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Struggling with Math

Date: 3/26/96 at 9:37:25
From: Ms. Mitsi D. Welch
Subject: help with math

Dear Doctor Math, 

My 8th grader has had math problems since she began school. She 
goes to regular classes for everything else but in math she has 
been going to special ed.  Here's the problem: She has just 
learned how to divide and now she is graduating to high school 
where they don't have any special ed classes.  The lowest level of 
math they have is Algebra!  I am very concerned about her feeling 
like a failure when she takes the classes with her classmates.  I 
am also a student right now and can not afford tutoring classes 
for her.  What should I do? How can I help her? 

Thank you, 

Date: 3/27/96 at 17:58:49
From: Doctor Patrick
Subject: Re: help with math

Hi, I hope we can help you.  I have a couple of ideas.  One is to 
see if it is possible to get hold of the material she would need 
to know for next year and try to work with her over the summer to 
give her a head start.

If you do this, the most important thing you can do to help her is 
to try to make the math intresting for her.  There are some 
computer programs available that teach math skills in the form of 
a game.  I don't know of any that work with algebra, but if you 
look around I'm sure you can find one.

Other games and hands-on or interactive practice also work well.  
For example, you could try to make some word problems based on 
subjects she is interested in.

Also, try looking around and seeing if any local schools or 
organizations offer free tutoring as a community service program.  
I know my college does, and I'm sure others do too.  

Finally, has your daughter been tested for a learning disability?  
If she has, schools are required to provide her with support under 
the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This can include 
untimed tests, permission to use a calculator for tests and 
quizzes, and extra help.  Even if it is not necessary for her in 
class (I don't know how hard math is for her) it may be useful for 
standardized tests like the SAT.
Schools are sometimes stubborn and it may take some fighting to 
get them to live up to their responsibilty, so it's good to start 
early if you intend to do this.

-Doctor Patrick,  The Math Forum

Date: 3/27/96 at 20:30:18
From: Ms. Mitsi D. Welch
Subject: Re: help w math

Thanks for responding to my note.  Yes she has been tested 
and has a math disability and ADD.  Thank you for the 
information about the Americans with Disabilities Act.  
I will look into it further. 

Associated Topics:
Middle School About Math

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