This approach is:
advocated by the NCTM,
applicable to any curriculum or textbook series, and
appropriate for ALL students, but necessary for some.
This program applies Orton-Gillingham multisensory instructional strategies to mathematics. This approach fits easily with recommendations from current research and suggestions from the National Math Panel regarding instruction for struggling learners. Hands-on work with manipulative objects is recommended for all students at all ages. It enhances both concept integration and memory. This approach is especially important for LD students and those with conceptual gaps. It is however, an approach which is appropriate for all students.
The emphasis of our site is on helping all students be successful in math, helping teachers find ways of supporting struggling students, and informing educators about about learning differences which can impact student performance in mathematics.
In essence, a multisensory approach uses concrete manipulatives to teach mathematical concepts. We then transition students through the representational (pictorial) level of instruction until they are able to deal only with numerals/numbers at the abstract level. Manipulatives are used by all students because research has shown that multisensory input is stronger than unisensory input for creating lasting associations and memories. In more simple terms that means that the more of the brain that is involved in the learning, the stronger the memory.
It is also true that when students are given explicit instruction in foundational skills and concepts, less time may be needed for procedural instruction, so there is not a substantial increase in instructional time. Students are able to apply their knowledge across applications and are better at problem solving. Some studies indicate that students who use manipulatives for concept instruction including at the algebraic level, equal and even surpass their peers in summative assessments and retain the material longer.
If you are interested in more information, a workshop or a course; visit the www.asdec.org website for a complete list of current events. You may also contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. or mzecherCALT@gmail.com. For workshops or full multisensory math workshops, contact The Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center in Rockville, Maryland. http://www.asdec.org