# Dyslexic dd hit a wall with fractions

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My dd, just turned 13, has been coming along fine with Teaching Textbooks for 5th and 6th grade, with me going over the lesson with her and helping her with a few problems she needed help with. Our time together took about ten minutes. Now in the 7th grade book, things have been going well until we got to fractions. She hit a huge wall! I don't like how the book teaches fractions and she doesn't understand it. The next three chapters are fractions. Now I am pretty much doing most of her lesson for her, and I think we need to either make a change or use other materials for awhile. Her younger sister is doing the Math U See fractions book successfully, and it wouldn't be good for them to be together in math. I thought about Saxon 7/6. I just have no idea. I'm open to any suggestions. Thanks so much! Lillian

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Pizza. Or pie. Perhaps cake.

Fractions mean so much more when we discuss them in terms of food. It also helps that we have a large family, so we often cut things up into pieces around here. Fractions are a way of dividing things--important things, like pizza.

I've seen educational games sold in special ed catalogs for fractions that work with cardboard pictures of pizza, but why use cardboard when you can use the real thing? Get a few smaller frozen pizza. Cut one pizza into half, then quarters, then eighths. Move the pieces around to play with them and study fractions, then eat lunch. :D

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Is there a particular concept with fractions that is troublesome? Like division, subtraction, or taking 2/3 of 18? I'm trying to understand if you can isolate where the problem begins.

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Does she not understand basic fraction concepts or is it computations with fractions? Most curricula (don't know about TT) introduce fractions in 3rd/4th or maybe 5th grade so i am guessing it is computation with fractions. However, if you don't really have an idea of what fractions are then performing functions with them can be difficult. Can you give us an example of what kind of problems she is struggling with?

I like Education Unboxed for explaining fractions and what doing arithmetic with frctions really means, Although Education Unboxed features young girls on their videos, the conceptual work they are doing is often advanced. If you think your Dd would be be turned off by the girls ages then you could preview the videos and then reteach the lesson on your own. The cuisenaire rods are similar to the MUS rods, but smaller, and probably different enough that neither of your kids would think they were doing the same work as each other.

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My dd who has dyslexia understands the concepts of fractions easily. (Pictures of fractions, word problems using fractions, fraction bars and cubes for manipulation, and board games related to food have always been easy for her.) The problem is computation with fractions written as numbers. She will get it fine one day and completely reverse something the next. The examples I'm thinking of are multiplying, dividing, and simplifying fractions.

For *my dd,* the issue seems to be directionality, which is related to her specific struggles with dyslexia. She sometimes starts simplifying horizontally, numerator to numerator, instead of vertically, numerator to denominator. Sometimes she'll want to multiply fractions diagonally. Recently she was dividing a fraction, so she first multiplied by its reciprocal, but then stopped and flipped it *again* and ended up mulitplying by the original number. She showed me all of her steps when we were checking her incorrect answers. I was surprised that she struggled so much, but this *does* seem to be consistent with her overall confusion of left/right and top/botttom. Also, we use Sinagpore Math, which emphasizes the reason behind the way we do the computation -- what it really means. She does get the explanations (simplifying by dividing by greatest common factor, why dividing by any number is the same as multiplying by its reciprocal...). It's *not* a concept problem. It happens when she has to work with the printed numbers.

I don't know what to do about it besides lots of repetition and hope the confusion lessens over time.

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DS is 7th grade with dyscalculia and dyslexia. The year started with Jump Math, a program from Canada. After 4-6 weeks of JM, we moved on to MUS fractions. No miracles here, but he can now divide fractions. At the beginning of MUS, they take a unique approach to dividing that doesn't involve reciprocals. No tricks. Division with recips come later. Simplifying remains a problem. I believe that my son's difficulty with simplifying is rooted to his slowness with the times table. I am to the point where DS practices a few problems everyday to demonstrate knowledge using a multiplication chart.

We've never used MUS before the fractions unit, so we don't have all the MUS manipulatives The education unboxed videos have helped, and if I need to demonstrate something, we get by with c-rods, base 10 cubes, and the fractional overlays. We also use the website math-aids to print up extra problems. The white board helps alongside 1/2" grid paper. The TI-15 calculator helps too.

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