Math CentralQuandaries & Queries


Question from Tammie:

Do you have any strategies for addressing inversion of digits in two digit numbers. For example - The student the teacher is working with will write "14" and the number is 41. She has tried highlighting, practice writing numbers, and hundreds charts and finding patterns. Help! Thank you!


Perhaps the student should be tested to see if there is a disability. If there is, then that knowledge can help guide the strategies employed. It might change where the teacher and student focus their efforts. It should change the way one or both react to recurring difficulties.

Otherwise, I am no learning expert but will make one suggestion: say it, write it, say it. For example, if the number in question is 41, then the student could say the number (forty-one), write it in symbols, and then read back what they have written.

Good luck!


This question can't be answered in isolation, or by me.

If the student has not yet put much time into learning about place value notation, it could just represent unfamiliarity; but if the student is having unusual trouble it could indicate dyslexia or a similar learning disability that needs to be diagnosed by a qualified expert working with the student.


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