Problems Students Encounter during Math Instruction in Mixed-Ability Classrooms.Report as inadecuate

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This report describes a program for increasing enthusiasm for math. The targeted population consisted of mixed-ability split second and third grade self-contained cross categorical, regular education third, and regular education fifth grade math classes in a suburban area located in the Midwest. The problem of frustration, inattentiveness and lack of motivation were documented by inattentive behavior checklists, student surveys, and reflective journals. Analysis of probable cause data at the site and in the literature indicated that students were frustrated, bored, and inattentive because their needs were not being met through the current educational system in which students of all ability levels were being taught in the same classroom. A review of solution strategies suggested by knowledgeable others resulted in the development of a program that consisted of whole group instruction, compacting, and small group work. The goal of this program was to enhance motivation and enthusiasm during math. Whole group instruction introduced or reacquainted students with math concepts and vocabulary. Compacting helped meet the needs of every student. Small group work provided students the opportunity to work in heterogeneous groups. Implementation of the solution strategies increased motivation for math while decreasing inattentive behaviors. The use of curriculum compacting helped differentiate instruction. Through whole group instruction and cooperative learning, students were given a feeling of belonging. These solution strategies contributed to improving students' enthusiasm for math. (Contains 32 references.) (Author)

Descriptors: Cooperative Learning, Elementary Education, Grouping (Instructional Purposes), Mathematics Instruction, Motivation, Teaching Methods

Author: Andrews, Sherry; McFeggan, Cara; Patterson, Cynthia



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