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Happy Pi day!

March 14, 15 is a very special Pi day: the date showing the numbers of the first five digits of this mathematically very important irrational number! 3.1415 And if you happen to read this post at 9:26 you have another three digits. Enjoy the video!


Always time for fun games

Have any dominoes lying around?

Apart from playing the traditional game, try this fun suggestion to start up a conversation about numbers. Our activity, in the link below, will interest your youngsters in the number system, and can also help some older kids linking various verbal expressions to visual numbers.

Doubles and one more Dominoes

Fraction notation activities and cards: 3 activities to illustrate fraction notation and concepts


Why are fractions difficult? 

There are several reasons fractions are extremely difficult for students with dyscalculia. Both the notation, using two numbers close to each other, and the different ways we show fractions can couse confusion.

  1. When using the fraction notation, students need to work with two numbers at the same time. Not only is seeing the two numbers so close to each other confusing, the words used to ‘read out’ a fraction leave the impression it is ‘one entity’, ‘one number’ and does not bring in mind the ‘whole’ that is being divided. In fact a fraction is built up from two really different numbers and the numbers actually have an opposite influence on the size of the fraction. A larger the top number makes the quantity of the fraction larger, but a larger bottom number makes the quantitiy of the fraction smaller. This is counter intuitive to students who have just learned that bigger numbers mean larger quantities! Students with dyscalculia usually do not understand and remember that these numbers have totally different meaning depending on the place they are written. 
  2. Another reason students with dyscalulia often get confused with fractions is because they do not automatically see the similarity between different models (such as folded squares, fraction strips, fraction circles, or pizza pies) thta are used to illustrate fractions in their textbook or are used in class presentations. Moreover they are slower in copying from the board and prone to makig reversals in the numbers as well as in the top and bottom of the fractions in their written notes. 

The fraction notation cards and the symbol and number tiles in this activity are designed to show the different meanings of the top and bottom number, focusing on one number at a time, instead of both. The words numerator and denominator are unfamiliar vocabulary and do not add to understanding, so they are not used in this lesson, we call it top and bottom number. The top number shows how many equal parts you count. A larger top number makes the amount of the fraction larger. The bottom number shows what type of parts you count. A larger bottom number makes the amount of the fraction smaller.

Go to FREE ACTIVITIES AND DOWNLOADS to see the full activity. 


Graph paper is beneficial for all math students!

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When you are shopping for school supplies, think about an extra package of three ring binder paper: quad lined paper is the first and most economical help for your struggling Math student.

Neatly lining up calculations prevents errors. Quad paper can also help illustrate many concepts that are more complicated to explain in words, ranging from area and perimeter to slides, flips, and transformations and many more. 

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