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 Mathematics Strategy Instruction for Middle School Students with Learning Disabilities http://www.k8accesscenter.org/index.php ( Publisher's URL )
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 Material Information Title: Mathematics Strategy Instruction for Middle School Students with Learning Disabilities Physical Description: Technical Reports Creator: Gagnon, Joseph Publisher: Access Center Place of Publication: Washington DC Publication Date: 2005
 Notes Acquisition: Collected for University of Florida's Institutional Repository by the UFIR Self-Submittal tool. Submitted by Joseph Gagnon. Publication Status: Published
 Record Information Source Institution: University of Florida Institutional Repository Holding Location: University of Florida Rights Management: All rights reserved by the submitter. System ID: IR00000680:00001

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Mathematics S t rategy Instruction (SI) for Middle School S t udents with Learning Disabilities Paula Maccini and Joseph Gagnon

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strategies combine several of these features. Some cini & Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 000) first-letter mnemonic that can help students recall the sequential steps from familiar The steps for STAR include: m; Figure 1). eachers can use self-monitoring forms or structured worksheets to help students remember nd organize important steps and substeps. For example, students can keep track of their STAR is an example of an empirically validated (Mac 2 words used to help solve word problems involving integer numbers. (a) Search the word problem; (b) Translate the proble (c) Answer the problem; and (d) Review the solution (see T a problem solving performance by checking off ( ) the steps they completed (e.g., Did I check the reasonableness of my answer? ). What Is Strategy Instruction and What are the Key Components in Math? trategy instruction involves teaching strategies that are both effective (assisting students ire the hine ents with LD (see S with acquiring and generalizing information) and efficient (helping students acqu information in the least amount of time) (Lenz et al., 1996, p. 6). Student retention and learning is enhanced through the systematic use of effective teaching variables (Rosens& Stevens, 1986). That is, certain teaching variables (i.e., review, teacher presentation/modeling, guided practice, independent practice, feedback, and cumulative review) are both effective and efficient for teaching math to secondary studGagnon & Maccini, in press, for a complete description). Example of Strategy Instruction in Secondary Math: T he example below demonstrates a classroom lesson incorporating the first-letter mnemonic es the previously noted strategy ) l ake sure they have the rerequisite skills and vocabulary relevant to the appropriate math concept(s) and to make what a strategy, STAR (Maccini, 1998). This strategy incorporat features and effective teaching components to help teach the information efficiently and effectively. In addition, the strategy incorporates the concrete-semiconcrete-abstract (CSAinstructional sequence, which gradually advances to abstract ideas using the following progression: (a) concrete stage (i.e., three-dimensional representation in which students manipulate objects to represent math problems); (b) semiconcrete (i.e., two-dimensionarepresentation in which students draw pictures of the math problem); and (c) abstract (i.e.students represent the problem using numerical symbols). Prior to the lesson, the teacher should pretest students to m p sure the strategy is needed. The teacher then introduces the strategy and describesstrategy is, including the rationale for learning the specific instructional strategy and where and when to apply it. After an explanation, the teacher asks students to explain the purpose of the strategy, how it will help them solve word problems, and how to use the strategy.

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W hat are Some Considerations to Keep in Mind when Using Strategy Instruction in M ath Classes? r, 1996; Montague, 1988): word th class via adapting a ved in the STAR strategy , structure but using different story lines) and far There are a few recommendations to keep in mind when using strategy instruction in your ath class (Mille m 1. Recognize student characteristics (c ognitive and behavioral) and preferences. When teaching strategy instruction, be aware of student characterist ics and preferences For example, some students may prefer highlig hting relevant words while reading a problem aloud, while others ma y prefer underlini ng and silently reading the problem. Equally important is the need to recognize student behavioral characteristics, including their self-esteem in math and motivation. For instance, students with low motivation may need additional supports to promote acti ve engagement. Examples include creating individual student math contract s with the targeted math objectives and the goal/criterion and promoting active student involvement by having students l ead discussions while using a strategy (e.g., How did you arrive at your solution?). 2. Promote individualization of strategy instruction (SI) Students should be encouraged to individualize us e of SI in ma strategy learned in class. For exam ple, as processes invol becomes more automatic for students, recalling the first step, Search the word problem may prompt students to read t he problem carefully and to initiate translation into mathematical form (i.e., transla ting words into an equation). 3. Program for generalization It is imperative that both s pecial and general education math teachers program for both near (i.e., maintaining the same f generalization (i.e., incorporating more co mplex problems than the problems in the instructional set) of the SI math strategies in order to promote ret ention and application o strategy use. For example, for near generalization different story lines can be incorporated for generalization (i.e., use of integer numbers with problems involving time zone changes, sea level, and age) in addition to the problems used in the instructional set. For far generalization more complex problems ar e introduced than the problems initially taught in the instruct ional set (e.g., In a certain city, if the difference between the highest and lowest altitude is 155 m and the altitude of the highest point is 900 m above sea level, what is the altitude of the lowest po int?). In addition to its application to problem solving involving integer numbers, the STAR strategy can be generalized across math topics (see Figure 3 for an example involving area).

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