1. Improving math through reading
I have found that many of my students are strongly encouraged to read, but only up to a certain point. Many adults are satisfied when the student achieves a first or second grade reading level, then they begin to worry that math has been neglected. I find that both reading and math skills progress naturally together. As a student grows in reading skills the math skills move upward as well.
2. Work with the student’s strengths
The key is to get inside the student’s head and try to see the math situation from their perspective. Many of my students are wonderfully gifted at seeing patterns that I never even notice. They also have very strong memorization skills. This is a great asset for math learning. I like to focus on encouraging those skills and then working to find a way to decompose the skills that are not as easy for my friends.
3. Practice and patience
For example, many of my friends find multiplication fact memorization a breeze! They are able to recognize and remember multiplication facts quicker than many other students. I start my friends on multiplication ASAP! They love it and are very proud when they know these facts alongside their classmates or even ahead of them! The concept of groups of numbers is more difficult for some of my friends. I like to take it slowly and allow them lots of time to manipulate objects and count groups of objects until they grasp the concept that counting by multiples is faster. They always get it, it just takes some patience, time and experience to allow the student to discover it for themselves.
4. Confidence is key!
I find that allowing my friends to excel at certain aspects of a math skill is very beneficial. It is important to feel confident before risking doing something difficult. Give your student the opportunity to discover learning, don’t take away that great moment of discovery!
Want to learn more?
Click here to watch our FREE webinar!
Katherine is a seasoned educator with a wide variety of expertise in the field. As a teacher with over 30 years of experience with students ages 3-18, she is also a Certified Elementary School Teacher (K-8), a Certified Special Education Teacher (K-12), an Inclusion Specialist, and a Visual and Performing Arts Specialist. In addition to her credentials, she has also spent 2 years as a House Parent for Severely Emotionally Disturbed teenaged girls (ages 9-18), and has worked with all types of students with various labels including Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, SED, ODD, FASD, ID, ADHD, Schizophrenia, Gifted, etc.