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May 06, 2013

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Math Instructional Program

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Math Instructional Program

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assessments in his math class, Hume will be able to solve a math word problem at the 4th grade level and will be able to identify and describe all 7-steps of the process by which he solved it. He will be able to complete this objective with 100% accuracy on three consecutive assessments. Skill Sequence: This skill will be taught alongside math computation skills, especially the use of fractions and basic operations. It follows the mastery of single and double-digit computation in the basic four operations (+,-,*,/) and precedes pre-algebra and constructing algebraic equations. Rationale: The rationale behind teaching this skill is to improve the students ability to not only solve math problems, but to be able to rationalize the heuristic or strategy used to reach a solution and to be able to explain the steps entailed in reaching that solution. The two key reason why this skill ought to be taught are: 1) Academically, it is a part of the 7th grade math curriculum and is aligned with the common core state standards (cf. 7.EE.4a-7.EE.4b) and 2) Functionally, this skill applies to multiple future environments and needs, including vocational, domestic, and leisure environments. Context for Instruction: Assessment and instruction for Hume will occur during his 2nd hour 7th grade math class. Instruction will occur in the classroom, and will be a part of the naturally occurring routine, taking part as a part of the morning warm-up activities. The other students in the class will also be participating, and the lesson will be presented as a part of the course instruction. Mr. Wright will be leading instruction. Instruction on solving word problems will last approximately 20 minutes per day, four days per week, with a 30-minute assessment taking place once per week. Instructional Procedures: Instruction will be an adaptation of the Solve It! method for math instruction. Students will learn to paraphrase problems by putting the problem into their own words and visualize problems by developing schematic representations of them. (Montague et al, 2011) Emphasis will be placed on selecting strategies that work with the students needs and abilities, and on approaching problems not as word problems but as world problems, i.e., as functional problems that have real-world solutions and applications. The students will be instructed to solve word problems using a 7-step checklist (task analysis) adapted from the Solve It! Curriculum. The seven steps are as follows:

1) Read 2) Say (Paraphrase) 3) Represent (Visualize) 4) Plan (Hypothesize) 5) Estimate 6) Compute 7) Check Students will be presented with a worksheet/checklist with all seven steps listed on it (see attached). They will use this checklist as a prompt and as a self-monitoring tool for solving word problems. Setting: Math classroom. Students are seated at their desks, facing the white board. They have their math notebooks, pencils, and calculators. Task analysis: Cue Math word problem is written on board. 1) Students will open their math notebooks and copy down math problem. - Read the problem out loud. Good. (Read) 2) Students will read problem out loud. - Now ask: What is this problem asking you to do? Instructor will wait 30-seconds for students to consider strategies. 3) Re-tell the problem in your words and then write it down. - Students will re-tell problem orally. 4) Students will right down their re-tell in their math journals. (Say) 5) Good. Now, make a representation that shows what the question is asking you to do. - Students will independently select a representation based on their re-tell. This may be a model, a diagram, an equation, etc. 6) Check for understanding: What is a representation? Acceptable answers: A model, a picture, a diagram, a picture or symbol that represents something else, an equation, a sentence. 7) Good. What is your representation? (Represent) - Students will raise their hands to present their representations and will discuss their reasonings for their decisions. 8) Now, make a plan based on your representation of the problem. What do you think your answer will be or will look like? Be sure to include what steps you are going to take, and what operations you are going to use. - Either orally or in writing, students will list the steps they will take to reach their answers. (Plan) 9) Good. Now, estimate make a guess about how what your answer should be, and write that down. (Estimate) 10) Good. Now, take 2 minutes, and solve the problem. Write down your answer in your notebook. (Compute) 11) Check your answer and write it down. (Check)

Prompting: Primary prompting procedures will follow a most-to-least schedule, along with a latency period. First hierarchy of prompting: Verbal directions, visual on paper, visual written on board, gestural Second: Verbal, visual X 2 Third: Verbal, visual (on paper) Fourth (final): Visual on paper Fading will move from one level to the next following two consecutive instructional sessions at 100% completion for all steps of math problem. Data Collection: Data collection will be a permanent record recording. (The students worksheets.) Generalization: Students will use this learning strategy to solve math problems that require a variety of skills, and will incorporate newly learned skills into their heuristics. During separate instructional sessions, Mr. Wright will use a variety of media and instructional groupings and settings in order to encourage generalization. Assessment Procedures: Formal assessment will take place once per week (Fridays) during 2nd hour math class in the math classroom. Mastery will have been judged to have been obtained when Hume successfully solves three consecutive math word problems at the 4th grade level while completing 100% of the steps involved. At this point, the difficulty of the problems will increase. Assessment Schedule: Read Feb. 22 Mar. 01 Mar. 08 Mar. 14 Mar. 28 Apr. 05 Apr. 12 Apr. 19 Apr. 25 Data Collection: Assessment data collection will be permanent record recording. Reinforcement: Primary form of reinforcement will be verbal positive reinforcement. In addition, other forms of reinforcement that may be used include negative reinforcement. Students will be reinforced for completing their tasks and all steps included with free time, either Say Represent Plan Estimate Compute Check

in the form of board games and drawing within the classroom or space permitting with free time in the computer lab. Maintenance: Throughout the remainder of the course, students will return to and review the process of solving multi-step word problems. They will practice at least once per week during morning warm-ups, and assessment will continue via AIMSWeb and other curriculum-based assessments. In addition, newly acquired math concepts will be integrated into the WordWorld process, and new math problems will be presented to them that include these new concepts. Sample Student Checklist: 1) Read 2) Say 3) Represent 4) Plan 5) Estimate 6) Compute 7) Check Baseline: Feb. 15th Hume 2/15 Hume 2/15 Hume 2/15 Hume 3/27 3/28 4/4 4/5 4/11 4/12 4/18 4/19 4/25 Read + + + + + + + + + Say + + + + Represent + + + + + + Plan + + + + + + + + + Estimate + + Compute + + + + + + + + Check + + + + Total 5/7 2/7 3/7 3/7 4/7 6/7 5/7 7/7 7/7

Joel Wright April 26, 2013 Instructional Program Reflection Results: Baseline data trend was decreasing slightly. There was significant, observable improvement in Humes ability to solve math word problems at a level equal to his instructional level according to AIMSWeb (4th-5th Grade). Hume was able to successfully complete 100% of the 7 required steps on two consecutive assessments, which is just short of his stated goal of 100% on three consecutive assessments. Data trends under instructional conditions showed consistent improvement during weekly and twice weekly assessments conducted under specific conditions.

Discussion: I believe that this program was highly effective, and I would recommend it or a slightly altered version of it. The data shows that the program resulted in a significant increase in the students ability to not only solve math word problems, but also to comprehend them. In addition, I believe that Hume has increased his confidence in his math skills, and has become more willing to participate socially during math class as a result. Instruction was adjusted after the second assessment (3/28) when it became apparent that Hume was not making progress in the program. Along with one other student who was not making progress, Mr. Wright worked with Hume in one-on-one and small group instruction daily during flex times, for 8-10 minutes per day. These regular and rapid instructional periods seemed to have had an immediate and positive effect upon Humes ability to acquire the instructional content. The components and variables that contributed to the success of the program were teaching the skill on a regular basis in small groups, and embedding instruction within the curriculum. As stated, conducting regular mini-lessons alone with Hume or with one additional student had an immediate and positive effect. In addition, problems used for both instructional and assessment purposes were designed in accord with the course curriculum. Areas addressed in the problems included area and perimeter, fractions, and pre-algebraic concepts, all of which were being taught in the curriculum. Three components and variables that limited the learning process were student attendance, generalization, and adjusting instructional prompting. Hume often missed assessment dates because of infrequent attendance. One of the largest weaknesses of the instructional program as designed was that it did not account for measuring generalization. Although Hume improved dramatically on the formal assessments, I do not have data regarding his ability to generalization the self-regulation strategy that was taught, i.e., that he could identify a math problem in a different context and use the adapted 7-step Solve It! strategy for solving it. Finally, there were two areas in which Hume consistently struggled: Re-telling the problem in his own words, and making an estimation before solving the problem. In the future, I would more quickly adjust instruction so that I could know that Hume understood the concept of estimation, and

could show the process of estimation in his work. I would also specifically change step #2 from Say, to Tell, as in, Tell me what the problem is asking you to do. I would recommend the program again. I think that the programs greatest strengths were providing students with a functional context for which to solve math problems, teaching them the importance and meaning of making a variety of representations of math problems, and providing them with a strategy for solving complex word problems.

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