8Computational Procedures for Addition and Subtraction

The child’s knowledge of basic facts concerning addition and subtraction can now be extended to longer computations. Good, empathetic teaching will always help a dyslexic and dyscalculic to experience fewer classroom acquired difficulties (rather than learning difficulties), but you still need to understand and adjust to your learner to maximise the chances of effective learning (Miles, 1992; Ostad, 1997; Miles and Miles, 2004). An understanding of place value is a key prerequisite (Ho and Cheng, 1997; Ho et al., 2015).

Our experience of dyslexics and dyscalculics leads us to think that some misconceptions occur because a procedure appears to have no reference to previous procedures or any rationale to make the knowledge seem relevant or distinguishable. For example, directions for finding your way on a journey that rely solely on ‘left’ and ‘right’ instructions are less likely to be remembered than directions which include landmarks. The landmarks make the directions more ‘real’ and concrete. There is also the ever‐present potential influence of Buswell and Judd’s (1925) observation regarding the impact of a child’s first experience of learning new material. That first experience will be a dominant memory which is problematic if it is an incorrect experience, for example, as stated before, the child may have been told in early subtraction lessons, ‘Take the little number from the big number.’

Again it is worth noting ...

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