a concept called ACE (adverse childhood experience) in an effort to understand how the experiences, including not recognizing dyscalculia in school, can lead to a life of crime.
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