Most people have heard of dyslexia which is a learning difference which primarily affects reading and writing skills. There is an equivalent learning difference which affects mathematics; namely Dyscalculia. Dyscalculia is a specific and persistent difficulty in understanding numbers which can lead to a diverse range of difficulties with mathematics.
To someone with dyscalculia, learning and performing math is like trying to understand a foreign language. The challenges they experience are unexpected in relation to age, level of education, and experience- and occur among students of all ages and abilities. It is thought that at least 5% of people have dyscalculia. In the US, that is over 16 million people.
Signs of dyscalculia aren’t always easy to spot, and it isn’t the same as math anxiety. However, students with dyscalculia do often react strongly to activities that involve math and may become upset or frustrated. Students diagnosed with dyscalculia have a specific learning difficulty for mathematics. This is characterized by having difficulty understanding simple number concepts, lacking an intuitive grasp of numbers, and having problems learning number facts and procedures. Even if students with dyscalculia produce a correct answer or use a correct method, they may do so mechanically and without confidence.
The key to supporting the learning of a student diagnosed with dyscalculia lies in the identification and reinforcement of their strengths in understanding core math concepts and practices. The Math-Whizz Tutor initial assessment will capture this information and use it to tailor a unique learning journey for each child- delivering rigorous math content that meets their individual needs and pace of learning.
How the Math-Whizz Virtual Tutor Supports Students with Dyscalculia
Math-Whizz additionally fosters independent learning, as students engage with the Tutor in order to reach weekly goals, achieve rewards, and receive encouragement in the form of personal messages. All of these feedback mechanisms foster improved confidence and motivation for students.
Finally, Math-Whizz provides opportunities not only to acquire new content knowledge, but also to consolidate previously acquired knowledge. Students can participate in Topic Challenge, which enables them to revisit topics and content that they have already mastered through rich and engaging animated activities aimed at reinforcing prior learning.
Making Math-Whizz part of students’ weekly routine will ensure that students experience a solid foundation for their math learning. All that is required is around one hour of virtual tutoring each week which can be broken down, for example, into four 15-minute blocks.
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