## Help with Maths

### Helping the dyslexic individual with maths

*by Steve Chinn*

**This page can be downloaded and saved as a PDF here**

**Try to use the facts you do know to work out the facts you do not know**. For example, multiply 2 twice to get the four times tables facts, or halve the ten times facts to get the five times facts.

**Do the same with addition and subtraction facts**. Use what you do know and build around those facts.For example, to add 9 to a number, add 10 and then subtract 1 or to subtract 9, first take away ten, and then add back 1. Add 6 as 5 plus one, and 7 as 5 plus 2.

**Build up your confidence**. Learn to be comfortable with an estimate, which you can then refine or check with a calculator. Take some risks!

**Use the easy numbers to help you understand how methods work**. For example, if you know that a half plus a quarter makes three quarters, then you have access to the basic procedure for adding fractions.

**Learn that much of mathematics is inter-connected and use this to your advantage**. For example, adding and multiplying are closely connected, so you could work out 7 x 8 by adding up seven lots of eight, or you could work out 5 x 8 by multiplication, then 2 x 8 and add the answers (40 plus 16) together togive 7 x 8 (56).

**Go back to what you do know and understand**. It will almost always be more than you think. Then use this to work at what you don’t understand. Build from firm foundations.

**The concepts of mathematics start early and transfer onward**s. Algebra, for example, uses all the rules of numeracy and is often easier than numbers. For example, adding up the lengths of three sides of a triangle might involve adding 37, 58and 86. If it was algebra and the sides were a, b and c, the total is written as a + b + c, which is a much easier conclusion than 37 + 58 +86 = 181.

Look for the development of an idea in maths. For example, 3 + 5 = 8 develops into 30 + 50 = 80, 300 +500 = 800, 0.3 + 0.5 = 0.8, 3a + 5a = 8a.

**Overview a problem before you start**. See if you can get the whole picture and find the familiarity. For example, when adding a column of numbers, find the combinations which make ten and use these to reduce the adding task. 6 + 5 + 8 + 9 +4 + 2 + 3 + 2 could be re-arranged as (6 + 4) + (5 + 2 + 3) + (8 + 2 )+ 9 = 10 + 10 + 10 + 9 = 39.

**Try to rephrase word problems or represent the information in a diagram.**