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 from number lines or place value charts.

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

Calculators are another type of mathematical tool. Calculators are suggested when the test is measuring a higher order math procedure (e.g., problem solving) rather than 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 have extras and/or batteries on hand as needed.
  3. Also, make sure there is ample space for the student to use the tool.


Even though a student may use one or more mathematical tools during regular instruction, 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, the student would need to know when to use which tool, how to retrieve the tool, and when not to use it.

Excerpted from Assessment Accommodations Toolkit.

Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.

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