Ep. 122: Accommodations for Students Who Struggle with Math with Adrianne Meldrum

Feb 28, 2023 | 0 comments

Today, we welcome back podcast guest Adrianne Meldrum, founder of Made for Math. In a previous episode, Adrianne and I discussed multisensory interventions for kids who struggle with math, and it was extremely helpful to parents and teachers. This time, we’re talking about accommodations for students who struggle with math. And some of them might be surprising both because of what the accommodation helps and how easy it is to incorporate for students.

Listen as Adrianne describes common accommodations, some lesser known (and used) accommodations, math anxiety, and an incredible tool that she developed called the Math Accommodations Generator. You’ll learn about output and input accommodations and how they might be just what your child or student needs to improve their relationship with math.


Show Notes:

[2:49] – Behavior is a form of communication. Adrianne shares some behaviors that could indicate struggles.

[3:46] – Teachers are not intentionally hurting your child’s math learning as they can’t control how their teaching is received, but there is such a thing as a math wound.

[5:41] – Struggling in math can take form in many ways. There are a lot of different components in math, like number sense, processes, and memory retrieval.

[7:48] – There are two types of accommodations: output and input.

[9:23] – Output accommodations are the more commonly seen of the two types as they are typically things you see in reports and IEPs.

[11:49] – The reason output accommodations are the most common is because they are easy to implement. 

[12:52] – Adrianne gives examples of input accommodations and explains how they differ from output accommodations.

[14:51] – When we focus on these accommodations, we think about ways we can help a student understand instead of ways to help them complete something.

[15:48] – Input accommodations also have a verbal component. 

[16:58] – You don’t have to wait until math facts are mastered to work on other content.

[18:40] – Semantic input accommodations focus on bigger visual concepts.

[19:46] – Math anxiety can be accommodated by gamifying content and doodling on the back of a test without turning it in.

[22:43] – There is a lot of evidence to support schema-based word problems.

[24:06] – Attention issues can also create challenges in math and there are some accommodations that can help.

[26:15] – Give kids a compelling reason why we need these steps in math. This is particularly important for kids with ADHD.

[28:04] – Some parents feel that by needing accommodations, their child isn’t being taught the same things as the rest of the class.

[32:05] – Adrianne describes the Made for Math Accommodations Generator which is a unique tool that asks questions about the child and provides accommodations to try.


About Our Guest:

Adrianne Meldrum is the founder and owner of Made for Math (MFM), an all-online math center focused on serving students with dyslexia, dyscalculia, and math learning disabilities. She is a certified Multisensory Math Instructor through Marilyn Zecher. She holds a Master’s Degree from Bridges Graduate School of Cognitive Diversity. Adrianne is married with three boys and lives in Mesa, AZ where she enjoys poolside living.


Connect with Adrianne:

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The Diverse Thinking Different Learning podcast is intended for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical or legal advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Additionally, the views and opinions expressed by the host and guests are not considered treatment and do not necessarily reflect those of ChildNEXUS, Inc or the host, Dr. Karen Wilson.