Teaching strategies for children with learning disabilities – Maths Skills

Children with learning disabilities show greater learning when techniques like task analysis, peer teaching, cooperative learning, learning corners and multisensory approach are used. The following strategies would be helpful to both the parents and teachers when trying to teach such children

Strategies for mathematics

  • Use manipulates such as buttons and beads. Let the students drop beads into a clear plastic cup and count while seeing how many beads represent the number. The child also gets auditory input to support this concept.
  • Use visuals. Materials for younger students usually have a generous display of visual illustrations. Materials for older pupils tend to rely more on abstract presentations. A teacher may need to supplement teaching by drawing and constructing visual representations.
  • Try providing verbal reinforcement with visual material. Describing the computation process while working problems along with clapping activities are other examples of verbal reinforcement
  • Try using tactile presentations. These can be materials such as sandpaper number or paper strips of various lengths used to demonstrate concepts such as more or less. Another type of tactile presentation is to trace a number or problem on the back of the student’s hand.
  • Use color cues. Colored chalk and marking pens can be used to indicate these steps and direction of the process. Highlighters can be used to call attention to process signs (+,X) and clue words (“more than” , “times”).
  • Provide a sample problem for each assignment. The referent problem can be particularly helpful for students with memory difficulties.
  • Relate class activities to increase temporal awareness to time. Using phrases such as ‘in five minutes’ “earlier today” and “yesterday” will provide some basis for understanding time. Calender work is useful, particularly in regard to special events and holidays.
  • Reduce the number of examples in the assignment. Some work pages are overwhelming to the pupil because of the sheer numbers of examples. They may also loose their place because of figure- ground deficits. These pupils are also slower in their rate of production.
  • Use display charts.
  • Play tallying games.  Develop word problems based on game scores.
  • Have students use playing cards to develop games that require arithmetic computation.
  • Apply measurement in the classroom. Chart the growth of class members (a long-term project for certain ages), the growth of plants, and other measurements. Have students estimate distances, weights and possible answers.
  • Have students use an abacuse to facilitate their calculations.
  • Reinfore high rates of correct responses.
  • Set a rate goal.
  • Chart performances and terminate daily practice once the goal is achieved.
  • Tell students to work faster.
  • Challenge students to beat their last rate score.
  • Teach students to use rules. (e.g., any number times 2 is double that number).
  • Drill difficult problems with flash cards.
  • Play instructional math games.
  • Teach students the relationship between additon and subtaction or multiplication and division when they are learning the respective facts.
  • Use color-coded textbooks (e.g. green equals start, red equals stop)
  • Use concrete manupulations.
  • Use meaningful examples and materials
  • Have students use graph paper to help organize numbers and colums on mathematical assignments.
  • Teach key vocabulary in mathematics.

Source: Vikaspedia