Q&A #5986

Teachers' Lounge Discussion: Teaching the basic concepts of math

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From: Owen

To: Teacher2Teacher Public Discussion
Date: 2007060410:38:20
Subject: Re: New to Teaching Special Ed Math

From: Laura <laura_halvorson@yahoo.com> YOU said: I am a recent college graduate and have been hired to teach Resource Math to students grades 2nd-5th grade. In college oddly enough they did not really teach us strategies for teaching math, especially to students with learning difficulities. I was wanting to know if anyone out there has some good learning strategies to teach students. The first unit I will start teaching will be place value. As experienced teachers how did all of you learn a variety of learning strategies? Are there websites out there or any resources you would suggest? Most people do not know that schools do not teach teachers how to teach math. A lady I know was hired by the university here to teach the teachers how to teach. Her classes were not mandatory so very few teachers applied. Everything she tried to do was blocked by the admin so after five years of frustration she quit and started her own business. I have a very good system to help teach all children math from pre-k to grade 4. It is called “DotMath” for kids. You can type this into any search box to find the web site. This works very well because I start with manipulative dots (paper punched from thin colored cardboard) and dice. I then transfer the dot patterns around the number symbols called “single line symbols”(SLS). The SLS are what have been called numbers in the past. You can only have a number if you have both the dots and the SLS together. What I mean by this is that you must have the (group)symbol and some thing that it is counting. For eg: I can say that I have five dots. There are two parts to this. The five explains the quantity (or groups)and the dots are the units (things). You must have both the group and the units (as explained in the dictionary) or you would not have a number. Most people have feeling of frustration with math because this basic concept is not understood. When children with LD are taught “DotMath” they can learn math and average children have been able to beat the calculator in both addition and subtraction. You said “The first unit I will start teaching will be place value.” You can copy the “dotmath” calculator from the “DotMath” site for free and use it to help teach place value. Cover it with clear plastic and have them write with a wipe off marker in the boxes. This is a direct read calculator. They first say the number and then the word under it. Eg: they would read it like this: 5 thousand, 2 hundred, 4 “t”, 5 dollars and 3 “t”, 2 cents. The “t” comes from the text four “t”y. I used money as the units here. It is very important to always have things for them to count (money,dots etc) when they read numbers. There are other charts on the site you may want to look at as well. Owen

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