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Teaching math to nonreaders and low level readers

I teach basic math to students with a graded 0-3 math level,  Unfortunately many students have reading levels that correspond with their math levels.  What resources have you found helpful in teaching these students.  Many of the resources that I have encountered either have either to high a reading level or are too "kiddish" for adults.

Tags: math, literacy


S Jones's picture
One hundred   I have their book on teaching arithmetic... it's structured, multisensory and not "kiddish" tho' the videos tend to be of young students.   

BrookeIstas's picture
One hundred


Thank you for responding to this discussion.  I know you and many others in this community can relate to this type of issue in the classroom.


BrookeIstas's picture
One hundred

Miss Christine,

Thank you for your question.  I can only imagine how difficult it is to find materials in math for low-level readers that isn't childish.  We utilize the Empower Curriculum for our learners but I am not sure of the reading level.  Here is a link to the website were there are some free lessons for you to look at:  

Also, I am fairly certain that others in this community deal with this issue.  Please feel free to help a fellow colleague out with the curriculum or instructional tools you use in your low-literacy math classroom.


misschristine's picture

Right now I use TABE skills book level E and a number of ESL sites.  I usually google the topic to try to find resources for this level

Connie Rivera's picture
One hundred

I 'second' the EMPower idea.  I have used it with a class that had a lot of 1st grade level-equivalent math students, though their reading was usually 4th or 5th equivalent.  I didn't expect independent practice on everything labeled as such with these students and I read some of it to them.  It is slow going and I did a lot of supplementing.  Worth it to build the conceptual foundation.

Amy's picture

Try this wonderful website:   Choose the math content on the right column and print.  There is very little English and tons of pages to practice each skill.  Additionally, I have re-worded some word problems for percents, and they work well for ESL and low level readers.  Feel free to email me and I will send you the worksheets.

Amy Frankowski

Corrections Education

S Jones's picture
One hundred

Yes, it's "drill, drill, drill" but some students love to be able to go there and get low-stress practice with simple numbers so they can focus on the concept, not the complications that most materials start throwing at them about the third problem...