IDA-Houston’s Annual Conference

IDA-Houston’s Annual Conference

The Houston Branch of the International Dyslexia Association presents

Reading, Literacy and Learning
2011 Annual Conference
Saturday, March 5, 2011
8:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m.

David Berg, founder and director of the Making Math Real Institute, will be presenting “Making Math Real: The Comprehensive, Evidenced-Based Multisensory-Structured Methodology for Pre-K – 12 Math LD and All Processing Styles, Consistent with Research from Cognitive Science and Neurobiology” at the Houston Branch of the International Dyslexia Association’s Annual Conference in Houston, Texas on March 5, 2011

To Register:
To Download Flyer:  Registration Flyer

Making Math Real Presentation Description:
Research in cognitive science and neurobiology within the last several years indicates a strong connection linking the parietal, temporal, and frontal lobes as the source for successful math development (Dehaene, Piazza, Pinel, & Cohen, 2003; Dehaene, Molko, Cohen, & Wilson, 2004; Geary, 2006; Rusconi, Walsh, & Butterworth, 2005; von Aster, & Shalev, 2007; Goldin-Meadow, 2003; Tsang, Dougherty, Deutsch, Wandell, & Shachar, 2009; and others). According to research, activation and integration of the parietal lobe, referred to as the “math brain,” and the temporal lobe, referred to as the “language brain,” must be established (Dehaene, et al., 2003). In addition, finger gnosis (knowledge) in the form of gesture and direct hands-on experience of math shows strong indications of providing the early integration of mathematics in the body via activation of the left angular gyrus in the parietal lobe (Goldin-Meadow, 2003; Noel, 2005).  Furthermore, successful mathematics development requires distinct interventions for approximate math and exact mathematics.  Current research presents good evidence of frontoparietal connections for approximate math, while exact mathematics requires language involvement and therefore, parietal-temporal integration (Dehaene, et al., 2003; Tsang, et al., 2009).

The focus of this presentation is on providing participants with hands-on, manipulatives-based, multisensory-structured methods, consistent with current research in neurobiology and cognitive science that are ready for educators’ immediate application with students.


1.    Pedagogical foundations and research basis from cognitive science and neurobiology:

  • Finger gnosis: how math is first integrated in the body
  •  The development of numeracy: how the brain does math
  • Repetition vs. Comprehension – separate pathways – temporal to frontal
  • Approximate vs. exact math – separate pathways – parietal to frontal and parietal-temporal, respectively
  • Parietal-temporal integration: the double language pathway, the angular gyrus, and the crucial importance of comprehension – not rote learning

2.    Connecting research to practice:

  • The two Strands: Concept-Procedure Integration and Sensory-Cognitive Development for developing numeracy
  • The role of systematic and incremental multisensory structures
  • Concrete to abstract defined: systematically connecting the hands-on, concrete reality of the math to its specific reconstruction in abstract symbolic form
  • Integrity of incrementation
  • Mental organizing structures for exact and approximate math

3.   Decoding and encoding in math:

  • Scientific basis of math and the origins of the codes
  • Decoding and encoding: focus on comprehension and integration – not rote
  • The differences between decoding and encoding in math and decoding and encoding in reading
  • In math, each new content area introduces a new code, and sometimes, new codes contradict previous codes

4.   The Rules of Mathematics: the consistent connections for K-12 math:

  • The connected K-12 architecture in support of the integration of “Math Law” and “Algebraic Law”
  • Within the correct mathematical architecture, all content we are currently teaching has profound connections to future mathematical content
  • Decoding and encoding linear equations: y = mx + b
  • The exponent code: why any base to the power of 0 always equals 1
  • Decoding and encoding the inequality sign
  • The transformation to 10
  • The definition of the 0 placeholder in standard form and its specific function in all other number forms
  • Transforming decimals to percents

5.  Executive function, working memory and mathematical processing:

  •  Developing cognitive tools for math:
    1.  Symbol imaging for numbers
    2.  Detail analysis
    3.  Sequential processing
    4.  Executive function
    5.  Working memory
  • Concrete to abstract directly supports processing
  • Successful processing increases working memory, long-term retention, and executive function
  • Guaranteeing successful processing: Berg’s Taxonomy for MMR:
    1.  Content
    2.  Structure
    3.  Incrementation
    4.  Sequence
    5.  Language
    6.  Gestures
    7.  Management
    8.  Rapport


Brain structure and function
1.    Davis N, CJ Cannistraci, BP Rogers, JC Garen, LS Fuchs, AW Anderson and JC Gore, 2009.  The neural correlates of calculation ability in children: an fMRI study. Magnetic Resonance Imaging 27: 1187-97
2.    Dehaene, S, M. Piazza, P. Pinel, and L. Cohen. 2003.  Three parietal circuits for number processing.  Cognitive Neuropsychology 20(3-6); 487-506
3.    Dehaene, S., N. Molko, L. Cohen and A. J. Wilson, 2004, Arithmetic and the brain, Current Opinion in Neurobiology 14; 218–224
4.    Izard, V., P. Pica, E. S. Spelke and S. Dehaene, 2008.  Exact equality and successor function: two key concepts on the path towards understanding exact numbers. Philosophical Psychology, 21(4); 491-505
5.    Kucian K, von Aster M, Leonneker T, Dietrich T, 2008.  Development of neural networks for exact and approximate calculation: a fMRI study.  Dev Neuropsychol. 33(4):447-73
6.    Rusconi, E., Walsh V., and B. Butterworth, 2005.  Dexterity with numbers: rTMS over left angular gyrus disrupts finger gnosis and number processing.  Neuropsychologia 43 (11); 1609-24
7.    Saur D., Kreher BW, Schnell S, Kummerer D, Kellmeyer P, Vry MS, Umarova R, Musso M, Glauche V, Abel S, Huber W, Rijntnes M, Henning J, Weiller C, 2008.  Ventral and dorsal pathways for language. Proc. Natl. Acad Sci USA Nov 18:105(46) 18035-40
8.    Tsang JE, RF Dougherty, GK Deutch, BA Wandell and M Ben-Shachar, 2009.  Frontoparietal white matter diffusion properties predict mental arithmetic skills in children.  PNAS early edition

Brain maturation during childhood and adolescence
1.    Brocki,K, J Fan and J Fossella 2008.  Placing neuroanatomical models of executive function in a developmental context; imaging and imaging-genetic strategies.  Ann NY Acad Sci 1129:246-55
2.    Fair, DA, ALCohen, NUF Dosenbach, JA Church, FM Miezin, DM. Barch, ME Raichle, SE Petersen, and BL Schlagger, 2008. The maturing architecture of the brain’s default network. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 11:105(10); 4028-32
3.    Gupta, R, BR Kar and N Srinivasan, 2009, Development of task switching and post-error-slowing in children.  Behavioral and Brain Functions 5:38-51, BioMedCentral Open Access.
4.    Klingberg, T; H Forssberg, and HWesterberg, 2002. Increased brain activity in frontal and parietal cortex underlies the development of visuospatial working memory capacity during childhood. Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience 14(1); 1-10
5.    Sowell, ER, D Delis, J Stiles, and TL Jernigan, 2001. Improved memory functioning and frontal lobe maturation between childhood and adolescence: A structural MRI study.  J Internatl Neuropsych 7; 312-22

Cognitive development in mathematics
1.    Geary, DC, 2006.  Development of Mathematical Understanding. in D Kuhl and RS Siegler, Vol. Eds., Cognition, Perception, and Language, Vol 2, pp 777-810, W. Damon, Gen. Ed., Handbook of Child Psychology (6th Ed.)  New York, John Wiley and Sons
2.    von Aster, MG and RS Shalev, 2007.  Number development and developmental dyscalculia.  Dev Med Child Neurol; 49(11); 868-73
3.    Butterworth, B, 2005.  The development of arithmetical abilities.  J Child Psych 46(1); 3-18
Hands, gesture, and learning
1.    Goldin-Meadow S, Singer MA, 2003.  From children’s hands to adults’ ears: gesture’s role in the learning process.  Dev Psychol 39(3); 509-20.
2.    Goldin-Meadow, S, 2003.  Hearing Gesture: How Our Hands Help Us Think.  Harvard University Press, 280 pp
3.    Noël, MP, 2005.  Finger gnosis: a predictor of numerical abilities in children?  Child Neuropsych. 11(5); 413-30 PMID Abstract 16306017

Making Math Real Presentation Date: Saturday, March 5, 2011
Making Math Real Presentation Time: 1pm – 4:15pm

Conference Location: DoubleTree Hotel – Downtown Allen Center

REGISTRATION: Online registration available with a credit card at
Register before February 20th to take advantage of our discounted rates!


HBIDA Helpline phone number: 832-282-7154