Teaching Calculation with Evidence-Based Strategy Essay

September 21, 2021 by Essay Writer

Special education and low-achieving students often demonstrate poor results in mathematics tasks and activities. The problem is in the fact that students with difficulties in mathematics can experience additional problems with basic calculation.

Instructional and Skill Area

The areas of mathematics and calculation skills were identified as the areas in which it is necessary to use the effective evidence-based strategy to improve the students’ results. It was found that typical students’ errors in mathematics tasks were connected with calculation, and it is important to pay more attention to the development of students’ calculation skills.

Evidence-Based Strategy

To improve the students’ skills in the calculation, the verbalization or ‘think-aloud’ strategy was selected as a type of the actively used Self-Instruction strategy. The group of Self-Instruction strategies includes approaches oriented to teach students how to use verbal cues to help them with calculating and solving equations (Mitchell, 2008, p. 112; Montague, 2008, p. 38). The verbalization or ‘think-aloud’ strategy depends on monitoring the thinking process and actions orally. ‘Think-aloud’ are effective to be used in the areas of calculation and mathematical problem solving because they demonstrate what steps to take while solving the problem following the teacher’s example of thinking aloud and then stating orally the individual’s thoughts regarding the task (Bosson et al., 2010, p. 14).

Using such Self-Instruction strategy as verbalization, a student can set a goal, choose a strategy to cope with a task, monitor his or her progress, analyze success, and correct mistakes. As a result, students become able to remember and use many different strategies, to regulate themselves while choosing and using the strategies, and to take responsibility for their learning process and the result (Moos & Azevedo, 2008, p. 272; Rosenzweig, Krawec, & Montague, 2011, p. 508). Finally, a student learns the particular mathematical problem-solving strategy and uses verbal prompts while coping with different mathematical tasks. Researchers state that this strategy is appropriate for any study level if students are with disabilities and difficulties in learning mathematics (Bosson et al., 2010; Montague, 2008).

Implementation of the Strategy

The verbalization strategy is planned to be used for working with groups of special education students, low-achieving students, and students with difficulties in mathematics. The strategy is effective to be used several times during a lesson as the part of the preliminary mathematical problem-solving activities; as the strategy to help in learning new types of equations; and as the independent strategy to review calculation methods. To implement the verbalization strategy effectively, it is necessary to identify steps necessary to solve the equation; to demonstrate the model of self-instruction and verbalization for students while solving the concrete task; to encourage students to think aloud while solving the task; to provide the feedback for students.

Evidence to Document the Effects

To document the effects achieved with the help of using verbalization in mathematics lessons for low-achieving students and students with special needs or with difficulties in learning, it is appropriate to collect such types of evidence as pre-tests and post-tests. Pre-tests will be used to determining the levels of the skill’s development before using the verbalization strategy actively in lessons, and post-tests or tests of achievements in the area of calculation will be used to demonstrate changes in the students’ results. While completing post-tests, students are expected to be separated and work individually, while having an opportunity to whisper steps for solving equations (use verbal cues), if it is necessary.


Bosson, M., Hessels, M., Hessels-Schlatter, C., Berger, J. L., Kipfer, N., & Büchel, F. (2010). Strategy acquisition by children with general learning difficulties through metacognitive training. Australian Journal of Learning Difficulties, 15(1), 13-34.

Mitchell, D. (2008). What really works in special end inclusive education: Using evidence-based teaching strategies. New York, NY: Routledge.

Montague, M. (2008). Self-regulation strategies to improve mathematical problem solving for students with learning disabilities. Learning Disability Quarterly, 31(1), 37-44.

Moos, D. C., & Azevedo, R. (2008). Self-regulated learning with hypermedia: the role of prior domain knowledge. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 33(2), 270–298.

Rosenzweig, C., Krawec, J., & Montague, M. (2011). Metacognitive strategy use of eighth-grade students with and without learning disabilities during mathematical problem solving: A think-aloud analysis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 44(6), 508-520

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