Response: Math Tools

How to effectively use math tools in assessment accommodation.
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Updated on: December 11, 2000

Response: Math Tools

Related References
Types of Assessment


Guiding Principles
Case Studies

Some students with disabilities may require mathematical tools, such as a multiplication matrix. Students with sequencing and laterality problems may benefit fromnumber lines or place value charts.

Various types of visual displays are available. These include arithmetic tables ormatrices, an abacus or counting board, or simple number lines that can be taped toa student's desk.

Calculators are another type of mathematical tool. Calculators are suggested whenthe test is measuring a higher order math procedure (e.g., problem solving) ratherthan a basic skill (e.g., computation).


  1. Review the test and determine which subtests or sections require the use of a mathematical tool.
  2. Check the availability of the tool for the day of the test, and haveextras and/or batteries on hand as needed.
  3. Also, make sure there is ample space forthe student to use the tool.


Even though a student may use one or more mathematical tools during regularinstruction, he or she may require prompts regarding their use during a testing situation. For example, the test may require the demonstration of a variety of mathematical procedures that may necessitate several different tools. In this case, thestudent would need to know when to use which tool, how to retrieve the tool, andwhen not to use it.

Excerpted from Assessment Accommodations Toolkit.

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