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In the News | May 1, 2023

Dyscalculia and Dyslexia: Reading Disabilities Offer Insights for Math Support

by Sarah D. Sparks

The article discusses the similarities between dyscalculia (a learning disability in math) and dyslexia (a learning disability in reading) and how insights from dyslexia research can inform support for students with dyscalculia.  K-8 math coaches Elly Blanco-Rowe and Jen Gleason of Teaching Matters share their insights on the lack of systemic, evidence-based interventions for struggling math students, and how the strategies they teach, like the “five practices” approach, emphasize the importance of student discourse, justification of solutions, and building conceptual understanding in the classroom.

“For example, there’s a strategy called the five practices, which is a more inquiry-oriented approach,” Gleason said. “It emphasizes the discourse that is really important for students to learn from each other: to be able to justify their solutions, compare solutions, agree and disagree. … It is an important way to build conceptual understanding in the mathematics classroom that looks very different [from traditional teacher preparation].”

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