Dyscalculia Academic Support Beyond Tutoring
Dyscalculia is a specific learning challenge for math and math-related language/fact retention. This LD can make life extremely difficult for someone, especially a student. For example, students with dyscalculia can struggle with concepts like quantities and connecting number sense together. It is not uncommon for students to be unable to comprehend the ‘worth’ of numbers and the commutative properties that they have (for example, 3+5 is the same as 5+3).
Having dyscalculia often goes hand in hand with having a weak working memory. Students will struggle to recall key math facts, or will perhaps forget the order in which to complete the steps necessary to solve a problem. Often students with dyscalculia will understand logically what they need to do to solve a math problem but will not be able to choose the correct operation or apply a formula to solve it.
Dyscalculia is often referred to as ‘mathematics learning disability’ or sometimes even ‘maths/number dyslexia’.
Types of Dyscalculia
Verbal dyscalculia: difficulty naming and understanding math concepts when presented verbally
Practognostic dyscalculia: difficulty translating abstract concepts into real-life concepts
Lexical dyscalculia: difficulty reading and understanding mathematical symbols, numbers and expressions
Graphical dyscalculia: difficulty writing mathematical symbols
Operational dyscalculia: difficulty completing calculations; the numbers are understood but the process and order in which to perform it are not
Common Issues Associated with Dyscalculia
Struggling with sorting and ordering objects (shape, size, colour) coupled with weak object and number association
Difficulty recalling basic facts e.g. unable to memorize times tables
Graphs and pictograms have little meaning and visual representations often will not have any scales
Word problems become challenging; students can often explain what they have to do but ‘forget’ the order of operations
Games that involve number and strategy hold little interest and can become very frustrating
Disinterest and avoidance in math class
How We Support Students With Dyscalculia
Using a multisensory kinaesthetic approach
Creating a highly structured learning environment and ensuring mastery is met at each level before building in additional skills
Chunking units into smaller skills
Focusing on verbal reasoning; “talk through” math problems and concepts
Training students in assistive technology and apps to support math learning
Get Started with Dyscalculia Support Today
Further Reading and Resources
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