Helping Language-Impaired Students with Math Trouble

Categories: /
Age Group: /
Resouce Types:

1. Problems aren’t worded exactly the same (Child doesn’t understand the questions)

  • Do lessons on common synonyms in math problems (like “sum”, “plus”, “addition”, “more” etc)
  • Show the child how to dissect a math problem and write it as an equation using the synonyms you taught her
  • Give the child a cheat sheet of common synonyms and have him practice word problems using the cheat sheet (or have the child create her own)
  • Give the child a math problem in the simplest language possible (like 3 + 5), then find another way to word the same problem (like “if you have 3 apples and I give you 5 more, how many do you have?”).  Keep continuing to practice the same problem but demonstrate all of the different ways it can be said
  • When learning a new math skill, demonstrate it using as many different terms and descriptions as possible (once the child understands the basic concept)

2. Child forgets the terms and math vocabulary

  • Do quizzes for math terms (just like spelling words or other new vocabulary).  Have the student match the terms to the visual examples of the problems (flashcards or a memory game would be good)
  • Do “quick draw” quizzes where you hold up an example of a math term and give the child two choices of what it’s called (is this a fraction or a whole number?)
  • Help the child create a cheat sheet of the different types of math terms (with visual or written examples) and let him use it during math assignments for a while
  • Use the term many times during demonstrations and explanations and have the child use the term in complete sentences to describe what he’s doing