How can I help my dyslexic child with math/s? |

Itruly believe that children need to learn the BASICS of math at an early ago.Like counting apples and oranges. Counting is the basic fundamental of math. Ifyou have difficulty counting and recognizing numbers then intervention mustoccur to secure the thought process

Many dyslexic children have trouble with sequencing. Learning tocount from one to twenty was a challenge. For a while I would never hear thenumbers 13, 14 & 15, while my son counted. So I started back at the verybeginning. Counting 1 through 5. We did this with everything, we countedCheerio's, we counted cars, we counted crayons; but the one my son enjoyed themost was placing spaghetti in the pan: we would count five noodles from the box,then place the noodles in the pan, counting 1 noodle, 2 noodle, 3 noodle, 4noodle, 5 noodles, and repeat this until the box was empty. Once this wasaccomplished and my son was able to count from one to twenty without failure,we moved on to more difficult problems.

Counting forwards and backwards to 100 |

• Counting backwards, what a challenge, talk aboutfrustration! He would get so mad at me. "You make me do this stupid stuff, youdon’t make the others do this.” After a while, he was able to count from one to100 forwards and backwards. I taught him by counting out cereal, I would countout 20 pieces of cereal (to start) and place them on the table, and he had tocount backwards as he ate the cereal one piece at a time. Boy - oh boy - did helove his cereal!

As time went on and addition and subtraction entered into the realm, heseemed very at ease. "This isn’t so bad” he would tell me. I was so thrilledfor him. I was very cautious, however.

• An eight year old boy coming for remediation wasgiven 100 Lego blocks and ten of his favorite dinky cars. He was theninstructed to lay them out in 10 rows with ten blocks in each row and at theend of every tenth block he placed a dinky car. This exercise gave him a goodsense of tens.

Once he mastered counting 1- 100 forward he used the same technique tocount backwards. It took him five lessons to do both but at the end of theexercise he was confident about his learning.

Another game to reinforce sequencing of numbers can be played by theparent saying a number (e.g. 27) and asking the child to say the next number(28) or the one before (26).(S.A.,Karachi, Pakistan).

Telling the time |

Hismath class was starting to learn how to read a clock, and not a digital one. Heneeded to learn the minutes and seconds as well as the hours. Well, this openedup a totally different can of worms. I spent many hours with him, explainingthe difference between the second hand, minute hand and hour hand. Here is anexample of what I did:

Example: Let's draw a BASEBALL, as big as you can get it, on this pieceof cardboard. Then I want you to draw a face on the ball. Instead of puttingstitching around the ball like a regular baseball, I asked him to make 60slashes on the inside of the circle, he looked at me like I was a nut case, buthe did it anyway. He could do this with whatever colors he wanted.

After he completed this project - it took a few hours -I laid him on thefloor and traced his arms, he was to cut the arms out and color them indifferent colors, one being the minute hand and the other the hour hand. Thesecond hand I just cut a narrow piece of construction paper and attached it tothe arms. Then we would go to the TV and see what time the ball game came on. Iwould show him on his BRAND NEW clock how 7:30 p.m. looked. Once the regularclock reached the time on his clock, then the game would go on. This turnedinto a very helpful idea.

Not realizing what I had done when we started this project, I came tothe realization that he was grasping the minutes and hours. All on his own, hewould turn to his clock while completing his homework assignments in tellingtime. The minutes just came to him: he was understanding that each slash was aminute and for every five slashes, that would mean that five minutes just wentby, and in order for five minutes to pass, that would mean that the second handwent around the clock five times. He would sit in his room and play with hisclock for hours. I amso proud of him.

Multiplication tables (1) |

Weare entering multiplication tables at the moment. Flashcards work wonderfully.2x’s tables are a breeze for him 3x, & 4x’s are causing a disturbance. Sowhat I have allowed him to do is this:

The use of blocks/circles (ones that he can draw out on a piece ofpaper). If he needs to multiply 2 x 3, then he draws out two rows of three;

0 0 0

0 0 0

Then he would add them, this is a new approach for both of us, and I amhoping that the visualization of my idea will help him. Also he can solve thisproblem by writing out 3, two times, then adding.

Ex: 3 + 3 = 6.

Having a dyslexic child is difficult, however, understanding the problemis half the battle.

Mary Elizabeth Harvell

February2003

Multiplication tables (2) |

Inthe classroom that "J" is in all the children change their outdoorshoes, and put on sandshoe. One morning while the children were out of theclassroom I decided to try this activity. I got "J" to pair all theshoes up and then to count how many shoes there were. After counting the shoesI then got her to count how many pairs there were. Altogether there were 22shoes; we then started to count the shoes in 2's, which I hasten to add"J" did extremely well.

I then proceded to explain to her that the two times tables was justlike doubling. After practising a few more times "J" really startedto understand. I then decided to move on to making her some two times tablecards. I found that she very quickly learnt how to match up the times tablequestion with the correct answer. We started to make it a little bit of a game,each day I would time her to see how quickly she could match them up, and thensee if the next day she could beat her time from the previous day. Her firsttime was 92 seconds her last time was 15 seconds, which I think is amagnificent improvement.

Carryingon with "J"s two times tables I decided to make up some of my ownwork sheets, to retain the information she had learnt. I started off with somevery simple sums using a picture of a dog. For example, the question may havehad 4 dogs shown and the question would ask how many ears altogether on thefour dogs - 4x2 =8. I would then repeat the question using different numbers ofdogs.

Once "J" had completed all 10 questions I then gave her acalculator so that she could check her own answers. All were correct, ofcourse. I then went on to use this same method with the 10, 11, and 5 timestables, using different pictures to help her visualize what she was doing. Thisworked really well for "J" because if she did get stuck, she couldactually count the items on the picture to get the correct answer.

"J" was not only rewardedwith stickers and team points for doing so well, she also received acertificate for each new times table she learnt. She is presently learning her3 times tables, and so far is doing pretty well. (L.P., Yorkshire, UK)

Counting backwards from 100 down to 0 |

Atage 11 Lucy. does not have any trouble counting forwards to 100. Backwards is alittle troublesome. I asked ucy what she would like to use to help her count.She chose pasta shapes. We laid them out in one row and she counted backwards.This was quite easy when she used her finger and touched each pasta shape asshe said its number, but proved difficult when she did not point to shapes buthad to recite from memory. We put markers between the tens and it was a biteasier. We repeated this over a few days and she became very proficient atcounting backwards without pointing. As a result she can now count backwardsfrom 100 without using the pasta shapes. Also, she has a very good visualmemory and she can recall the line of shapes and where the tens markers were tohelp her if she is having difficulty. (R.H., Switzerland)