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Math Strategies

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Math Strategies

1. Teach early number concepts:
Students learn concepts “like more, less, any, none, left, together, how many and each” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 357). These skills are essential for strategies students will learn later in school.
2. Teach strategies for counting:
“Counting seems to be a very simple skill, but can appear very complicated to those who have not mastered it” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 358). Learning to count will help students in all math skills.
3. Reinforce one-to-one correspondence:
With the use of different sets of objects like blocks, counting bears, or candy to match quantities. “Before later concepts can be mastered effectively, it is important that students understand the concept of numerical numeration” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 358).
4. Use manipulatives for teaching addition and subtraction concepts:
“Using such materials as beads, buttons, dried beans, or commercially available base 10 blocks (distributed by companies such as Delta Education), you can help students learn concepts of addition and subtraction by counting” Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 358). With the use of manipulatives, students are able to add and subtract by counting objects.
5. Use number lines to promote operations:
“A helpful intermediate step between counting actual objects and operating with numbers is the use of a number line” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p.359). With the use of a number line students can add and subtract by counting on and counting backwards.
6. Touch Math:
The Touch Math system has the students count dots to help them add or subtract two numbers. “Students learn that each number is associated with a certain number of dots (touch points), which can be counted forward and backwards to compute sums and differences” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 360). Touch Math can also be used when counting money.
7. Use strategies for place value and regrouping:
Using base-10 blocks is a great strategy to implement when introducing regrouping. Regrouping is a difficult skill for students to learn and with the use of base-10 blocks to solve addition and subtraction problems. “Place value is a concept that is linked to our base-10 system, and students must learn this concept as they use numbers of more than one digit. Use of base-10 blocks can be helpful in establishing this concept” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 364).
8. Strategies for teaching early problem solving with addition and subtraction:
Students with reading disabilities struggle to solve word problems. The have trouble locating key information within the problem. The key information help the students determine what operation needs to be used to solve the problem. “Students who have difficulty determining the operation for solving problems (e.g., addition, subtraction) can construct problems like this on their own” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 365).
9. Multiplication: Use manipulatives:
“Multiplication and division concepts can be enforced through the use of manipulatives, such as base-10 blocks. Show students, for example, a set of 3 units, and ask them to put four such sets. After this has been done, inform students that they have a set of 3, four times. By counting total units, it can be seen that 3 taken four times, or 4 times 3, is 12” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 366). Using beans, counter, and other manipulatives is a concrete way to introduce multiplication and division.
10. Multiplication: “Teach Count-Bys”
“A useful bridge between learning multiplication concepts and learning multiplication facts is the use of count-bys. Students that have learned to count by 2 can use their fingers or pencil tallies to count up to 2 X 6 (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 366). Kids learn to skip count by 2’s, 5,s, and 10’s as early as kindergarten. This learned skill will assist the student with multiplication.

“Mathematics has been consideration the ‘key to opportunity’ in society. However, many students with disabilities and other special needs exhibit problems with learning mathematics. Appropriate curriculum, effective teaching, and specific strategy instruction can help alleviate many of these problems” (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 382). Students with disabilities use a host of strategies when learning math. Using various manipulatives will give the student a strong foundation. As the student is more successful, they progress from concrete to semi concrete and finally to abstract (Mastropieri & Scruggs, 2014, p. 357).
Mastropieri, M. A. & Scruggs, T. E. (2014). The inclusive classroom: Strategies for effective differentiated instruction (5th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson

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