This past week, researchers published an interesting study that suggested that students should receive explicit instructions about why certain approaches are chosen for certain types of math programs. As it turns out, studies of strategic math instruction seems to especially benefit students with “learning disabilities.”
This approach should be valuable to students with dyslexia because rather than having to memorize multiple steps of math problem solving, they learn to recognize the different categories of problems that are presented giving them the opportunity to choose the approach that is best for them. Rather than presenting with a large quantity of math problems that they are left to solve on their own, students are first divided into groups depending on how they initially choose to solve a problem. Rather than emphasizing that long lists of assigned math problems, students are presented with math problems that cannot be solved by their preferred method – then they are shown a new way that can be used to solve the problem. From our standpoint, this emphasizes quality over quantity in math learning and builds on students’ typically strong personal memory.
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