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# What works well for learning math facts???

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Posted Oct 06, 2007 at 1:58:17 AM
Subject: What works well for learning math facts???

Hi,
Need to know what works well for learning Math Facts?? My dau. is LD and dyslexic. She still hasn't mastered her addition and she is 11 y.o. The ps has moved her onto multiplication and division and this just gets her frustrated. She uses her fingers alot but still gets alot of wrong answers. How can we cement these facts in her mind??

Thank You,
Sue

Posted:Oct 06, 2007 4:13:36 AM

Hi Sue,
I run a Forum for the maths disorder Dyscalculia, which you might like to have a look at?
Here's a link to some information there, on the issue of developing a 'Sense of Number':

Geoff,

Posted:Oct 06, 2007 9:39:28 AM

I liked the site. It expained alot of what I see in my daughter. What I didn't see was how to help eleviate the weak number sense. Did I just miss it?

Posted:Oct 07, 2007 3:30:13 AM

Hi Always_wondering,
The best way to develop a Sense of Number, is to use the old system of the Abacus.
Where Numbers are physically constructed and manipulated.
Though Sense of Number, actually refers to developing a Sense of Quantity.
So that the number 4 doesn't simply refer to a number between 3 and 5.
Like the letter D is the letter between the letters C and E.
Where 4 needs to be understood as a 'Quantity'.

Though actually, the best way is to recognize the Quantity, first. Which is then later given a 'name'.
But under the modern Western approach to numeracy, very young children are often taught to recite the numbers 1 to 10.
Where they might as well be reciting a meaningless string of words or phonemes?
Makes as much sense as asking them to add: D plus E ?
The value of developing Numeracy through the use of an Abacus. Is that a way of representing and understanding Quantities is developed.
Where the best example of the use of the Abacus to introduce Numeracy, is in Japan.
Where children are introduced to the Japanese Abacus, called a Soroban.
Where they learn to physically represent Quantities on a Soroban.
Yet a most interesting element of the traditional Japanese approach, is that while children learn to use a Soroban from an early age.
They are not introduced the 'names and symbols' for numbers, until about 10 years of age.
So that they have already developed a strong Sense of Number/ Quantity, and ability to do basic maths calculations.
Where in terms of doing Mental Maths, they have developed a 'Mental Abacus/ Soroban'.
Which they Visualize and manipulate in their mind, to do maths calculations.
So they have already developed basic Numeracy skills, before they are introduced to the names and symbols for numbers/ quantities.

So I would recommend buying a Japanese abacus/ Soroban, or rather two?
One for your daughter and one for you.
So that you can work together.
Where they can be bought for about \$10 to \$20 each.
Then in terms of the all of the exercises, these can accessed for free, on-line.
http://webhome.idirect.com/~totton/abacus/pages.htm
Geoff,

Posted:Oct 07, 2007 7:58:13 AM

Thanks for the guidance. I know that my daugther can visualize. She does alot of her times tables by visualizing her hands in her head and counting portions of her fingers for 3, 4, 6, and 8 times tables. But that takes time. Being able to see the quantities instead of just counting up all of the time would probably work for her.

Posted:Oct 07, 2007 6:24:00 PM

As a person with dyscalculia, I have no hints to help. Some facts stuck because I use them a lot. 10's are easy, as are 5's. But I am a college student and still use my fingers for some calculations. I have, however, learned some tricks. If you can make 10 when adding, for example, it is useful. I also add 2 2-digit numbers starting with the with the 10's column, then add the ones, and finally add the two numbers. I can do this in my head most of the time, but arithmetic will always be a challenge to me. Don't forget, however, that arithmetic is not everything. In algebra, they will go back to easier arithmetic and a calculator can be part of her accomodations for some classes later on in her school career. Oh, did I mention I majored in mathematics in undergrad? My arithmetic skills are still bad, but I have really good math reasoning skills.

Don't give up trying to teach her to learn. Oh, and teach her the trick for multiplying 9's on her fingers. My 6th grade teacher taught me and without it I cannot do the 9's. Hold out both hands, palms down. Put down the left most pinky. This is 9x1 The fingers to the right of the downed pinky represent the ones digit of the answer (9). For 9x2, you put your hands out again, and put the second finger from the left down (wedding ring finger). The fingers to the left are the ones digit, to the right are the 10's. 1 for the tens digit, 8 for the ones = 18. It works like that all the way up to 9x10.

"Never give up, never surrender" -Galaxy Quest

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” -Albert Einstein

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; Be afraid only of standing still” -Chinese proverb

Posted:Oct 07, 2007 8:11:15 PM

Hi,
I just saw the trick with the fingers for 9's the other day. I also saw them do the sam type of thing for all facts. It was fascinating. I couldn't believe it.

Thank You,
Sue

Posted:Oct 07, 2007 10:09:53 PM

What worked for my dd is using TouchMath.(http://www.touchmath.com) It was the only thing that made sense to her for addition and subtraction. It took her 5 minutes to learn how to use it in 6th grade and she immediately went from hating math to it being her favorite subject. Her comment was "Why hasn't someone showed me this before????" We haven't been able to work on the multiplication and division as much but she uses a calculator for those. Her confidence has increased dramatically and she can now do the addition and subtraction mostly in her head.

scifinut mom to: ms 16, bp/adhd/anxiety/complex ld mr. 20, add/dyslexic I hear and I forget I see and I remember I do and I understand. -Anonymous

Posted:Oct 22, 2007 11:23:25 PM

Precision assessment tackled the teaching of the basic facts 25 years ago. First and most important the student must be able to show you complete understanding of the concept. After that, it's rather simple memorization. I taught severely emotionally disturbed and learning disabled students for 25 years and never encountered problems with children with IQ's over 80.

author - Great Leaps

Posted:Oct 22, 2007 11:57:11 PM

Quote Ken C:

First and most important the student must be able to show you complete understanding of the concept. After that, it's rather simple memorization. I taught severely emotionally disturbed and learning disabled students for 25 years and never encountered problems with children with IQ's over 80.

Memorization of math facts is not so simple for all students, including me. Oh, and my IQ is quite a bit over 80.

"Never give up, never surrender" -Galaxy Quest

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity” -Albert Einstein

“Be not afraid of growing slowly; Be afraid only of standing still” -Chinese proverb

Posted:Oct 26, 2007 1:10:37 AM

As a special education teacher who teaches students with varied learning difficulties, I have found TouchMath to be amazingly effective with 100% of my students over the last 7 years. I use it to teach addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Some students master it immediately, others over time, but all improve in speed and accuracy. I can't recommend it enough.

debijl

Posted:Oct 26, 2007 6:51:37 AM

Can you explain the TouchMath program from a teacher's perspective. My DDs recall is poor. She does have the facts in her head, but recall can be faulty. She relies on re-calculating mult facts and relies on finger strategies.

Posted:Oct 28, 2007 11:40:48 PM

I don't know if this will help but... my husband, who is dyslexic pointed out to me one day (as I was trying to teach my dyslexic twins their multiplication facts), that since he transposes most information into a picture, it made no sense to place the problem on one side of the card and the answer on the opposite. He stated that this makes two unrelated pictures in his mind. If he sees the facts with the answer on the same side and is allowed to study them that way, he can eventually leave off the answer on the card and the problem with the answer still pops up in his mind. I also have two older children that are dyslexic as well, they also inform me that all material is learned more easily when converted to a picture form and they aren't forced to use rote memorization.
From my own point of view... I know all of my dyslexic children are getting pretty good at math when they can parrot back the correct procedure on how to do a certain function. We practice with the same words over and over again until they are able to teach the process back to me. At that point when they can re-explain it to me I haven't had to remind them again. Hope some of this helps :)

Posted:Oct 29, 2007 2:38:11 PM

I actually tried this with my daugther. It helped some, but her problem is recall.

I just have to tell you that when I explained to the teacher what I was doing, they looked at me like I was crazy!

Some people are whole to part learners, some part to whole.

Posted:Nov 01, 2007 7:26:32 PM

I have had students who struggle with math facts. I like using the manipulatives by Math-U-See best. They look like Cuisenaire rods, but they are scored so you can tell how many units per rod.

I also like telling stories. There are a few companies that sell products like this. For example: You must be 16 to drive a 4 X 4. There are other companies that sell visual pictures that help with retrieval.

Touch math works for some children. Another resource is Two Plus Two Doesn't Equal Five.

Drill is ok, but gets boring quickly. I play a lot of games to practice drill, and games that require using the math facts.

Auditory CDs work for some children.

Cooking, working with wood, and other real life experiences that require the use of math facts helps some children, too.