Math Competency Depends On:
Memory difficulties particularly are apparent when a dyscalculia student lacks a solid conceptual understanding of the process they are attempting. For example, if a student understands the process of long multiplication, he is far less dependent on remembering the steps in the process and the task is much easier.
Students with Dyscalculia may suffer a double deficit in that not only do they have a fragile grasp of the concepts which underlie the process they are attempting to complete, but also have poor working memory for the steps they have been taught and the number facts needed to perform mathematical tasks.
At SPS Atlanta, we use the right combination of approaches that are best suited for each individual student. Often we find On Cloud 9 Math is most effective when combined with the KeyMath3 research-based program and our knowledge of the language of math, processing speed, and working memory.
Our understanding of Dyscalculia guides our instruction and use of resources and materials to provide additional strategies that stand-along programs do not always include (e.g., subitization, memorizing key number bonds, using known facts to determine unknown facts).
FILLING IN THE GAPS
As Speech-Language Pathologists, we understand the importance of:
Presenting material in a meaningful way so that our students enjoy the instructional experience
Teaching strategies that reduce the complexity of math
Allowing time to practice as we discover which strategies are most effective for the student to use what he has learned
Discussion, innovation, and creativity so that math is fun! A positive experience influences retention which increases the likelihood that learning will be applied in other contexts
We follow a specified instructional sequence (which aligns with the common core standards) that maximizes opportunities for students to integrate and apply concepts and skills.
ASSESSING THE TOOL BOX
We use the KeyMath3 Diagnostic Assessment (considered to be the “gold standard” math assessment) to identify any difficulties in the following content areas:
Apply concepts and use skills to solve problems
When we use an integrated approach designed to address a student’s unique difficulties (e.g., OnCloud9 Math, KeyMath3, and our knowledge of Dyscalculia), we are able to teach a broad spectrum of math concepts and skills, from early experiences with numbers to later experiences such as simplifying fractions and determining probabilities.