# Power of Visual Perception in Math | T1I S1 E10

Unknown: Music. Hello and

welcome to tier one

interventions Podcast

with your hosts, jonily Zupancic

and me, Cheri Dotterer And I

like that you interrupted me

there because sometimes their

understanding of number and

their understanding of visual

perception are not aligned.

Hello and welcome to tier one

interventions podcast where we

share with you tips, techniques

and strategies to strengthen

your core. The core classroom

that is in the last episode of

tier one interventions, John Lee

was training on number sense and

how dots relate to number at the

end of what we've shared last

time, we're going to continue

that conversation with a

question that she asked me. So

tune in and find out what she

asked.

Sherry. I don't even know what

question I have for you, but

what are your thoughts on all of

that? What are the struggles

that kids have. What are the

deficits that kids have with

visual perceptual What are many

of the positive aspects of

classroom teachers using visuals

to gain access to the

curriculum, and specifically the

math curriculum? What is

happening in the brain that is

going to support what we're

trying to teach in tier one

interventions. I'm going to let

you take it away a little bit

and make some of these

connections for us through

cognitive science and

neuroscience.

And there's another thing you

said, I'm giving you a lot right

now. I know that you always talk

about what the brains crave and

what toddlers naturally do like,

I'm asking you, like, 52

questions at once, but you just

take it away and give us your

insight on how cognitive science

matches what we're talking

about. Constantly, we were

having pre discussions about

what we were going to talk about

today. We've had discussions

about dots for a long time, you

and I, we've had conversations

with some of our students in the

past about dots, one of the dots

patterns that you utilize to

represent equation. We have some

samples from kids that we have

looked at in the past. But one

of the things that triggered me

earlier this week, we were

talking about representation of

dots in a different form. We

were looking at it with a board,

and one of the things that I was

thinking about was representing

dots on a pegboard.

We have these different dots

available. What I don't have is

one of those foam boards. I just

don't have any in stock at the

moment there at school, and you

know how that is. But they often

have this big knobby peg that's

three times this size. It has

that knob on the end, like this

one

was it? Those big knobbies are

going to be better for kids who

are struggling with fine motor

skills. What's nice about foam

is you can pop it in and out,

because looking at different

ways that we represent dots. The

other way is really a bigger

dot, but parketry also creates

patterns like dots. For those of

you listening to the podcast, I

suggest that you pop over to the

YouTube channel and look at this

segment so that you can see what

we're talking about, because the

dot representations and how the

kids represented the pattern

that they were copying is really

impactful.

These dots represented on a

piece of grid paper. I don't

know if you can see the dots in

here, but she was trying to

mimic an image that she had seen

earlier that day.

Jason was trying to mimic the

image. Was a bit of a shot. We

can see the dots a little bit

better on on this image.

You need to know what the image

was, to know whether he's doing

a good job at representing that

the images, but he's keeping his

circles inside the dots. He's

doing a pretty nice job of

representing the fine motor

skills.

This little one, Lacey, she made

circles out of it. She got

started, but got stuck on

expanding Lane looks like the

top part of it is formed nice.

It's got nice circles, and the

nice hand form on the pencil

looks like he's got a pretty

nice pencil grip. And we come up

with something like this that

Zane did, and he knew he.

Was trying to make an X, but had

no idea how to represent the

blocks and the dots. Karen, it's

almost there's a left side and a

right side. They're all

separate. They're not blended.

She had the idea, but could not

write it and represent it. This

is what happens with a lot of

kids with writing skills, the

there's a disconnect between

what they see visually and what

they can put on paper. One of

the reasons that John Lee and I

really meshed when we first met

is we have in mathematics a need

to understand and relate some of

the disconnects there are

neurologically with what they're

seeing in the math classroom.

Chris is working. He's got an

okay pencil grip. He looks like

his. He could be doing a little

bit better with his grip. He's

loose on there, but he's making

circles. He started at the

outside, so he knew he had to

start wide and come to the

middle.

He may be processing it a little

bit slower than some of the

other kids. Then we have this

one. She knew she was making an

X, but that's all that she can

manage.

And here we have one is, oh,

this is wrong. Oh, this is

wrong. And doing a lot of

erasers. That's what happens

with kids with memory issues.

They'll do a lot of erasers. And

perfectionists also want to do a

lot of erasers and crossing out

and redoing things. Sherry, I'm

gonna say something here about

Jeb, that last one that you did

in looking at just without

knowing the context, you might

think that Jeb has a lot of

deficiencies and gaps. Jeb does

have some interesting brain

disconnects,

but from this picture, you can't

tell this. And I know who this

student is. He actually,

conceptually, is very high

achieving mathematically.

Sherry, this proves, on this

one, the disconnect between what

kids are seeing, what's in their

brain, what they can analyze

mathematically, which sometimes

is a higher level than the

teacher. And these kiddos were

in kindergarten at the time, and

he was actually teaching me

things about mathematics, but

then to show that on paper, it

is a huge struggle for him and

pushing on the pencil very

heavily. So he's got some other

issues. I'm going to say,

however, they're not with math

content. So I wanted to point

that out on this picture.

Then we have somebody like Ray,

who is not

maybe the fine motor, and making

the dot wasn't good, but he's

still doing three by three

squares that he's coloring them

in. Somebody Melissa thought she

did a fantastic job. Our friend

Randy. Randy had a real

difficult time with his visual

perception.

Whether he had initiation of

tasks, those executive functions

were getting in the way, or he

really had no concept, but he

knew he had to do something on

paper. I hope that represents

and answers a little bit about

where you wanted me to go.

Generally,

look at visual spatial

dysgraphia. Dots are they

staying within the lines and the

bottom lines, are they able to

see the overlaps of the dots?

Are they able to

represent what they see

visually? And that's one of the

reasons I've like your what do

you see? Question, because if we

can have them verbalize what

they're seeing first before we

write it down, we can more

differentially analyze where the

disconnect is. Is it the visual?

If it's the visual, we need to

start there. Is it what they're

writing? Is it that motor skill,

is there some disconnect with

their memory? It's breaking it

down into its parts, looking at

it from a visual, a motor and a

memory standpoint,

we're looking at it to try and

differentiate where the

neurological gap is you're

looking at and then how do they

represent their understanding of

number?

And I like that you interrupted

me there, because sometimes

their understanding of number

and their understanding of

visual perception are not

aligned. And.

Yeah, I like that you

interrupted me there, because

sometimes their understanding of

number and their understanding

of visual perception are not

aligned, that what you just

said, they're not aligned

creates, and I haven't talked

about this yet, but that false

negative kiddo, I'll explain

what I mean by that. Earlier I

talked about the false positive

kiddo that is appearing to

achieve high does well on tests,

can mimic the notation, but

doesn't have this deep sense of

conceptual understandings when

given something out of context,

or a more comprehensive test,

like an A CT, they don't score

well there, and we're confused

as the adults, because it

doesn't match what we typically

see from them in school. On the

flip side of that, we get these

kiddos that what Sherry just

said, the mathematics and the

visual perception, they don't

align. So we get a false

negative reading on kids when

we're asking kids to replicate

or use the visual to figure out

the mathematics. Many of them

struggle to do that on paper.

That's that misalignment that

Sherry's talking about. When

that misalignment happens, I

can't use that paper form to

truly assess what the kids

understanding is in that

specific example that she had

just shown we have to be really

savvy as the adults to know if

this is a misalignment, and not

falsely

target a child for math

intervention that actually has a

separate issue, and it's not the

mathematics. This is how we

expose conceptual understanding

in mathematics by using these

dots, and that's what I mean by

assessment of watching these

kids work. We had a session not

too long ago where one of our

participants, one of our

teachers on the session, said,

is what you're talking about,

like, when kids know the answer

but they don't show their work.

And that's absolutely what I'm

talking about here. Kids that

can look at DOT images or look

at mathematics and they're

accurate, they can actually

solve, they can actually count,

they can get the answer. And we

demand that they show their

work. This sometimes is a demand

that the kiddo is just not

capable of. They just physically

can't now that's what they need

the intervention for. But what

happens is, oftentimes, we give

them this lecture. If you don't

show your work, I can't give you

partial credit, so I have to

take all the points away. What

we're doing is we're reducing

the number of points they get

based on something they're not

even capable of doing. When

we're thinking about

intervention, whether it's math

intervention or therapy

intervention, we need to be able

to analyze and work with as

classroom teachers and

educators, be able to work with

our direct service providers to

make sure that we're assessing

the correct thing. If you have a

kid that's not showing their

work in mathematics, it's

probably because that is where

they need the intervention to

help them show on paper what

they're getting accurately.

Because, again, they probably

know more mathematically than we

do as teacher,

but where their deficit is being

able to articulate that and

those false negative kids, which

means they know more mathematics

than what we're giving them

credit for. Those are the kids

that we sometimes say, Oh, they

just don't test well, no, they

just aren't seeing the notation

and symbol, and they're just not

able to replicate that. And

that's where we need to provide

the intervention, which one of

the interventions is giving them

more experiences on creating

mathematics using dots. Picture

is not 1000 words. Go ahead,

Sherry, one of the things that I

want to emphasize to the

occupational therapists that are

listening to this is, please

include the symbols, math

symbols in your therapy

sessions, explain why a

parentheses goes to the right

versus goes to the left. Explain

it, and not just in literacy

terms, but also explain it in

its connection to mathematics.

What are three ways that you can

represent the divide sign. You

have the dots on the top and the

bottom. You have a fraction

which just has the line, and you

have a horizontal equation. You

can have it with the thing

almost looks like a square root

that line, you've got the dots,

you've got just a line. And what

are some of those other ways

that you can talk to your

students about the

representation of those symbols

and make connections for

mathematics? I think I just in

my brain, created a new

worksheet for my.

How many ways can you represent

the divide sign? I remember,

gosh, we were working together.

Maybe this was back in 2019

it was, I'm pretty sure it was

before covid, and you put up

something that to this day, I

still go, I

she went off on a crazy tangent,

and I still don't know that I

fully understand it, and I

represent it often, because it

made that much of an impact on

me. And you asked me, How many

ways can I write eight over 12?

And I looked at you and I went,

give me a calculator, because to

me, I automatically know what

the procedure is. I know how to

get the answer on the

calculator.

Don't ask me, How many ways to

represent it. You did this thing

called 20 ways, and one of the

ways that you did it was with

dots, and that was different

ways to represent that

particular number, and I just

sat back

and I went, I have a long way to

go with understanding

mathematics. And I thought that

I understood mathematics until I

sat with you for a day.

But that really sums up my story

as well. I was that I'm going to

say false positive kid in K 12,

I achieved high I was always

told I was good at mathematics.

I always had this perception

that I was good at mathematics.

Got good grades in mathematics.

So I decided to actually major

in a mathematics area in

college, I started in Actuarial

science, but as a sophomore in

college, I failed my first math

class, and it really made me

question my own understanding,

just like Sherry said she came

to that realization at some

point that, wow, do I really

even know anything at all about

mathematics. So I failed that

math class, switched out of

actuarial science. That's how

much it affected me. Majored in

just pure math in college. Took

me five years to get the four

year degree, and then decided to

go on and get my certification

to teach. And I thought, oh, I

can teach eighth grade

mathematics because I at least

know enough to teach eighth

grade mathematics. What happened

was, in the first two or three

weeks of my first year of

teaching, I I thought, I'm a

brilliant teacher, and I would

give my quizzes and my tests,

and about half of my students

were not able to do what I

taught them. I was really

questioning where that

disconnect was, and the

realization I came to was I

really don't know math well

enough to be able to give access

to this mathematics. We did

almost full inclusion. We still

had some resource room for math,

where we had, like, pure tier

300% pull out for mathematics,

but we were trying to really get

full inclusion tier one core

classroom, and my we're

recording this live today, and

my intervention specialist who

helped guide me through this

realization of, do we really

even know the mathematics to

better support our students is

actually here. Live with us

today. You know who you are.

Thank you for being here. Would

you like this morning? Hello.

This is, this is a fun story.

Take us back, Christy, 1999

you saw this very young, early,

20 year old girl come in and

over the next five or six years,

as we collaborated and worked

together, you as intervention

specialist, me as math classroom

teacher. Give me your

perspective of this journey that

we actually took together, I

feel like I was in the same boat

as you, as a student, where I

always got great grades. I was

not necessarily a straight A

math student, but I could play

the math student. I could do the

math. Just show me what to do,

and I can follow the steps and I

can get the right answer. I feel

like when we first started

teaching together, we were like,

Okay, if I can give these kids

tricks and mnemonics to remember

how to do long division and how

do subtraction and how to do

different procedures, that it's

okay the kids have it. If I

write those mnemonics out and I

write the steps out, the kids

can go home and they can do it

for homework. Then in two weeks

from now, I give them a problem

again, and they have no idea.

How do we even start? I feel

like what we learned together is

that a lot of times we have kids

that can play the math game and

they can do the procedures, but

in the end, they have absolutely

no idea what they're doing and

why. They didn't really

understand the math. They didn't

have the.

Number Sense, that's the biggest

thing I felt. Was our journey

working together was, how do we

get kids to understand what

they're doing and why? Which is

that whole importance of number

sense? And how can we improve

number sense in kids? That's

exactly the neurological

philosophy neurodevelopmentally

gifted students will be able to

figure things out and understand

them in a few sessions, typical

kids a couple more, but kids

with disabilities and kids who

are truly struggling.

Initially, I had heard 60, but

lately, I've been hearing more

like 300

times you you need to represent

the number two, 300 times. How

do we get more interactions with

kids so that it increases their

memory and retention, and that

is through visuals. That's

really what the phrase a picture

is worth 1000 words mean. And

one thing I want to connect to

what Christy said is, and I'm

going to say this a different

way, but it's what we learned in

our journey, is that oftentimes

we can get kids to replicate

short term. Some of these kids,

we can give quizzes and tests in

our classroom, and they could

score very high, because it's in

that short term, they're able to

retain the information just long

enough to produce on my quizzes

and tests, but then we give a

midterm or a final exam, or the

end of the year assessment or

the state test at the end of the

year, where they have all of

these concepts all At once,

where they have to pull from

their memory and things that

happened five or six months ago.

That's where the breakdown is.

We have some of these kids that

achieve very high they get A's

and B's in math class, but then

they fail, or come close to

failing that end of year test.

And we're like, oh, they're just

not a good test taker. No, that

has nothing to do with it at

all. Their brain has not learned

in the way that increased the

memory of this content, and

they're not able to retain a lot

of teachers talk about this.

Also, when kids move through the

grades, they get to fifth,

sixth, seventh grade, and the

teacher says, These kids don't

know this. And the third and

fourth grade teachers are like,

Oh my gosh, we spent so much

time on this. We did this with

kids. The problem was they were

able to get it short term, but

without those visuals, we're

losing that long term memory and

retention.

So let's jump more into the

mathematics. If you want to hear

a little bit more about that

conversation, go to tier one

interventions.com sign up for

the workshop, and you'll get the

rest of the conversation. It is

impact

inclusion. And when I talk about

inclusion, I'm talking full

inclusion. How are we going to

reduce

pull out sessions to zero? I

know it's in it might not be the

perfect for all kids, but the

full inclusion, if we're really

looking at the definition, it

requires professional

development. It requires

pull in sessions for all

disciplines. So inclusion is the

first one, metacognition,

thinking about thinking. And

that's all of these words and

all of these phrases and these

little nuances that jonily All

the time. What do you see? What

do you notice? Tell me about

number three is perseverance.

When we're toddlers, we're

running around, we're curious,

we're doing all these wonderful

things. We're always trying to

take the next challenge. How

often does it take a toddler to

learn how to walk? A few weeks.

How long does it take an 83 year

old, after they've had a stroke,

to learn how to walk again?

Not a few weeks. Takes much

longer. When we're looking at

perseverance, we're looking at

helping them create an innate

sense of drive and motivation to

accomplish something.

When we're looking at a we're

looking at adaptability.

Adaptability is more than just

physically adapting the

worksheet, adaptability is also

a change in a shift in your

mind.

When we're looking at See, we're

looking at curiosity.

I mentioned the toddler a little

bit ago, looking around and

doing all kinds of wonderful

activities and being absolutely

curious about their

surroundings. We put them in

kindergarten. Here you need to

sit in this seat. We can find

them.

We teach them this structure

that we've created.

It in the system so that we can

get all kids learning at the

same time. I would love to see,

especially in middle school,

kids on treadmills learning

math.

There's been a research study

that talks about it, where they

were had in this special ed

class of kids who were failing

math, they started putting they

put treadmills in the classroom

for these this particular set of

students. All six students, Aced

their state testing that year

because every time they came

into math, they had the

treadmill at a low rate of speed

so they could still hear the

teacher,

and their math scores

skyrocketed, and they got the

concepts

before you say the last one, I'm

going to give the definition of

this last one before we say the

word that he is a new path that

doesn't yet exist, that Sherry

and I are Creating and hoping

that it catches on. This isn't

in addition to, it's instead of,

it's the better way.

It's the path unpaved that we

have all the research to back

it, and now we just need to take

the step so Sherry, give it to

us. What's that last word that

I've just transcendence. It's a

journey.

It's not transformation which

happens instantly. It's

transformation that happens from

this point all the way to this

point and beyond. It's that

concept of lifelong learning.

It's a concept of what we learn

today

we integrate into our base of

knowledge so that we can use it

tomorrow.

All right, everybody. Have a

great weekend, great end of the

school year, great summer,

and we resume these tier ones,

September 21 the third, Saturday

of every month, I just go in, go

into disability labs and

register for September, October

and November, the date

that way you're registered in

your login so that you get all

the emails and the links and

everything.

Hello, everybody. Happy Summer.

You.