Anonymous asked in Education & ReferenceSpecial Education · 2 months ago

How to teach a dyslexic teenager algebra?

I work as a teaching assistant in a secondary school and I have recently been working with a 15 year old dyslexic girl, 

who is very bright and has a good understanding of maths, but is struggling with the alphabetical side of algebra. Any one have any tips on how I can alter/adjust my teaching methods to make it easier for her to grasp the process a little better, and overcome the problems she faces with the letters in algebra expressions?

 I would be grateful if people only responded with methods/suggestions that they know work, i.e from teaching a dyslexic, being dyslexic or closely knowing someone who is dyslexic. Many thank to those who are able to help


Hi drip

Many thanks for your advice 

She sort off understands the concept but she is more than capable off grasping it fully with a bit more practice, but she is a little reluctant to learn because she feels “letter are stupid”. I think if I can help her understand the letters a little bit better it will encourage her to keep learning even when she finds things hard, because she is so good at maths and just need that little push to help her overcome her additional hurdles. 

1 Answer

  • drip
    Lv 7
    2 months ago
    Favorite Answer

    Try writing the letters in a different color. 

    Read it out loud to them. Have them read the equation out loud. 

    With you son we used blank 3x5 cards to hide what didn’t need to be seen on the page or paper. So he saw only what he needed to. When he first started to read I cut a hole in the card so he saw only one word at a time.  The only one sentence at a time. This helped him focus. 

    After seeing and reading out loud the whole equation, break it up. She they only see one part of it.

    Have her write out the letter, large. Then trace it with her finger. It helps them know which way the letter is really facing.  

    Or do you mean she isn’t grasping that algebra letters are representing numbers.

    Repetitive. Going over the same thing the same way.  For my son all of a sudden it would hit and he would get the eighth time we did it.

    Writing it out multiple times can help too. 

    Patience.  Being calm and letting them see that it is not frustrating you. That going over again and again is fine because you know they will get it. That learning a different way than the norm is ok and they are not stupid.

     I (and his doctor) told my son his dyslexia and learn disabilities  didn’t have anything to do with his intelligence. That he needed to find ways around, over or under his dyslexia to find the way that works for him

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