# Can anyone learn math?

Discussion in 'Special Education' started by jcizman, Oct 7, 2010.

1. ### jcizmanRookie

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Oct 7, 2010

Now that my 19 year old student is practicing his math on computer websites, it is clear that manipulating double digits will be difficult for him. Any ideas on how to progress from 7+9 to 77+99? And the same for multiplication and division. Is it possible he may never master high school math?

3. ### Kate ChangeCompanion

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Oct 7, 2010

Well, it is possible that he may never master high school math, but it's our jobs not to give up. If he's able to learn to add single digits, there are a lot of different strategies you can use to teach double digit addition. It sounds like he is working on about third grade math, so start there. There's a program called Math U See which has a number of strategies for teaching the areas you are interested in seeing him improve on. It's not expensive, but like anything else, it's not for every kid. If you go to their website you can look at samples, print worksheets and have him play free practice games. The games are a little dull, but if you look at the sample lessons, it might help you to decide if it might be a program that works for him. It's very, very visual and shows how you fill the ones column before the tens column, etc, which is probably what he needs.

It sounds as though he doesn't understand how numbers move from the ones column to the tens column. If you don't have the resources to consider a different program, you might want to direct a few lessons and understanding these issues.

The way I usually teach multiplication is to begin by teaching grouping. So multiplying is really just counting groups of numbers. Then we practice skip counting etc...

Hope this helps. Don't give up. The computer program can only reinforce the skills he already has. He needs you to explain the steps he is missing.

4. ### jcizmanRookie

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Oct 8, 2010

Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I will try Math U See. The core challenge is the anxiety my student feels. He associates math with failure. Suspect the school determined that he was incapable of
performing beyond the 3rd grade level. He attended an acclaimed
high school.