Project Description

Math Programs

We provide individualized programs for children and adults to develop and improve math skills. Much of what we do is driven by the student’s math curriculum. Our philosophy is to move from concrete to representational to abstract. We also help students create strategy notebooks for reference. These are like math recipe books and contain algorithms for the skills they have learned. For example, a student might have a page in the strategy notebook devoted to adding fractions with unlike denominators.

Multisensory Math

Commonwealth Learning Center is delighted to offer Multisensory Math (MSM), a hands-on approach to math instruction based on Orton-Gillingham principles and practices.

Highlights of MSM:

  • Multisensory instruction engages all learning pathways—visual, auditory, and kinesthetic-tactile. Simultaneously targeting multiple neural pathways enhances memory and retention.
  • Diagnostic and prescriptive teaching ensures that individual needs are continuously assessed and met. Pacing is aligned in accordance with the individual student’s processing speed, and content is presented and reviewed to automaticity.
  • Concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) is the fundamental instructional sequence. Concepts are introduced with manipulatives so as not to teach math procedurally. The concrete stage is hands-on and three-dimensional, activating the kinesthetic-tactile pathways through gross motor activities. The representational stage reinforces the concrete experience through images of concrete objects or abstract shapes. Last in the instructional sequence, the abstract stage introduces abstract symbols to depict quantities, and students learn computations to solve problems.
  • Large sequential activities are broken into small steps in order to accommodate working memory. Working memory is what allows us to store and manage information for easy retrieval.
  • Keywords are used for cuing—a strategy that helps facilitate retrieval of knowledge for application.
  • Rhythmic repetition is incorporated into instruction so as to cement concepts in memory.
  • Graphic organizers are used to boost visual memory and to aid in recall.
  • Morphology is directly and explicitly taught, enhancing understanding of vocabulary and concepts.
  • Visual dictionaries (definitions and illustrations) are created to further solidify vocabulary.

In-person MSM instruction is available only at our Needham location. Virtual instruction is available for all students. Contact CLC Needham to register. We are welcoming students in kindergarten through pre-algebra.

The Landmark Method for Teaching Arithmetic

Children with learning disabilities are not necessarily deficient in mathematics due to an inability to grasp spatial tasks or estimate quantity. Their difficulties often lie in language dysfunction. These language-based problems often preclude them from effectively developing mathematical abilities.

The Landmark Method for Teaching Arithmetic utilizes direct presentation of math grammar and encourages students to speak in complete sentences, to convey an entire thought, and to develop a consistent rehearsal pattern for math facts.

Students who benefit from direct presentation of math grammar are often those who have expressive language problems. These students typically provide one or two word answers to problems. This program helps students with language-based learning disabilities create math sentences and engage in class discussions.

Copyright © 1995 Landmark School, Inc. and Christopher Woodin

Advanced Math

Instruction for pre-algebra, Algebra I and II, and geometry are available. Instruction is suitable for secondary school students preparing for college entrance examinations.

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