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The ADHD Book of Lists: A Practical Guide for Helping Children and Teens with Attention Deficit Disorders, 2nd Edition by Sandra F. Rief

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5.14 Math Strategies and Interventions

As described in List 5.13, students with ADHD and learning disabilities often have academic difficulties in math computation and problem solving related to their executive function and processing weaknesses. Fortunately, there are a number of ways that teachers and parents can help them strengthen skills and improve mathematical performance.

Strategies for Increasing Focus and Attention

  • Color-highlight or underline key words and vocabulary in word problems: shared, doubled, product, average, larger, slower, difference, altogether, equal parts, and so on.
  • Color-dot the ones (units) column to remind students the direction of where to begin computation.
  • Color-highlight processing signs so that students who are inattentive will notice the change in operational signs on a page. For example, color addition signs yellow, subtraction signs pink, and so forth.
  • Color-highlight place value. For example, given the number 16,432,781, write the hundreds (781) in green, the thousands (432) in orange, and the millions (16) in blue.
  • Reduce the number of problems on a page.
  • Block part of the page while the student is working on problems or fold the paper under to reveal just one or two rows at a time.
  • Cut up a page of problems into strips or rows and give one strip one at a time to students.
  • Allow students to stand up and stretch or take a break of some kind after completing a certain number of problems and checking them for accuracy.
  • See Lists 2.12 and 3.5 ...

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