Q&A #536

Teaching basic math

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From: Marielouise (for Teacher2Teacher Service)
Date: Aug 31, 1998 at 21:53:54
Subject: Re: Teaching basic math

I am not an elementary teacher yet today I was presented with a letter from
a counseling center telling me that a young man who is signed up for my five
credit class in college is a hard working student but is very slow.  He has
a verifiable learning disability.  This is a high power, highly paced course
with new material every day of the week.   Since this young man has made it
this far I must both legally and as his teacher support him in the way that
he can learn.  For me it means providing supportive materials, allowing him
to tape lectures and giving him much more time on every written assignment
in the classroom.

I tell you this because after reading all that you have to say about your
son he cannot be faulted for not trying.  More than once you said that he is
slow.  Timed tests are not for him.  45 second or minute rounds will put him
on crash mode.  How have previous teachers accommodated his learning style?
Have counselors intervened and spoken to the teachers on your son's behalf.

I would first talk to the teacher and tell her/him the situation.  I would
also approach the counseling staff and/or principal and ask what services
are available for your son.   If your child has not been tested for learning
disabilities, ask for testing.  If he has been tested and has had
inconclusive results, ask that it be done again.   A child who is disabled
is not necessarily without intelligence.  It means that the individual has
to be approached in a different way for him to learn.

Don't try to solve this problem alone.  Let your son know that you and he
are trying to solve the riddle together.  Hopefully, you can get help and
the pressure of immediate response not be paralyzing him.

 -Marielouise, for the Teacher2Teacher service

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