Mathematics and Science Institute for Students With Special Needs

MSTAR Interventions

Scaffolding Instruction

  • Have students explain how they solve various problems.
  • Think aloud as you solve examples to make your thinking about the process transparent.
  • Provide instruction in smaller “chunks” of content (fewer skills to learn at once) if lesson objectives contain too much instructional content.
  • Provide multiple opportunities for students to practice mathematical ideas in written form, in small groups, using online practice resources, in a game format, and so forth.
  • Include visual representations as part of instruction; link to abstract and symbolic representations to help students make connections. For example, number lines help students visualize concepts (e.g., equivalent fractions, multiplication facts).
  • Provide many examples that are specific to the mathematical ideas being taught; require students to discriminate examples from nonexamples.
  • Use mathematical terms and their synonyms throughout the lessons and have students use mathematical terms and provide synonyms as well.
  • Anticipate and prevent misconceptions. See Common Misconceptions and How to Prevent and Correct Them in the next section.