Special Education - Math
There is a big difference in teaching mathematics to regular children and teaching it to children with special needs. There is a massive range of abilities present in a classroom of children with special needs that will require teachers to modify their lesson plans, depending on the current ability of each child. Thankfully, there are several interventions that other teachers have done that can aid new special education Math teachers.
Using Numbers in Everyday Instructions
Children with special needs tend to find it hard to associate objects with numbers. This concept may need to be reiterated every now and then in order for the lesson to set in. One thing to do is to use numbers in everyday instructions and also ask them to use numbers to respond. Say, “Please hand me one pencil.” Or, “Here are four crayons, teacher.” That way, they can associate 1 with that pencil, and then 4 with that crayon.
Practicing Math with Art
It may seem hard to believe, but art activities really do bring out many practical math skills. Art brings the creative language of special children, and the colors help them connect numbers to those colors. Playing an elimination game using the colors of the wheel is just one example that can teach subtraction. And then adding primary colors to make secondary colors can teach addition. It will become very interesting!
Using Calculators and other Technology
There are studies that show how children with special needs learn better with the aid of technology. And that is true with teaching them how to navigate through a calculator. Even people without learning disabilities have trouble memorizing all the formulas. Learning the calculator can help special needs children become independent in real life situations. And when the time comes, it may even be valuable to learn the computer.
The bottom line is to consider alternative methods of teaching when dealing with children of special needs. Teachers don’t even need to stick to the traditional classroom setting. There are a number of existing tools online that are very helpful.