A. Summary of Instruction Problem
Mathematics is essential to our daily lives whether doubling a cookie recipe or buying a cheeseburger at McDonalds. Life in the future is going to require students to use higher levels of problem solving skills for most jobs. Therefore, it is important for all students to have these skills to meet future challenges. IDEA states that all students with disabilities have access to the general curriculum. With the No Child Left Behind Act these same students are held accountable to the same high academic requirements as the general education students. In Indiana, ISTEP+ statewide math scores have seen a slight rise but Indiana is getting ready to do away with IMAST, Indiana Modified Achievement Standards Test. (Reschke, 2013) This test was an alternative for the ISTEP+ for students who met the alternative test requirements. With this testing change there will be more Special Education students that will be required to take the math ISTEP+ exam. Franklin Community School Corporation in Indiana overall has seen a slight rise in their ISTEP+ math scores but there is still a large percentage of Special Education and At Risk students who still do not achieve a passing score. (IDE, 2013) With the new testing changes this number will only increase. Indiana is in the process of implementing the Common Core standards across the state. The Common Core Standards require that students be able to solve word problems. (CCSI, 2010) A large percentage of the students not passing ISTEP+ are still struggling with word problems. These same students may be able to actually do the computation required in the word problems but put the same computation into a word problem and the students have no idea how to find the answer. Unfortunately, math instruction for these students still tends to be focused on rote memorization of math facts and computation and little emphasis on problem solving techniques. The students not passing the ISTEP+ math tests are having problems reading math word problems, comprehending math word problems and identifying math operations in a word problem. Teaching these students strategies for creating a visual representation and solutions of word problems will help these students. Creating a needs and learner analysis will determine if these students would benefit from an instructional intervention focusing on problem representation and problem solution to assist students in successfully solving word problems.
A.1 Problem Statement
Third grade students at Creekside Elementary in Franklin Community Schools are struggling with successfully solving math word problems. Students are having difficulties reading math word problems, comprehending math word problems, and identifying math operations in a word problem. Now that Indiana is using Common Core Standards which require the students to focus more on understanding and problem solving than basic memorization of facts, it is even more...