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Teachers,

One of the most challenging tasks related to intervention is determining what skill actually needs to be remediated.  Understanding that student work errors and often just a symptom of an underlying issue should help you investigate the root cause of the math difficulty.  Below is some general guidance for you as you review student work samples, discuss math problem-solving strategies with students, and observe your student during independent practice opportunities.  Remember, do no just intervene at the symptom level, look for the root cause.  

When considering math difficulties, below is a profile of students with significant math difficulties.  Remember to pay close attention to your students' work samples and problem-solving processes to help determine necessary areas for support.  

Spatial Organization:   The student commits errors such a misaligning numbers in columns in a multiplication probem or confusing directionality in subtraction problem.

Visual Detail:  The student misreads a mathematical sign or leaves out a decimal or dollar sign in the anwer

Procedural Errors:  The student skip or adds a step in a computation sequence.  Or the student misapplies a learned rule from one arithmetic procedure when completing another, different arithmetic procedure.

Inability to "shift" psychological set:  The student does not shift from one operation type to another when warrented.  

Graphmotor:  The student's poor handwriting can cause him or her to misread handwritten numbers, leading to errors in computation.

Memory:  The student fails to remember a specific math fact needed to solve a problem.  The student may KNOW the math fact but not able to recall it at the "point of performance".

Judgment and Reasoning:  The student comes up with solutions to problems that are clearly unreasonable.  However, the student is not able to adequately to evaluate those responses to gauge whether they actually make sense in context.  


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