We receive a few requests every month for teaching children with special needs. This article will address the questions of parents of children with special needs who are considering Cuemath as an option.
- To begin with, the Cuemath program is not specifically designed to help students with special learning needs, and the teacher training process does not focus on a lot of strategies to help the special needs children.
- We have had a few cases where the teachers accepted enrolments of special needs children with parents’ consent after explaining that to the parent and delivered some good results.
- In general, the Cuemath program is effective across all students; however, the pace of learning and the level of outcomes may vary based on the student.
Cuemath is designed for better math learning
We believe that the way math is taught will have a long-term impact on a student’s life as they will have to use math-based skills such as critical thinking and complex problem solving as they move on to the higher grades and later to the career of their choosing.
So, Cuemath is designed to build a strong math foundation by including some learning principles and philosophy, such as:
- Focus on aptitude and creative reasoning skills along with the math concepts.
- Introduction of each topic using physical objects, visual representations and finally traditional definitions and abstract format of learning.
- Multi-format learning with varied learning tools within a one-hour class to keep the engagement high.
- A well-defined classroom code of conduct for the teacher which encourages:
· Praising only the effort or sharing specific feedback without labeling the students
· Being patient with all the students and allowing them to explore the world of math
· Self-paced and active learning in the classroom to promote independent learning
· Target setting and follow up for pushing the student effort for improved learning outcomes
· Using probing techniques and facilitation while helping students learn, instead of the broadcast method.
The program design was not specifically defined for children with special learning needs; however, some of these can probably help bring out the best in them.
Here are the important aspects that a parent looking for special ed should know while considering Cuemath program for their child is:
- The program design could lead to considerable improvement in the child’s math ability, but it is not designed to be considered as special ed.
- Cuemath teachers come from varied backgrounds and there may be a few who have experience in teaching, special ed and other disciplines that can handle special ed; however, Cuemath training does not equip any of the teachers for special ed.
- There are tools built for helping students with learning gaps and to ensure that the learning is customized for every student through personalized learning plans
One of our teachers shares this story of a second-grader who is diagnosed with ADHD and was enrolled in her Cuemath center.
In her own words:
“He has a lot of difficulty with numbers. When he joined my centre three months ago, he was unable to recognize the magnitude of numbers even below 100. He found it difficult to understand whether 26 is larger than 43 or not. I worked with him by sharing some techniques like comparing the numbers from left to right. For example, if he is dealing with a 2-digit number that I would ask him to focus on the tens first and then look at the ones if necessary. Using math box manipulatives helped in increasing the focus and also a better understanding of the concept. He can now work with arranging the numbers in ascending and descending order with ease.
He very quickly loses his focus because I guess he keeps thinking about a lot of things at once. He gets distracted by objects around him. So, I asked him to close his eyes while working the problems in his mind. I even try some eye exercises before the class to help him focus.
His mother keeps telling me that, if once he understands a concept, he will never forget. So, stay patient and keep trying various things until he gets it right.”
Cuemath works across many students
The Cuemath program works across multiple grades and student learning capabilities because of –
- Customized learning plan created for each student at the time of enrolment. This will be edited from time to time based on the progress.
- Adaptive nature of the learning tools based on the student’s pace of learning and problem-solving ability.
- Individual attention offered to each student due to smaller batch size, and,
- the classroom code of conduct that our teachers adhere to, to deliver a great learning experience.
What should you do if you want to enroll your child with special learning needs?
- Find your nearest Cuemath center and have a conversation with the teacher to understand the program features and teaching process.
- Ensure you discuss the clinical diagnosis and the learning needs of your child as explained and recommended by your counselor.
- Check if the teacher can adopt the learning requirements into her teaching process and help the child.
- As a parent, evaluate the program features, teacher capability and enroll your child only if you believe this program can meet the learning requirements if your child.
- Co-opt with the teacher to help your child learn better and faster.
If the teacher does not accept the enrolment after the detailed discussion, please understand that it is due to the program limitations and the comfort level of the teacher in catering to special learning needs. This could be keeping the best interest of the student in mind. In such a case, you can find another Cuemath center where the teacher us comfortable with handling these learning needs.
- Cuemath program can be personalized to each child’s requirements and it helps students learn math better and faster; however, it has not been specifically designed for special ed.
- While teachers are not trained by Cuemath to handle special ed requirements, we have had cases in the past where some of our teachers helped children with special needs learn from Cuemath.
- Parents must carefully evaluate the program features as well as the teacher’s approach before enrolling the child.