A mathematics deficit is the inability to deal with number and mathematical concepts.
The following is a list of characteristics that may be evident in students with this deficit. Use this as a checklist with regard to students who you think may fit into this category.
-The student has difficulty distinguishing the important from the unimportant details in word problems.
-The student has difficulty recognizing patterns or relationships among numbers.
-The student has difficulty putting facts in a logical sequence in order to find a solution.
-The student has difficulty remembering math facts, formulas or a sequence of formulas.
-The student perseveres with an improper procedure.
-The student does not understand numerical order or place value.
-The student has difficulty with such spatial math concepts as time, money, measurement, directionality and sequencing.
-The student is consistently reluctant to begin any math task.
-The student has difficulty with abstract or symbolic math concepts.
-The student has difficulty copying or reading numbers.
-The student has difficulty choosing the correct process to use.
-The student has difficulty visualizing or verbalizing numeric information.
-The student has difficulty generalizing math information to new situations.
-The student has difficulty with math vocabulary.
-The student often responds with an answer that bears no relationship to the math asked.
-The student has difficulty with basic calculation/application.
• Use word problems that relate to the student’s experiences.
• Use concrete manipulatives to demonstrate and practise problems before moving to symbolic.
• Encourage the use of a calculator or math charts, ensuring that the process is demonstrated in the child’s work.
• Have the child highlight key words for steps, directions or operations in questions given to him or her.
• Use visual cues (e.g. stop signs or red dots) on the paper when the student must change operations. Have the student raise his or her hand when reaching STOP signs, and provide necessary instructions to go on.
• Use colour coding (e.g. green for addition, red for subtraction, etc.).
• Provide extra large symbols next to questions in order that the student will be more likely to observe the symbols.
• Provide practice in math by using a computer software program that gives the student immediate feedback.
• Use large coloured arrows to indicate where the student begins to work a math problem.
• Reduce the number of questions given to the student, but not the level of difficulty.
• For younger students, put a number line on the desk.
• Have a math reference sheet or cue cards that demonstrate the steps to solving a particular type of question.
• Ensure that the student has a clear understanding of the math vocabulary being used.
• Use modeling frequently.
• Have the student work with a classroom peer.
• Teach strategies for checking math work.
• Evaluate on daily or weekly basis rather than on lengthy tests or exams.
• If lengthy tests are required, do not mix concepts at one time.
• Allow the use of a calculator or charts.
• Provide a visual model with test questions to demonstrate what is being asked.
• Provide graph paper for lining up numbers when working math problems.
• Use personal experiences when designing math problems.
• Have oral testing for word problems.
• Provide the student with a quiet place to work.
• Allow extra time to complete tests.
• Highlight operational signs so that the student is sure to notice the signs before beginning an operation.
• Highlight key words on a test so that the student is sure to notice the words before answering the question.
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