How often has your child said, “I don’t like math!” “I just don’t get math!” I can’t learn math!”
Compared to reading, parents are more tolerant of problems in math. But math is very important in children’s lives and future careers. Many of the fastest growing occupations require math through algebra and even calculus.
Math is the most cumulative subject in school. Therefore, if your special needs child falls behind, he is particularly prone to developing “gaps” in knowledge that will haunt him in future years.
Elementary teachers do a poor job of teaching math
Math is the most poorly taught subject in school, particularly in elementary school. Research has proven that elementary teachers are uncomfortable with math—not only with teaching math, but with using mathematical principles in their own lives. In fact, many elementary teachers suffer from math anxiety themselves. Therefore, most elementary teachers are not good influences on the mathematical learning and attitudes of their students.
The combination of a teacher’s poor understanding of mathematical concepts, inadequate knowledge of teaching methods in mathematics, and limited knowledge about modifying teaching approaches to reach learners with atypical learning profiles can create dismal results for special needs children. Read more
Here’s a small sample of the kind of valuable information about overcoming math disabilities and math anxiety you’ll learn on Special Kid School Talk, Dr. Miller’s special interview and call in blogtalk radio show for parents and professionals of special needs students, airing on June 27, 2010 at 3pm Pacific.
Fun Math Activities
Kids get lots of practice with calculation, worksheets and procedures at school, but unfortunately, they get almost no practice with real-life skills, activities that develop conceptual understanding or FUN!
- Put some fun into math by playing games while riding in the car or standing in line. For “Guess My Secret Identity,” give your child clues such as, “When divided by three, I’m equal to your age,” or “If you add 22 to me, I’m the length of a football field.” Be playful and creative and have your child make up riddles for you to solve.
- Show children how math is used in their lives. At stores, have them develop mental arithmetic skills by adding up the cost of a few items, estimating sales tax, or figuring out the cost of one can of soda from the price of a six-pack. Read more