Instructional Methods for Teaching Math to Students with Learning Disabilities
Introduction to Learning Disabilities
Learning Disability is a recognized category under the Individuals with Disability Education Act (IDEA) 2004. Students identified as having a Learning Disability after undergoing an Initial Evaluation, are approved for the support of special education services. Under the IDEA all student, regardless of their disability, have the right to a Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) in their Least Restrictive Environment (LRE). Learning Disability is a widely used, universal term that describes specific kinds of learning problems that students may have. A learning disability can cause a student to have trouble learning, retaining and using skills in reading, writing, math, and comprehension. (Sillman, Bahr, Beasman & Wilkinson, 2000)
Other terms used to describe a learning disability are include dyslexia, or a reading disability; dysgraphia, or a writing disability; and dyscalcula, a math disability. All of these are specific learning disabilities. (Sillman, Bahr, Beasman & Wilkinson, 2000)
Differences in how a student’s brain works, receives and processes information, is the cause a learning disabilities in students. Students with learning disabilities are frequently misdiagnosed as being lazy, troublesome, non-caring, or unintelligent. Students with learning disabilities, however, typically have average intelligence. The only difference is that the students with learning disabilities brains gain and process information differently, than their non disabled peers. Students diagnosed with learning disabilities can be high achieving students, and taught strategies to overcome the learning disability. With effective strategies, accommodations, and modifications, students with learning disabilities can learn successfully, and become productive life-long learners in the classroom and community. (Sillman, Bahr, Beasman & Wilkinson, 2000)
Students Instructional Level
Students in this analysis have all been diagnosed with a learning disability in math. Learning disabilities in math may manifest in memory deficits, difficulty learning and applying strategies, and being unable to apply what they already know to new tasks. The group consisted of 6 boys. The students are in elementary school. Though the students’ ages range in elementary school, all students are on a first grade math instructional level. The students are taught math by the resource teacher, in the resource classroom for 45 minutes a day. Thus, the students all completely pulled out of the general education classroom for their entire math period.
The first-grade standards teach counting, sorting, and comparing sets of up to 100 objects. They teach students to recognize and describe simple repeating and growing patterns. In first grade math standards, students a taught to trace, describe, and sort geometric figures. Students will learn to expand on their knowledge on...