MEMORIZING FACTS: A Multi-Sensory Solution
TO MEMORIZE FACTS: The student is to learn all dates, formulas, terms, and name spellings, etc. in the SAND TRAY ("memory box"). Student must trace the information in the sand, while verbalizing about it in rhymes, when possible, & mentally picturing it at the same time. 4 or more repetitions are required.
Student should then progress to "sky writing" to learn the same information using muscle memory. Student horizontally extends writing arm out in front of self, making a fist. Be sure NOT to bend the elbow. The opposite hand is used to weigh down the shoulder of the extended arm. (An aerobic weight may also be worn on the extended wrist.) In large sweeping motions, the student writes the information in the air with fisted hand and unbent elbow, while verbalizing about it and mentally picturing it with the eyes open. 4 Repetitions.
Then the same information is traced on the skin while verbalizing & visualizing. Try the inside of the arm or top of the thigh. 4 repetitions. This step can also be done with the tracing finger on a table top.
This 3-step approach has stored the information in several parts of the brain: namely those areas that store information received from touch stimuli, muscle movement, motion, direction, mental images, and auditory and visual stimuli.
To retrieve information, encourage the student to trace on skin or table top to trigger recall, until automaticity is achieved.
PRIVATE AREA FOR MEMORY EXERCISES: The student should be given a quiet, private area to do memory exercises. Family rules should be established so that no one is allowed to interrupt. School and studying are very stressful for the learning disabled. The techniques they must employ to store information in long-term memory and retrieve it are unusual and embarrassing to them. Their privacy and ability to concentrate must be guarded.
(3) For each student, the teacher must assess the existence and extent of math-readiness skills. Non-mathematical in nature, mastery of these seven skills is essential for learning the most basic math concepts (Sharma 1989).
The seven prerequisite math skills are:
(1)The ability to follow sequential directions;
(2) A keen sense of directionality, of one's position in space, and of spatial orientation and organization;
(3) Pattern recognition and extension;
(4) Visualization- key for qualitative students- is the ability to conjure
up and manipulate mental images;
(5) Estimation- the ability to form a reasonable educated guess about size, amount, number, and magnitude;
(6) Deductive reasoning- the ability to reason from the general principle to a particular instance;
(7) Inductive reasoning- natural understanding that is not the result of conscious attention or reason, easily seeing patterns in situations, and interrelationships between procedures and concepts (Sharma 1989).
(4) Teachers must teach math as a second language that is exclusively bound to the symbolic representation of ideas. The syntax, terminology, and translation from English to math language, and math to English must be directly and deliberately taught.
Signs and Symptoms