Math skills dominate our lives. They are needed in money transactions, telling time, wage calculations, measurements, data collection, etc. From the moment we awaken we engage with numbers. Significant decline in math skills over the years costs students in terms of academic success and career choices.
While people with reading difficulties may try to hide their issues from others, people with math difficulties will readily admit their deficiency with math skills. Acknowledging difficulties helps to lower math anxiety and expectations. Math difficulties are pervasive issues affecting many facets of our daily life and extend into adulthood where math struggles may be more difficult to conceal.
Having severe math difficulties is a recognized condition defined in the DSM-IV; a manual published by the American Psychiatric Association. However, many learners mistakenly continue to accept math difficulties as a personal failure. Weaknesses in math can occur despite average to above average intellectual abilities and educational opportunities. Appropriate intervention at any age, is the key to overcoming math problems.
At The Reading Clinic, we offer a therapeutic one-to-one learning experience and support to those with math difficulties from kindergarten to grade 8, using evidence-based best teaching practices. Students in grade 9 and 10 who are not performing at their grade level have also benefited from the program, as focused math intervention has improved their core math competency.
- Structured, Sequential and Cumulative: Learning new information is maximized when the information presented to the student relates to previously mastered material. Programs are carefully structured and sequenced to benefit each student’s differing knowledge and skills.
- Flexible: Math instruction is paced as quickly as possible but as slowly as required to meet each student’s needs. Teaching will be adjusted with information from continuous assessments and observations of the student’s learning style, motivation and knowledge.
- Cognitive: Without learning, poor memory skills create roadblocks to problem solving. Learning to think in different ways and to look for patterns and relationships instead of memorizing tedious procedures, increases opportunities for problem solving success.
- Emotionally Sound: Students need to experience a high degree of success to reduce their math anxiety and motivate them in the learning process.
- Language Based: Math has a language and vocabulary of its own which is particularly challenging for children with language difficulties. Lessons are designed to tackle the specifics of the mathematical vocabulary.
- Multi-Sensory: The simultaneous use of visual, auditory, kinetic and tactile channels when learning new material supports better retention of information.
An initial assessment of a student’s math abilities using standardized tests, (Key Math) is conducted. A written report is prepared and shared with parents and the results help to establish the severity of a student’s math difficulties and will be used for appropriate program placement. A reassessment will be re-administered to track student progress at the completion of their work at the clinic.
Instruction is provided in a one-to-one setting. Students should expect to commit to a block of 25 sessions and need to attend a minimum of twice weekly, although more frequent attendance is strongly encouraged for more rapid gains.
Weekly sessions are available Monday to Friday.
Start times for sessions are: 1:00pm, 2:00pm, 3:00pm, 4:00pm or 5:15pm. Sessions are 55 minutes in length. Students are also welcome to attend 5 days a week.