A guest article from Elisheva Seeman the creator of the Dyscalculator.
I first became aware of Dyscalculia when I noticed that my friend couldn’t read numbers. I couldn’t understand why she would always ask the people around her to tell her what number was written down or why she would repeatedly ask what time someone said they were picking her up. When I realised how much Dyscalculia affected her daily and how much it caused her to struggle in many areas, I decided to find her an app or website to do the calculations for her. I figured that she was not the only one with this issue – someone must have developed a program to help with that.
I was wrong – all the apps I found when searching were geared toward teaching math instead of offering tools to help people. So, I created an app specifically to help her with numbers – and she loved it! She used it every day in different ways, building up her confidence and helping her become less reliant on other people.
Written by Natalie Kerslake B.A (Hons), MA Ed SEND KS2 Teaching Assistant
A bit about me
My name is Natalie Kerslake B.A (Hons), MA Ed SEND, and I am a primary school teaching assistant, currently teaching in Year 6, with a particular interest in supporting children with special educational needs and disabilities. In January 2016, I graduated with my MA in Education with a specialism in Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND) at the University of Derby.
In my first teaching assistant post, I became motivated to complete my MA Ed research on dyscalculia after supporting a child with this. I did not know anything about dyscalculia at the time, and not much was available to support teachers and children in this area. I wanted to investigate the current situation of supporting children with dyscalculia in one particular primary school and see whether this was the case in another school.
If your dyscalculia was undiagnosed until adulthood, or perhaps you’re still undiagnosed, you may have gravitated towards a career that doesn’t involve maths. But no matter how often you need to do equations or handle numbers daily, simple accommodations can help you perform your job to the best of your ability.
It is well known that schools tend to put mental arithmetic skills above the visual ones, as something like counting with your fingers is seen as a weakness in one’s calculation abilities. Educators and scientists have been tackling this obsolete cliché with research and scientific reports that seem to prove that visual aids are more than just helpful in the learning process.
Indeed, visual aids, such as the use of fingers, have a key role in children’s understanding of mathematics. This form of visualisation gives the abstract world of numbers a real side and establishes a connection to something tangible. This results in the creation connections from the prefrontal cortex (main memory / data centre) to the visual and motor cortex. Thus, when visual aid is used, thinking becomes outsourced to other brain areas generating a more efficient use the brain’s capacity.
However, these findings do not mean that you child will forever use their fingers to count. Over time a mental image of the fingers will become connected to the mental processes of counting, making the physical counting unnecessary. This is proven by numerous studies with primary school children that measured increased activity in the visual cortex while children were solving complex math tasks, even when they did not use their hands.
Now I’m sure every parent goes through the stressful shift from primary school to high school and the fears of this change being to much for their child, but there is extra pressure for those with children that have learning difficulties. This is because there will always be a difference between the support your child received at primary school and what’s available at the high school. So we have prepared a list of recommended resources that are suitable for this transition period and for supporting your child throughout their time in high school.
‘TES’ is always a good place to look for any resource you may need, but this collection is also especially for those with dyscalculia. These are not just for teachers; they are useful for those homeschooling or even just that little bit of extra after school or weekend boost for your child.
‘Helping With Math’is another good site for all your mathematical resources, this site is especially great because of the huge collection of exercises available for free, and while the resources may not be the most beautiful, they are extremely useful.
The article takes the reader through nine steps on what to do after a child has been diagnosed with dyscalculia. From exploring therapies to liaising with schools, to how to talk to the child itself, the article provides concrete tips on these and more issues.
School is here and its not just the students who need to prepare for their return its also the teachers! So Dybuster has compiled a helpful list of the top ten online resources for all you educators out there enabling you and your students to have a great start to the year.
So school begins again for a lot of children around the world and we would like to help them be prepared and gain confidence in their abilities before school starts! This article is mainly targeted for those that have difficulties with maths, but I’m sure everyone will find it useful to warm up those brains.
Today we are going to introduce you to a few videos which can get your children prepared and their brains warmed up for going back to school!
The first of the videos is perhaps more suitable for a person at high school level as it involves some algebra, but in saying that the video is very fun and entertaining with some animations helping to describe the maths and theory making it clear and interesting for younger ages.
Catching Money (Reaction Times)
The second video is a series of fun magic tricks, which is a great activity you can try at home using a strip of paper, two rubber bands and two paper clips. Certainly a great way to show off to your friends and educational!
2. Perplexing Paperclips
In at number three, save time on your school mornings by learning this little mathematical trick to tying your shoelaces ultra quick!
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