It is with great pleasure that I introduce for the first time on this blog, Arran Smith. Arran is a long time supporter of people with dyslexia, is dyslexic himself and is chair of the Leicester Branch of the British Dyslexia Association. More recently, Arran has been making available webinars that help people to understand and tackle the challenges that come from having dyslexia.
Many students that have dyslexia may have difficulties with maths or may even have dyscalculia. We often think that dyslexia is just about literacy. Of course, it can be a lot more.
There are two areas of maths that a number of students find difficult, the anxiety, associated with doing it and the metacognition.
The anxiety of maths is apparent with many young people, the feeling of failure and fear when it comes to mathematics which can be further aggravated if the child has dyslexia or any other of those unseen special educational needs.
Comparing literacy and maths together, the English language has 26 letters in 44 sounds and hundreds of combinations of theses that making up our English language. With maths there are numbers, letters, symbols and words that all make up the structure of mathematics, therefore we can understand and see how maths can be even more daunting than literacy. Also the use of metacognition can be really difficult and puts the feeling of anxiety into the students.
|Come and meet Arran at the SEN Jigsaw Conference- Click Here.|
The concept of maths can be daunting but actually when we do maths we are using our metacognition this is all about the thinking, the knowing and being aware of how to solve the problems in the right way ensuring that we get the right answer.
Students with these difficulties could have dyslexia or dyscalculia they may have working memory difficulties but also not understand the fundamentals of maths. The concept of counting or using times tables to support mathematics can be very difficult.
These young people need to understand how to use strategies to support their learning. For that to happen we have to understand their thinking style, are they an inch-worm grasshopper or even a grass worm? (these are learning styles).
The styles need to be looked at pragmatically, so we can implement the learning of maths.
Understanding how our students feel when it comes to working with mathematics along with understanding our students educational needs can really help them to feel empowered to grow not only in education but also in everyday life.
I want to recommend two webinars that will help you as a parent or a supporter of a dyslexic / dyscalculic learner, to understand these issues and to find strategies that will help to empower your child. The seminars are presented by myself and specialists in this area, Judy Hornigold and Professor Steve Chin.
Overcoming maths anxiety by Judy Hornigold - 23rd January 2018Click here For more information and to book your place.
Meta-cognition and Maths by Prof Steve Chin - 30th January 2018Click here for more information and to book your place.
Find more webinars that will inform you about aspects of SEND from Arran by clicking here.