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Dyscalculia is one of the most striking and challenging learning disorders in education. This is because mathematics is one of the most complex disciplines of learning because it is in itself very theoretical and hardly emotional for the context of a child or adolescent. That does not mean that we can together generate new strategies to accompany these young people in their condition. And there are many teachers who wonder what they can do with those children with dyscalculia.
Winston Churchill once said that "success is learning to go from failure to failure without despair." Value mistakes, loving yourself for who you are, accepting yourself and creating a space that allows you to build yourself they are tools that allow us to develop fully.
Following that line, so that everyone can have that environment that allows them to strengthen their skills, it is also important to create scenarios that mobilize our own skills. That is the school challenge in the face of learning disorders. Assess that condition and build environments that allow them to develop as people. Do not discriminate or point out that they have difficulties, but together we can push the person to exploit all their strengths.
I want to propose the same to you with the disorder that I have mentioned: How to design within the room strategies that allow these kids learn math despite your condition?
Remember that this is a disorder that affects the study and understanding of mathematics. We know that this subject is fundamental within our educational system, so this difficulty ends up being a factor that attacks the self-esteem and integrity of a young man.
I want to mention the work done by the International University of Valencia (Spain) who gives us new strategies so that we can work within our school. In this column, we would like to highlight some of them and try, as far as possible, to exemplify them for a later intervention.
- Support easier number learning
The first methodology is to strengthen the basic numerical concept by generating simple and attractive exercises that allow consolidating that numerical idea. It is like designing a structure of a basic sentence, easy to understand and that can be followed by the child with dyscalculia to have that tool as a guideline for action.
- Reinforce the use of numbers
The biggest difficulty for those with dyscalculia is that the numbers are symbols that try to mentally represent a concept. The problem is that this representation is totally disassociated with his own experience. In order for the child to be able to experience and see the representation without it being an alien or strange element, it is necessary to bring it to reality.
I have the idea of costumes, songs or comics that create the impression that numbers can unfold in life. Use new strategies, mainly those that seek to enhance other sources of perception such as touch, hearing or taste. I remember that according to neuroscience, you have to live and feel the learning so that it can be lived. So why not transfer the learning of mathematics by inviting other of our senses to participate in this knowledge?
On the other hand, this university proposes some concrete tools based on these methodologies that aim to help children with dyscalculia. These are:
1. Specifically designed software
Technology can be a great support for the training of our students.
2. The multisensory classrooms
If there is one thing that neuroscience has prompted us to do, it is to redesign our classrooms. Let's make our creative and emotional capacity fly so that children see mathematics as learning that also touches the sensitivity and integrity of each one of us.
3. Design learning performances
This means acting out mathematical operations. The idea is to generate a visual and vital space that manages to link the student with the content.
4. Prioritize the understanding of the concepts before the exercise
Generally, constant repetition is privileged in this discipline, however, before any action it is important to understand the meaning of the content itself. By making sense of it, you can generate a better idea of why you exercise.
5. Facilitate cooperative and team learning
Important is teamwork, encouraging tutoring or companionship. Although the support and leadership of the teacher is recommended, it is important to give that role of support among the peers.
Churchill invites us to take advantage of learning through failure. But that does not mean that we should be left to our own devices. Those who suffer from dyscalculia need these experiences of errors to be sustained by the group of peers and teachers who are part of their growth.
In the end, those who suffer from these disorders do not suffer from the bad results themselves, but they live their defeats abandoned to the system. That from these methodologies we can walk together and fail in community, because feeling like a family that walks and creates with me all kinds of solutions, the containment and formation of my own integrity and personality is more likely.
You can read more articles similar to And what do I do if I have children with dyscalculia in class. Tips for teachers, in the On-site Learning category.