(IDEA, 2 1,4, and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB,
2002) require that all students, including students with dis
abilities, have access to grade il, 'l;i ai curricula. How
ever, to promote student access to the general education cur
riculum, teacher use of .,ipini,...il .I i'.Ii..I instructional
practices within all educational settings is crucial.
MATHEMATICS ACROSS SCHOOL SETTINGS
As espoused within the equity principle of the revised
NCTM i 'H, ,i, :..! students should have access to a . i ,li
math education and corresponding "q'p. i to help them be
�,p..... fril Further, ii lih an ageappropriate quality
math education to all students is critical, regardless of the
setting in which the students are educated (Gagnon &
Bottge, ' 1", .., Many of our most volatile youth are served in
exclusionary school settings. C..i ., and Bottge :, I. ii,.,
several of these alternative school settings, : in, ill "(a)
1i i a q i 1i day treatment schools, (b) therapeutic residential
schools, (c) juvenile correctional schools for detained youth,
and (d) i.j. ..ii. correctional schools for committed youth"
(p. 39). m.... i. correctional schools for committed youth
(JC) are, 1i rl . the educational setting where access to the
general education curriculum via researchbased instruction
is the most needed (Gagnon & Bottge, 2007; Gagnon &
Mayer, 2004; Maccini, Gagnon, Mulcahy, & Leone, 2006).
Complications exist within JC schools that may I ,.. ni bar
riers to both access to the general education curriculum and
teacher ability to implement appropriate instructional strate
gies. For example, the proportion of students with special
needs is approximately 40% of the student " .i ,11 ..11 as
compared to 11 . of the p.pu1l iii,. classified with a dis
ability in schools nationally (C.,. i., .� Barber, & Van Loan,
2008; Quinn, Rutherford, Leone, Osher, & Poirer, 2005;
U.S. Department of Education, '" c 11I, Students with a learn
ing disability (LD) or an emotional behavioral disability
(EBD) are each estimated to be 30: ., of the total popula
tion of students with , ii. P i l:. .. being served in JC schools
(Gagnon et al., '", .., Quinn et al., 't 14 .).
The high percentage of students with disabilities in JC
schools has important iih.. .i i  for instruction. For
example, Cawley and Miller (1989) reported that secondary
students with LD typically perform ,i ij ' ..I i i 1. a fifth
grade level on math tasks. Also, according to Bryant, Kim,
Hartman, and Bryant .2,:1, , areas of math difficulty
include (a) memory problems, such as retrieving math facts
(Garnett & Fi1 . i, , 1983) and remembering and using
multiple steps to solve problems (Bley & Thornton, 1995;
Bryant, Bryant, & Hammill, 1990; Parmar, Cawley, &
Frazita, 1996); (b) language processing .jfi, ,,ii. involv
ing receptive language (e.g., comprehending math vocabu
lary and math word problems) and expressive 1 m.n _...
(e.g., ji.iir il,, the reasonableness of an answer); and (c)
cognitive developmental difficulties with ,i... ;r math
facts, dm .... ,1' I strategies and rules, and math concepts.
S.!,.bia .i. II students with EBD i i.. ill have difficulty
f.,. . ii . attention, metacognitive . i rl.it such as monitor
ing and evaluating p: i.,,,, ,n. and trouble retrieving
learned information ini. hli hl & Gagnon, 2007).
Information ... r,,. I. the use of effective mathematics
instruction p...isi...ll: within JC schools is severely lim
ited. However, Maccini and colleagues i" ,' found that
few li ' i i teaching , , ii . such as use of i , l.,1  , or
computers, realworld activities, graduated instructional
sequences, and grouping for instruction were being em
ployed in JC schools. ,\iii.IIii ii:;, C,, i and Gemignani
('' a, ,... .i .1 that instruction within ia i:i, correctional
facilities commonly consists solely of drill and practice,
rather than the  .. i.. . ill:. based instruction advocated by
experts and NCTM.
Clearly, in all educational settings youth with disabilities,
particularly those with LD and EBD, f1. u.. 1 1:; have diffi
culties in mathematics. For teachers to provide students with
access to the gradelevel curriculum, a reliance on empiri
cally Ilrii, .1 instruction is essential. In this paper, we
report on teachers' use of ;. 'i i ,.. 1i validated math prac
tices within JC schools. We hii.llii1.i the .i,.. ii... instruc
tional . ,1, ,i, , h .. that span all educational settings and dis
cuss methods of addressing some of the unique difficulties
within a JC school setting. While the context for these
approaches and methods is JC schools, the recommenda
tions and examples are .ipp'"i ,iij. to youth in educational
settings from the most inclusive to the most restrictive.
"'.'.... i. our purpose is to (a) share the results of a
national survey on the extent to which secondary special
education teachers in JC schools provide researchbased
instruction; (b) . .1 I i 1ls1 11 .1 l . and recommendations for
teaching math to students with LD and EBD using research
based mathematics instruction across educational .,.il i
(c) i, jiiil adaptations fp ... iri,. for JC schools; and (d)
provide lesson . 1,1ll, that can be applied across iii,
NATIONAL STUDY OF JC SCHOOLS
To address the first i'".' .. we will discuss a national
mail and online survey of JC schools for committed youth.
The survey focused on math teachers within these schools
(see Maccini & Gagnon, ', 1 ,:. Survey items included ques
tions about the characteristics of the teacher, students, and
school, as well as use of math instructional practices identi
ii,.,I from a comprehensive review of the literature ii' l.,... ii
et al., 2006). Through this review of research, we provide
implications, recommendations, and examples of research
based mathematics instructional approaches that apply
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
across school settings. Moreover, specific JC school charac
teristics supply the basis for additional adaptations for JC
schools.
The majority of teachers responding to the survey of JC
schools held graduate degrees, reported teaching math and
special education an average of 10 years, and noted their
current teaching position as either a fulltime selfcontained
teacher or a resource room teacher. The majority of teachers
stated they were currently teaching general math or basic
skills for high school, middle school math, prealgebra, alge
bra, and geometry. Results indicated that teachers generally
have the necessary education and experience to provide
appropriate mathematics instruction. Also, the courses
taught are consistent with courses taught by teachers of stu
dents with disabilities in public schools (Maccini &
Gagnon, 2002).
In the study, teachers reported the frequency of use of
math instructional practices as well as reasons for not using
certain practices. The instructional practices, organized into
six approaches, are consistent with those identified as effec
tive for youth with LD and EBD throughout the range of edu
cational settings (Maccini et al., 2006; Maccini, Mulcahy, &
Wilson, 2007). In what follows, we describe the six prac
tices, applications to the continuum of educational place
ments, and specific JC school considerations.
We also provide three lesson plans that illustrate the inte
gration of recommended practices into a variety of class
rooms (Figure 1 presents a matrix of the integration of the
instructional practices per lesson). For example, the lessons
(see Figures 4, 5, and 6) address multiplying two binomials
across three stages (concrete, semiconcrete, abstract) that
will be discussed in the section on graduated instructional
sequence. At the concrete level, students use algebra tiles as
they determine the product of the two expressions. At the
semiconcrete level, students draw pictures of the tiles and
work with virtual manipulatives. In the final lesson, students
progress to the use of abstract symbols only. Each lesson
also incorporates five major steps of the explicit instruc
tional cycle (Hudson & Miller, 2006). Additionally, the les
son plans offer suggestions for remediation and extension.
Throughout the sample lessons, the teacher encourages
active engagement of all students, which is especially
important for students with LD and EBD who are often pas
sive learners. Additionally, student participation allows the
Lesson 1 Lesson 2 Lesson 3
(Concrete) (SemiConcrete) (Abstract)
Direct * Curriculumbased * Curriculumbased * Curriculumbased
Instruction assessment assessment assessment
* Advanced organizer * Advanced organizer * Advanced organizer
* Teacher * Teacher * Teacher
demonstration demonstration demonstration
* Guided practice * Guided practice * Guided practice
* Independent practice * Independent practice * Independent practice
Strategy * STAR strategy with * STAR strategy with * STAR strategy with
Instruction cue card cue card cue card
* MnemonicFOIL
* Cue card for
graphing calculator
RealWorld * Problems in real * Problems in real * Problems in real
Activities world context world context world context
Technology * Virtual manipulatives * Virtual * Virtual
manipulatives manipulatives
* Graphing calculators
* Computer websites
Graduated * Algebra tiles * Algebra tiles * Drawings
Instructional * Virtual manipulatives * Drawings * Algorithm with
Sequence * Virtual abstract numbers
manipulatives and symbols
Grouping * Remediation and * Remediation and * Remediation and
for extension groups extension groups extension groups
Instruction
FIGURE 1
Matrix of instructional practices per lesson
APRIL 2008
teacher to continually check for student understanding.
Space limitations permit inclusion of only one problem in
the lesson plans for teacher modeling and for guided prac
tice. In reality, students will require more problems, partic
ularly in guided practice. Hudson and Miller (2006) sug
gested four levels of support (high, medium, low, and no
prompts) during guided practice. For example, the concrete
lesson (see Figure 4) represents providing a high to medium
level of support during guided practice as students are first
introduced to the use of algebra tiles to represent multiply
ing binomial expressions. The semiconcrete lesson (see
Figure 5) represents medium to low levels of support, pro
vided during guided practice as students extend their knowl
edge of the representations to pictorial displays. The abstract
lesson (see Figure 6) represents a medium level of support
as students move to more abstract representations with the
use of a new mnemonic. Students should have adequate sup
port for progressing to solving problems without any
prompts before they advance to independent work.
All three lessons provide contextualized word problems
that students must solve through the multiplication of bino
mials. Students use a mnemonic strategy, STAR, to gather
the necessary information from the word problems and
translate the words into binomial expressions. With the
repeated prompting of the STAR strategy, students then pro
ceed to solve the problem by multiplying these expressions.
RECOMMENDED PRACTICES
As noted, teachers reported their use of effective math
practices in six areas: (a) direct/explicit instruction; (b) strat
egy instruction; (c) realworld activities and use of technol
ogy; (d) graduated instructional sequence; (e) grouping for
instruction; and (f) other instructional adaptations. We first
define each category and discuss the research support. We
then note the frequency with which teachers reported using
the practices and the reasons some teachers gave for not
using them. Finally, we offer recommendations for practice
through examples and resources based on the survey data
and the extant literature.
Direct/Explicit Instruction
Definition. Direct instruction (di) refers to a systematic
approach to teaching a new skill or concept in which the
teacher continuously checks for student understanding and
engages all students in the lesson (Rosenshine & Stevens,
1986). The steps of di include a review of prerequisite skills,
teacher demonstration and modeling of the skill, guided
practice, independent practice, and review. (See Figure 2 for
an explanation of each step.) Hudson and Miller (2006)
expanded the general teaching sequence and included cur
riculumbased instruction and planning for instruction (see
Figure 2). Curriculumbased instruction helps the teacher to
plan to place students in the curriculum based on evaluation
of assessment data and to monitor their progress over time.
Planning for instruction includes the use of databased deci
sion making and instructional alignment (i.e., matching
learner characteristics to the lesson and aligning the content
of the lesson components with one another).
Use of the di approach has proven effective for teaching
math to middle school and high school students with LD
within general education and resource room classrooms
(Hudson & Miller, 2006; Maccini & Hughes, 1997; Maccini
et al., 2007) and is also highly recommended within JC
schools (Maccini et al., 2006). Two studies (Ozaki,
Williams, & McLaughlin, 1996; Scarlato & Burr, 2002)
included positive learning gains for teaching middle school
students with LD in public school settings. For example,
Ozaki and colleagues (1996) determined that teaching stu
dents a copy/cover/compare drillandpractice procedure
using di was successful for teaching a sixthgrade student
with LD to master multiplication facts. The copy/cover/
compare procedures were embedded in the following
instructional procedures: (a) see or look at the completed
math fact; (b) COPYread the problem aloud and copy the
answer; (c) COVER the problem; (d) read the problem aloud
and write from memory; and (e) COMPARE the answer to
the original modeled problem.
Across a variety of school settings, researchers (Hudson
& Miller, 2006; Maccini et al., 2006) recommend using di
daily or at least once a week. Teachers in JC schools
reported using modeling, guided practice, independent prac
tice, and feedback on either a daily or weekly basis (see Fig
ure 3). The teachers also noted using advance organizers,
scaffolded instruction, and cumulative reviews sometimes or
never. The infrequent use of key components of di are in
contrast to researcher assertions that these parts of di should
be used on a daily basis in school settings that range from
the most inclusive to exclusive (Hudson & Miller, 2006;
Ozaki et al., 1996; Scarlato & Burr, 2002).
Among teachers who reported not using specific di vari
ables, the most common reason given was the need for more
training, followed by reports of beliefs that the strategies do
not meet the academic needs of their students, lack of materi
als and resources, and the approach not matching the teacher's
views on teaching. Interestingly, although the lack of materi
als was the most frequent concern expressed, the di approach
requires few materials for implementation. The concerns
regarding need for training and lack of teacher understanding
may stem from the view that extensive materials are needed
for implementation, and the JC teacher concern with a lack
of materials for di may actually be part of a more general
concern regarding inadequate materials. In fact, general and
special education teachers in regular public schools also
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
Planning
Databased decision making and instructional
alignment (i.e., matching learner characteristics to
the task and aligning all lesson components to the
learner's needs).
CurriculumBased Instruction
Appropriately places students within the
curriculum and monitors student progress
throughout the school year.
13"
Maintenance
Continual practice of skills, weekly and
monthly reviews, cumulative reviews.
Independent Practice
Students complete problems without teacher
assistance using worksheets, flashcards, and
computer programs.
Advanced Organizer
Review prerequisite skills, identify lesson
objective, and provide rationale for learning the
skill.
4a
Teacher Demonstration
Teacher models thinking and action procedures
to solve problems, maximizes student
engagement via questions/prompts, and
monitors student understanding.
Source: Miller and Hudson, 2006
FIGURE 2
Explicit instruction sequence
reported lack of appropriate materials to be a serious barrier
to their implementation of effective mathematics instruction
(Maccini & Gagnon, 2002).
To clarify how to effectively implement di we provide
suggestions, as well as three lesson plans that incorporate di
with additional adaptations and effective practices to help
meet the needs of diverse learners in all classrooms. The
examples also contain enrichment and remediation ideas, sug
gestions for teacher wording, and ways to help students use a
cue card that lists general problemsolving strategy steps.
Implications for Practice
As the di approach is recommended for secondary youth
with both LD and ED, we describe approaches to implemen
tation that span all educational settings in which these stu
dents learn. In addition, we address some of the unique con
siderations for teachers in more exclusionary settings, such
as JC schools. Like teachers in other classrooms, teachers in
JC schools are faced with students who are academically
diverse. Hudson and Miller (2006) recommend varying the
lesson plan format to address the needs of multiple groups
within a classroom using a multiple groups/complete cycle
format. With this approach, the teacher carefully plans for a
balance across instructional groups using teacherdirected
and independent activities. For example, the teacher may
provide guided practice to one group but assign a more
advanced group to work on maintenance of previously
learned skills or an extension activity. Sample lesson plans
that contain components of explicit instruction are included
with ideas for differentiating instruction within an academi
cally diverse classroom (see Figures 4, 5, and 6).
Providing students with an advanced organizer was the
variable most often omitted from the teaching process. Scar
lato and Burr (2002) recommended assessing and systemat
ically teaching prerequisite skills daily to build a foundation
for academic gains. Scaffolded instruction is an equally
important di component and can be easily incorporated with
daily guided practice. The instructional practice initially
engages the learners in guided practice with the teacher
offering prompts and remodeling as needed. As the students
become more proficient and confident in their ability to
complete the task, the teacher gives fewer and fewer
prompts and, gradually, the responsibility of completing the
task shifts from the teacher to the student (Hudson & Miller,
2006). At the point where students are ready to accept com
plete responsibility for completing tasks, they continue with
Guided Practice
Teacher provides students with enough
prompts to experience success and then
gradually reduces involvement, while
continually monitoring student progress.
APRIL 2008
Explicit Instruction
0 0 1�7 1
0.8
100%
90% 21.5
80%
70%
E Never
14 times per month
E 24 times per week
* Daily
Ne
N9
N
ct
Type of Practice
FIGURE 3
Percentage of use of variables of explicit instruction reported.
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
independent practice. Similarly, cumulative reviews are an
important component of instruction, particularly for stu
dents with LD who typically have difficulty retaining infor
mation. Teachers can incorporate cumulative reviews into
the curriculum daily as part of independent practice. Cumu
lative review can also serve as a curriculumbased assess
ment at the beginning of a new topic to ensure that students
possess the necessary prerequisite skills for learning new
skills and concepts.
EXPLICIT INSTRUCTION RESOURCES
Suggested Readings:
J Gagnon, J. C., & Maccini, P. (2005). Direct instruction in mid
dle school mathematics for students with learning disabilities.
Washington, DC: American Institute for Research. Retrieved
March 31, 2008, from http://www.k8accesscenter.org/training
resources/directinstruction math.asp
/ Hudson, P. & Miller, S.P. (2006). Designing and implementing
mathematics instruction for students with diverse learning
needs. Boston: Pearson Education, Inc.
Strategy Instruction
Detinitiio
A strategy is a plan for addressing a problem situation
and includes following a sequence of actions and guidelines
to help make effective decisions during the problemsolving
process (Ellis & Lenz, 1996). Common elements of effec
tive strategies for students with LD are (a) a memory device,
such as a firstletter mnemonic to aid in remembering the
problemsolving steps; (b) familiar words or phrases that
begin with an action verb (e.g., "Read the problem") to
prompt students to use the strategy; and (c) sequenced steps
to help students remember and recall the process.
Use of strategy instruction (SI) has been proven to be
effective in settings that range from general education to JC
schools (Maccini et al., 2006). Specifically, SI involving
schemabased instruction (Jitendra, DiPipi, & PerronJones,
2002; Jitendra, Hoff, & Beck, 1999; Xin, Jitendra, & Deat
lineBuchman, 2005) and mnemonic strategy instruction
(Manalo, Bunnell, & Stillman, 2000; Test & Ellis, 2005) is
effective for teaching problem solving, decimal numbers,
 � � ��� � � � � �
s
~pu``
�
a
C
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
APRIL 2008
Multiplying Binomials and Contextualized Word Problems
In, . '* Students will use algebra tiles to solve contextualized word problems involving binomial expressions with positive
and negative terms with 80% accuracy.
NCTM Standards:
The learner will engage in problemsolving and representational processes to engage in an algebraic activity with distributed prac
tice in the geometric concept of area. In addition, the learner will communicate mathematically to peers and the teacher concerning
solving contextualized word problems involving multiplying binomial expressions with positive and negative terms.
I. CurriculumBased Assessment and Planning: Teacher assesses students to ensure that they are appropriately placed within
the curriculum and plans for instructional alignment (i.e., aligning all lesson components to the learner's needs).
II. Advanced Organizer
a. Review Prerequisite Skills: Review necessary i. i l ..:., subtracting, and :,.,:;i.l :_: positive and negative integers;
adding, subtracting, and multiplying terms with variables; I,..: .,. the area of parallelograms using monomials; definitions
of monomials, binomials, polynomials; Zero Principle; the values of the various algebra tiles; representing algebraic
expressions.
b. 4 HIp. it, and Link: State the new skill and link to prior knowledge.
T: Great work on the review, everyone. We just reviewed important math skills to help us with our lesson today. Over the
past two days we have been working on adding and subtracting polynomials. Today we are going to learn how to multi
ply binomials to get a polynomial. Who can tell me what a binomial is?
S: A polynomial with two terms.
T: Excellent! Now let's review how algebraic expression can represent a value. My parents have just told me that they are
remodeling our house. They are going to knock down my bedroom wall and move it back 2 meters, ;. ^ . extending
the length of my bedroom. How can I represent the length of my bedroom using an expression?
S: x+2
T: You got it! The length of my bedroom has just been extended by 2 meters; .'.. . ^ . the . ;' of my bedroom now is x
+ 2 meters long.
c. Rationale: Develop rationale for multiplying binomials.
T: Excellent! ; . , ...', binomials is a  .... . block for solving more advanced algebra problems. These skills are
assessed on the state exit exam as well as on college entrance exams. , . . .. .:. this skill is used in many realworld
situations, such as determining the area when planning for room or building renovations.
III. Demonstration
a. Model Thinking and Action: Think aloud while explaining how to represent and solve the problem using the algebra tiles
and referring to the STAR cue card.
T: Ourfirstproblem is:
Jill's house is being renovated and her bedroom will be enlarged. Currently, her room is shaped like a square.
After the renovations, the length of Jill's bedroom will be 3 feet longer and the width will be 2 feet longer. Write
an expression to represent the new dimensions of Jill's bedroom and the polynomial expression for the area of
Jill's new bedroom.
I'm going to use our word problem strategy, SAR. The first step, S: Search the word problem, means I need to read the
problem carefully and search foir what the problem is asking for me to find. Now, let me get some information from our
problem. What do I know? (Teacher rereads problem to class.) Extend .: :'. by 3 f and the width by 2ft. I need
to find the ; . . .' of Jill's bedroom.
FIGURE 4
Concrete level lesson plan
b. Maximize Student Engagement and Monitor Student Understanding: Involve students in the process as you continue to
think aloud while demonstrating how to solve the problems (e.g., calling on a students) to state the next step after explain
ing or modeling the first step, group/choral responding).
T: We just completed the first step in STAR. Our next step "T" means we will translate the problem using our manipula
tives. I know I need to extend the .'. ,. l' by 3ft and the width by 2ft.
I need to find the .'. ,. l, of Jill's bedroom, but I do not know the number so I will use a variable, "x," as represented
using the long black tile.
Jill's bedroom is currently "x" feet and after renovations, it will be 3 feet longer which I can show using 3 grey square
tiles. 0D D
Since she is extending her bedroom by 3 feet, I'll need to add 3 grey squares to our long black tile. So my first binomial
is represented by one long black tile and three grey square tiles.
+000
c. Maximize Student Engagement and Monitor Student Understanding: Involve students in the process as you continue to
think aloud while demonstrating how to represent the problem using the tiles (e.g., calling on a students) to state the next
step after explaining or modeling the first step, group/choral responding).
T: Now we need to use the tiles to represent the polynomial expression for the width of Jill's new bedroom. Let's come up
with a binomial for the width of her room. How can we use the tiles to represent the width of Jill's room now? Every
one?
S: Use one long black tile to represent xfeet long.
T: Yes! We will use one long black tile to represent xfeet long because Jill's room is currently in the shape of a square,
which has all sides of equal .'. , . i, And how much wider will Jill's room be after renovations and what tiles will we use
to represent it?
S: Two grey square tiles.
T: Great jobfinding information from the word problem! The width of Jill's room can be represented as
follows: + 0 0
T: Good work, class! We have just ih. ,, .h 1, of an expression to represent the new .'. ,. l' and width of Jill's bedroom.
T: Jill's bedroom will be a rectangle because the .'. .l, and the width are not of equal size. Who can tell me how we find
the area of a rectangle?
S: Multiply the .'. ,. l, times the width.
T: We will now multiply these two binomials using our algebra tiles to help us to visualize the problem. I will demonstrate
how to do this by using algebra tiles on an overhead projector
T: First, I will place my xbar and my three constants on
the top of my corner piece. I will place my tiles that
represent "x + 2" on the side of my corner piece. Now I
will distribute my top xbar to all the tiles in the side of
my corner piece:
SRemember xbar times an xbar equals x2. I
know this because my x2 tile is a large square that
perfectly between the two xbars.
FIGURE 4 (Continued)
fits
DI 
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
*Next, xbar times a constant equals an xbar
I know this because 
this fits perfectly into 1 EIDE
the space on my comer
piece. 1I,.  i me this
with your tiles (walk
around to pairs and
monitor student
responses).
Second, I will multiply
the first constant on El El E []
the top of our corer
piece with all the tiles 
on the side of our grid.
Remember a constant times a constant will equal a constant.
\I,. , me this with your tiles (monitor student responses).
Help me out with the third step and last step (have students demonstrate distributing the last two constants on the
top to all of the tiles on the side).
Give me a thumbsup if you agree.
T: OK, our third step in STAR is to Answer the problem. (Review cue card of STAR steps.) Now let's look at our tiles to
determine the answer to our problem. With your fingers, show me how many x squares we have in the solution?
S: Students hold up 1 finger.
T: That's , ;. i' What about x bars?
S: Students hold up 5 fingers.
T: How many constants?
S: Students hold up 6 fingers.
T: Great answers! That means our answer is x2 + 5x + 6. OK, what is our last step in STAR? That's right, review the
answer (Read the word problem and review the answer with the class.) The polynomial expression that represents the
area of Jill's bedroom after renovations is x2 + 5x + 6. Let's do another problem .... i1,. ' You and your partner will
share a set of algebra tiles and work .... i1,. to solve the next problem.
IV. Guided Practice
a. Provide guidance as students perform 3 or 4 more problems with use of the STAR cue card and algebra tiles.
b. Reduce your level of support as students assume more responsibility for the learning. For example:
* High: Verbalize the procedures and have students restate and/or apply.
* Medium: Have students verbalize each procedure and apply.
* Low: Have students verbalize all of the steps (chunk together) and apply.
* No prompts.
FIGURE 4 (Continued)
APRIL 2008
T: Our next problem is:
Our school has just received permission to use I ] ] ]
some of the field adjacent to our sports field.
Currently, the length of our school's field is 2
meters longer than the width. We will be receiv
ing an additional 2 meters of field to add to the
length, but we will be losing 3 meters from our
width. Determine an expression to represent the
new dimensions of our new field and a polyno
mial expression for the area of our new field. 
(Have students use their STAR cue card and follow
the first step, Search the word problem. They are
to note the facts and what they need to find.) Remove
Remove
T: Very impressive! You remembered to use negative
constants, because we are subtracting 3 meters
from the width of our field. Now distribute each top tile to all of the side tiles. (Teacher walks around the room provid
ing corrective feedback and remodeling as needed.)
T: Great work, everyone! Your tiles should look like mine on the overhead.
T: Now, since we have both positive and negative integers, we need to remember our Zero Principle. Think about the Zero
Principle, explain to your partner and be prepared to explain to the class.
S: A positive integer and its opposite negative integer equal zero.
T: Great remembering! Since we have three negative xbars, how many positive xbars will cancel out because of the Zero
Principle. Everyone hold up that number offingers.
S: Hold up 3 fingers.
T: Excellent! You are now ready to tell your partner the final answer to our problem. What is the polynomial that repre
sents the area of our new field? (Prompt students to review the next step of the cue card to answer the problem.)
T: Next what should we do?
S: R: Review the answer
T: Have students read the word problem and call on students to justify the reasonableness of their answer.
V. Independent Practice
a. Provide additional contextualized problems for students to complete independently.
b. Monitor student work and address misconceptions/errors.
c. Review the accuracy of student responses.
VI. Remediation
Students work with the teacher to solve additional problems using algebra tiles. The teacher will model the following problem.
Sam's house is being renovated, and her bedroom will change in size and shape. Currently, her room is shaped like a
square. After the renovations, the length of Sam's bedroom will be 5 feet longer, but the width will be 4 feet shorter.
Represent an expression using the tiles for the dimensions of Sam's bedroom and the polynomial expression for the
area of the new bedroom.
The teacher will then engage the students in a guided practice problem.
Our school has just received permission to use some of the field adjacent to our sports field. Currently, the length of
our school's field is 1 meter longer than the width. We will be receiving an additional 3 meters of field to add to the
length and 2 meters to our width." Write an expression to represent the new dimensions of our new field and a polyno
mial expression for the area of our new field.
FIGURE 4 (Continued)
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
VII. Extension
Students work with less teacher assistance in pairs or small groups to represent and solve the following problem using virtual
manipulatives at the National Library of Virtual Manipulatives: :'i . :: : . i.
asid_189_g_4_t_ 1.; .1 ' .' .. .. :. .,'. i.. .,=cate gory_g_4__2.html
A group of school children play kickball on a field that is lined with trees at one end. The length of this field is twice
the width after removing the line of trees. As a result, the length increased by 4 meters. Using virtual manipulative,
represent the length and width of the kickball field after the trees were removed. Then determine the area of the field
using a polynomial expression.
FIGURE 4 , ...
Multiplying Binomials and Contextualized Word Problems
4 tjf, I u. Students will use pictorial displays to solve contextualized word problems involving binomial expressions with pos
itive and negative terms with 80% accuracy.
NCTM Standards:
The learner will engage in problemsolving and representational processes to engage in an algebraic activity with distributed practice
in the geometric concept of area. In addition, the learner will communicate mathematically to peers and the teacher concerning the
processing of solving contextualized word problems involving ...,.1::i 1.;1.: binomial expressions with positive and negative terms.
I. CurriculumBased Assessment and Planning: Teacher assesses students to ensure that they are appropriately placed within
the curriculum and plans for instructional alignment (i.e., aligning all lesson components to the learner's needs).
II. Advanced Organizer
a. Review Prerequisite Skills: Review necessary preskills as identified in the concrete phase and review the use of the alge
bra tiles to represent and solve contextualized problems. For example:
T: For today's warmup problem, we will use the algebra tiles to solve the problem:
Miriam's house is being renovated, and her bedroom will be enlarged. ni m, , sal. her room is shaped like a
square. After the renovations, the length of Miriam's bedroom will be 2 feet longer and the width will be 1 foot
longer. Write an expression to represent the new dimensions of Miriam's bedroom and the polynomial expression
for the area of Miriam's new bedroom.
b. Objective and Link. State the new skill and link to prior knowledge.
T: Yesterday we used the algebra tiles to help us to :... ': .. binomials to get a polynomial. Today, we are going to use pic
tures to represent the . :. to solve problems.
c. Rationale: Develop rationale for multiplying binomials.
T: Great job on your warmup problem! Now we are going to put our tiles away, but I want you to remember the shape
and siz for each tile and what they represent, because for today's lesson we are going to just draw our tiles. We can't
always use tiles, for example when we take the SATs, but we can draw the tiless a a way of solving the problem. How
ever we can draw pictures of the tiles as another tool to help us to visualize the information in the word problem
FIGURE 5
Semiconcrete level lesson plan
APRIL 2008
III. Demonstration
a. Model Thinking and Action: Think aloud while explaining how to represent and solve the problem using pictures of the
algebra tiles and referring to the STAR cue card.
T: Review the STAR strategy steps with the classboth individual and group responses (e.g., The S stands for what?). I'm
going to Search the word problem and determine what I know and need to find:
The dimensions of the basketball court at the park are represented by a width of 2x + 6 and a length of x + 4.
Draw a polynomial expression to represent the area of the basketball court. Remember today we will multiply
the binomials together, but instead of using the manipulatives, I will draw pictures of the tiles on the board.
b. Maximize Student Engagement and Monitor Student Understanding: Involve students in the process as you continue to
think aloud while demonstrating how to solve the problems (e.g., calling on a students) to state the next step after explain
ing or modeling the first step, group/choral responding).
T: Okay, if the width is going on the top of my corner piece, how many xbars do I need to draw?
S: Two.
T: That's; ;. 1i' Now, I'm going to Translate my problem into a picture form (refer to the second step of the STAR strat
egy). I am going to draw squares to represent my constants. You tell me when to stop drawing squares.
I I I 1 000000
T: Excellent! Now xbar distributed to, or multiplied by, an xbar equals what?
S: x2
T: Great job! And I am drawing a big square that fits nicely between my top and side xbar Now I am distributing, or mul
tiplying, my top xbar and the side constants. I am going to draw a rectangle to represent my xbar Give me a thumbs
up if that is correct.
T: Thanks for !. ii;,,. me know that I am drawing the right shape! Now let's move on to the second rectangle, that repre
sents an xbar And let's distribute, or multiply, that and all of the side shapes. (Teacher continues to model this process
for each manipulative on the top of the corner piece.)
T: Now what is the area of our basketball court. Let's say it '.... ~h. as I write it on the board.
S: 2x2 + lOx + 12.
T: Let's review our answer (Review the word problem and the reasonableness of answer. Provide another example or two
if students need additional demonstrations.)
IV. Guided Practice
a. Provide guidance as students perform 3 or 4 more problems with use of the STAR cue cards and reduce your level of sup
port as students assume more responsibility for the learning (high, medium, low, none). For example (low level of support):
T: Great job helping me solve this problem! Now you are ready to solve a problem with your partner Remember we are
going to draw a representation of the tiles. We are not going to use the tiles. Use your STAR Strategy cue card. Here is
our problem:
Our neighborhood swimming pool has a length that is 2 meters longer than the width.
On Saturday mornings, a section of the swimming pool is roped off for swimming laps. That section makes the
FIGURE 5 (Continued)
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
APRIL 2008
pool 1 meter shorter in width. We need to write an expression to represent the dimensions of the space in the
pool which is available for free swim and write a polynomial expression for the area of this space.
T: For this problem we will have . '.'* ;. . I How will we represent a . ;.' integer in our drawings?
S: Students may suggest shading in the negative integer or drawing a negative symbol in the squares/rectangles that repre
sent a negative number.
T: Great suggestions! You and your partner decide how you would like to represent negative integers and complete the fol
lowing problem (walk around the room providing corrective feedback and remodeling as needed).
V. Independent Practice: Students will complete additional problems independently (for example, the National Library of Vir
tual Manipulatives offers numerous lesson ideas and resources to help students visualize:.,,i::.1 ;: and factoring expressions
(see I"';i '.' '.' * . . . .. ** / category_g_4_t_2.html).
VI. Remediation: With a high level of teacher guidance, students will draw pictures of the algebra tiles (and/or return to the use
of algebra tiles, as needed for remediation) to practice solving problems addressed during instruction.
The dimensions of the basketball court at the park are represented by a width of x + 2 and a i9etovd of x + 1. Draw a
polynomial expression to represent the area of the basketball court.
VII. Extension: Students work independently (individually or in small groups) to solve a more challenging problem. Students may
represent the problem using any type of drawing: A rectangular picture is set in a square frame. The irn.kTH of the picture
is 4 cm shorter than the i,(nda of the frame, and the width of the picture is 2 cm shorter than the width of the frame.
What is the area of the picture?
FIGURE 5 (Continued)
Multiplying Binomials and Contextualized Word Problems
4 tl,s If o. Students will use numbers, variables, and symbols to solve contextualized word problems involving binomial
expressions with positive and negative terms with 80% accuracy.
NCTM Standards:
The learner will engage in problemsolving and representational processes to engage in an algebraic activity with distributed practice
in the geometric concept of area. In addition, the learner will communicate mathematically to peers and the teacher concerning the
processing of solving contextualized word problems involving ...,.1:[ 1.;1.: binomial expressions with positive and negative terms.
I. CurriculumBased Assessment and Planning: Teacher
assesses students to ensure that they are appropriately
placed within the curriculum and plans for instructional
alignment (i.e., aligning all lesson components to the
learner's needs).
II. Advanced Organizer
a. Review Prerequisite Skills: Review necessary pre
skills as identified in the concrete and semiconcrete
phases and review the use of the algebra tiles to repre
sent and solve contextualized problems. For example:
T: For today's warmup problem, we will draw repre
sentations of the tiles to solve this problem:
Our neighborhood swimming pool has a length
that is 5 meters longer than the width. On Sun
day afternoons, a section of the swimming pool is
roped off for a water aerobics class. That section
makes the pool 3 meters shorter in width. We
need to write an expression to represent the
dimensions of the space in the pool which is
available for free swim and write a polynomial
expression for the area of this space.
b. 4 thjpl , It  and Link: State the new skill and link to
prior knowledge
T: Yesterday we drew pictures of the algebra tiles to
help us to multiply binomials to get a polynomial.
FIGURE 6
Abstract level lesson plan
Today, we are going to use only numbers and vari
ables to solve problems.
c. Rationale: Develop rationale for multiplying binomials
T: Great job with your warmup problem. Who remem
bers why we used drawings yesterday instead of the
tiles to multiply two binomials?
S: Because we can't take tiles with us everywhere.
T: That's ; ;. 1,' Everyone has done a great job draw
ing your tiles, but raise your hand if you think that
drawing takes a long time. I agree. So today, we are
going to learn a new strategy to multiply two bino
mials. It is called the FOIL method.
III. Demonstration
a. Model Thinking and Action: Think aloud while
explaining how to solve the problem using the FOIL
method and referring to the STAR cue card.
T: Review the STAR strategy steps with the class
both individual and group responses. I'm going to
Search the word problem and determine what I
know and need to find:
The shape of Kim's fencedin backyard is a
square. Kim's father is going to tear down the
fence, so that the family will have an extra 6 feet
in length and 2 feet in width. Write a polynomial
expression to represent the area of the backyard
without the fence. Remember, today we will use
the FOIL method to solve the problem.
b. Maximize Student Engagement and Monitor Stu
dent Understanding: Involve students in the process as
you continue to think aloud while demonstrating how to
solve the problems (e.g., calling on a students) to state
the next step after explaining or modeling the first step,
group/choral responding).
T: Each letter in "FOIL" represents a word that will
give us a clue in how to multiply binomials without
drawing all of the shapes. Now, remember when we
talked about distributing, or multiplying, the top
tiles and the side tiles. FOIL is a distributing, or
multiplying, process, just like our tiles. This is what
I want you to remember about FOIL:
Firsts
O uters
I nners
L asts
Let's solve the problem ( x + 6 ) (x + 2 ). In FOIL,
the "F" stands for 'firsts" and that means we will
multiply the first terms in each of the binomials.
What are the first terms in each of our binomials?
S: x and x.
T: Excellent! And x times x equals x2. Nod your head if
you agree. Remember that when we multiplied our
xbar by another xbar we got a big square that
represented x2.
(x+6)(x+2)
T: Our next letter in FOIL is "0" and it tells us to
multiply the outer terms in both binomials, which
are the xfor the first binomial and the 2 for the sec
ond binomial. (Teacher points to the terms.) These
are the outer terms, and x times 2 equals what?
(x + 6)(x+2)
S: 2x.
T: Great answer! Now what letter comes next in our
strategy?
S: I
T: That's right and what does that mean?
S: Inners.
T: Good work! Now the inner term for the first bino
mial is the 6. The inner term for the second term is
the x. What do we do with the x and the 6?
(x+6)(x+2)
S: Multiply.
T: That's right, and x times 6 equals 6x. Just like with
our tiles. If we multiplied an xbar times 6 con
stants, we would get 6 xbars. Now our last step in
the FOIL strategy is to multiply the last terms in the
binomials. What are the last terms of the binomials?
(x + 6)(x + 2)
S: 6and2.
T: Great job finding the last terms! And 6 times 2
equals 12. This is what we have so far
xI F O I L
(x + 6) (x + 2) = (x)(x) + (x)(2) + (6)(x) +
(6)(2) = x2 + 2x + 6x + 12
FIGURE 6 (Continued)
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
T: Give me a thumbsup if you think we are finished
with our problem, or a thumbsdown if you think we
still need to continue.
S: Students give a thumbsdown.
T: That's;;. 1,i' We need to do one more i,;,,. Can we
simplify this answer? Are there similar terms that
can be added i.... i,. , ' Can I add x2+ 2x? Nod or
shake your head to let me know what you all think.
S: Students shake their heads.
T: We can NOT add them '.... i,. , They are not like
terms because they do not have the same exponent.
Can we add 2x + 6x2 Nod or shake your head to let
me know what you think.
S: Students nod their heads.
T: That's right, we can add them '... 1i,. to get 8x. So
x2 + 2x + 6x + 12 simplifies to x2 + 8x + 12. And
this is the final answer to our problem. Let's say it
i. t. . ,
S: x2 + 8x + 12.
T: Great work! Now let's check our work using our
calculators. We all have a cue card to help us learn
how to use our calculators to check our answers to
problems requiring us to multiply binomials. Let's
go 1il. 1.. our checklist and check our answer
(Review the word problem and the reasonableness
of the answer. Provide another example or two if
students need additional demonstrations.)
IV. Guided Practice
Provide guidance as students perform 3 or 4 more prob
lems with use of the STAR cue cards and reduce your level
of support as students assume more responsibility for the
learning (high, medium, low, none). For example (medium
level of support):
T: Great job helping me solve thatproblem. Now you
are ready to solve a problem with your partner
(x 5 ) ( x + 6). Remember to use our new strategy,
FOIL. Also remember your STAR strategy. Here's
your problem:
The width of our soccer field is 6 yards longer
than it is wide. After a rainstorm, a huge puddle
filled up part of our field and took away 5 yards
from its width. Write a polynomial expression to
represent the area of the current soccer field.
T: Okay, I want you to tell your partner the answer to
my questions. What are our firsts?
S: x times x.
T: What does it equal?
S: x2.
T: That's ;. 1,' What are our outers?
S: x times 6.
T: What do they equal?
S: 6x.
T: Excellent! What terms are in the inner position?
And what do they equal?
S:  5 and x which equals 5x.
T: Great job remembering that the subtraction sign in
front of the 5 really means that the 5 is negative,
and a negative times a positive is a negative term.
Now our final set of terms is the last. What are the
terms in the last position of each binomial?
S: Negative 5 and positive 6.
T: And what do they equal when we multiply them
. ... it. ,?
S: 30.
T: Great job! This is what we have so far Are we fin
ished? Thumbsup if we are, thumbsdown if we are
not.
U F 0 I L
(x  5) (x + 6) = (x)(x) + (x)(6) + (5)(x) +
(5)(6) = x2 + 6x  5x  30
S: Students give a thumbsdown.
T: That's;;. 1,i' What do we have to do to finish this
problem?
S: We need to simplify 6x 5x. And our final answer is
x2 +  30.
T: Excellent work! Now let's check our answer using
our calculators. What number should our calcula
tors show us if we have the correct answer?
S: Students hold up one finger
T: You got it! Now let's practice afew more problems.
(Walk around the room providing corrective feed
back and remodeling as needed.)
V. Independent Practice
Provide additional contextualized problems for students
to complete independently. Monitor student work and
address misconceptions or errors. Review the accuracy
of student responses.
FIGURE 6 (Continued)
APRIL 2008
VI. Remediation
Students will practice multiplying binomials using the
FOIL method with teacher guidance using the following
website: www.mathwarehouse.com/algebra/polynomials/
foilmethodbinomials.php
VII. Extension
Students will work independently to complete a more
challenging problem:
Rooster
B BB Bb
b Bb bb
The Punnet Square displays the possible gene combi
nations of offspring for a brown roaster and a brown
hen. Each parent has half the genes necessary for
brown feathers and half the genes necessary for white
feathers. The makeup of each parent can be modeled
by 0.5B + 0.5b. Their offspring can be modeled by the
product of (0.5B + 0.5b) and (0.5B + 0.5b). What per
centage of the offspring will have a pure brown geno
type? A pure white genotype? A hybrid genotype?
Refer to the following website for additional examples
of Punnet Squares: http://www2.edc.org/weblabs/Pun
nett/punnettsquares.html
FIGURE 6 (Continued)
and fractions to middle school students with and without
disabilities. Schemabased instruction involves teaching stu
dents to identify different problem types or schemas (e.g.,
compare, group, change). Next, students use the critical fea
tures of the word problems and represent the information
using a diagram. For example, students determine whether
the problem represents a change schema (i.e., adding or sub
tracting from an initial quantity), a.. .'o . schema (i.e., com
bining two different group amounts to obtain a combined
amount), or a compare schema (i.e., comparing quantities to
determine the difference in the amounts). Lastly, students
solve the word problem by planning, solving, and checking
the answer (see Figure 7 for an example).
Candi is 31 years old. Joe is 13 years older than Candi.
How old is Joe?
Compared set Difference set Referent set
Total is not known, so add 31 + 13 = 44. Joe is 44 years old.
Source: Adapted from Jitendra, 2002, p. 36
FIGURE 7
Example compare word problems
SI can effectively be coupled with mnemonic strategy
instruction in math, in which students use a systematic
method to help recall and retain math facts or processes
over time. Mnemonic strategies in math include firstletter
mnemonic strategies to help students remember and apply
steps for solving math problems. Other process mnemonics
may include the use of metaphors to help students remem
ber processes and rules associated with computation (Man
alo et al., 2000). The use of metaphors (i.e., relating the
processes involved with decimal computation to familiar
and interesting stories and actions) used in the process
mnemonic condition helps students with math LD to retain
the steps over time (Manalo et al., 2000). The authors noted
(p. 153) that "instead of trying to remember the correct
procedures through numbers and symbols they had previ
ously dealt with unsuccessfully, the students had metaphors
incorporating the warrior stories and actions." Test and Ellis
(2005) also found that implementation of a firstletter
mnemonic helped students with math LD retain information
over time.
In a promising finding, 85% of the JC teachers reported
using strategies that address problemsolving steps either
daily or weekly (see Figure 8). This percentage is similar to
math general education and special education teacher use in
general education settings when teachers are assisting stu
dents with solving word problems (Gagnon & Maccini,
2007). However, many JC teachers reported using strategies
that incorporate memory devices and strategies that include
both problem representation and problem solution only 14
times per month or never.
The teachers who reported not using SI strategies com
monly indicated that the practice does not meet their student's
Candi
13 yea 31 years
13years
Joe
? years
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
Strategy Instruction
14.9
47.9
10%
0%
Strategy Problem Solving Steps Memoryi .I I. ..
Type of Practice
Never
E 14 times per month
1 24 times per week
0 Daily
Problem Representation and
Problem Solution
FIGURE 8
Percentage of use of variables of strategy instruction reported.
academic needs. This reason is in direct contrast to the
research that documents the effects of SI with secondary stu
dents with difficulties in math across a variety of settings
(Jitendra et al., 1999, 2002; Xin et al., 2005; Manalo et al.,
2000; Test & Ellis, 2005). The next most frequent reason for
not using SI was the need for more training, followed by the
need for materials and resources. As with the other instruc
tional approaches mentioned, SI does not require extensive
materials or funding for implementation. To assist with
training and resource information, we describe an example
of a firstletter mnemonic strategy, STAR, in the following
section and provide an illustration of implementation within
the three lessons plans (see Figures 4, 5, and 6). We also pro
vide a list of recommended resources for use of SI.
Implications for Practice
SI is effective for helping middle school students with
LD and EBD learn problem solving involving addition, sub
traction, multiplication, division, and proportion (Jitendra et
al., 1999, 2002; Xin et al., 2005), decimals (Manalo et al.,
2000); and fractions (Test & Ellis, 2005), particularly when
used in small group learning environments (i.e., resource
rooms, separate classrooms). Across educational settings,
students benefit from (a) schemabased SI to help them rep
resent problems and solve for solutions; (b) firstletter
mnemonic strategies to help them remember and apply steps
for solving fraction problems; and (c) process mnemonics to
help them remember processes and rules associated with
computation involving decimal numbers. Schemabased SI
is particularly helpful for students who experience difficulty
with conceptual knowledge (i.e., understanding the nature of
the problem) and methods for solving for the solution. The
schemabased SI approach incorporates systematic instruc
tion with structure identity (i.e., multiplicative compare and
proportion), representation via a diagrammatic structure rel
evant to the problem type, and problem solution based on
the completed diagram (Xin et al., 2005).
As Figure 9 shows, the STAR strategy integrates many
of the variables found to be effective in the SI literature,
including (a) using a firstletter mnemonic to help students
APRIL 2008
STAR Strategy
1. S earch the word pi..i11 ,n
a. Read the problem carefully.
b. Ask yourself , I, i.. ' . \' V. . facts do I
know?" and "What do I need to find out?"
c. Write down facts.
2. T ranslate the words into a mathematical . ii;, 4,,
a. Ci h... a variable.
b. Identify the .j. a i.ii'. i
c. p '.. ." the problem with Algebra Lab Gear
(concrete). Draw a picture of the representation
(semiconcrete). .l ,i, an algebraic equation
(abstract).
3. A answer the problem.
a. Using Algebra Lab Gear (concrete)
b. _U ii. picture representation (semiconcrete)
c. Apply rule for integers (abstract)
4. R eview the problem.
a. Reread the problem.
b. Ask ,.I, ii"i "Does the answer make sense?
Why?"
c. Check answer.
FIGURE 9
STAR Strategy implementing the
CSA strategy (Maccini & Hughes, 2000)
remember essential problem ..1 inh. steps: (b) teaching both
problem representation and problem solution to address
conceptual .1m. 1 i I..li, (c) using methods of di (model,
guided practice, inir ,, rl, i p i. i, .11., and
review) to systematically teach the strategy; and (d) self
monitoring with use of structured worksheets (as described
in the Instructional Adaptations section). The sample lesson
plans , llii ,. use of the STAR strategy (see Figures 4, 5,
and 6), which is used in combination with the aforemen
tioned instructional practices to i... .ili.,. student acquisition
and generalization of the strategy. The resources listed
below address using SI in math for secondary students with
disabilities.
STRATEGY INSTRUCTION RESOURCES
Suggested Readings:
/ American Institutes for Research. (2004). Learning strategies
and mathematics. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved March
31, 2008, from i:, I . . , . . . ....... resource
I . .M... itrategies_Mathematics.asp
/ American Institutes for Research. (2004). Using mnemonic
instruction to teach math. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved
March 31, 2008, from :. . .. ,;
resources/mneemonics_math.asp
/ Jitendra. A. (2002). Teaching students math problemsolving
through graphic representations. Teaching Exceptional Chil
dren, 34(4), 3438.
/ Maccini, P., & Gagnon, J. C. (2005). Mathematics
Instruction (SI) for middle school students with learning dis
abilities. Washington. DC: American Institutes for Research.
Retrieved March 31, 2008, from http://www.k8accesscenter.
.,. , ,;:. resources/massinm.asp
/ Montague, M. (2005). Math problem solving for middle school
students with disabilities. Washington, DC: American Institutes
for Research. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from http://www.k8
accesscenter.org/trainig_ . . : .' ,
Technology and RealWorld Problem Solving
S,, 1.,.* ybased instructional approaches include use
of the ..'II. i (e.g., computerassisted instruction [CAT],
computer tutorials) and other types of specialized systems
(e.g., video, webbased instruction, media) that support stu
dent learning (Vergason & Anderegg, 1997). For example,
videodisc or DVDbased instruction incorporates interactive
learning and effective design components to support student
learning. Realworld activities focus on embedding the
problemsolving information within realworld contexts to
enhance student . k,. in.i knowledge, ii. i;jii .ii and
generalization ( ', t.. .1' & Patton, 1997). Both i.. .!hii!,1'
and realworld problem solving are advocated in the NCTM
standards (NCTM, '.I* as essential components for math
ematics instruction.
Research Base
:.!i.i. . have documented the positive effects resulting
from the use of technology and realworld problem solving
with secondary students .. n  ..i i, I as LD and EBD in set
tings that range from general education to alternative set
tings (1:i' 1999; i:,.i Heinrichs, Chan, & Serlin,
2001; Bottge, Heinrichs, Mehta, & MH ... 2002; Bottge,
Rueda, LaRoque, Serlin, & Kwon, L , Bottge, Rueda,
Serlin, H .  & Kwon, 2007). Additionally, the combina
tion of i . la1 ..l . and realworld jr.,.1U. , solving are
highly recommended with some of our most troubled youth,
such as those in JC school settings (Gagnon & Mayer, L '14,
Maccini et al., 2006). Overall, studies on technology and
realworld problem .1 i. demonstrated a. iiir, mi gains
in problem solving involving adding and i .ii i..iin . whole
numbers and fractions (Bottge, 1 "".., algebra skills and
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
concepts (e.g., nonlinear functions, slope, reliability, mea
surement error) (Bottge et al., 2001; Bottge, Rueda,
Laroque, et al., 2007; Bottge, Rueda, Serlin, et al., 2007),
percent, measurement, whole and mixed fractions, and esti
mation (Bottge et al., 2002; Bottge, Rueda, Serlin, et al.,
2007).
Several studies examined the effects of Enhanced
Anchored Instruction (EAI). EAI involves embedding or
"anchoring" math to realworld problemsolving situations
via videodisc or CD with subsequent application of the tar
geted math concepts to a studentbased project (e.g., build
ing a skateboard ramp, constructing and racing derby cars,
constructing wooden benches, building a compost bin). The
studies were adapted from research at Vanderbilt University
that included a series of 12 math story problems on
videodiscs called The New Adventures of Jasper Woodbury
(Learning TZ~cliiil'h , Center at Vanderbilt University,
1996). In another example (Bottge et al., 2002), students in
the EAI condition worked in small groups to solve story
problems presented on the videodisc, Fraction of a Cost.
The vignette shows middle school students planning and
developing a skateboard ramp given a budget and collected
materials. Students navigated through the video and solved
problems and related subproblems involving measurement
skills, fractions, and money. The teacher reviewed concepts
and facilitated student learning as they navigated the video.
As an application to the skills learned, students then
designed and built wooden benches for the school. Bottge
and colleagues found that students in the EAI condition per
formed better than students not receiving the intervention on
contextualized problemsolving tasks. EAI students also
were better able to maintain performance and/or generalize
to other problemsolving tasks.
Generally, the literature documents the positive impact of
technologybased practices anchored in realworld mathe
matics problemsolving tasks for secondary students. The
results show promise for students with disabilities when
specific supports are provided. For example, in two studies,
researchers noted certain cognitive supports necessary to
assist students with disabilities, including multimediabased
(i.e., replaying segments, revising graphs, using virtual tape
measures) and instructional assistance (i.e., timely teacher
directed instruction, observation of peers as models to
inform practice).
Despite the empirical support for using tk ell iil ' . and
realworld problem solving on a daily or weekly basis, more
than 30% of the teachers in JC schools reported using tech
nologybased practices (CAI, webbased, and realworld
application) monthly, if at all (see Figure 10). In fact, only
half of teachers reported using CAI and threefourths of
teachers reported using webbased practices either some
times or never. This use is consistent with teacherreported
practice in general education settings, as secondary general
education math and special education teachers noted using
technology (e.g., graphing calculators) 24 times or less per
month (Gagnon & Maccini, 2007). The most prominent rea
son JC teachers reported not using specific types of technol
ogybased practices and realworld problem solving was
lack of materials/resources. Lack of materials was also
reported by general education math teachers in general edu
cation settings as a barrier to implementing goals consistent
with the NCTM standards (Maccini & Gagnon, 2002). Math
teachers within JC settings may have certain constraints,
including security issues with online access and lack of fis
cal supports f, i i iclliil, .I* (Leone & Meisel, 1997; Maccini
et al., 2006). However, proper teacher supervision can pre
vent inappropriate computer use such as surfing the web,
and security issues should not prevent youth from being pro
vided appropriate mathematics instruction that includes
technology and realworld problem solving. In the next sec
tion, we discuss resources and materials for teachers to con
sider that take into account certain restrictions in JC settings,
as well as researchbased recommendations for use regard
less of setting.
Implications for Practice
Current literature documents the positive impact of tech
nologybased practices anchored to realworld mathematics
problemsolving tasks for secondary students with and with
out disabilities. Although the practices are promising, at
least half of the teachers in the current survey who reported
not using the practices noted not having the necessary mate
rials or resources. Similarly, results of a National Center for
Education Statistics survey (USDOE, 1999) showed that a
number of teachers reported certain barriers to computer use
for instruction, including lack of computers. Teachers within
JC settings may be particularly vulnerable to these barriers
given (a) the lack of fiscal resources for purchasing technol
ogy and related materials within JC programs (Leone &
Meisel, 1997) and (b) supervision concerns with web acces
sibility within JC schools (Maccini et al., 2006).
Given the empirical support and relevance to preparing
students for an increasing technological society and work
force, all students, regardless of setting, must be provided
with technologybased practices with sound instructional
design principles and realworld problem application oppor
tunities. In light of the disparity of resources across schools
and districts, state grants or subgrants may be available for
purchasing technology to improve student academic perfor
mance or to provide professional development for teachers.
Also, numerous computer donation websites offer directories
or information on companies and agencies that donate used
computer hardware to schools and community associations
(e.g.,www.change.net/links/computers.htm). The resources
APRIL 2008
Technology and Real World Problem Solving
4.1
28.1
Never
D 14 times per month
1 24 times per week
* Daily
Real World
Type of Practice
FIGURE 10
Percentage of use of variables of technology and realworld problem solving reported.
listed in the next section include access briefs and articles
addressing t eiiin 4l% ,., b.,,d practices and realworld prob
lem solving in math for secondary students with LD and
EBD.
To provide additional assistance to general and special
educators across the educational continuum, lessons plans
are provided in Figures 4, 5 and 6. These lessons exemplify
the embedding of secondary mathematics concepts into
realworld situations that are interesting and ageappropri
ate (e.g., basketball and soccer fields, a swimming pool,
construction of a bedroom). Students use graphing calcu
lators and a cue card of steps to check their answers to
problems requiring them to multiply binomials (see Figure
16), and the lessons illustrate how an effective strategy
such as algebra tiles can be used through tcellin l '.1~ (e.g.,
virtual manipulatives). The virtual manipulatives are digi
tal representations of algebra tiles and other manipulatives
that can be moved by a mouse, similar to using physical
tiles.
TECHNOLOGY AND REALWORLD
PROBLEMSOLVING RESOURCES
Suggested Websites:
/ Bottge, B. (n.d.) Teaching Enhanced Anchored Mathematics
Project: Advancing the math skills of lowachieving adolescents
in technologyrich learning environments. Retrieved October 3,
2007, from http://www.wcer.wisc.edu/TEAM/contact_us.html
J The Adventures of Jasper Woodbury. (n.d.). Retrieved October
3, 2007, from http://pea body.vanderbilt.edu/projects/funded/
jasper/Jasperhome.html
Suggested Readings:
J American Institutes for Research. (2004). Computerassisted
instruction and mathematics. Washington, DC: Author. Re
trieved October 10, 2007, from http://www.k8accesscenter.org/
training_resources/LearingStrategies_Mathematics. asp
J Bottge, B. A. (2001). Building ramps and hovercrafts and im
proving math skills. Teaching Exceptional Children, 34(1), 1623.
J Davis, B., Caros, J., & Carine, D. (2006). Using technology to
access the general education curriculum. In D. D. Deshler & J.
60%
40%
20%
0%
WebBased
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
B. Schumaker (Eds). Teaching adolescents with disabilities (pp.
187234). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.
/ Hasselbring, T. S., Lott, A. C., & Zydney, J. M. (2006). Tech
nologysupported math instruction for students with disabili
ties: Two decades of research and development. Lexington, KY:
University of Kentucky Assistive Technology Institute.
Retrieved October 10, 2007, from http://www.ldonline.org/arti
cle/6291#refer
Graduated Instructional Sequence (CSA/CRA)
Detiniti,,i
The graduated instructional sequence involves a three
stage process in which students progress through the con
crete, semiconcrete, and abstract stages (see Figure 11). In
the literature, the terms "concretesemiconcreteabstract"
(CSA) and "concreterepresentationalabstract" (CRA) are
used synonymously to refer to this teaching continuum
(Witzel, 2005). First, students must successfully solve prob
lems using concrete or physical objects. Next, students
advance to the semiconcrete or representational stage, dur
ing which they use pictures rather than objects to represent
the mathematical problem. Lastly, students participate in
mathematical activities that require the use of abstractions,
such as numbers and symbols (Witzel, Mercer, & Miller,
2003). The CSA sequence is aligned with and builds upon
the NCTM standards, which encourage the use of handson
activities to help students explore mathematics (NCTM,
2000).
Several studies on the CSA sequence have reported pos
itive effects with middle and high school students classified
as LD and EBD on such challenging skills as integer num
bers and geometry. Moreover, researchers have reported the
effective use of the CSA sequence in a range of inclusionary
Concrete Use of physical manipulatives, such as
counters, beads, blocks, fraction bars,
pattern blocks, Cuisenaire rods, alge
bra tiles, and geoboards
Semiconcrete Use of visual representations or draw
ings, often corresponding to physical
manipulatives.
Abstract Use of numbers, variables, and sym
bols associated with mathematics.
FIGURE 11
The concretesemiconcreteabstract
instructional sequence
and more exclusionary settings, including JC schools (Cass,
Cates, Smith, & Jackson, 2003; Maccini et al., 2006; Mac
cini & Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 2000). Within the
empirical studies, students reached criterion performance,
maintained the skills over time, and generalized to more dif
ficult problem types. For example, researchers (Maccini &
Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 2000) found that the CSA
sequence helped students to represent and solve word prob
lems involving integer numbers and problem solving. The
students used algebra tiles at the concrete level to build con
ceptual knowledge and a mnemonic strategy (STAR) to
assist them with the procedural knowledge. Figure 9 pro
vides an overview of the way in which the CSA strategy was
implemented within the STAR strategy.
In a study that varied the CSA progression, Cass and col
leagues (2003) noted that geoboards helped secondary stu
dents with LD establish a conceptual understanding of
perimeter and area that could transfer to realworld problem
solving. Students received instruction using only the con
crete (geoboard) and the abstract components of the CSA
strategy and demonstrated generalization of these skills by
measuring the room and window sizes of a dollhouse and
then converting these measurements from scaled size to
actual size to determine the needed amount of flooring and
window treatments. Although studies show some support for
limiting the progression to the concrete and abstract stages,
more support exists for using the entire CSA sequence.
Use of the CSA sequence on a daily or weekly basis
helps students across settings understand math concepts via
a multisensorial approach prior to advancing to more
abstract tasks (Cass et al., 2003; Hudson & Miller, 2006;
Maccini & Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 2000). However,
as Figure 12 shows, over half of the teachers in JC schools
reported using this strategy only monthly, if at all. The infre
quent use of the entire CSA sequence in JC schools is con
sistent with other studies of teachers in public schools
(Gagnon & Maccini, 2007). Teachers in JC schools primar
ily noted that they needed more training and additional
materials and resources to effectively and frequently use the
CSA sequence. Like certain teachers in more inclusionary
schools, some teachers in juvenile corrections noted that
their views of teaching do not match the CSA approach.
This disconnection between teachers' views of instruction
and CSA may span a variety of classroom settings and
could be related to teachers' views that a conceptual, rule
based approach is more appropriate for secondary students.
One additional complication inherent in JC school settings
is that security concerns may limit a teacher's approach to
mathematics instruction. Manipulatives can be a serious
security issue. However, specific adaptations to the use of
manipulatives can and should be made (Maccini et al.,
2006). The implications for practice noted next consider the
APRIL 2008
The Graduated Instructional Sequence
100%
90%
40%
Never
0 24 times per week
* 14 times per month
* Daily
10%
0%
Graduated
Instructional
Sequence
Type of Practice
FIGURE 12
Percentage of use of the graduated instructional sequence reported
importance of using CSA in all classroom settings, as well
as safety precautions that specific exclusionary settings may
require.
Implications for Practice
Hudson and Miller (2006) recommend the use of a vari
ety of ageappropriate manipulatives (e.g., algebra tiles and
geoboards) for secondary students to address conceptual
understanding. Teachers in more secure settings may use
foam algebra tiles such as Easyshapes Algebra il,. , (EIA
Education, 2008) as an alternative resource to help learners
represent polynomials using geometric models.
More than half of the teachers in JC schools who reported
never using the CSA sequence gave as their reason the need
for more training. Therefore, the lesson plans (see Figures
4, 5, and 6) contained in this article include the use of the
CSA strategy. Packaging the explicit instructional strategy
with the CSA/CRA strategy has been found to be effective
in teaching algebraic skills to secondary students with math
difficulties. The lessons serve as an abridged version of
how the CSA sequence would occur and then describe one
day for each stage (concrete, semiconcrete, and abstract).
However, the literature suggests that students reach a crite
rion of 80% or higher on two to three consecutive probes
(independent practice) before advancing to the next stage
within the CSA sequence (Hudson & Miller, 2006; Maccini
& Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 2000).
Some teachers mentioned that the CSA approach does
not match their view of teaching. However, research
clearly indicates the effectiveness of CSA for secondary
students with special needs and the positive outcomes
related to student understanding of more abstract mathe
matics. For example, although algebra is an abstract form
of mathematics, Maccini and Hughes (2000) and Maccini
and Ruhl (2000) provided support for using the CSA
sequence when teaching algebra skills from word prob
lems involving subtraction of integers (Maccini & Ruhl,
2000) to all four computations of integers (Maccini &
Hughes, 2000). Additionally, these researchers suggested a
specific algebra manipulative, Algebra Lab Gear (Picciotto,
1990), which are tiles used to represent numeric and vari
able quantities. The lesson plans provided exemplify how to
use the tiles within the CSA sequence. Additional resources
are listed in the next section.
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
GRADUATED INSTRUCTIONAL
SEQUENCE RESOURCES
Suggested Readings:
V American Institutes for Research. (2004). Concreterepresenta
tionalabstract instructional approach. Washington, DC: Author.
Retrieved September 26, 2007, from http://www.k8accesscen
ter.org/training_resources/CRA_Instructional
/ Gagnon, J. C., & Maccini, P. (2001). Preparing students with
disabilities for algebra: Kindergarten through secondary school.
Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(2), 815.
/ Maccini, P., Gagnon, J. C., Mulcahy, C., & Leone, P. (2006).
Math instruction for committed youth within juvenile correc
tional schools. Journal of Correctional Education, 57(3),
210225.
PeerMediated Instruction
Definition
Peermediated instruction groups students together in
pairs or in small groups to learn with and from each other.
Although peermediated instruction can take many forms
(e.g., classwide peer tutoring, crossage tutoring, jigsaw),
some critical elements are associated with positive student
outcomes. Four of those elements, which can be character
istics of any peermediated instructional arrangement, are as
follows: (a) students must be assigned roles and trained to
function in those roles; (b) students must participate in pro
viding instruction to one another; (c) teachers must provide
ongoing monitoring and assistance during instructional ses
sions; and (d) the instructional task must include an acade
mic and/or social goal (Hall & Stegila, 2003). Most widely
used peermediated instructional approaches can be classi
fied broadly as either peertutoring iq.uiii Jd arrangements or
cooperative learning groups of 36 students. Regardless of
configuration, peermediated instructional arrangements can
benefit students by allowing for increased opportunities to
engage actively with the curriculum (Harper & Maheady,
2007). Peermediated instruction also allows students to
practice interacting with peers in a structured, supervised
setting.
Peermediated instruction has been associated with posi
tive outcomes for students with LD and EBD in a wide vari
ety of content areas, including mathematics (see Baker, Ger
sten, & Lee, 2002). While less research has assessed the
effectiveness of peermediated instruction in mathematics at
the secondary level than the elementary level, the research
that does exist shows promise. For example, Calhoon and
Fuchs (2003) determined that a peertutoring intervention,
combined with curriculumbased measurement, was effec
tive for teaching computations to secondary students with
LD and EBD on the mathematics within selfcontained
classrooms in three regular public high schools.
To assess the effectiveness of peermediated instruction
on higherorder math skills, Allsopp (1997) compared the
use of a specific peertutoring intervention to traditional
independent practice with middle school students consid
ered to be at risk of math failure. His findings indicated that
the two conditions were equally effective in producing gains
in beginning algebra problemsolving skills. Therefore,
teachers wishing to implement lessons that take advantage
of the unique aspects of peermediated instruction (e.g.,
opportunities for students with disabilities to interact posi
tively with peers and increased student engagement) can do
so with the confidence that they are not compromising
instruction of either computation or higherorder problem
solving skills.
Peermediated instructional practices are effective for
students across educational environments and are recom
mended on a frequent basis (i.e., daily or weekly). More
than half the teachers reported using cooperative learning
activities and peer tutoring on at least a weekly basis (see
Figure 13), which is similar to general education teachers in
regular settings (Gagnon & Maccini, 2007). However,
nearly half of the teachers noted that they used the practices
only 14 times per month or never. The most frequent rea
sons teachers gave for not using the instructional practices
noted were "does not meet my students' academic needs"
and the need for more training. However, for those who
reported the practice does not meet their students' academic
needs, as noted, the practice has been proven to be effective
for teaching both computation or higherorder problem
solving skills (Allsopp, 1997; Calhoon & Fuchs, 2003). To
assist teachers with ideas for implementation, the following
recommendations for practice are provided.
Implications for Practice
Teachers who indicated that peermediated instructional
arrangements do not meet their students' academic needs
may not understand the potential benefits of peermediated
instructional techniques or the importance of incorporating
specific instructional elements into the academic tasks. For
example, to realize maximum benefit from peermediated
instruction, teachers should assign students to roles and train
them in these roles (Malmgren, 1999). Teachers also should
ensure that students work together on tasks that include spe
cific math instructional goals. Additionally, it is important
for teachers to stay actively engaged during the activity and
provide ongoing monitoring and assistance throughout the
session. Not adhering to these suggestions may limit the
effectiveness of peermediated instructional sessions, lead
ing teachers to view peer activities as a generally ineffective
approach.
APRIL 2008
Grouping
100%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
Cooperative Learning Activities Peer Tutoring
Type of Practice
FIGURE 13
Percentage of use of grouping practices reported
PEERMEDIATED INSTRUCTION RESOURCES
Suggested Readings:
J American Institutes for Research. (2004). Using peer tutoring
for math. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved April 10, 2008,
from http://www.l., >.. . .ui  , i 1 iiiiiii resources/math
peertutoring.asp
J Bender, W. N. (2005). DmI'. . .'. in. math instruction: Strate
gies that work for K8 classrooms! Thousand Oaks, CA: Cor
win Press.
J LD Online. (1997). Using cooperative learning to teach math
ematics to students with learning disabilities. Arlington, VA:
Author. Retrieved April 10, 2008, from http://www.ldonline.
org/sitecontact
Instructional Adaptations
Deinition"
This final section includes a description of three types
of instructional adaptations involving selfmonitoring of
academic tasks, graphic organizers, and cue cards for help
ing students with disabilities in math. Selfmonitoring of
Never
D 14 times per month
* 24 times per week
* Daily
academic tasks refers to methods teachers use to help learn
ers track or graph their work completed or level of perfor
mance (Shimabukuro, Prater, Jenkins, & EdelenSmith,
1999). Graphic organizers are pictorial displays or diagrams
that represent essential content relationships using graphic
features (e.g., stems, arrows, boxes) and various structures
(e.g., cause and effect, hierarchical, sequencing, Venn dia
grams, webs). Much like graphic organizers, cue cards or
structured worksheets serve as prompts to help students
remember information, such as specific steps listed on a
card or worksheet to represent and solve math problems
(Joseph & Hunter, 2001).
Research has documented the positive effects of self
monitoring and cue cards or graphic organizers (Ives, 2007;
Joseph & Hunter, 2001; Shimabukuro et al., 1999) in math
with middle and high school students with LD. Researchers
have evaluated the effects of these approaches within public
and private school selfcontained classrooms. However,
researchers also recommend using both selfmonitoring and
cue cards or graphic organizers in JC settings (Maccini et
al., 2006). The use of selfmonitoring is important, given
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
APRIL 2008
common characteristics of students with high incidence dis
abilities (i.e., LD and EBD) in math, including problems in
focusing attention, metacognitive deficits such as monitor
ing and evaluating performance, and retrieving learned
information (Mulcahy & Gagnon, 2007). These strategies
hold significant potential for assisting youth with disabilities
to achieve in mathematics, regardless of their placement in
inclusionary or exclusionary school settings.
Use of the instructional adaptations increases student
productivity, accuracy, ontask behaviors, and retention of
learned skills over time (Shimabukuro et al., 1999). Specif
ically, students improved skills in the areas of fractions, pre
algebra content, and solving systems of linear equations.
Within the Shimabukuro and colleagues research, instruc
tion consisted of teaching students selfmonitoring proce
dures and how to monitor the accuracy of their academic
performance. In another study, Joseph and Hunter (2001)
determined the use of a cue card strategy helped students to
learn the procedures for solving fraction problems and retain
the steps over time. The cue card strategy consisted of (a)
the teacher modeling use of the cue card and the associated
steps; (b) guided practice of the use of the cue card with
sample problems and feedback; (c) independent practice;
and (d) students graphing daily performance on a progress
chart. In a more recent study focusing on algebra content,
Ives (2007) determined that graphic organizers helped stu
dents with language difficulties to solve systems of linear
equations and to maintain their performance over time. The
use of the structured formats helped students to understand
the procedures necessary for solving the systems of equations,
as well as to organize and solve the problems using math
terms (i.e., symbols, expressions, equations) instead of words.
Daily or weekly use of selfmonitoring and cue cards or
graphic organizers is recommended for students across set
tings to improve student academic productivity, accuracy,
and retention of information over time, and it is promising
that the majority of teachers in JC schools reported using
selfmonitoring and graphic organizers or cue cards on a
daily or weekly basis (see Figure 14). This finding is con
sistent with the use reported by secondary special education
Instructional Adaptations
100%
70%
60%
50%
40%
30%
20%
10%
0%
SelfMonitoring
Never
D 14 times per month
1 24 times per week
* Daily
Prompt Cards/Structured Worksheets
Type of Practice
FIGURE 14
Percentage of use of instructional adaptations reported
math teachers in general education settings (Gagnon &
Maccini, 2007). Still, a cause for concern is that onethird of
the teachers reported using the techniques only 14 times
per month or never. As noted, the use of a selfmonitoring
strategy may be helpful for students with EBD when solving
complex math problems, especially in light of the common
difficulties these students have with focusing attention dur
ing independent activities.
Teachers who reported not using the instructional prac
tices noted the lack of materials or resources and the need
for more training. To support teachers across settings, in the
section that follows we describe ways in which teachers can
overcome these barriers.
Implications for Practice
The current literature supports the use of instructional
adaptations such as selfmonitoring, graphic organizers, and
cue cards on a daily or weekly basis for secondary students
with math difficulties. Specifically, teachers should provide
(a) graphic organizers to help students organize and recall
essential problemsolving steps; (b) selfmonitoring strate
gies to help students independently monitor their academic
production and accuracy and focus their attention; and (c)
cue cards or structured worksheets to help prompt students
to use correct steps/procedures.
As teachers noted the lack of resources and training as
reasons for not using the practices, the specific resources
provided here include online resources with examples of
graphic organizes, blank organizers, and lesson ideas, as
well as links to additional research and articles containing
examples of teachers implementing the practices with sec
ondary students. Additionally, Figure 15 and sample lessons
(see Figures 4, 5, and 6) provide examples of the practical
Strategy Questions Write a check (/) after
completing each task or
question
Search the word problem:
Read the problem carefully
Ask yourself: "What do I
know? What do I need to
find?"
Write down facts:
Sources: Maccini & Gagnon, 2001; Maccini & Hughes, 2000: Mac
cini & Ruhl, 2000.
FIGURE 15
STAR strategy structured worksheet
application of a selfmonitoring procedure in conjunction
with a structured worksheet (see Figure 15).
INSTRUCTIONAL ADAPTATIONS RESOURCES
Suggested Websites of Math Graphic Organizers:
J Beanblossom, J. E. (2007, October). Southwest Georgia RESA:
Math graphic organizers. Retrieved October 30, 2007, from
http://www.swgeorgia.resa.kl2.ga.us/Math.html#High%20
School%20Graphic%200rganizers
J California Technology Assistance Project. (2007, February).
Middle school math project: Graphic organizer resource. Re
trieved October 30, 2007, from http://www.ctap4.org/math/di
graphic_organizers.htm
J Enchanted Learning Software. (n.d.). Graphic organizers.
Retrieved October 11, 2007, from http://www.enchantedlearn
ing.com/graphicorganizers/math/
J Teacher Vision. (n.d.). Graphic organizers and resources. Re
trieved October 11, 2007, from http://www.teachervision.fen.
com/slideshow/graphicorganizers/52116.html?detoured=1
Suggested Readings:
J Bender, W. (2005). iD,1 .. ,i. 11. math instruction: Strategies
that work for K8 classrooms! Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin
Press.
J Gagnon, J. C., & Maccini, P. (2001). Preparing students with
disabilities for algebra: Kindergarten through secondary school.
Teaching Exceptional Children, 33(2), 815.
J Maccini, P., & Gagnon, J. C. (2005). Math graphic organizers
for students with learning disabilities. Washington, DC: Amer
ican Institutes for Research. Retrieved March 31, 2008, from
l,11. : : : I >.. . li **i  I i i  , II _resources/mathgraphic
organizers.asp
SUMMARY
Reform efforts have called for highquality math instruc
tion based on use of empirically validated practices and age
appropriate math curriculum (IDEA, 2004), as well as a
greater emphasis on conceptual knowledge (i.e., under
standing the math concepts as opposed to facts), and prob
lem solving and reasoning skills (NCTM, 1989; 2000).
These recent legislative mandates apply to all students,
including those with disabilities educated in alternative set
tings such as juvenile correctional facilities.
In response to this call, this article provides ideas that
would be effective across various educational settings. Sur
vey results revealed teachers' current views and application
of researchbased instructional practices. The examples and
resources presented here constitute an attempt to address
teacher understanding and assist teachers in delivering an
effective instructional program that will support students in
gaining competence in math.
FOCUS ON EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN
Checking our Answers when Multiplying Binomials
Using a TI83/TI83+/TI84+ Graphing Calculator
1. Enter the answer to your problem. SET "="
2. Set "="by LOGIC
a. 2nd function
b. MATH 2:
c. TEST #1
d. Hit ENTER :
5: <
3. Enter the two binomials 6: <
4. Hit ENTER
5. If a 1 appears, the answer IS correct.
6. If a 0 appears, the answer is NOT correct.
Example: (x + 3) (x + 4) = x_ + 7x + 12
1. To enter x_,
a. Hit ALPHA
b. X is located on the key STO
c. Hit x
2. Hit+
3. Hit 7
4. To enter x
a. Hit ALPHA
b. X is located on the key STO
5. Hit+
6. Hit 12
7. Set"="
a. 2nd function
b. MATH
c. TEST #1
a. Hit ENTER
8. Hit (x + 3) (x + 4)
Remember to enter x by ALPHA, STO
9. Hit ENTER
10. If a 1 appears, the answer IS correct. If a 0 appears, the answer is NOT
correct. Use the FOIL method again to correct your problem.
x_ +7x + 12 = (x + 3)(x + 4)
This is correct!
FIGURE 16
Checking answers with multiplying binomials
APRIL 2008
REFERENCES
The Adventures of Jasper Woodbury. (n.d.) Retrieved October 3, 2007,
from ".. l I I I .I t l, Ih : 1 1 . ,
home.html
i\: * i D. II. (1997). Using classwide peer tutoring to teach begin
ning algebra problemsolving skills in heterogeneous classrooms.
Remedial and Special Education, 18, 367379.
American Institutes for Research. (2004). Computerassisted instruc
tion and mathematics. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved Octo
ber 10, 2007. from . I .. .. . . . ..... reso
S i .... ' i .:. _Mathematics.asp
American Institutes for Research. (2004). Concrete representational
abstract instructional approach. Washington, DC: Author.
Retrieved September 26, 2007, from http://www.k8accesscenter.
org/training_resources/CRA_Instructi onal
American Institutes for Research. (2004). Learning strategies and
mathematics. Washington, DC: Author. Retrieved March 31, 2008,
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