Planning Pyramid for Multi-Level Mathematics Instruction


Page 1 of 2

Many elementary students with learning disabilities experience difficulties in basic mathematics computation skills and/or in problem solving (Peters et al., 1987). These difficulties frequently inhibit full participation in classroom mathematics instruction. Some intensive, direct instruction of students with special needs in learning mathematics (either individually or in small groups) may be necessary. However, with close attention to the scope and sequence of instructional content, to teaching strategies (e.g., Howell & Bamhart, 1992; Montague, 1992), and to the design of practice activities (e.g., Camine, 1989) the level of participation and success of students can be greatly enhanced.

What is the adaptation?

The Pyramid approach provides an excellent framework for mathematics instruction. Many teachers have told us that most of their mathematics instruction is whole class. Students with learning disabilities as well as other students with challenges in learning computational and problems-solving skills were frequently lost and trapped in a downward spiral. The Pyramid can help teachers think about attending to differentiated student needs while thinking about the needs of the class as a whole. In using the Planning Pyramid for mathematics instruction, the following questions need to be considered:

  1. What is the skill or concept to be taught?
  2. What are the prerequisites for this skill or concept?
  3. What does it take for students to master this skill or concept?
  4. What are extensions and applications of the skill or concept?

What does it look like in practice?

Mr. Miller teaches third grade students in a large, urban elementary school. He uses the Planning Pyramid for preparing for whole-class lessons in mathematics. As Mr. Miller puts it,

With the right adaptations, I can get all my students to the top of the Pyramid! I still work with small groups of students to help them develop their computational skills. Some of my students have not become automatic in using basic facts or in basic operations; they need extra help. But they also like to feel part of the class; I don't want to separate them too much. That's why I use the Planning Pyramid--it makes me think about adaptations and how they can provide support for students who need that little boost.

Mr. Miller used the Planning Pyramid to develop a unit on money He used manipulatives, calculators, and cooperative learning groups to provide support for students who needed it. For two students, he needed to provide an oral, rather than a written, examination. As Mr. Miller told us, "All in all, planning for individual differences doesn't take much more time. It's worth the effort when I see students succeeding and feeling part of what we're doing in class."



 Previous   1   2   Next 

Council for Exceptional Children

Provided in partnership with The Council for Exceptional Children.


If you need to teach it, we have it covered.

Start your free trial to gain instant access to thousands of expertly curated worksheets, activities, and lessons created by educational publishers and teachers.

Start Your Free Trial

Follow us on:

Follow TeacherVision on Facebook
Follow TeacherVision on Google Plus

Highlights

December Calendar of Events
December is full of events that you can incorporate into your standard curriculum! Our Educators' Calendar outlines activities for each event. Happy holidays!

Bullying Prevention Resources
Bullying can cause both physical and emotional harm. Put a stop to classroom bullying, with our bullying prevention resources. Learn how to recognize several forms of bullying and teasing, and discover effective techniques for dealing with and preventing bullying in school.

Conflict Resolution
Teach your students to how resolve conflict amongst themselves without resorting to name-calling, fights, and tattling.

Immigration Resources
Studying immigration brings to light the many interesting and diverse cultures in the world.