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Teaching Students with LD and ADHD

Math & Aspergers / students not "showing their work"

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Joined: Sep 22, 2007
Posts: 1
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Posted Sep 22, 2007 at 9:56:26 PM
Subject: Math & Aspergers / students not "showing their work"

What is the most beneficial way to grade a middle school math student who will not show his work / the written steps that got him to his answer. He insists that he can do it in his head and most of the time he does get the correct answer. The math teacher will only give credit if students "show their work", even if the final answer is correct. This student is on an IEP and has executive function issues as well.

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Joined Sep 19, 2007
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Posted:Sep 23, 2007 4:23:45 AM

Make the student show his work in all math hw. If he forgets to, make him re-do the math hw until he remembers to show all his work with the hw.

Then request an iep meeting and suggest that become a part of his iep so that the school must see his work in the classroom as well and do an intervention if it isn't working out.

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Joined Sep 06, 2007
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Posted:Sep 23, 2007 11:52:06 AM

As an educator and a parent, I think that is a reasonable solution. He is able to take the time he needs to complete the math steps required by the teacher in a familiar environment, while learning that in life you have to sometimes compromise/comply with other's expectations, even if it doesn't make always make sense to you. Showing how you arrived at your answer it not a useless process. In math, as in other subjects, you have to be able to explain your thought processes and how you arrived at your conclusion.

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Joined Oct 14, 2007
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Posted:Oct 14, 2007 12:46:19 PM

How about reducing the nunber of problems (even at home) that he needs to demonstrate how he got his answer. While he needs to learn to justly his answers, middle school is often a time to defey authority making it difficult to get understanding for future needs and expectations. Our high IQ daughter convinced her chemistry teacher (by doing an agreed upon experiment) that taking notes would reduce her learning (she is an auditory learner). He said OK but she had to do an extra project at the end of the year to be fair to the students who had to write notes all year. She liked the compromise and continued to get A's.
[Modified by: Pat on October 14, 2007 12:47 PM]


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Joined Sep 22, 2007
Posts: 35

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Posted:Oct 20, 2007 3:22:57 PM

I have 3 sons on the Autism spectrum, all are high functioning PDD-NOS or Aspergers. This is a very real issue and very common with these children. Most of them are extremely gifted in math and do not do the work because they can see it just by looking at the problem. Believe me we have dealt with this... My oldest son was doing Alg.I in 6th gr.

If you pressure these kids to do something it's not going to work, period.... Either these kids explode or they melt and internalize. My son had a major melt down, crash and burn totally in 7th. I know... I see it everyday. You can only push these kids so far so fast.

First, I would suggest cutting down on the amount of math problems the student is given. They also don't like to put names, dates and any other labels on their papers. Second call another IEP and make sure everyone is trained in High Functioning Autism, not low functioning. Make sure that all are aware of this particular students uniqueness. No two Aspies are the same. Next show the student the value of putting the work down..... For example use the example of the space shuttle crash being r/t a missing negative sign. That's all it takes.... Help them see value in showing the work and then gradually implement. Slow is best with these kids. In the meantime if the math teacher is thinking he's cheating he can do his tests away from all others in a resource room. Give the student a break, they need it or their anxiety levels will sky rocket. You may think they struggle at school but when these kids come home they let off all their steam and believe me they vent. Things that are insignificant to the rest of the world are major to these children.

Most of all encourage the postives and any progress in the direction you are seeking. Any negative vibes of any kind can send these kids in a tail spin that they can't stop.


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