Home Strategies

to support the dyscalculic student.

Life. Everyday life is packed with teaching opportunities. Soon you’ll be able to see and manage the math all around you!

Compass Directions.  Always point out positional descriptors and require your child to talk about and demonstrate them: left/right, before/after, advance/retreat, north/south, former/latter, etc.

The language of Time.  Deliberately talk about the language of time, point out vocabulary: second, minute, hour, day, week, weekly, monthly, yearly, annual, annually, decade, century, four score (set of 20 years); fortnight (14 days/2 weeks); century, centuries, first century, centennial...

Teach Time:  telling, visualizing; calculations, planning, planners, calendars, task analysis & estimation, make clocks, show times with arms, use visual timers and clocks.

The Language of Mathematics.  Deliberately learn, use, and point out the language of mathematics, especially number prefixes and roots. Examples: Cap=head, capital, per capita, capitalization, captain, capture, captor, captive, captivate, capitalism, capable...); nano-, micro-, milli-, centi-, deci-, uni-, mono-, homo-, bi-, tri-, tetra-, penta-, hexa-, hepta-, octa-, ennea-, (de-, dec-, deca-, deka-), (hecto-, cent-, cente-), (kilo-, mille-), (decamilli-, mirya-), hectokilo-, mega-, giga-.

Learn Conical Patterns.  Learn to visualize the numbers 0 - 10 as dot patterns, then perform physical and mental addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division using these patterns. (9 = 5 + 4).

Learn With Money.  Use money to teach base ten place value, decimal understanding, mental math, and to act out / solve math problems. Use money to demonstrate numbers in the news.

Wall Chalkboard - Play Teacher.  Use a wall as a chalk board. Always stand up, play teacher, reason aloud as you color-code operations and illustrate to solve math problems. Explain why and how.

Body Decoding of Decimal Numbers.  Decimal numbers: head = decimal point, stronger right=fractions, weaker left =wholes.

Maps & Direction.  Use compass directions; hang maps in study areas; when reading and listening, find places on maps and talk about position (north of…). Always use compass directions to navigate (turn south toward school), talk about your bearings (position).

Get & Stay Organized.  Organization: color-code classes & supplies; tape schedule, locker combination, directions to classes on top of each book; use phone timers, calendars, and alerts.

Be Accurate.  Isolate & chunk numbers to to reduce errors when copying and reading.

     Be alert to dyscalculic errors when reading, thinking, copying, writing, and speaking.

Color-code.  Color-code operations (red=subtract, green=add, blue=multiply, black=divide.

Keep Math Straight.  Use graph paper to align columns and rows of numbers, and to illustrate work.