Improving mathematics instruction through evidence

We are evaluating several educational initiatives led by school districts that seek to improve student achievement in mathematics by refining their approach to mathematics instruction. One approach commonly used by our district partners is the Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) model for teaching mathematics, a research-based, three-part, systematic approach designed to build student understanding. At the concrete step, the concept is introduced using manipulatives (base ten blocks, fraction bars, counters) to solve a problem. During the representational stage, students use drawings (pictures, tallies, dots, graph paper) to represent the concrete objects to solve the problem. The abstr


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