# Building Cognitive Skills & Numeracy

## Treating The Underlying Source of Math Difficulty

Math is often the first true test of a child’s learning ability. It requires the ability to listen accurately and to think in an abstract way. It requires a range of cognitive skills that for many children are not fully developed. Our unique math approach — cognitive software for math along with curriculum-aligned instruction — meets this source of math frustration head on.

These skills include working memory to capture a math problem in one’s mind before solving it, sequencing to be able to comfortably manage the steps towards solving a question in the right order, and thinking while listening.

The key to math proficiency is numeracy. If a child does not truly get numbers, but rather has memorized methods to solve different equations, each new math area will be a challenge. Numeracy is the equivalent of literacy — it is a deep understanding of math that requires fully developed cognitive skills.

Cognitive skills can be learned. The brain is like a muscle — cognitive and other learning skills will improve with the appropriate exercise. With respect to math, Gemm Learning uses two cognitive software programs for math to strengthen underlying skills to make math easier: Fast ForWord and BrainWare Safari.

## Fast ForWord

Fast ForWord builds the foundations to all learning, Learning MAPS – working Memory, Attention, Processing and Sequencing. Here’s how these skills apply to math:

**Working Memory**— the ability to retain and manipulate numbers is the key to solving math equations.**Attention**— math is abstract and the logic involves multiple steps. Focus is essential.**Processing**– children need to think while listening, requiring efficient language processing skills.**Sequencing**— there is a step by step logic to understanding a lot of math concepts and a sequence of operations to solving most equations.

Our program includes either 2 months of Fast ForWord or completion of one cognitive program, whichever takes longer.

## BrainWare Safari

BrainWare Safari is cognitive software for math that helps the visual processing aspects. It works on a number of cognitive skills around critical numeracy-promoting themes:

**Visual processing**— this covers selective attention, discrimination, visualization, pattern recognition and other essential math skills.**Memory**— improvements in working memory, short- and long-term memory in visual and auditory modes help make math learning progress sticky.**Cognitive loading**— the ability to multi-task (for instance, write and listen) using exercises that force the brain to automate cognitive tasks, i.e., perform them subconsciously.

Here is a summary of the Cognitive Skills Developed by BrainWare.

## How It Works

Our professionals will create an individualized protocol to meet your child’s needs and goals, which will include one of the these two programs — Fast ForWord or BrainWare — that aim to resolve the cognitive impediments to progress, along with online self-paced math curriculum and in some cases, math fact fluency exercises.