JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Research shows that due to COVID-19, students are more likely to fall behind in math than in reading. On average students are losing up to two to four months’ worth of learning in math. Learning during a pandemic could be even more difficult for students with intellectual disabilities. Now, one study suggests that turning to classmates for support may be a solution.

Science … English … history … when it comes to schoolwork, there’s always one subject that seems to be the toughest to learn.

But a University of North Carolina study finds that the key to math success for some children may be through their peers. It’s called peer-mediated instruction. The scientists trained honor students to tutor students with intellectual disabilities on solving math problems. They found that using visual checklists, pictures with mathematical word problems and reading the problems aloud were effective tutoring techniques to teach their classmates. For parents, ask your child’s teacher how to involve classroom peers to support your child’s learning.

While this study focused on improving math problem solving for students with intellectual disabilities, other research supports the value of peer-mediated learning among a number of different student populations.

Contributors to this news report include: Cyndy McGrath, Executive Producer; Milvionne Chery, Field Producer; and Roque Correa, Editor.