On the whiteboard at the front of the room, Costa wrote out an algebra problem for her to solve:

 8x2 – 7 = 505.

“She’s one of only two people with Down syndrome who I’ve ever known to be capable of doing algebra,” Costa said. “Normally we give her a problem before she goes to bed.” As she solved the equation, taking six steps to conclude that X equals 8, he said, “It’s basically instead of a bedtime story.” This past Christmas, he proudly noted, he gave her the Rosetta Stone language program for learning Portuguese, and by March she had finished with Level 1 and begun Level 2.

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When I read this article, I immediately contacted Dr. Alberto Costa and asked him, “How did you teach her?” Simply stated, he taught her one step at a time and did not move on until she had mastered the previous step.  BRILLIANT!

Though this may at first seem to take longer, how many of us have seen students forget the steps.

Knowing that we use working memory, visual-spatial processing, language, and critical thinking skills for all subjects, join us for the Building Better Minds in the Bluegrass conference to understand how to develop these abilities in all students.