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All my best!
CEO of Made for Math
Background about Made for Math and the Multisensory Math Method
Clutter-Free and Compassionate
Radiant and Research-Based.
This is us, This is Made For Math
Students may feel like they are working with mathematical magicians, but there is a secret in our concoction of computation. It is a research-based methodology that infuses our planning and instruction. Here are seven “we are” statements that distill our thoughtful approach.
(1) We are “Ancient” – The Orton-Gillingham approach is direct, explicit, multisensory, structured, sequential, diagnostic, and prescriptive instruction. Orton (born 1879) and Gillingham (born 1878) are the founders of this attitude, and we are deeply influenced by them. We’re “ancient!” Maybe not too terribly ancient, let’s say, “well seasoned.”
(2) We are “DESCENDENTS” of Mathematical Pioneers – Dr. Joyce Steeves and her math lesson plan along with Marilyn Zecher, M.A., CALT have trailblazer the path for many disenfranchised students with learning differences. Very practically, every single lesson plan is guided by these two respected women!
(3) We are CLUTTER FREE & JOYFUL – Dr. Joyce Steves said, “workspaces should be well-organized”. These clutter-free lessons create space for joy, and the enjoyment is contagious. To quote “the doctor” again: “children who have positive feelings about math exert more effort, spend more time on task, and are more effective learners.”
(4) We are GROSS…gross motor, that is – Zecher says, “When the hands are engaged, so is the attention.” There is a strong connection between movement and math performance.
(5) We are MULTISENSORY – Dr. Judy Willis explains how multisensory education serves memory and retrieval. Marilyn Zecher has more to say about this. For us, multisensory means we are CRA (Concrete – Representational – Abstract). The findings on the CRA approach are “quite promising…(with) marked improvement in all areas.”
(6) We are SUBITIZING SPECIALISTS! – Subitizing is the ability to instantly see ‘how many.” It underlies the development of numeration and calculation. This ability to see quantities is essential for elementary as well as secondary students.
(7) We are SAFE-PLACE creators – Our instructional stance of explicit and systematic instruction, in which we introduce concepts gradually, only unleashing students when they are “Likely to experience success on their own. Our gentle, compassionate approach creates safe places for students to make mistakes and be who they truly are, a neurodiverse person with complex learning differences. Thinking about Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, we work with levels 2-4 (safety, belonging, esteem within a community), building to 5Th (self-actualization). See Motivating and Inspiring Students by Robert J Marzano and Darrell Scott.
Want more research? Here is a great place to start:
Beilock, S. (2011). Choke: What the secrets of the brain reveal about getting it right when you have to. New York: Free Press.
Berch, D. B. (2005). Making sense of number sense: Implications for children with mathematical disabilities. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 38(4), 333-339.
Boaler, J. (2014). Research suggests timed tests cause math anxiety. Teaching Children Mathematics, 20(8).
Boaler, J. (2015). Fluency Without Fear. Youcubed. https://www.youcubed.org/evidence/fluency-without-fear/
Chinn, S., & Ashcroft, R. (2017). Mathematics for dyslexics and dyscalculics: A teaching handbook. West Sussex, UK: John Wiley & Sons, LTD.
Clements, D. (1999). Subitizing: What is it? Why teach it? Teaching Children Mathematics, 5, 400-405.
Emerson, J., & Babtie, P. (2014). The dyscalculia solution. London, UK: Bloomsbury Education.
Feifer, S. G. (2017). The Neuropsychology of Mathematics: An Introduction to the FAM. Middletown, MD: School Neuropsych Press.
Gray, E., & Tall, D. (1994). Duality, ambiguity, and flexibility: A “proceptual” view of simple arithmetic. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 25(2), 116-140.
Lewis, K. E. (2014). Difference Not Deficit: Reconceptualizing Mathematical Learning Disabilities. Journal for Research in Mathematics Education, 45(3), pp. 351-396. (http://www.nctm.org/publications/article.aspx?id=42001)
Parish, S. (2014). Number talks: Helping children build mental math and computation strategies, Grades K-5, Updated with Common Core Connections. Math Solutions.
Ramirez, G., Gunderson, E., Levine, S., and Beilock, S. (2013). Math Anxiety, Working Memory and Math Achievement in Early Elementary School. Journal of Cognition and Development. 14 (2): 187–202.
Schwartz, L. (2001). A mathematician grappling with his century. Birkhäuser
Supekar, K.; Swigart, A., Tenison, C., Jolles, D., Rosenberg-Lee, M., Fuchs, L., & Menon, V. (2013). Neural predictors of individual differences in response to math tutoring in primary-grade school children. PNAS, 110, 20 (8230-8235).
Zecher, M. (2013). Multisensory math: A resource manual of hands-on strategies for teaching all kinds of learners. Rockville, MD: The Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center.