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Five Great Ideas for Teaching Math to Special Education Students

Empower Students to Excel

Special Education students deserve the same opportunities to showcase their academic skills as their peers. As Toni Barton wrote for Getting Smart in 2019, “… exceptional learners should be empowered to master grade-level content…While it’s important to provide remedial instruction to students who are behind, it’s just as crucial to ensure that remedial instruction does not replace standards-based grade-level instruction.”


Our Above+Beyond Learning Progression Workbooks for Multiplication and Division enables educators to take students back to the basics and quickly get them back on track. The workbook series can also be used to gently challenge students who are ready to make meaningful progression in multiplication and division.


Align Curriculum

The number of resources available to educators continues to grow. But it can be difficult to know if a free lesson plan or worksheet downloaded from a content-sharing site is going to be effective. Instead of spending time sorting through unreliable content, it can be well worth the investment to pay for a trusted math curriculum. A 2019 study of several high school English Language Arts lesson plans and materials sourced online rated “…most of the materials as “mediocre” or “probably not worth using.”


Standards matter. We’ve taken the guesswork out of aligning our content with state standards and other core math programs. Click here to download our alignments!


Engage Students with Hands-On Learning

In order to build a strong foundation in math, students must first understand the concrete before they can move to representational and finally abstract thinking. A 2008 study from REL Northeast and Islands of three special education programs found a significant increase in student engagement through the use of hands-on activities.


TouchMath makes the number a manipulative, giving students the chance to physically interact with the numeral. The Standards-Based and RTI Units include worksheets and activities that deeply engage students through hands-on learning. Browse TouchMath Select to see how you can mix-and-match the right set of resources to engage your students in math!


Support Educators

Whether they work with small groups of Special Education students in a resource room or teach in a mainstreamed and inclusive classroom, educators benefit from professional learning that is customized to meet their needs. A 2018 article in Education Week recognized that “historically, many colleges of education have offered just one or two courses on special education for their general education teacher-candidates. Advocates say that’s not enough to know how to teach students with such learning disabilities as dyslexia or other conditions like autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder.”


TouchMath understands the unique needs of educators who work with Special Education students. Our customizable professional learning seminars explore research-based approaches to helping students with special needs conquer math. Click here to learn more!


Trust the Research

Data matters. Without data, whether from formative or summative assessments, it’s tough to show student progress. In the 40 years TouchMath has been helping students build strong foundations in math, we’ve refined our resources based on what research says is effective. A recent metastudy of the decades of research conducted on TouchMath confirmed that our approach works. Visit our Research and Efficacy page to download the whitepaper!


Let’s Connect

We would love to help you implement some of these great ideas! Give us a call (1.800.888.9191) or email today!