We Begin Again
For those of you who are following this blog through the public sphere, this may seem a bit disconcerting. This blog is offered for the Multisensory Math Class offered by The Multisensory Training Institute of The Atlantic Seaboard Dyslexia Education Center.
We generally offer fall, winter, spring and summer classes. When we begin a new class, the blog is erased and we begin again. Some of the blog entries...many in fact...will be recycled. New ones are always added and the course becomes infused with both foundation material and new thinking.
For those of you just beginning a new class.....
Welcome to Multisensory Math I. This course was filmed as a thirty hour, one week summer intensive course in 2017. I try to re-film the course about every two years. For this class participants met every day for six hours of instruction. The format of the course includes two morning and two afternoon sessions with mid- morning and mid-afternoon breaks. Section times vary because of class participation and the need for continuity but each segment basically lasts about one hour and fifteen to thirty minutes. Thus we have four segments per day listed as Day 1A, Day1 B, Day 1 C and Day 1 D etc.
1. Get to Know Your Manual
2. Access the Blog DAILY for the first week. Information will be posted HERE – Later weekly groups of blog postings will go up at once time.
3. Access Your Content and Begin with Video Day 1, Segment 1-
4. Handouts for All Powerpoint presentations are in the back of your manual.
You should begin with video Day 1 Part 1. The color handout to accompany the power point presentation is in the back of the course manual.
The initial day of instruction is the overview. It is essential that you view the entire first day's videos before viewing later segments. Please do not skip around in the video sequence. In this first day's content, you will learn the evidence for the methodology described. You will be introduced to the instructional sequence and the rationale for using this instructional approach. You will also be given information about why this approach is appropriate for all students but essential for some. Sometimes the class is engaged in an activity. Keep in mind that you should be participating in the same activity when there is a pause. You should be using manipulatives along with the class participants. You only learn by doing.
This program is based on several principles. It began as an approach to mathematics truly based on the Orton-Gillingham multisensory instructional methodology. Later, this course was informed by imaging studies of how math is processed in the human brain. The research of scientists such as Stanislas Dehaene and Brian Butterworth became guiding forces. The ASDEC course is also aligned with recommendations from the NCTM (the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics), UDL (Universal Design for Learning) and the Common Core State Standards. Finally, you will also see evidence of the study skill work of Donald Deshler and his colleagues at the University of Kansas.
The Multisensory Math Program is unique, not because it uses manipulatives or is concept focused - though it does and it is; the program is unique because of the way it emphasizes instructional language and weds the language to the math in such a way as to make the math accessible to all students. It is the Orton-Gillingham based multisensory component that sets this program apart from others. That said, the Multisensory Math approach is adaptable to any curriculum, textbook or program. It is a different way of thinking about teaching math and it demonstrates an effective model for classroom or individual instruction, for initial introductions or filling the gaps in students who are "instructional casualties" of procedural instruction.
Some of you are aware that the math manual you received is a new, updated version. I spent six weeks in 2014 rewriting original content, confirming all sources, citing references and articulating the applications I have developed for this course. The manual is, I believe tighter, and the new front matter in each section clearly explains the rationale for the approach. The manual was edited with the help of professionals in several fields including academic language therapy, neuropsychology, math and the law. Ultimately, it took a dedicated parent to complete the job.
It is my hope that each of you will read the blog, respond with questions or observations about the strategies, respond to each other and also relate your experiences about teaching math. If you try something from the course with students or your own child, let us know of the results. Pay particular attention to the instructional language. Please try to interact by using the blog. If you are working toward certification or may consider doing so, make an extra effort to respond via this medium.
I look forward to hearing from each of you. Expect several blog postings per week, sometimes several posted in a day. Daily this week I will post a blog about materials, manipulatives assignments, readings that you will want to have on hand.
The Multisensory Math Team looks forward to reading your comments, meeting you via Zoom Video conferences and helping you help others enjoy the beauty of math.
Marilyn Zecher, M.A., CALT, Instructor