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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