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Improving Math Problem Solving for Students with Learning Disabilities: Solve It!

Improving Math Problem Solving for Students with Learning Disabilities: Solve It!
Jennifer Krawec, Ph.D., University of Miami
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In collaboration with the Division for Learning Disabilities (DLD)

Problem solving is prominent in the current math curriculum reflecting national standards, yet solving mathematical word problems is a complex procedure involving multiple cognitive processes beyond computing an equation. Students must comprehend the problem information, create a mental model of the problem, and from that model determine and execute a viable solution plan. Particularly for students with learning disabilities who struggle in math, problem solving is daunting because of its variability: no series of discrete, procedural steps exist to consistently yield accurate solutions. This webinar gives you a research-based cognitive strategy instructional intervention, Solve It!, including its theoretical foundations, core components, and application to current standards. Modifications for use with students with more severe disabilities, students who are English language learners, and younger students are also discussed.

This program is intended for fifth through eighth grade teachers of students with learning disabilities or those who struggle in math. Teachers should be familiar with grade level Common Core Standards in Mathematics as well as the eight Standards for Mathematical Practice. The program is appropriate for both general education math teachers and special education teachers who support students in inclusive settings.

After viewing this program, you will be able to:

  • Describe and model the cognitive processes and metacognitive strategies to support math problem solving.
  • Identify the key characteristics of cognitive strategy instruction and explicit instruction and implement them with students.
  • Assess students’ problem-solving proficiency and differentiate instruction to reflect unique student needs.
  • Incorporate weekly problem-solving instruction into mathematics pacing guides.

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