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Q&A #354


General help for a child with Learning Disabilities

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From: Vasha (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Jul 04, 1998 at 22:40:53
Subject: Re: General help for a child with Learning Disabilities

Hi Judy,

Sometimes kids do well thinking through problems that interest them, in
spite of the fact that they can't remember results of simple addition or
multiplication.

Then too, he may be frustrated by having to repeat at home what he has
struggled with all day at school.  Is he able to use a calculator?  I would
certainly recommend using this simple piece of technology - the real world
(outside school) depends on them heavily!  Then, instead of practicing
multiplication tables, try to invent problems that relate to his everyday
experience - like the 9 members of the team think eating Skittles helps them
win the game.  If each player eats 7 little snack packs during 2 innings,
how many packs does the coach need to bring?  You both might look for things
in the newspaper that could be turned into interesting math problems.

Look for a book called "Counting On Frank."  It is filled with crazy
problems that inspire kids to invent and solve even more problems!  Armed
with a calculator he might get to like using numbers.  Usually when part of
a subject can be fun, kids are more willing to work on some of the things
that are less amusing.

There are also a lot of great card and board games that involve basic
operations and strategic thinking.  Yahtzee, Backgammon, and even double war
would give enjoyable practice.  In double war, you split a deck of playing
cards between 2 players.  Each player divides his part in 2 piles, placing
them face down.  Each player simultaneously turns over 2 cards.  You could
add or multiply (or even subtract) the 2 numbers, and the player with the
higher amount keeps all 4.

I hope you can find ways to make math at home different from math at school
and help to reduce your son's frustration.  Let the teacher know what you
want to do and s/he may have some things to help.

 -Vasha, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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