Instructional Materials and Their Modification How to select programs and materials to meet the special needs of your students.
Types of Math Programs • Developmental Basals • Specific-Skill Programs • Programs for Low-Performing Students
Developmental Basals • Advantage • Comprehensive scope and sequence of skills • Disadvantages • Lack adequate amount of practice and review, due to spiral design • Lack specific instructions for teacher
Specific-Skill Programs • Advantage • Likely to include adequate practice to facilitate mastery. • Disadvantage • Lack of comprehensiveness (scope and sequence). • Teacher must ensure review of previously taught skills.
Programs for Low-Performing Students • Advantage • May be marketed for at-risk students or students with disabilities • Disadvantage • Often poorly constructed, lacking adequate: • practice • teacher instruction • scope and sequence
Program Evaluation • Instructional strategies • Sequence of skills • Example selection • Amount of practice and review
Instructional Strategies • A good strategy teaches only the skill intended without leading to misinterpretation. • Students need to be guided through a strategy. • Students need explicit steps to apply to a variety of problems. • Teach only one strategy for a given skill.
Sequence of Skills • Sequence often contributes to the amount of difficulty students will experience. • Skills that may be confused easily should not be introduced consecutively. • Preskills must be taught with adequate practice.
Example Selection • Practice problems should be carefully controlled. • Students need a variety to problems to practice when a strategy should be applied. • Worksheets should include the new skill along with previously taught skills for review and discrimination practice.
Practice and Review • Enough practice should be provided to allow students to reach mastery. • Enough review should be included to facilitate retention of previously learned skills. • Massed practice should be provided after a complex or difficult problem type is taught.
Modifying Math Programs • Try to make modifications before using the program. • Keep student performance levels in mind when determining the need for modifications. • Low-performing students are likely to require extensive modifications.
Five Steps in Modifying an Instructional Unit • Set priority objectives and levels of mastery. • Select problem-solving strategies. • Construct teaching formats for the major skills (and preskills if necessary) • Select practice examples. • Design worksheets or select pages of the text to review previously taught skills.
Set Priority Objectives and Levels of Mastery • Examine the problem types presented in the unit. • Decide which problem types to delete, delay teaching, or include in the unit. • Concentrate on the most essential grade-level skills. • Consider accuracy and fluency when determining mastery levels.
Select Strategies • Determine the relative efficiency of the strategy. • Easy to learn • Apply to a range of related problems • Determine whether the strategy is similar to that taught by other teachers in the school. • Allow for continuity between grade levels.
Construct Formats • Begin with a carefully designed teacher demonstration • Guided practice • Supervised practice • Independent practice
Select Examples for Practice and Review • Allow enough practice for mastery. • Include a review of previously taught strategies to help students determine when a new strategy is appropriate. • After mastery of the new skill is achieved, include systematic review on subsequent worksheets.