Children with low math skills typically evidence skill deficits in one or more of these three main areas: recalling of math facts, computation, and/or word problems. It is important to notice that most math skills overlap and a skill deficiency in only one of the three domains has the potential of bringing down the
s whole math performance. Sometimes, we see children struggling in one math area without realizing that the skill deficit is really in a different area. When teachers and tutors work in developing
math skills, first, we need to identify (i.e. using diagnostic assessment) in which of these areas the child is truly lacking math skills, so that we target the real skill deficits, and do not waste precious time re-teaching skills that the child already masters. In other words, first, we determine the source of error and only then, we prepare a plan to remediate.
is the process of re-teaching the skill because the student did not master the skill when it was taught, or the child forgot the skill. Our remediation plan must include
alternative teaching techniques
that we teach the student to help him or her profit from traditional grade placement curriculum in the areas that are developing adequately while the child is still strengthening skill deficits in the areas of difficulty.
are different ways of doing the task, or using an assistive device, that allow the student to complete the task, which the child otherwise would not be able to perform. Children need to understand that, in handling math problems, it is not the recalling of math facts and memorization of algorithms what is more important, but the
ability to use strategies
to solve the problem. For this reason, any remediation plan that we implement should put less emphasis in memorization and more emphasis