Hands Up! Why We Should Promote Visual Arithmetic

Photo by bady qb on Unsplash

It is well known that schools tend to put mental arithmetic skills above the visual ones, as something like counting with your fingers is seen as a weakness in one’s calculation abilities. Educators and scientists have been tackling this obsolete cliché with research and scientific reports that seem to prove that visual aids are more than just helpful in the learning process.

Indeed, visual aids, such as the use of fingers, have a key role in children’s understanding of mathematics. This form of visualisation gives the abstract world of numbers a real side and establishes a connection to something tangible. This results in the creation connections from the prefrontal cortex (main memory / data centre) to the visual and motor cortex. Thus, when visual aid is used, thinking becomes outsourced to other brain areas generating a more efficient use the brain’s capacity.

However, these findings do not mean that you child will forever use their fingers to count. Over time a mental image of the fingers will become connected to the mental processes of counting, making the physical counting unnecessary. This is proven by numerous studies with primary school children that measured increased activity in the visual cortex while children were solving complex math tasks, even when they did not use their hands.

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Dyscalculia Resources For Those Going To High School

Now I’m sure every parent goes through the stressful shift from primary school to high school and the fears of this change being to much for their child, but there is extra pressure for those with children that have learning difficulties. This is because there will always be a difference between the support your child received at primary school and what’s available at the high school. So we have prepared a list of recommended resources that are suitable for this transition period and for supporting your child throughout their time in high school.

  1. ‘TES’ is always a good place to look for any resource you may need, but this collection is also especially for those with dyscalculia. These are not just for teachers; they are useful for those homeschooling or even just that little bit of extra after school or weekend boost for your child.

  2. ‘Helping With Math’ is another good site for all your mathematical resources, this site is especially great because of huge collection of exercises available for free, and while the resources may not be the most beautiful, they are extremely useful.

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Dyscalculia: After The Diagnosis

If you or your child have just been diagnosed with dyscalculia, the first question you might ask is: “So now what?”

We’ve put together a list of online resources that can help guide you through the post-diagnosis phase. Ready?

Let’s start the journey:

Quick overview

If you need some quick guidance on what to expect and what steps to take, have a look this resource from Understood: My Child Was Just Diagnosed With Dyscalculia Now What?

The article takes the reader through nine steps on what do after a child has been diagnosed with dyscalculia. From exploring therapies to liaising with schools, to how to talk to the child itself, the article provides concrete tips on these and more issues.

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Top 10 Best Back to School Resources for Teachers

Photo by Megan Soule on Unsplash

School is here and its not just the students who need to prepare for their return its also the teachers! So Dybuster has compiled a helpful list of the top ten online resources for all you educators out there enabling you and your students to have a great start to the year.

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