What up everyone?
I been hearing about this thing lately called dyscalculia. I ain’t never heard of that before, but I have heard ’bout dyslexia. So, I figured the two were linked. I looked it up, and it turns out they are. Discalculia’s kinda like dyslexia with numbers. Only it’s more than that. It effects people’s sense of time and space and all that. Check out this list of symptoms.
Anyway, it kinda helped me understand people a little better. Like, when I add up numbers, I just get it, you know? But if I think about it like dyslexia, that’s somethin’ I can understand. Sometimes I just don’t get words. It’s like they all a jumble, and I gotta slow down and really pay attention. But there’s people out there who can just scan a page real quick and tell you everything that be on it. Maybe those same people can’t get numbers like I can, right?
So, maybe some people got discalculia without knowing it. It’s not well known, like dyslexia. Maybe someone famous gotta have it first before the public notices it. For now, there’s a cool site called Dyscalculia Forum that’s got a lot of info and other people who’ve got dyscalculia. They help each other out and offer up solutions they’ve found that helps them remember numbers.
Mostly, it seems like if someone’s got problems in one area, they probably are pretty good at somethin’ else. So, if you’re having problems with numbers, you gotta think about somethin’ else you’re good at, like words, art, or music. For instance, there’s ten numbers total, right? Maybe you can assign a color to each number. Like this:
So, 0 is black ’cause it’s nothin’ so it’s not a color too, right? Then I started with pink, red, orange, yellow, green, teal, blue, purple, violet. Someone who’s real artistic might be able to remember the order of colors easier than the order of numbers. And maybe they can remember mental multiplication easier with colors. So instead of 7×8=56, they might think, blue x purple = green–teal.
I don’t think in colors myself, and that’s a pretty wild example, but it shows how you might get started thinkin’ about different ways to understand numbers. Here’s some other ways to think about numbers differently:
- Read problems aloud and talk through the answers (sometimes hearing yourself problem solve is helpful).
- When learning a new concept, make sure you understand it well enough to teach it back before moving on.
- Try to visualize the Math problem. If the problem is about a house, draw the house, then add in the dimensions as the problem goes along.
- Practice estimating as a way to solve problems.
- Don’t be afraid to count on your fingers.
- Use scratch paper! You may remember things better by writing them down and working through the problem on paper and not in your head.
- Try using colored pencils for emphasis or to differentiate problems.
- Memorize Math facts to music or a beat (Mary had a little lamb, etc.).
- If you are doing a “non story problem” type of Math problem, make up a story for it. If you can relate the problem to real life, it may be easier to solve.
When it comes down to it, though, everyone’s different, so you gotta figure out a method that works for you. Check out these 8 different types of intelligences that Dr. Howard Gardner discovered. Maybe you can figure out which one fits with you and come up with your own strategy for understanding Math better.
- Linguistic and verbal intelligence: good with words
- Logical intelligence: good with math and logic
- Spatial intelligence: good with pictures
- Body/movement intelligence: good with activities
- Musical intelligence: good with rhythm
- Interpersonal intelligence: good with communication
- Intrapersonal intelligence: good with analyzing things
- Naturalist intelligence: good with understanding natural world
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