Systems Word Problems Scaffolded

Word problems are challenging for many students. Writing a system of equations to model a word problem has unique challenges. This post provides details about a scaffolded handout with color coding can unpack the process for generating the appropriate system of equations. Unpacking the Word Problem A mistake I have witnessed over the years is… Continue reading Systems Word Problems Scaffolded

Multiplication by 2-Digit Factor – Scaffolded and Color-Coded

This was used for a student with ADHD who understood how to do the multiplication but would rush and repeatedly made simple mistakes. This grid and color-coding strategy was used as a means of slowing him down. He had to alternate between highlighting and writing each product for an individual multiplication of two digits. This… Continue reading Multiplication by 2-Digit Factor – Scaffolded and Color-Coded

Time on an Analog Clock – a Chunked Approach

Telling time on an analog clock is challenging for many students, especially some with special needs. I worked with a middle school student with a disability one summer and after a few lessons he scored 100% over two days on telling time. Below shows the progression I used with him. I used a task analysis… Continue reading Time on an Analog Clock – a Chunked Approach

Combining Like Terms – From Concrete to Symbolic Form

Here is a Jamboard (see photo at very bottom for how to make a copy to edit) that presents like terms as visual manipulatives and then eases into the symbolic form – the “mathy” stuff. The following shows each slide as is and how it looks after completion. Start with two groups of common items,… Continue reading Combining Like Terms – From Concrete to Symbolic Form

Piecewise Functions – Introduction

Here are images from a handout that serves as an introduction to piecewise functions. The focus is to develop conceptual understanding of piecewise before attempting to graph independently. The work is divided into chunks to reduce the level of task demand at a given time in the process. The first section has an application and… Continue reading Piecewise Functions – Introduction

Plotting Points Introduction

Plotting points is challenging for some students, even in high school. This approach uses the analogy of setting up a ladder for the x-value and climbing the ladder for the y-value. Jamboard with Ladder This activity is conducted on a Google Jamboard with moveable objects (see photo at the bottom on how to access it).The… Continue reading Plotting Points Introduction

Simplifying not so Simple Equation Solving

Several special ed teachers identified solving multi-step equations as the most challenging math topic to teach in middle school math. Here is my approach to teaching multi-step equations like 3m + 4m + 1 = 15. . First, I use a task analysis approach to break down the math topic like we cut up a… Continue reading Simplifying not so Simple Equation Solving

Modified Multiplication Table – Area Model Included

The idea is that the student will have to count squares and eventually skip count by how many rows. By doing so the student is more engaged (or less passive) in determining the product byy engaging the visual representation. I am interested in feedback and will revise if this could be useful. Here is a… Continue reading Modified Multiplication Table – Area Model Included

Inclusion vs Proximity

Some educators and parents of students with special needs are unclear about what is meant by the term inclusion. Some think it is having the student with a disability in the same location as “nondisabled peers.” Some think it involves doing the same exact tasks or academic work. Sesame Street figured this question out years… Continue reading Inclusion vs Proximity

Color – Easy to Implement Strategy

When my son was in preschool I asked him who was in his class. He replied, ” Natalie, she’s the yellow heart.” Children learn color before they learn words because it is easier to process. This is found in children’s toys with color used to guide use of toys. The obvious use of color in… Continue reading Color – Easy to Implement Strategy