Math Intitiatives -- Special Needs Classroom: Equals Bridges the Gap

Math Intitiatives -- Special Needs Classroom:  Equals Bridges the Gap

As another school year ends, teachers are breathing a sigh of relief, while governments across the country are looking to improve scores . Ontario’s ministry of education recently announced that the province will be contributing $60 million to a new math initiative, (see the full article from the Globe and Mail here.) 

Beginning in September 2016, all students from grades 1 to 8 will participate in 60 minutes of math instruction every day. Each school will also have at least one “math lead teacher”, receiving annual professional development. (  In recent years several provinces have announced a renewed take on math, including BC and Nova Scotia.

For a teacher or administrator of students with special needs, how to realize an initiative -- like 60 minutes of math each day -- for students with moderate to profound and complex instructional needs is a challenge.

For over five years Canadian educators have been discovering that the award winning Equals Math Curriculum fulfills curricular demands while adapting to the needs of students with cognitive, sensory and communication challenges.



Developed specifically for students with mild to significant disabilities, and adapted to work with Canadian curricula, Equals covers the full spectrum of:

  • pre-readiness math skills (attending, cause and effect, etc.),
  • fundamental math skills (numbers and operations, measurement, estimation, etc.)
  • and higher order math skills (data analysis, probability, spatial sense, geometry, algebra, problem solving, etc.).

The kit comes complete with over 100 manipulatives, adapted tools, vocabulary cards, worksheets and other materials. As well as web based tools ideal for adapting whole-class teaching through an interactive white board for students with a variety of physical access challenges.

Equals tech Centre

A proven, research-based methodology, Equals math curriculum has been the cornerstone of the Numeracy for All project in Alberta since 2012.  Their resource rich free website ( details k-12 math instruction for students with significant cognitive disabilities, using Equals. 

Ablenet, the manufacturer, recently published new research that charts Equals efficacy.   We wrote about it in a recent blog post. READ THE POST

With its teacher resources and lesson plans, backed by research and real-world stories, Equals Math can help bridge the gap between math department initiatives and special needs educators.

Is your province launching a math initiative? Have you taught with Equals?  Share your thoughts in the comments below. 


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  • Alanna Fontaine
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