Making Maths Dyslexia Friendly

Dyslexia can impact significantly on Maths performance. Learn how to make your Maths instruction dyslexia-friendly.
Target Audience
This course is designed for primary teachers and lower secondary Maths teachers.
5 reviews

Learning Areas

Teaching Standards

General Description

About 50% of dyslexics experience significant difficulty with Mathematics, in particular with learning of number bonds, number fact retrieval, number operations, understanding of place value, recall of sequences, mathematical vocabulary, solving of word problems and understanding of time and money. This course provides the skills and access to resources needed to put in place effective multisensory intervention that can enhance the understanding, fluency, problem-solving and reasoning of dyslexic students.


This course is designed for primary teachers and lower secondary Maths teachers.

Available Delivery Formats

Format Description

Most TTA online courses are available with an Online Subscription. For a little more than the price of one course, you can gain up to 20 PD hours per year. Learn more HERE.

A normal online course is delivered over 1-12 weeks and is worth from 3-12 PDhrs depending on the course content and its objectives. Participants will not need to take time off, the course date is the START date only, end dates will be advertised with course hours.

This format gives teachers the time to trial and evaluate strategies and resources that can make Maths dyslexia-friendly and discuss their findings and questions with fellow participants and the course presenter.

This course contributes to 6.0 professional development hours.


There are no occurrences of Online - Individual in Australia (ACT) at this time.


The dyslexic brain

20 minutes

A short PowerPoint presentation will provide a definition of dyslexia and show what brain imaging reveals about the dyslexic brain. Participants will be provided with instructions for explaining dyslexia using a hand model of the brain. They will be asked to use this with a student or colleague. Further reading will be provided for those who wish to read about brain studies related to dyslexia and Maths performance.

The impact of dyslexia on Maths performance

1 hour

Participants will be provided with a list of typical dyslexic strengths and weaknesses in Maths and information on the impact these may have on Maths learning (PDF). They will be asked to identify a student who shows a number of these strengths and weaknesses in Maths and read about recommended teacher responses to these. During the course, they will be asked to develop an Action Plan or IEP for supporting this student.

Strategies and resources for addressing difficulties in Addition and Subtraction

1 hour and 15 minutes

This session will focus on developing understanding and fluency and will introduce participants to teaching strategies that help dyslexic students to see patterns within numbers, learn number combinations, understand place value and use consistent addition and subtraction strategies. It will also give participants the opportunity to see in practice (via video) the use of a selection of manipulatives to support addition and subtraction, in particular those from Addacus, Math-U-See and Numicon. Participants will be given instructions for making a variety of resources (PDF). They will be encouraged to trial strategies and resources with a student and share video footage of them in use.

Strategies and resources for addressing difficulties in Multiplication and Division

1 hour and 10 minutes

This session focuses on developing mathematical reasoning and will show participants how to use the area model to explain multiplication and division. It will provide methods for teaching ‘tables’ facts including use of a multiplication square, reasoning from key facts, using manipulatives, colour, music, rhymes, mnemonics and playing Maths games. Participants will be provided with websites to explore, videos to watch and instructions for the creation of resources. They will be required to focus on one ‘table’ and design a series of activities for teaching it.

The language of Maths and word problems

50 minutes

This session focuses on developing problem-solving skills. Participants will be shown methods and tools for overcoming dyslexic difficulties in linking words to symbols, recalling vocabulary and comprehending word problems. They will be taken through a step-by-step procedure for increasing comprehension. They will be shown how to develop a student Maths dictionary and asked to create pages for one with a student.

Using IT to make Maths dyslexia-friendly

55 minutes

In this session, participants will look at and trial a number of software programs, online programs and games, and apps designed to support students who have the difficulties typical of dyslexics struggling with Maths. They will be required to trial at least one of these with a student and report on its effectiveness. They will also be shown ways of using IT to make activity sheets more dyslexia-friendly (PDF).

Managing Time and Money

30 minutes

In this session, many of the strategies introduced throughout the course will be applied to the topics of Time and Money. Some new resources will be introduced (by video). Participants will be asked to design a short lesson and an activity page on either Time or Money and share it with fellow participants.

User Rating


Latest Reviews

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Making Maths Dyslexia Friendly
by Anne Wolkowitsch on 15/08/2017

Excellent insight of the world of a dyslexic. Good strategies to work on. Definitely a course I would recommend.

Making Maths Dyslexia Friendly
by Pam Newlan on 02/02/2017

I was very excited by this course, and very relieved to find a course which really delivered on its promise. As a secondary Maths teacher I had not felt well equipped to support students who clearly had major difficulties with basic number concepts, and this course provided concrete help.

Making Maths Dyslexia Friendly

Some course materials were useful for me but other stuff was not new or relevant to my needs.

Making Maths Dyslexia Friendly
by Antonio Sanchez on 13/12/2016

Very helpful strategies for teachers early in their career.
However — it was very time consuming and needed more weeks than allocated.

Making Maths Dyslexia Friendly
by Louella Evans on 05/12/2016

A very informative and comprehensive course filled with lots of practical ideas for helping dyslexic students thrive in Maths.

About the team

Shirley Houston


Shirley has a Masters degree in Special Education and has been teaching in the area of Special Needs for 30 years. She has taught in government and independent schools, primary and secondary, universities and TAFE. Shirley has also taught in several states of Australia and in the U.S. Her particular interests are specific learning difficulties, early childhood, education of young gifted children and literacy. She loves travel, reading and music.