For example, some children have difficulties with the concepts of math and must use math manipulatives to work through their blocks to understanding. Others have trouble mastering math facts because of memory difficulties. These children may need distributed practice (short spurts spread out over time rather than long, intense practice sessions). They also may benefit from "chunking" math facts and tagging difficult facts (e.g., 6 x 8) to "anchor facts" (e.g., 5 x 8) that may be easier to learn. Still others may struggle with mastering steps to solutions (algorithms) and need reminders with sample problems to scaffold their understanding.
Finally, a small subgroup of children with math disabilities have severe visual-spatial organization difficulties. These children must use verbal supports to "talk themselves through" muddy concepts that they have trouble visualizing. For example, children with this kind of problem may have to remind themselves that a triangle has three flat sides. For these children, it's important to use words to accompany manipulative use so they can make the connection between what they are seeing and the concept or operation they are trying to learn. Bley and Thornton's book provides a wealth of suggestions for teaching children with math problems from the earliest grades to middle school.