Title

Closing the Achievement Gap in Mathematics

Location

Ballroom E

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

The Common Core Standards emphasize that students have a conceptual and procedural knowledge of mathematics. The CRA sequence and explicit instruction is an evidence based intervention used for students at risk for mathematics difficulties as a way to build conceptual and procedural knowledge in mathematics, and in turn build fluency in mathematical operations such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication (Flores, 2009; Harris, Miller, & Mercer, 1995; Kaffar & Miller, 2011; Kroesbergen & Van Luit, 2003; Witzel, 2003).

Brief Program Description

This presentation will provide an overview of CRA instructional sequence along with explicit instruction and a demonstration of how to implement it. The demonstration will model for participants how CRA along with explicit instruction can be used to help students at risk build fluency and achieve grade level standards in addition, subtraction, and multiplication.

Summary

CRA is a three-part instructional sequence that fosters conceptual and procedural understanding of a mathematics skill (Miller, 2009). Each part of the sequence builds on the previous to promote student learning and retention. The sequence of instruction begins at the concrete-level and involves the use of manipulatives. After the concrete level of instruction, students move to the representational level which involves drawing out what is happening to the numbers and solving the mathematical problems. The final stage in the sequence is the abstract level of instruction. The abstract level involves instruction using numbers only. Students learn a mnemonic device that helps them remember the procedures to solve the problem in the abstract phase of instruction. Lessons using CRA are provided in the explicit instructional format which Kroesbergen & Van Luit (2003) explain is the most effective type of instruction for mathematics facts and students who are at-risk. Explicit instruction is a structured and systematic teaching method that uses a series of supports to guide students through the learning process (Archer & Hughes, 2011). Participants will have the opportunity to discuss the CRA sequence and explicit instruction with the presenters and how it is used to teach addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The presenters will then model how to implement CRA instruction during the session using manipulatives, drawings, and numbers and follow the explicit instruction format. There will be a question and answer session at the end of the presentation.

Evidence

Several studies have shown CRA with explicit instruction to be an effective intervention for students struggling with a variety mathematical skills. Mercer, and O’Shea (1988) compared the use of CRA instruction to the use of abstract-only instruction of initial place value skills and found that students who received CRA instruction outperformed those who received the abstract-only instruction. Butler, Miller, Crehan, Babbitt, and Pierce (2003) compared the use of CRA instruction to Representational-Abstract (RA) instruction for teaching fraction equivalency skills. The CRA students outperformed the RA students in their conceptual understanding of fractions. CRA has also been shown to improve student performance in basic math facts (Miller & Mercer, 1993; Mercer & Miller, 1992; Harris, Miller, & Mercer, 1995; Morin & Miller, 1998; Miller & Mercer, 1993), multi-digit problems that require regrouping (Miller & Kaffar, 2011; Flores, 2009; Flores, 2010) and algebra (Maccini &Hughes, 2000; Maccini & Ruhl, 2000; Witzell, Mercer, & Miller, 2003).

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Toni Franklin, Ph.D, is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Teacher Education Department at Columbus State University. She taught elementary special education and general education for 11 years in the public schools. Her research interest includes teacher preparation and academic interventions for students with disabilities in an inclusive setting.

Dr. Shaunita D. Strozier is an Assistant Professor of Special Education in the Department of Early Childhood and Special Education at Valdosta State University (VSU). Her research interests include math and reading strategies for students with disabilities. Before becoming an assistant professor, she was a resource and co-teacher for ten years for Troup and Coweta Counties at the middle and high school levels.

Keyword Descriptors

Teaching Methods, Evidence Based, Mathematics, Explicit Instruction, Intervention

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 1:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 2:15 PM

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Mar 3rd, 1:00 PM Mar 3rd, 2:15 PM

Closing the Achievement Gap in Mathematics

Ballroom E

This presentation will provide an overview of CRA instructional sequence along with explicit instruction and a demonstration of how to implement it. The demonstration will model for participants how CRA along with explicit instruction can be used to help students at risk build fluency and achieve grade level standards in addition, subtraction, and multiplication.