The purpose of this blog is twofold:

- to be a clearing house for math strategies and artifacts to help make math accessible for kids with special needs
- to facilitate discussion about these topics

While I do offer fee based services, my main focusĀ is to help kids with special needs. This includes a great deal of pro-bono work.

At the top is a menu of categories for posts and various related pages.

Perhaps most important in all of this is the concept of Universal Design for Learning (UDL). The photo below says it all. Most if not all of the strategies and artifacts presented on this site can be used as UDL in initial instruction.

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Randy, I visited your classroom two years ago as a teacher candidate at St. Joe’s. Now, I’m a Special Education Teacher in Hartford. I’m constantly reflecting on my experience in your classroom from years ago to help the wonderful students I’m currently working with. Your Blog is amazing and plan to use several strategies tomorrow in class. Just wanted to say thank you.

Hey Mark. That is very kind of you to share and means a lot to me. I’m actually starting to focus on my blog a great deal more – a lot of autism related stuff is going up soon. Please email me if you need anything.

Is there an age limit? This sounds amazing for my high-school aged son. Thanks for this cool project!

Hello Pamela. I missed this message. Which project?

Since we now know that math skill development is highly impact on knowing foundational math concepts and language, will you consider developing a webinar that teaches those math vocabulary and math concepts in multisensory ways?

You are addressing a common and very important situation which I think is misunderstood by most people. Educators and the general public tend to believe that higher level math topics are inaccessible unless basic skills are mastered.

Numeracy or number sense is important. Basic skills can reflect the level of number sense a student has but it is not entirely valid. Understanding math and doing math are related but different issues. Students often learn the steps to perform a math topic but do not understand the underlying concept (think Karate Kid who does the “wax on wax off” but doesn’t know why).

To your point about concepts and multi-sensory representations, I have a presentation I will record as a webinar. In the presentation I address the concepts and the “mathy” way to represent the concept. If you click on the CRA category I have on this blog you will see my approach to this.

(I will email you directly in addition to this reply.)

Randy,

I have a 19 year old daughter in Massachusetts with special needs. She is having trouble passing the state math exam in order to get a diploma.

The program she is in does not seem to help much. You seem to have innovative approaches. Can you recommend anyone in Massachusetts that may be able to tutor her?

Thanks,

Hey Michael. I reviewed the state web page on the graduation requirements (link below). Did your daughter receive an Educational Proficiency Plan (EPP)? What score did she receive on the state test (MACS)? You can email me at ctspedmathdude@gmail.com .

As for a tutor, I do not know anyone. The challenge is finding someone who knows the math but also knows how to beak it down for students with special needs. If you want to email me specifics about your daughter’s situation including a sample of math work I would have a better idea of needs.

http://www.doe.mass.edu/mcas/graduation.html

Randy is a knowledgeable, gentle, passionate, and incredibly intelligent tutor and instructor for Special Ed students. My daughter loved her time and instruction with Mr. Randy. Randy was able to connect with her glean smiles, and a person although math is not an easy subject for her that made math fun and assessable for her. His documentation and ability to explain the IEP and appropriate instruction is second to none. I highly recommend Randy. A gentle soul passionate about children with special education needs that goes the extra mile. We are forever greatful for Randy!