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Increasing Understanding and Fluency in Multiplication and Division with CRA

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Instructional Strategies



To progress in mathematics, students must conceptually understand the meaning of operations and their relations, but understanding the relation between multiplication and division can be difficult (Bisanz, Watchorn, Piatt, & Sherman, 2009; Robinson & LeFevre, 2012). Students with disabilities who learn basic multiplication and division without acquiring this conceptual understanding rely on rote memorization and struggle with more complex computation (Agrawal & Morin, 2016). This presentation will allow teachers to learn how to teach critical concepts related to multiplication and division to elementary students with diverse learning needs. Visual representations such as the concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) are effective in teaching operations to students with disabilities (Agrawal & Morin; Jitendra, 2013). This presentation will be of interest professionals because it involved elementary students with disabilities from diverse backgrounds who had not mastered multiplication with conceptual understanding, which interfered with their learning of division. Students had not mastered all facts, a common challenge for teachers, such as potential attendees (Geary, et al., 2007). The study was a mixed method design, with a multiple probe across students design that measured the effects of CRA on the students’ accuracy and fluency. Qualitative methods were used to assess students’ conceptual understanding using videos of students explaining their computation processes. A functional relation was demonstrated between CRA and mastery and fluency in facts. Qualitative analysis of videos showed meaningful change in students’ understanding of operations.

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