Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Learning Support

What are the support given to children who have difficulties with mathematics in Singapore schools? In my school in Indonesia we have a learning support unit (LSU). In my class, I have 3 children that have learning disorder (LD), and also children that have problems with concentration. I already done some reteaching. Once in a week they will be learn with the LSU team. But I feel that these measures are not entirely effective. Please give further suggestions.

Sinta, a teacher in Indonesia
In Singapore, some teachers have received in-service training to handle special needs children. However, not every teacher has received this training. In grades one and two studnets who are struggling with mathematics can join a learning support in mathematics programme (LSM). In LSM classes, children received more attention from the teacher because the class size is small, with fewer than ten children in a class. They often cover the same materials as children in regular classes. In some cases when the other children learn with their regular teacher, LSM children go to another room to learn with the LSM teacher. In other cases, the classes are in addition to regular classes. For other children who may have difficulties with certain topics, the teacher may spend extra half an hour or an hour a week to have remeidal lessons with them. In some schools, the remedial is ad-hoc. In others, it is planned and the children have remedial on a particular day of the week.
The important thing about remediation is diagnosis. Teachers must know exactly what difficulties a child has before we can do effective remediation. So, not just remediation. It is always diagnosis and remediation. For example to diagnose what difficulty a child who cannot solve word problems has, we may use the Newman procedure. Please read about Newman procedure in another blog entry.

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