Math and Technology in a Special Education Classroom

Area(s) of Focus: technology, math
Division(s): Special Education
Level(s): Grade 3, Grade 4, Grade 5, Grade 6, Grade 7

Math and technology in a special education classroom.

The team approached the task of working with students of varying abilities and curriculum levels (based on their Individual Education Plan) to come up with and implement a strategy to engage students and infuse technology into their math block each day: A five-day math concept that can be repeated each week with a different focus on mathematical processes each day (i.e., Day 1 – Number Sense & Numeration with a focus on reflecting and connecting; Day 2 – Measurement with a focus on problem-solving and communicating, etc.) that covers each strand of the curriculum expectations. We utilized and explored the use of iPads that had been introduced into our classrooms to further engage the student and support our outcomes.

Team Members

  • Jason Schwartz

    Thames Valley District School Board

  • Carly Hepburn

    Thames Valley District School Board

  • Leanna Madgett

    Thames Valley District School Board

Professional Learning Goals

Review math curriculum; infuse, explore and introduce new technology into the daily math lessons. Implement a weekly math plan that touches on all areas of the curriculum in order to be able to evaluate all strands.

Activities and Resources

  • Technology – explore math-related software applications
  • Observation/Evaluation – success criteria
  • Weekly Plans: Monday to Friday math schedule that fulfils all strands based on a student’s Individual Education Plan

Unexpected Challenges

Carly – “I have different learning needs at four different levels in my class. I find it difficult to do whole group work because of this range!”

Leanne – “Trying to get an idea of what the ‘whole picture’ would look like. After many hours of planning, re-shuffling the plan came together (with help from others)!”

Jason – “Direct challenge from students’ point of view was the change in their routines. By trying new ways, the students in my ASD class (at times) became non-compliant. A lot of incentive and redirection was required.”

Enhancing Student Learning and Development

Carly – “Other special education teachers; teachers with special-needs students in their classroom.”

Leanne – “All teachers who have a student who is struggling and have difficulties getting any assessments done (on all strands).”

Jason – “All special education teachers could benefit from the findings.”




The results are being shared through channels offered via the Thames Valley District School Board first class email system with teachers who are interested in reading about the successful findings.


Project Evaluation

Carly – “I found student engagement increased as well as student learning. We were very pleased with how the students reacted to the new ways.”

Leanne – “Yes, I achieved this professional goal. I now have a weekly schedule that touches/focuses on a different math strand every day. I am able to assess and evaluate my students on a daily basis by using their daily math and technology resources.”

Jason – “Yes, the goal was achieved by using success criteria that reflected the five strands.”