Adrienne Edwards wrote a precis of Jitendra's recent article. What follows is her introduction:
In the Spring 2008 Issue of Perspectives, the quarterly publication of IDA, Asha K Jitendra describes a workable way to teach math to LD (indeed all) students. This post is adapted from it.I recommend that you read Edwards' whole summary and the journal article reprinted at LD online before commenting here (Edwards doesn't allow comments on her blog, but I've emailed her a link to this post -- perhaps she will come over and comment).
Since problem solving is not well addressed in many mathematics textbooks, Jitendra and colleagues have developed a conceptual teaching approach that integrates mathematical problem solving and reading comprehension strategies (e.g., reading aloud, paraphrasing, questioning, clarifying and summarizing).
Called “Schema-Based Instruction” (SBI), the system was tested and perfected for a decade. The goal: to improve student learning of word problems, especially students with LD and those at risk for math failure.
Elsewhere on Schema-Based Instruction for Mathematics
Schema-based instruction improves math skills (APA Monitor Online, Monitor on Psychology Volume 38, No. 4 April 2007
Students who learn to identify three different kinds of word problems—and what strategies to use for each—do better on math tests than students who learn only one general-purpose model, finds a study in the February Journal of Educational Psychology (Vol. 99, No. 1, pages 115–127). Stopping to categorize a word problem before picking a plan to solve it may be especially effective for low-achieving students, says study author Asha Jitendra, PhD, a special education professor at Lehigh University.LD Online: An Exploratory Study of Schema-Based Word-Problem-Solving Instruction for Middle School Students with Learning Disabilities: An Emphasis on Conceptual and Procedural Understanding (reprint of article in The Journal of Special Education (2003): Vol. 36/NO. 1/2002/pp. 23-38)
Implications for practice: The findings from this study have several implications for practice. First, the schema-based intervention, with its emphasis on conceptual understanding, helped students with learning disabilities not only acquire word-problem-solving skills but also maintain the taught skills. Therefore, results of the study highlight the effectiveness of strategy instruction for addressing mathematical difficulties evidenced by students with learning disabilities (Montague, 1995, 1997b). Second, the results of this study suggest that teaching students to identify the relationships present in each word problem promotes generalization to other, untaught skills (e.g., multistep problems). Students with learning disabilities should receive instruction that teaches them to understand the key features of problems prior to solving them. Third, the effectiveness of the strategy when implemented by the classroom teacher may indicate the importance of researchers' collaborating with practitioners to adapt instruction to meet students' individual needs. Involving the classroom teacher in the implementation of this study was important because the teacher is now more likely to invest effort in continuing to use a strategy that had beneficial effects for her students.Journal of Learning Disabilities, v29 n4 p422-31 Jul 1996 (ERIC digest)
Paper presented at the Annual International Convention of the Council for Exceptional Children (73rd, Indianapolis, IN, April 5-9, 1995). (ERIC digest)
A comparison of single and multiple strategy instruction on third-grade students' mathematical problem solving Journal of educational psychology (2007), vol. 99, no1, pp. 115-127 [13 page(s) (article)]
The purposes of this study were to assess the differential effects of a single strategy (schema-based instruction; SBI) versus multiple strategies (general strategy instruction, GSI) in promoting mathematical problem solving and mathematics achievement as well as to examine the influence of word problem-solving instruction on the development of computational skills. Eighty-eight 3rd graders and their teachers were assigned randomly to conditions (SBI and GSI). Students were pre- and posttested on mathematical problem-solving and computation tests and were posttested on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment Mathematics test, a criterion-referenced test that measures student attainment of academic standards. Results revealed SBI to be more effective than GSI in enhancing students' mathematical word problem-solving skills at posttest and maintenance. Further, results indicate that the SBI groups' performance exceeded that of the GSI group on the Pennsylvania System of School Assessment measure. On the computation test, both groups made gains over time.Google Books: Teaching Mathematics to Middle School Students with Learning Disabilities ;
here's the link to the Amazon page
Solving Math Word Problems: Teaching Students with Learning Disabilities Using Schema-Based Instruction
(12452) ISBN: 9781416402459 ($53.00)
This is a detailed-scripted program using Schema-Based Instruction (SBI), designed as a framework for instructional implementation. It is primarily for school practitioners (e.g., special and general education teachers, school psychologists, etc.) teaching critical word problem solving skills to students with disabilities, grades 1-8.I can see that I will really need to wrap my brain around this approach.