Research-based recommendations for teaching students with learning disabilities as well as for students who are experiencing difficulties in learning mathematics but are not identified as having a math learning disability.
Recently, the Center on Instructionconducted a meta-analysis on the topic of teaching mathematics to students with learning disabilities and other students struggling with mathematics. An outcome of the research is a resource called Mathematics instruction for students with learning dis- abilities or difficulty learning mathematics: A guide for teachers (Jayanthi, M., Gersten, R., Baker, S., 2008). The guide specifies research-based recommendations for teaching students with learning disabilities as well as for students who are experiencing difficulties in learning mathematics but are not identified as having a math learning disability.
Following are a few of the evidence-based mathematics practices described in the guide for teachers that is noted above.
1. Have students verbalize decisions and solutions to a math problem.
Encourage students to verbalize, or Think-Aloud, their decisions and solutions to a math problem. Example: “That is a plus sign. That means I should…”
Additional Resource: K8 Access Center: http://k8accesscenter.org/index.php/category/math/
2. Teach students using multiple instructional examples.
Teachers should select a range of examples of similar problems.
Example: Fractions and algebraic equations can be taught first with concrete examples, then with pictorial representations, and finally in an abstract manner.
Additional Resource: Math VIDS: C-R-A Sequence of Instruction:
3. Teach students to solve problems using multiple/heuristic strategies.
Teachers can instruct students to use a heuristic; a method or strategy that exemplifies a generic approach for solving a problem. Heuristics are not problem-specific. They can be used in organizing information and solv- ing a range of math problems.
Example: “Read the problem. Highlight the key words. Solve the problem. Check your work.”
Additional Resource: University of Nebraska-Lincoln: Cognitive Strategy Instruction:
Jayanthi, M., Gersten, R., & Baker, S. (2008). Mathematics instruction for students with learning disabilities or difficulty learning mathematics: A guide for teachers. Retrieved on February 12, 2009 from (broken link)(broken link)