All children, including those with special needs, can benefit from a good foundation in math skills. Mathematics is a language. Just as important as learning to read and write, children need to be exposed to mathematical language and concepts in order to develop a strong foundation upon which to build more complex skills. Helping children with special needs develop these essential skills can be a challenge, but it is important to remember that all children learn differently and at their own pace. With that in mind, here are some tips for teaching applied math skills to special education students.

Start with the Basics

Before jumping into more complicated concepts, it is important to make sure that your students have a strong grasp of the basics. This means reviewing numbers and counting, addition and subtraction. Once your students have a good understanding of these basic operations, you can begin to introduce more complex concepts. It is also important to help students understand why they are learning certain concepts and how they can be applied in the real world. For example, addition is not only helpful for calculating sums, it can also be used for budgeting or keeping track of inventory.

Use Concrete Objects

If your students are having trouble understanding abstract concepts, try using concrete objects to help illustrate the point. For example, if you are teaching addition, you could use blocks or other manipulatives to help students visualize the concept. You can also use everyday objects such as coins or pieces of candy. Once your students have a good understanding of the concept using concrete objects, you can begin to introduce more abstract ideas such as regrouping or place value. 

Provide Opportunities for Practice

In order for students to master new concepts, they need plenty of opportunities to practice what they have learned. This could mean providing worksheets or other activities for them to complete on their own or partnering up students so that they can work together. You could also create games or puzzles that incorporate the skill you are trying to teach. However you choose to do it, just make sure that your students are getting plenty of practice so that they can master the concept.

We Can Help!

Teaching applied math skills to special education students can be challenging, but Conover’s new Applied Math Series can help. This new program teaches basic math skills and shows users how to apply these skills to everyday life. This series is 100% audio/visual based and includes simple review questions, making it perfect for many types of users seeking to learn and apply important math concepts and skills. Schedule a demo to learn more.