# Math

## Math is a language

Dyslexia is a different way of processing information and language and this carries over to math, because math is a language unto itself.

- Vocabulary words may take on a whole new and different meaning in math, such as homophones.
- Explicit instruction of math vocabulary teaches a student with dyslexia how to read a math equation and use the words to find a deeper meaning of math concepts.
- Teaching morphology, the study of word parts and their meaning, for a learner with dyslexia connects the language of reading with the language of math.

**Reflection**

- What are three examples of math terms whose meaning is different than in another context?
- How is teaching the symbol-meaning relationship in math similar to the letter-sound relationship in reading?
- Why might a student with dyslexia, with strengths in math, struggle with math as a language?

**Other resources**

- Made By Dyslexia: Unit 2 - Maths
- Math Introduction from the Yale Center for Creativity and Dyslexia
- Math Strategies for Students with Dyslexia from the International Dyslexia Association

## Making math connections explicit

Traditionally, math is taught as facts to be memorized and problems to be solved through rote procedures. For the learner with dyslexia, rote memorization isn't a strength but verbal comprehension and big picture are!

- Learners with dyslexia find meaning within the parts of concepts when given time to think, to work, and to problem solve.
- Multisensory instruction in math makes connections between concepts and provides opportunities to connect context to application.
- Learners with dyslexia often have strong reasoning and logic skills. Given the opportunity to use mental math or verbalization of their answers, demonstrates their reasoning through a dyslexic strength.

**Reflection**

- How can you teach math concepts that are traditionally separated, together?
- Why is the dyslexic strength of thinking outside the box a benefit in math instruction?
- Can you identify the benefit of students explaining their reasoning behind how to solve a math problem?

**Other resources**

- Math: Counting & Comparing from the Yale Center for Creativity and Dyslexia
- Number Talks from Scholastic

## Math facts

Learners with dyslexia benefit from repeated, meaningful, and intentional practice not only the drill and kill of math fact flashcards.

- Repetition in a multisensory way, with reinforcement of the concept and targeted techniques, will increase retrieval of math facts.
- Learners with dyslexia remember math facts best when they have derived meaning from symbols, not through rote memorization.
- Basic facts are building blocks of math and learners with dyslexia need time to practice and master these.

**Reflection**

- What are some ways to make repetition and practice more meaningful?
- How can we make math facts more visual for students?
- How can you encourage students to use the math facts they know to solve what they do not know?

**Other resources**

- Made By Dyslexia: Unit 2 - Maths
- 10 Multisensory Techniques for Teaching Math from Understood.org
- 13 Rules that Expire from National Council of Teachers of Mathematics

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