A Davis Maths Programme
All Davis Programmes are a 3 step process
Before a Davis Maths Programme a short assessment will look at your strengths, or those of your child, and any problem areas you might want to change then work out if the programme will help. A member of your family or someone close to you can be present (a parent or carer will always be present for a child).
During a Davis Maths Programme you will work one-to-one with a fully qualified and licensed facilitator. Davis programmes are always provided on a one-to-one basis and are individually tailored to personal goals. The ultimate objective of a Davis programme is to put you in control of your own thinking style and pass the responsibility for your Davis tools to you so that you can use your strengths to overcome your weaknesses.
After a Davis Maths Programme, once the programme is completed, follow-up work will be necessary. For this to happen, someone you are happy to work with will be shown how to support you in order for the newly acquired skills to be mastered and embedded in your way of learning. The most important thing the support person must understand is that they must not take responsibility away from the student. The follow-up work is the key to a successful programme. At all times the facilitator will be available to turn to for help and advice should anything seem unclear.
Photo courtesy of New England Dyslexia Solutions – used with permission
The Davis Maths Programme is an individualised one-to-one programme, typically done over 30 – 45 hours, depending on whether or not the student has completed a Davis Reading Programme. The programme, as with the Davis Reading Programme, consists of 3 parts:
You will use Koosh balls to reinforce your orientation tool and to open new neural pathways in the brain, making learning easier.
You will be shown how to use clay to model those things that cause you confusion and master them so that they will no longer be a problem.
Reading practice based on phonics requires phonetic knowledge and sounding out. This slows the dyslexic reader down, gets in the way of fluency and disrupts comprehension. For those whose difficulty with maths may stem from problems with the language surrounding mathematical questions, The Davis Maths Mastery Programme will show you reading exercises that do not require any phonetic knowledge or sounding out of words. Davis reading exercises will train your tracking ability and develop the relationship between the words on the page and the images they create in your mind.
Towards the end of your programme your facilitator will train someone, usually a parent, family member or close friend, to be your support person as you complete the follow-up work required to fully correct your maths issues. The support person may be a parent, guardian, partner, or anyone else who is willing to offer you the support you need without trying to take over, and that you feel you can work with.
During your programme, your facilitator will work to pass all responsibility for using your tools and correcting your dyscalculia to you. Allowing you to be in total control of your Gift for the first time.
There are five main problem areas commonly experienced by people with dyscalculia:
Students with dyscalculia become confused and unable to focus as they become overwhelmed by their difficulties. Using the Davis methods, the student is shown how to self-manage their stress and energy levels and given strategies to help monitor and maintain focus. Reducing and managing anxiety, stress, exasperation or fatigue are key components of the Davis programme.
The British Dyslexia Association estimates that about 40-50% of dyslexics show no signs of dyscalculia and that, for some dyslexic pupils, difficulty with maths may stem from problems with the language surrounding mathematical questions, rather than with number concepts e.g. their dyslexia may cause them to misunderstand the wording of a question.
It is important to clarify whether a student is struggling because of their reading difficulties or whether they truly have a fundamental difficulty with maths concepts. These factors are explored during the assessment and each programme is individually structured to meet the student’s needs.
A good memory for facts often depends on being able to organise them into meaningful patterns. If arithmetical procedures are just sequences of meaningless steps, then they will be hard to remember and frequently misapplied.
Mathematical symbols and processes all rest on a series of foundation concepts or universal laws, which have to be fully understood before maths can be mastered. A Davis facilitator will help the student understand the seven main concepts essential for the understanding of maths
Once the student has mastered these concepts, the programme then follows a series of exercises to introduce arithmetical concepts and symbols. These small, careful steps ensure that the student has a clear understanding of the all-important meaning behind the symbols and procedures.
By comparison, rote learning depends largely on auditory memory and is unlikely to be a natural learning strategy for a dyscalculic person. The exploratory nature of the Davis programme is a more powerful learning tool. The student is able to realise how their visual and kinaesthetic learning style can help in their recall of formulae, times tables and telephone numbers etc.
4. Reasoning problems
The multi-sensory nature of the programme, using plasticine clay, enables the student to experience the steps within a mathematical process. Once understanding of the meaning behind mathematical symbols is established, the student will move intuitively from the concrete to the abstract.
5. Arithmetical issues
Dyscalculic people often show a kind of rigidity that accompanies rote learning of a procedure that is not properly understood. Once the underlying mathematical concepts have been mastered, in the Davis programme, the student works through a series of exercises and is encouraged to explore how the concepts are applied to mathematics. The exercises are structured to ensure that the student demonstrates, through the plasticine clay, that each step is understood with complete certainty before they progress further.
The programme ensures that they develop understanding of the relationship numeral and quantity. Once this is understood the student can progress to look at ‘amount’ and develop an understanding that a numeral (e.g. 2) represents a number (e.g. two actual sweets).
Children who never develop the problems by which Specific Learning Difficulties (SpLD) are recognised, do not need to overcome the baggage of low self esteem and loss of confidence. They can simply use their Gift without interference.
Dyscalculia in the Early Years is an article that explains some of the developmental reasons why dyscalculia happens and gives ideas about how to prevent it.