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Design thinking in education

Material Creation and Design

September 2021-May 2022

The Problem:

Students with learning difficulties (such as dyslexia, dyscalculia, and other processing issues) were having a hard time reading multiplication charts in a grid format. They also struggled with the concept of multiplication as repeated addition.

The Prototype:

We created a rainbow-coded grid to make the rows more clear to students. Though they liked it, they didn't have an easier time reading it.

multiplication grid
multiplication chart  organized by factor groups

The Revision:

The Education Specialist team discovered that a more effective tool to read multiplication facts is actually a chart of each number's multiples, rather than the standard grid method.

We also found that providing the students with a number line from 1-100 was an effective method in showing integer groups (e.g. multiples of seven), which helped the students quite a bit.


The Result:

Kids really responded to seeing numbers in line, rather than in a grid form. During testing, they were successful at locating the correct multiples on the chart, easing stress in a fast-paced classroom. The number line (1-100, grouped in 5s on a whiteboard) got a major workout during our small group sessions. The students gained confidence and speed during testing, and they were finally able to conceptualize factorial thinking.

Tools used: Canva, Adobe Illustrator.

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