Saturday, June 11, 2011

A Fraction A Day - Day 3 - Color Blind/Dyslexic Fractions

During dinner at a friends birthday party, one of the folks there mentioned that she had dyslexia and had problems with the greater than and less than signs. She also talked about some of the tricks her father taught her to help deal with her dyslexia. Another friend talked about how his son had eye tracking problems and how hard it was to detect. So I started to think about how we could embed various "tests" into lesson plans. For example perhaps you could distinguish if a child understood which fractions are larger and smaller but had problems with the > and < symbols because of dyslexia. One possible way to do this would be to ask them to place the the larger fractions in the bigger box and then run a similar test asking them to choose the correct symbol (> or <).

You could also use "place them in a bigger box" as a starting task, then introduce the symbolism after, by asking them to choose the correct symbol, while keeping the larger and smaller boxes on the screen to give an additional visual clue as to the meanings of the symbols.

Here are some sample pictures to give you an idea of what I mean:

FYI, I am not a doctor nor have a I ever played one on TV, but I think this may have some merit and seems easily testable.  We would need to connect to experts in the fields to come up with good tests.  In any case while far from perfect these could act as early indicators of possible issues.

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