Well, tomorrow is back to the class time. And even though most of the county is gripped by a Polar Vortex (learn something new every day), kids will be back to school, back to their routines, back to learning and being assessed. I spend most of my teaching time with the special needs learner, which is the work that is the most rewarding and challenging. The best part of it is, it’s never boring. The special learner is a student with dyslexia, ADHD, ADD, gifted, whatever the label. It’s a student that learns different, big picture or detail oriented, all these students have one thing in common, they like playing games. Games, especially in math centers, between two of three friends are not stressful. Teachers and research find the lack of multiplication is the major cause of decline in math achievement across student groups. Without solid foundation of time tables, students are not able to successfully master math, starting with grade 3.
The instruction of time tables has been an instruction of extreme drill and kill to allowing students to enter grade 6 without fully mastering the time tables. With the introduction of the common core standards, this wide gap is being closed. Students are expected to master the time tables in grade 3, ready or not. And since neither of the extreme instruction approach has worked, teachers are trying to supplement their instruction with material that falls somewhere in between two extremes.
I use the Pierce Learning Method which uses a multi-sensory games approach, supported by the latest brain research and learning theories. Students learn time tables through play. Games are visually designed to appeal to special learners, and the chunking of the material is created to support short term memory, comprehension, and prevention of cognitive overload.
The learning material emphasizes patterns and order, free from distracting images and/or borders.
Mrs. Lena, M. Ed., M.A.