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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