Hi, I’m Marilyn Zecher M.A., CALT
I am originally a classroom and demonstration teacher in a public school program for students with learning challenges. I have invested the last 25 years to developing ways to teach math to these students. The basis for this approach is grounding in evidence from neuroscience, strategies from multisensory teaching models and the best evidence based practices in math.
I always look to guidance from the NCTM, the What Works Clearinghouse and research.
In this approach we try to utilize the CRA or Concrete - Representational - Abstract Instructional sequence. We use manipulative objects to model math concepts and create memories in different parts of the brain to aid retrieval.
Linkages to real life are extremely useful at this level and we often use an inverted instructional sequence in which we begin with real life applications of a concept.
Additionally, incremental instruction and explicit instructional language aid students in mastering complex content. This is really a conceptual approach and not a procedurally grounded one. Though we do work toward procedural fluency we want students to base those procedures on sound mathematical reasoning. We always want students to understand the meaning behind the math.