Resources and Tools for Elementary Math Specialists and Teachers
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Understanding Math Learning Disabilities

Why do teachers need to know about math learning disabilities?

Teachers must know about learning disabilities in mathematics in order to understand the difficulties that students with disabilities will encounter in the classroom.  Educators who understand math learning disabilities will be better able to recognize signs of these struggles early, and help to identify and address them.  Knowing how various disabilities affect learning enables teachers to plan lessons that include strategies to ensure that the needs of all students are being met.

These resources provide essential background knowledge to help teachers better understand a student with a learning disability in mathematics. This collection includes numerous videos, articles, webpages, and blogs that are intended to teach educators about math learning disabilities, ways these disabilities may affect learning, and tips on modifying instruction to reach these learners.

What are some of the math learning disabilities teachers may encounter?

The resources in this collection contain the research of several specialists in the area of math learning disabilities: Jane Emerson, Dr. Daniel B. Berch, Dr. Sheldon Horowitz, and Dr. Kate Garnett.  Dyscalculia, basic number processing difficulties, and disabilities related to reading are addressed.  Consideration of the struggles of students learning English as a second language is also included.

How will these resources help?

In order to successfully teach a student with dyscalculia, for example, the educator must understand what dyscalculia is and why the student is having difficulty.  If educators understand the disability then they can better recognize elements of their plans that may cause the individual to struggle and can adequately modify the learning materials.  In the videos by Jane Emerson and Dr. Horowitz, teachers are provided with insight into the nature of dyscalculia and ways in which students with dyscalculia can be taught mathematics.

If a student has difficulty associating numerals with values, then he or she must be provided with modifications that address this specific aspect of the concept being taught.  Students who struggle with reading or with learning English should receive accommodations that will address their needs.  Resources included in this collection suggest strategies, techniques, and modifications that help educators assist these students while enabling all students to progress.

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