NCII developed a series of mathematics lessons and guidance documents to support special education instructors, mathematics specialists, and others working with students who struggle with mathematics. These lessons and activities are organized around six mathematics skill areas that are aligned to college– and career-ready standards, and incorporate several instructional principles that may help intensify and individualize mathematics instruction to assist teachers and interventionists working with students who have difficulty with mathematics.
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Module 8 is the fourth module in a set of four course modules focused on explicit instruction. This module reviews explicit instruction and the supporting practices. It includes a number of opportunities to view and evaluate lesson examples, apply what was learned, and self-reflect.
This guide is intended to accompany the sample reading lessons and activities on the NCII website. It is divided into four sections.
Module 7 is the third in a set of four course modules focused on explicit instruction. This module focuses on providing immediate specific feedback and maintaining a brisk pace. Throughout the module, educators will learn how eliciting providing immediate specific feedback and maintaining a brisk pace support instruction within the DBI framework.
In this video, Sarah Powell, Assistant Professor in the Department of Special Education at the University of Texas at Austin, discusses key considerations when teaching students with math difficulty.
This video demonstrates how to use the set model to convert mixed numbers to improper fractions. It is important that students are exposed to converting fractions using this model because it is often how fractions are represented in the real world. Beginners and students who struggle may find the set model difficult to understand because the whole (1) is represented by a set of chips (4 chips in this example); therefore, students will benefit from explicit modeling and several opportunities to engage in guided and independent practice.
This video illustrates three different models for representing fractions: length, area, and set. Different concrete tools are available to illustrate the different fraction models including fraction tiles, fraction circles, Cuisenaire Rods, Geoboards, and different colored objects such as chips or clips. Many students struggle with fractions; for this reason, students should have multiple opportunities to explore fractions with a variety of models. When students understand how to use concrete models, they will develop the skills that are necessary to develop mental models and reasoning strategies related to fractions. Students should also have the opportunity to use different models to solve the same types of problems and discuss connections between the models.
This video demonstrates different partitioning strategies that students can use to multiply fractions. Partitioning refers to dividing a shape, such as a rectangle, into equal pieces. In area models and length models, the total number of equally partitioned pieces represents the denominator of the product. Students can practice multiplying nonequivalent fractions using an area model without concrete materials, such as by creating a grid using paper and pencil, or with concrete materials such as fraction grids. Students should also have the opportunity to practice multiplication using fraction tiles and length model.
This video demonstrates how to use fraction circles to help students compare the value of several fractions with different numerators and denominators. The use of direct modeling with concrete manipulatives, such as fractions circles, allows students to develop conceptual understanding of fractions before they attempt to compare fractions without concrete manipulatives or pictorial representations. After students have had multiple opportunities to practice comparing fractions with concrete manipulatives, they may be ready to use other strategies such as mental images and reasoning strategies.
This video demonstrates how to use fraction tiles to explore how different fractions can be equivalent to the same value, such as 1/5 and 2/10. It is important for students to understand that fractions have multiple representations because they can apply this knowledge to compare fractions, find common denominators, and perform computation with fractions.