By Dawn Spence
This is the second article in my series on accommodations and modifications. In my first article, I explained the differences between accommodations and modifications. But now I will tackle the subject of math.
No one curriculum is one-size-fits-all, including math. Children with special needs and learning differences can make it a challenge to find a curriculum that meets all their needs. I have bought curriculums and then realized that my child could not complete the activities how they are written. That is when I have to make the curriculum fit her.
Math is an easier subject to accommodate and modify as it lends itself to use hands-on materials and can be done on a computer. Math is an abstract subject, but by using manipulatives or other accommodations, it provides a way to make it more concrete.
Here are some ways to accommodate your present math curriculum. This is how we teach our learners:
- provide graph paper to line up numbers so that information stays organized especially helpful with long division (I printed mine free from www.printfreegraphpaper.com)
- allow the use of calculators
- provide visuals and stories to learn math facts
- provide a list of the steps in written or visual form
- use dry erase boards instead of pencil and paper
- reduce the number of problems and even do some problems with your student before having them do it on their own
- draw a picture of story problems
Here are some ways to modify your math curriculum. This is where we are changing what we teach the learner and what they learn.
- creating work boxes that address a specific skill
- using stamps for writing numbers for those that cannot write numbers yet
- making a math problem multiple choice
- using stickers or hands-on objects to help your learner count
- writing some steps for the learner and they have to complete the remaining steps
- use real objects to work out story problems
This list is a starting point to modify your math curriculum. If you have specific questions about how to modify or adapt your curriculum, please see my page on the website for consultation information.