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Math question: Non-sequential learner, Visual-spacial learner, and Dyslexia?


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#1 karengann

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Posted 11 September 2013 - 09:36 PM

My child has mild dyslexia. “Workable” is what I was told. Just step back.

She'll be 10 in November.

I would have thought she's a visual-spacial learner, but she works well with the rote learning with WTM stuff. I would say she's a non-sequential learner based on the fact that she is awesome at mathematics and conceptual/abstract stuff, but weak in arithmetic. The abacus flummoxes her.

Math has been a real struggle. We started with Right Start because she'd been in a Montessori program, so we were under the impression that manipulates would be a good fit. Wall.

So, the real concern I have at this point is Arithmetic. I think she'll excel at Mathematics but that won't happen unless she can get the fundamentals down first.

She struggles with adding and subtracting single digits, but can look at complex patterns and figure out what comes next in the blink of an eye. In other words, her higher-order mathematical reasoning is there, but she can't – in her head - add 7+2.

Any suggestions?

Oh...and...We've been following WTM for history. And FLL (I switched to another curriculum and am now turning back to FLL because the other was too loose and she was floundering.). And WWE as far as we could without her completely melting down due to the writing aspect. That is getting a lot better.



#2 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 12:22 AM

We are struggling with this, too as are many. I recommend reading the Mislabeled Child by Brock and Fernette Eide.  While you are at it, you might want to read "The Dyslexic Advantage" by the same authors, plus How the Mind Learns Math (can't remember the author).  The first book I find useful for getting information from a more scientifically based informed perspective on many different learning issues.  

 

Try doing subitizing exercises (just started those here, too).  Look up dyscalculia and see if anything there fits...also check the Learning Challenges board on this site.

 

Did you have a formal assessment?  A neurospych evaluation?  Or just an eval through your local school district?



#3 klmama

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:21 AM

You say she's visual.  Have you given her a number line or a 1-100 numbers chart to use as a visual for addition?  (Start at the 7, count 2 more)  You can buy sticker sets of the 1-100 charts at Dollar Tree and put one on her desk, work table, math notebook, etc.  There are multiplication charts, too.  I found with my visual learner that repeated use of the charts during assignments did more for math fact memorization than anything else.  Once facts could be recalled, we moved on to the Complete Book of Timed Tests to improve speed. 

 

 

 

 



#4 Evanthe

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:24 AM

I have 2 VSLs.  I've posted about this a couple of times.  They do well with really unusual math programs.  We saw huge success with Life of Fred, anything from Art of Problem Solving and Hands-on Equations.  My son used Beast Academy (and really enjoyed it), but he's in 5th grade and I'm pretty sure only their 3rd grade is out.  I think - for now - we're going to stick with the AOPS/Life of Fred combo.    

 

You're right, they are awful with arithmetic.  My 5th grader can solve this: 2(X+1) = 3X+8, but struggles with stuff that requires steps - like long division.  One website said that they do really well with higher math/conceptual math.  They're also supposed to be really good with geometry.  When I was reading about this before, someone mentioned that a number of right-brained learners also have dyslexia.

 

Here's some links that have helped me:

 

http://dancing-with-...arner-when.html

 

https://www.giftedde...ruction/i90.pdf

 

http://www.hoagiesgi...ual-spatial.htm

 

Here's a book about teaching VSLs:  http://www.amazon.co...patial learners

 

No matter what anyone says, you should always just used what is working.  If following TWTM is working, I wouldn't change.  If you a sequential math program is working, use that one!  It took 3-4 years of teaching my son every day to figure out how his brain works.

 

Edited to say: Another thing I've noticed about them is that they don't show steps to math problems (which could be a disaster later, I think).  My daughter will try to do EVERY math problem in her head.  Yesterday, we had some adding mixed number fraction problems in LOF Pre-algebra with biology and she had converted the mixed numbers to fractions in her head and added them up before I finished reading Fred's explanation of the problem.  It was creepy.



#5 Gentlemommy

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 07:56 AM

Yes. This is my dd as well. Everyone's descriptors fit her to a T. We used Miquon, and have just switched to BA and Singapores CWP 3. She's 8, and just started 3rd. I know she knows HOW to add 7 + 2, so if she's doing something more difficult and the part that is tripping her up is the arithmetic, I'll just tell her it's 9. I used to have her figure each and every one it, but all that did was make her insanely frustrated, and she would lose her place in the original problem. She started to hate math. Now that I accommodate her a bit, she loves it again. We still have times of working on math facts, arithmetic type math. We definitely do not neglect that! However, I don't let her inability to do those quickly and easily stop us from moving forward with more difficult math or higher order reasoning skills. Does that make sense?

#6 karengann

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 05:32 PM

Whew! Thanks! This is a lot to consume (which I will do tonight). I appreciate all the wonderful ideas and tips...

 

I'm looking at the blog Dancing with Dragons right now. Wow. Spot on that is.

 

Thanks again...

 



#7 Lecka

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:27 PM

My son understands and can do arithmetic, but he so gets stuck and can't think of answers to basic facts. And once he is stuck, he just gets stucker.

The memorization and recall is a rote skill. His worst. Learning letters and letter sounds and phonograms was also extremely difficult -- so it fits.

So far he has an addition/subtraction chart. He hasn't really gotten into mult/div but does understand the concept of mult.

I after school (reading, reading, reading) so he is in public school. They use math in focus with math facts done separately.

So -- he understood bar models from the first day, and he got over 95% the last two times he had MAP testing.

But at school the school psychologist thinks he may never have 3-second fluency and he was excused from timed math facts last year (after a bad case of crying/anxiety at home, I talked to his teacher and she was very nice about it).

We have not given up, but it is not a priority like other things. He is not formally diagnosed but from things I have read -- he is on the severe side and not the mild side.

From what I have read -- mult. facts are needed for finding least common multiples to reduce fractions and polynomial equations.

So I have read to move on to mult. facts at a certain point even if addition/subt facts are not solid.

It is not a great situation, but truly my son is viewed as a strong math student who has trouble with timed facts. This is how I view him, and how he is viewed at school.

On MAP testing there are about 6 categories, and only one is computation. He got average in computation and high in every other area.

So I don't think it is not worth any attention, but I am not going to wring my hands.

I have tried quite a few things with little success. BUT quite a few parents report going back when their kids are 10 or 12 or 14, and then they do better with math facts! So I have hope on that side, too.

#8 OneStepAtATime

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:31 PM

I hate to sound completely ignorant but what is MAP testing?  I guess when my kids were still in school their school didn't use that.  Really curious what that means....:)



#9 letsplaymath

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 09:59 PM

...I would say she's a non-sequential learner based on the fact that she is awesome at mathematics and conceptual/abstract stuff, but weak in arithmetic.  ...So, the real concern I have at this point is Arithmetic. I think she'll excel at Mathematics but that won't happen unless she can get the fundamentals down first....

 

One suggestion: Give her the experience of success more than failure, if you can. That is, if arithmetic is her stumbling block, DON'T make it the focus of your math. For instance, check out the Moebius Noodles blog and book for a wide variety of deep mathematics that is accessible with minimal arithmetic. Or incorporate a lot of living math library books. Don't wait until she gets "the fundamentals down first" before letting her play freely with the kind of math she's good at.
 

You can still keep working on arithmetic, too, but let it be a small part of the math you do.

 

For example, here is one math activity with plenty of richness, but no numbers required. Click the image to go see a bigger, readable version at flickr:

 

9626678299_804e818c4d_d.jpg



#10 4blessingmom

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Posted 12 September 2013 - 10:37 PM

Miquon!!!  Just trust me on this one - get it - study it - dive in with both feet!!!

 

 

Start at the very beginning with it if she struggles with basic addition.  Play together with the rods.  Buy a few classroom sets and build with them like they are toys.  Wait until she intuits that 2 yellow are the same length as the orange, black is the same as a purple and a light green, etc...   When she SEES the relationships between the rods, then start the math of Miquon with her.  It'll go faster than fast.  She will begin to visualize the rods when she is asked 7+2, and eventually she will just visualize the values of 7 and 2.  And soon, she will be using the same visualizations to reason through fractions, etc...

 

She sounds a lot like my 10yo.  He loves word problems.  Singapore CWP.  Grab a box of colored pencils and DRAW out the work.

 

Go ahead and teach multi-digit computations soon.  Don't wait until basic facts are memorized.  They will become memorized as she works.  Allow rods on the table as long as necessary.

 

 

 

It's kids like these that make HSing a necessity. :grouphug:



#11 Evanthe

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 05:26 AM

 

It's kids like these that make HSing a necessity. :grouphug:

 

:iagree:  My son is why I looked into homeschooling in the first place.  He went to ps for Kindergarten and I pulled him out at the end of the year.  I could see where that was headed for him.  The other kids in the class just flew past him academically and he couldn't keep up.  Even now, out of all my 4 kids, I have to spend about twice as much time with him and his schoolwork.

 

On a positive note, I was reading that there are things that these kinds of learners are actually supposed to be really good at.  They're supposed to be good at physics, architecture, geometry, building things, mechanical stuff...stuff that doesn't appear on standardized tests.   :tongue_smilie:   My son is very interested in vehicles and models.  The walls of his bedroom are covered in aircraft posters.  He's made several airplane models recently and he's trying to build one of those Traxxas RC cars.  He's going to build me a cubby for our shoes this weekend to put at the front door.  My husband and I are looking into finding him an old, small engine to take apart/put back together.  He's interested in possibly becoming a pilot or some kind of engineer.   :thumbup1:    

 

This is silly, but I have to add...  My son went through a phase last year, where he made us watch the series "How It's Made" every day at dinner time.  Every day, I was thinking, "Dude!  We have to watch How It's Made again?!"   :lol:   I now know how everything is made. 



#12 Clear Creek

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 09:29 AM

Miquon!!!  Just trust me on this one - get it - study it - dive in with both feet!!!

 

 

Start at the very beginning with it if she struggles with basic addition.  Play together with the rods.  Buy a few classroom sets and build with them like they are toys.  Wait until she intuits that 2 yellow are the same length as the orange, black is the same as a purple and a light green, etc...   When she SEES the relationships between the rods, then start the math of Miquon with her.  It'll go faster than fast.  She will begin to visualize the rods when she is asked 7+2, and eventually she will just visualize the values of 7 and 2.  And soon, she will be using the same visualizations to reason through fractions, etc...

 

 

I have never used Miquon, but Math-U-See works the same way as stated above.  My middle child is just like you describe - non-sequential, visual-spatial, and shows signs of dyslexia, and MUS is the only thing that works for her.  I started her on Alpha a year ago (the beginning of third grade) and she is now flying through Gamma...and understands everything!  Being able to visualize amounts using the blocks has been a tremendous help to her.  I tried to do the same thing with an abacus (failed) and bundles of ten straws with individual straws (failed) before starting MUS.  The blocks just work with her.  Yesterday she encountered 82-10 in her mental math book, so she mentally built 82 with the blocks, then removed a ten from her imaginary ten pile, which gave her the correct answer.  Before MUS she tried for WEEKS to grasp adding and subtracting ten from a two-digit number with no success.  MUS gave her the tools (that work for her) to understand arithmetic.



#13 karengann

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Posted 13 September 2013 - 11:59 AM

Miquon!!!  Just trust me on this one - get it - study it - dive in with both feet!!!

 

 

Start at the very beginning with it if she struggles with basic addition.  Play together with the rods.  Buy a few classroom sets and build with them like they are toys.  Wait until she intuits that 2 yellow are the same length as the orange, black is the same as a purple and a light green, etc...   When she SEES the relationships between the rods, then start the math of Miquon with her.  It'll go faster than fast.  She will begin to visualize the rods when she is asked 7+2, and eventually she will just visualize the values of 7 and 2.  And soon, she will be using the same visualizations to reason through fractions, etc...

 

She sounds a lot like my 10yo.  He loves word problems.  Singapore CWP.  Grab a box of colored pencils and DRAW out the work.

 

Go ahead and teach multi-digit computations soon.  Don't wait until basic facts are memorized.  They will become memorized as she works.  Allow rods on the table as long as necessary.

 

 

 

It's kids like these that make HSing a necessity. :grouphug:

I have seriously been considering Miquon. We just finished a trial of Dream Box (which seems to be more of a review tool than an actualy teaching tool), and while she's never been exposed to fractions in a formal way, she immediately got how to manipulate the Cuisenaire rods on screen.

Yes, I'm very thankful that we can homeschool.
 




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