Differentiated Math Materials and Programs

Compiled by Nancy Winans, Choices for Learning

Use for Students Who Are: Visual or Kinesthetic Learners, Challenged by Math, Experiencing Dysgraphia or Dyscalculia, Atypical Learners, or Needing a Slower Pace 

See also:

Assistive Technology
Adapted Learning Resources
See Also: Learning at Home - Math Curriculum and Materials

Special Education Math Programs:

Equals Math Products

Ablenet Equals Math Program for Schools
Comprehensive K-12 program, focusing on math language concepts and constant repetition.

Making Math Real DVD and training program for parents/teachers:
Learn how to teach your child math at home.  Highly regarded program for parents and teachers, learning to help children develop concepts with use of manipulatives.

Moving with Math

“Core content presented with straightforward instruction, simple design, low readability, and plenty of practice helps students build confidence as they build abilities. Whole Group Instruction. Data from the Pre-Test is used to provide high quality instruction for multiple tiers in a whole group setting. Teachers use scripted lesson plans to reach students at different developmental levels and with different learning styles.  Small Group Instruction. Students with the weakest skills are provided small group instruction to meet their needs. Students missing specific objectives may gather at learning centers for focused instruction and practice.”

Numicon Manipuliatives Philosophy
Learn about Numicon manipulatives and program for early learners (also used for visual or special needs learners.) These materials promote tactile, visual and proprioceptive learning.  Have been promoted for children with Down Syndrome also.

Watch YouTube video of student using Numicon blocks here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0lj3Yg1TbA8
Purchase Numicon Kits here:
The only US retailer is the Down Syndrome Education Store but check Amazon for some new and used products for sale.

Click here for More Info

Steck Vaughn Mastering Math Workbooks
“Consistent lesson format features instructional model, guided practice, and real-world, problem-solving application.  Strict core content; limited low-readability text; no distracting graphics; and individually boxed problems help students focus. Books are leveled by letter, rather than grade.”

The 10 by 10 board with number blocks 1-10 arranged to form a staircase shape

Stern Math – Structural Mathematics
Program works to build a foundation for math built on number sense for children from Pre-K to fourth grade. “Pupils experiment with colorful wooden blocks that fit into boxes and grooves. The approach is based on reasoning and insight into mathematical relationships, not on rote learning and counting.”

Click here to read an article by Judy R. Birsch on the theory and practice of Stern Math

Think Math!
“Find differentiated learning and intervention strategies to instruct, challenge, and encourage all children, from struggling students to advanced, as well as English Language Learners.”

Multisensory program that uses its signature TouchPoints to engage students of all abilities and learning styles.

SEE ALSO: “One Place for Special Needs” Website – Math Section
www.oneplaceforspecialneeds.com/resources – math

Math Programs and Manipulatives for All Learners

See Also: Learning at Home - Math Curriculum and Materials

 DVD lessons with manipulatives
Popular and effective lower cost complete instructional program, using manipulatives that help the student to visualize concepts. Comes with teaching videos, teacher guides, student workbooks, placement tests, etc. For all types of learners.  Goes from early learning up through high school math.

This is a nice tool for students who need to use their hands to build concepts.  It’s a large rod with colored rings, which the user slides along the math line – for all basic operations and other skills such as money, rounding, and more.  This tool is relatively inexpensive and engages the student through tactile, visual, movement and logic.  Buy the larger one with four lines to do decimals, fractions and percents.  Also offers free downloadable or viewable powerpoints, videos and sample lessons.

Find standards-based math activities you can make to do at home or in small or school groups.  They also have lots of good charts and templates to help those students with dysgraphia, organization, and concept building, such as 100’s charts, function machine templates, multiplication/division triangle card printouts, and many more – all for free!

Montessori Math
Downloadable online color pdf’s for printouts of materials.
Or go here: www.alisonsmontessori.com/Montessori_Materials_s/6555.htm


Key To…Series Workbooks
(Also available at Kaleidoscope) Offers step-by-step, easy to follow, few problems per page, help for students with LD or for basic intro or review of fractions, decimals, measurement, percents, geometry, measurement, and algebra.

Key to…Series Workbooks: EMpower Mathematics (Extending Mathematics)
Designed for adult and ‘out-of-school’ teens but useful for anyone who needs a remedial or review of basic math skills geared toward independent living skills such as balancing a checkbook, reading a graph, common measurements, using mental math, and other basic math skills, such as fractions, decimals, and ratios.  Inexpensive workbooks.

Right Start Abacus
Right Start Mathematics uses the AL Abacus and number balance, as well as other materials, to provide a visual, auditory, and kinesthetic experience in learning math.

Hands-On Equations
Purchase the DVD, manipulatives and the booklets for around $100 to take your child through 3 levels of algebraic equations (for grade 3 to grade 9) which use a scale, colored pieces and a grid to help students visualize equations.  Check out youtube videos to see a demo.

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Visual Fractions
Online site with charts, pdf’s, powerpoints, and worksheets that can be viewed online, downloaded, or printed out – with good visual charts and directions of how to do most fraction tasks.

Multiplication Tricks

  Memorize in Minutes: The Times Table

Memorize in Minutes
Inexpensive book uses rhyming words, pictures, stories, and activities to teach the times tables using several teaching modalities.


Right Brain Math
  or go to http://www.youtube.com/user/MisterNumbers
Purchase the relatively inexpensive DVD and/or book to teach math facts through a visual/spatial technique for ‘right brain learners’.

Douglas Downing “The Easy Way” Math Series
Popular series for algebra, trigonometry, and more. It reads more like a story with clever ways to look at the material. Many parents recommend it for students with Asperger’s or more auditory learners, rather than visual spatial learners. Look for it at Amazon or other book stores.


Other Math Games Apps List here:

Eddy’s Number Party – app
Scientific Learning’s App, which “promotes math readiness skills such as cardinal number concepts, counting, and other beginning math skills.”

 Numerate   Offers 4 different activities with simple design for young learners; just tap objects to count, add, or subtract numbers (20 and under.)  Use with ‘helper’ mode or on their own.

“Classroom-Focused Software” 10 Frame Fill
Classic visual method with frames to enforce the understanding of number pairs that make 10 and adding to and subtracting from 10.

Great collection below of easy to use, beginning, or adapted online activities (free) and inexpensive i-phone/i-pad applications. Yes, it is in German but you should be able to easily understand this intuitive program.

Math Tablettap to add virtual discs and then move them between two sides to learn number concepts and addition and subtraction facts.

Finger Numbers – the user views images of fingers or numerals and then presses their own fingers on the iPad to match the same amount, in this developmentally sound approach to early number concepts.

Twenty FrameAdd or subtract within the two ten frames, with highly visual support, up to 20.

100’s Frame – Use this touch and tap 100 board to learn patterns of adding and subtracting with units and tens.

“Braining Camp”
Search their website for apps for math reasoning and basic skills.  (See pre-algebra and algebra apps in end of this section.

Order of Operations
Number Rods – Use virtual Cuisenaire Rods to learn basic math skills in addition and subtraction by comparing and sequencing.

Pattern Blocks

Pattern Blocks – play with these virtual blocks to learn early concepts in patterning, fractions, and geometry.


“Experience Math”
Using visual representations and animations in ABA form for each topic, with very little need to understand language, users can find answers with this graduated training for each operation or concepts in fractions, multiplication, division, and decimals.

Attainment Dollars & Cents
Three progressive programs with options to use either U.S. or Canadian currency: Counting Coins, Spending Money, and Making Change.


Horizon Business Inc. Math
Add or subtract coins for visual money amounts in Count Money app.   See correct placement and do easy carrying with apps for addition, borrowing with subtraction, multiplication, and division.


Fraction Line
This offers a quick, easy way to compare fractions, decimals and percents visually, using color coding to reinforce the location and function of both the numerator and denominator.

“National Council of Teachers of Mathematics” Equivalent Fractions
Interactive online manipulative for making 3 different equivalent fractions with views of each fraction as a square with shaded parts, as well as a numberline which shows the place of each fraction.


“Hands on Math:”Base Ten Blocks (and other concepts apps)
Work with virtual manipulatives to build concepts of place value, addition and subtraction (with regrouping) through representations of numbers and their operations with units, tens, and hundreds blocks.  Also offers other virtual manipulatives for basic concepts and skills, with these apps:
Color Tiles
   Attribute Blocks
    Numbers Sense   Number Balance    Hundreds  Chart
    Graph Cubes


“Braining Camp” Math
 Use their visual approach to understanding pre-algebra topics, through their interactive tutorials, virtual manipulatives, and practice activities, with the following apps:
Area of Rectangles,
  Area of Parallelograms
, Area of Triangles
, Fractions (addition, subtraction, and multiplication)
 Dividing Fractions
,  & Order of Operations


Math Galaxy Whole Numbers Essentials (& 3 other apps)
Full program of math tutorials for whole number operations, with explanations, practice, and games that cover addition and multiplication tables, basic operations including alternative algorithms, place value, rounding and estimating, patterns and sequences, word problems, time, money, length, area, volume, pictographs, bar graphs, and probability.

Interactive IntegersUse a numberline or number tiles for negative and positive numbers and then calculate addition problems by cancelling out the tiles or by moving along the numberline.

Hands On Equations  Using balanced scales, elementary and older students can build equations with a scale and tokens for unknowns and integers, all the way from simple equations through complex equations.


“Braining Camp Algebra” Offers interactive tutorials, virtual manipulatives, and practice activities for each topic above: integer tiles, algebra tiles, solving equations and simplifying expressions.

Computer or Online Programs

Riverdeep –  Millie’s Math House
Software program for introducing fundamental math concepts for beginning math students or those with learning disabilities, through visual and fun activities.

Math Manipulatives: Kidspiration Fraction Boxes Represent Fractions Visually and Model Processes and Operations.

Inspiration and Kidspiration Learning Software
Computer program that helps children and adults organize, compose, and calculate using graphic organizers, click-on features, and visual support.

Attainment Show Me Math!
“Is for students who do not understand the basic relationship between computation and concrete representation. Focuses on the four operations of arithmetic: addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, using no number greater than twenty. Each math problem is illustrated with an animated movie. Assessments evaluate student progress with detailed record keeping to help you write IEPs.”

Classroom Suite and Intellitools
Computer program (Classroom Suite) with Intellitools and Activity Exchange activities geared toward students with disabilities such as blindness, Down Syndrome, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, and other learning or developmental disabilities that require multi-sensory and differentiated curriculum or assistive technology to learn. Can be purchased for classroom or home learning.
Offers all academic subject areas. Math covers basic math skills.


Vizzle – Software for Visual Learnerswww.monarchtt.com/

Use their extensive library of images and shared lessons (or create your own) for all subjects to teach students who are visual learners, (autistic, language or learning disabled, or those who learn best with images to support their learning.) Animated click-on activities in ABA style. Subscriptions available to individuals or schools to use the program materials. (Cost ???)
Try math sample here: http://prod.monarchteachtech.com/play/a3444b92791d29cb553888380be05ae3244589d3

Karis Math
This program is downloadable from their website for a very small fee for each set of ‘flash animated’ lesson and worksheet sections.  It uses a highly visual method, almost without needing verbal instructions, teaching through scaffolding: highest visual content moving toward three other levels of less visual scaffolding as the child builds his/her ability  (and also then is customizable for each student by adding in or taking out certain scaffolding levels.  You can also watch lots of free samples online or view free videos adapted from their downloadable program (see below.) This program was originally used with deaf children but it is workable for typically developing children and those with LD or other disabilities.

Karis Math Free Video Lessons
Videos are based on the downloadable flash lessons and worksheets (see above for more information.)

Conceptua Math Fractions
Very low monthly fee for software that teaches complete elementary fraction skills in a visual, multiple-models method with visual ‘scaffolding’ for initial study of the concept that eventually drops away to just the number problems.

Dream Box Math
Game-based math program for K-5 Call 877-451-7845 for pricing for home use.

Time for Learning
Lower monthly fee for access to specialized online math learning with visual support and games.

Interactive Online Math Activities  – all FREE activities

See also: Learning Online – Mathematics

A Maths Dictionary
Excellent visuals for vocabulary, concepts, and procedures, with definitions, instruction, and/or demonstration of concept or procedures, with some practice.

National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Search through activities by type, level or concepts, including online manipulatives for all operations, fractions, geometry, measurement and algebra.  Easy to use interactive and highly visual concepts-based actitivities, created by university math program.  (K-12 activities.)

Ten Frames – by Illuminations
Use the Ten frame game to practice facts to ten in a visual way, with several modes & tasks.

Other Illuminations Activities: http://illuminations.nctm.org/Activities

Number Balance KS2

Number Balance by CrickWeb
Balanced scales approach to adding and subtracting basics.

Addition Machine - Opens in a new window

Ambleside Basic Math Operations

Ambleside Numberlines
Large, customizable (count by 1′s,10′s, 100′s, decimals, integers, etc.)  Drag blocks to hide numbers to test yourself or a student.  Use this interactive numberline to practice skip-counting, math facts, or to visualize any type of numberline (including decimals) and customize it by starting number, increment, and by ‘hiding’ points on the line.

Ambleside School Math Practice Activities
Big Calculator
Easy to use large calculator buttons for basic operations.

Move the hands backward or forward as many times 1, 5, or 15 minutes or 1 hour ahead or back, as you like to see the new time.

‘The Decifractor’
Use this large, colorful ‘machine’ to find equivalent decimals for fractions, create your own fractions, or look for patterns as you increase or decrease the numerator or denominator.

Function Machine
Play with different operations on numbers and try to guess the answer before you click on the ‘activate’ button.

Multiplication Chart Practice
‘Grab bars’ to cover the chart to practice multiplication math facts.

Funny FingersBrilliant Beadstring     Counting Machine

ICT Games: http://www.ictgames.com/counting.htm
Easy to use skip-counting machine – have the child skip-count and push the button to check each skip-counted number.

Beadstring www.ictgames.com/brilliant_beadstring_with_colour.html

Fingers: www.ictgames.com/funny_fingers_v2.html

Place Value Building Numbers – by Learning Box
www.learningbox.com/Base10/BaseTen.html Place tens and ones blocks for given number.

Apples for the Teacher – Interactive Multiplication Chart
Choose from large selection of colors to shade in values on the online number chart for skip-counting or multiplication facts practice and/or print out your shaded version OR just print out plain version to shade in manually.

Gold Ridge Math Games 
There are many great interactive games, models and practice activities here!
Coins                                                            Learn about Addition and Subtraction                    Addition Table
Connecting Tubes                                    The Number Line                                                           Base Ten Blocks
Hundredths Chart                                    Multiplication Table                                                     About Fractions Fractions
Fraction of Shapes                                   Find Equivalent Fractions                                          Comparing Equivalent Fractions
Fractions and Decimals Equivalent Fraction Bars

Johnnie’s Math Page
Automatic links to some of the best visual and educational math activities in 8 different math areas – number, fun, geometry, fractions, multiplication, measurement, statistics, and probability.  Number Concepts Section:

Math Playground Thinking Blocks
Have students model and solve problems with virtual blocks, as well as try out other activities.

Other Math Playground Activities: 
Great games, activities, video tutorials, and interactive visual manipulatives for learning math concepts.

Maths is Fun
Do games, activities and simulations for math topics, such as number concepts, data, geometry, algebra, and measurement.  Or try your hand at puzzles or use their illustrated dictionary.


lluminations: Interactive activities for Math
Comprehensive website by the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics offers extensive activities, lessons, standards and links for all math areas, helping students, parents and educators.  Targets multiple learning styles.  These interactive online activities are for K-12 students.

Mr. Nussbaum’s ‘Draggable Math’
Users of this site can do their math work on the computer by ‘dragging’ numbers into a grid  for all operations.  May be useful for those with dysgraphia or other disabilities.
Harcourt School Publishers E-Lab – around 30 interactive activities for each of grades 3, 4, 5, And 6, in the areas of number sense, algebra and function, measurement and geometry, and statistics, data analysis, and probability.

Fraction Division        Median

Braining Camp
Middle School Math – Free sampling of pre-algebra regular curriculum but with visual interactive activities (topics such as bisection, area, integer multiplication, rounding, rates, and more.)  Get access to all lessons with a short term ($10) or year long membership ($50) for up to 3 children.

Harcourt School Publishers E-Labaround 30 interactive activities for each of grades 3, 4, 5, And 6, in the areas of number sense, algebra and function, measurement and geometry, and statistics, data analysis, and probability.

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Visual Fractions
Online site with charts, pdf’s, powerpoints, and worksheets that can be viewed online, downloaded, or printed out – with good visual charts and directions of how to do most fraction tasks

That Quiz
Free online learning and quizzes for students who have issues around doing written tests – on many math topics for different levels, including all basic operations, geometry, measurement, and time.  Search for quizzes others have created.

Hands-On Equations
Purchase the DVD, manipulatives and the booklets for around $100 to take your child through 3 levels of algebraic equations (for grade 3 to grade 9) which use a scale, colored pieces and a grid to help students visualize equations.  Check out youtube videos to see a demo.



Algebra Balance Interactive
Click on the variable blocks and integer blocks to balance the scale and learn about solving algebraic equations.
For more algebra visual explanations and interactive models, go here: http://www.mathsisfun.com/algebra/index.html

Algebra Equations Interactive by Math Playground
Model and solve algebra 1- and 2-step equations using a “balanced scale” interactive game.

Integers: Model and Solve with National Library of Virtual Manipulatives
Adding integers: http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/activity.jsp?sid=nlvm&cid=2_1&lid=161
Subtracting integers: http://enlvm.usu.edu/ma/nav/activity.jsp?sid=nlvm&cid=2_1&lid=162
Use chips to make the given integer problem and then solve it by pairing any negative and positive chips which cancel each other out.


See Also: Learning at Home: Books About Math - Math Curriculum and Materials

Life of Fred
Program created by a former classroom teacher, this program uses humor and story to explain math concepts.  This program has been recommended by parents of children with Asperger’s and to those who haven’t learned math with other traditional programs. Purchase directly from supplier or from Amazon.






Family Math Book
By Jean Stenmark, Virginia Thompson and Ruth Cossey. 
Order through the museum, Amazon, or your favorite bookstore or available in libraries or homeschool resource centers.  Great hands-on activities for tactile/kinesthetic learners – building concepts in fun family activities.

FAMILY MATH <BR>Middle School <BR>Algebraic Reasoning and <BR>Number Sense
FAMILY MATH: The Middle School Years – for middle school students
Non-intimidating algebra activities for enrichment, algebra class preparation or for homeschool math group.


See Also: Math Templates and Tricks

Mathwire Templates for Basic Math through Algebra
Graphs and templates for basic math through

Black Line Masters for Math Templates
Extensive collection of templates for addition, decimals, fractions, pattern blocks and symmetry, tangrams, algetiles, thermometer, and more.

              Square Dots Graph Paper Preview


Loads of useful types of free downloadable or customizable specialty graph paper which can be used for those with writing disabilities or for help with organization and comprehension by use of these as templates.  Printable templates for graphs, numberlines, scatterplots, trigonometric graph papers, polar graph papers, and more.

Graph Paper and Grids 
Downloadable and printable templates for many purposes, including templates for hundred board, place value, triangle cards (for math facts) lattice multiplication charts, function machines, data analysis, logic grids, integer mat, and coordinate grids.

MathBits Algebra Tiles Template
Downloadable and printable template for 1′s, x’s, and x-squared pieces for modeling algebra problems.

Teachnology Graphs and Grids
All kinds of graphs and grids for math – choose different size grids in a variety of colors to print.