Differentiating Math Instruction
For Students with Disabilities
Common Skill Deficits
 Remembering math facts, steps in problem solving, complex rules, and formulas.
 Understanding the meaning of math facts, operations, and formulas.
 Understanding why problem solving steps are needed and how rules and formulas affect numbers and the problems solving process.
 Solving problems quickly and efficiently.
 Focusing attention on details and accuracy.
 Becoming lost in the problem solving process.
 Making errors because of handwriting problems.
 Mentally computing answers.
 Applying math skills in new problemsolving situations.
 Remembering and following multistep instructions.
 Making logical leaps in problem solving based on previous learning.
 Inability to find the important information and/or choose the right problem solving strategy to correctly solve word problems.
 Inability to find errors in their own work or to identify mistakes they made in solving the problem.
 Understanding math terms.
Recommended Instructional Methods for K~12 General Education Teachers
 Teach students using explicit instruction on a regular basis.
Teach students using multiple instructional examples.
Have students verbalize decisions and solutions to a math problem.
Teach students to visually represent the information in the math problem.
Teach students to solve problems using multiple/heuristic strategies.
Provide ongoing formative assessment data and feedback to teachers.
Provide peerassisted instruction to students.
Strategies for K~12 General Education Teachers
Beginning Math
 Teach early number concepts and strategies for counting.
 Reinforce onetoone correspondence.
 Introduce geometry concepts in the early years.
Addition & Subtraction/Multiplication & Division
 Provide direct teaching for basic number and operation concepts (countbys).
 Provide manipulatives (beads, buttons, dried beans, number lines, calculators, base10 blocks, stencils, copying over dashedline numbers).
 Teach vocabulary concepts through direct teaching, verbal elaboration and mnemonic strategies.
 Promote memory of basic facts through direct teaching, increased learning time, peer tutoring, specialized software (Math Blaster) and independent study strategies (Touch Math, flashcards).
Problem Solving
 Promote use of word meanings.
 Sequence instruction that progresses from concrete to semiconcrete to abstract.
 Provide specific cognitive problemsolving strategies such as sevenstep selfmonitoring (Read, Paraphrase, Visualize, Hypothesize, Estimate, Compute, Check or Read, Think, Decide, Write, Do, Label, Check) , clue words, highlighting, imagery and pictures.
Money & Time
 Can be enforced by direct teaching, increased practice of coin recognition, use of manipulatives, use of models and by providing careful sequence of skills.
Fractions & Decimals
 Initial teaching should involve students' own experiences (cookies, pizzas, pies)
 Provide appropriate manipulative materials (fraction flip charts, decimal squares) and selfmonitoring strategies.
Area & Volume Concepts
 Provide visual and threedimensional representations.
 Teach the "big ideas".
Algebra
 Provide early concept development.
 Teach algebraic representations early.
 Teach strategies for computation, solving quadratic equations and problemsolving.
 Provide manipulatives such as algebra tiles.
 Teach using mnemonics.
Time
 Provide manipulatives such as clocks.
 Teach vocabulary through direct teaching.
Functional Math (Daily Living)
 Use appropriate methods and materials.
 Reference to "Real Life" skills such as calendar, writing checks, keeping checking and savings account, paying bills, etc.
 May need to provide small group instruction.
For Students who Receive Special Education Services
Virtual Mathematics
National Library of Virtual ManipluativesProvides interactive online math lessons!  National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)Provides math activities, standards and web links!  APPSBelow is a list of apps that can provide supplemental practice!

National Library of Virtual Manipluatives
Provides interactive online math lessons!
National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (NCTM)
Provides math activities, standards and web links!
APPS
Below is a list of apps that can provide supplemental practice!
 Khan Academy
 My Flash Card (Power Math Apps)
 Math Flash Cards (Robert King)
 Time, Money & Fractions (School Zone Publishing)
 YourTeacher.com (Classmate L.L.C.)
 Everyday Mathematics: Name that Number (McGraw Hill)
 Motion Math: Hungry Fish (Motion Math, Inc)
Resource/Reference List

Mastropieri, M., & Scruggs, T. (2014) Teaching Students with LowerIncidence Disabilities. In The Inclusive Classroom: Strategies for Effective differentiated Instruction (5th ed., Chapter 15). Pearson education
 http://www.centeroninstruction.org/files/Mathematics%20Instruction%20LD%20Guide%20for%20Teachers.pdf
 http://www.pacer.org/parent/php/PHPc49.pdf
 http://www.learnnc.org/lp/multimedia/19117
 http://learningdisabilities.about.com/od/mathstrategies/qt/comnmathprobs.htm
Kristyn Hall
SPED 6002~Summer 2015
East Carolina University