“They Will Never Need This Math”

As a parent of a child with a disability and as a math educator, I am repeatedly struck by the fact that a group of adults (educators and professionals) convene to discuss and plan how to help a child. A great deal of time, resources, and money is concentrated on that child. Awesome! Unfortunately, in …

Progress, but in What Direction!?

In the video, Charles Barkley has made great progress getting to Annapolis for the NCAA Basketball Tournament. Problem is, the tournament was in Indianapolis. For obvious reasons, in special education we frequently discuss and recognize progress. As in the commercial, there can be a lot of progress, but in what direction? Is it moving the …

Math Intervention is Packing a Suitcase

In working with students with special needs on math programming and services, a common and important issue is that the student is behind and there is a tension between math intervention to fill gaps and addressing ongoing grade level content. Unpacking the situation There is no single grade level for math, as is the case …

Long Range Planning in Regards to Math for Students Receiving Special Ed Services

Below is a photo of a hyper-doc that I use to map out a long range plan for math services and academics for students receiving special education services. Here is a link to a video explaining how the document is organized and how it “works.” (Note, the image of the document on the video is …

Slippery Slope – 3rd Grade Multiplication Word Problems to Slope in Algebra

Top left is a scaffolding I use to help students learn to solve math problems using multiplication (3rd grade). The situations are typically rate problems (e.g., 5 pumpkins per plant or $2 per slice of pizza) although the term “rate” is not used yet. The same concept of rate plays out in high school with …

1 and 2 Step Word Problems – Important First Dominoes PART 1

Several special education teachers responded in a poll indicating that the most difficult math topic to teach in elementary school is solving multi-step word problems. This happens to be a topic that is massively important and the first of several dominoes that will fall all the way through high school and beyond. One and two-step …

Standards vs Deficits and Long Range Plans

I’ve had discussions with multiple caregivers and parents recently about IEP objectives and evaluation/assessment. I think this is not only an important issue but is an issue that is a foundation for special education. The purpose of special education, as established in IDEA, is outcome based. The focus is on the future life of the …

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