Disability Is Natural Books and Media

During kindergarten, my five-year-old son, Benjamin, and his classmates began learning math via “one-to-one” counting activities. Mrs. B stood at the front of the class, leading the kindergartners in, “one, two, three...” as each of the students counted the manipulatives on their desks. Benj, however, couldn’t keep up. It was just too difficult to pick up the beans, buttons, or other small items. (He has cerebral palsy and has difficulty using his fingers for some activities.) By the time the teacher was on six or seven, Benj was still trying to pick up or release the second or third bean. My concern over his falling behind in math got my creative juices flowing: I sent his fist-sized Thomas the Tank Engine train (along with Henry, James, and the rest of the engines) to school. Those he could pick up quickly and with ease—using his whole hand, not just two fingers—and learn to count along with his classmates.

During the next three years, Benjamin, his teachers in the inclusive elementary school, and I arrived at other math modifications. We realized math can be hard to learn for students like Benj who don’t write with a pencil, and therefore can’t scratch hash-marks on the paper while “carrying,” “borrowing,” or performing other math calculations.

Computer math games were one solution . . . Click here to continue.

Curriculum Modifications 104

I Love Math!

IDEA (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) Section 300.552 Placements (e) states: “A child with a disability is not removed from education in age-appropriate regular classes solely because of needed modifications in the general curriculum.” So, under the law, a student should not be denied placement in a regular ed classroom just because she needs curriculum modifications. This is one in a series of articles about curriculum modifications.


New Ways of Thinking and Revolutionary Common Sense