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Hover to see how factors connect to Working Memory. Then click connected factors to explore strategies related to multiple factors.
Working Memory, a component of executive functioning, allows a person to temporarily hold and manipulate information to apply in other processes. With our Working Memory, we recall and apply the knowledge stored in our Short- and Long-term Memories to help understand what we are learning. Working Memory is likely required for retaining information during math problem solving, in particular with more novel or complex problem types. When Working Memory is overtaxed, a math student can appear to have a poor attention span and be easily distracted because they struggle recalling and using information.
Working Memory can also be called updating as it involves working with and updating information in memory. One influential model of Working Memory lays out four components, each considered to have a limited capacity. These separate components are responsible for maintaining verbal Working Memory, visual and spatial Working Memory, and for integrating information from these components that serves as a link between Long-term Memory and Working Memory. In addition, there is an executive control system which directs activities within these systems, including shifting and focusing attention between them.
Cognitive load is another important element of Working Memory and refers to the amount of mental effort being expended by Working Memory during different tasks. Cognitive Load Theory proposes that instruction can be designed in a way that reduces some components of cognitive load:
Teachers support language development by using and providing vocabulary and syntax that is appropriately leveled (e.g.
Adding audio and braille-based resources along with materials, activities, and games to help young children develop simple mathematical concepts supports math development not just for learners with visual needs but all learners.
Providing clear, short instructions can support learners' Working Memory.
Building positive and trusting relationships with learners builds a sense of safety and belonging while supporting their academic, cognitive, and social and emotional needs.
Building with blocks fosters conceptual understanding of early geometric and Spatial Skills while supporting gross motor development.
Collaborative problem solving occurs when learners solve problems in a group which exposes them to new strategies and opportunities to communicate their mathematical thinking.
The Concrete-Representational-Abstract (CRA) approach is when learners progress from using concrete materials to representational drawings then abstract symbols.
Ten minutes in each math session devoted to building automaticity and retrieval of basic math facts sets the foundation for fluency.
Drawing pictures to represent their thinking helps young learners use non-linguistic representations to demonstrate their understanding.
When learners explain their thinking processes and solution strategies, they reflect, reconsider, and solidify their understanding.
Math vocabulary is critical for helping learners understand math concepts, procedures, and word problems.
Explicitly identifying strategies used for solving math problems, after first providing time for learners to problem solve on their own, fosters mathematical thinking and vocabulary.
Free choice supports learner interests and promotes the development of more complex social interactions.
Supplementing verbal information with actions reinforces concepts and engages student Attention.
Graphic organizers help learners Visualize how ideas fit together which helps them construct meaning and strengthen recall.
Providing feedback that focuses on the process of developing skills, rather than outcomes, emphasizes the importance of effort and productive struggle while fostering a learner mindset.
Guided inquiry involves active listening and questioning to help learners use their own language to construct knowledge.
Guided play encourages learners to take an active role in their learning and supports the development of a broad array of cognitive skills.
Guided practice involves facilitating strategic questioning to scaffold the practice and learning.
Learning about students' cultures and connecting them to instructional practices helps foster a Sense of Belonging and mitigate Stereotype threat.
Providing learners some ownership over their learning is critical for ensuring learning is meaningful and intrinsically motivating.
Math centers that include games, manipulatives, and hands-on activities to explore, support learner interests and promote the development of complex math skills and social interactions.
When students have meaningful conversations about math and use math vocabulary, they develop the thinking, questioning, and explanation skills needed to master mathematical concepts.
Math literature reflecting diversity can help learners hear math vocabulary in context, reflective of their culture, and see it applied to various mathematical concepts.
Short, frequent mindfulness activities can help learners deepen self-awareness and strengthen Attention.
When teachers model how to solve a problem or a specific skill, they create positive clear models of what learning looks like, which provides cognitive support for learning math.
Making math-to-self, math-to-math, and math-to-world connections helps learners recognize math in the world around them while building schema.
Brain breaks that include movement allow learners to refresh their thinking and focus on learning new information.
Instruction in multiple formats allows learners to activate different cognitive skills to understand and remember the steps they are to take in their math work.
Since both dance and music have patterns, rhythm and shapes, and are more familiar to learners than the abstract concepts of math, they can help in embodied learning of math concepts.
Maintaining a consistent routine and schedule ensures that learners are able to trust and predict what will happen next.
Providing space, time and structure for learners to reflect on their learning fosters a learner mindset as they analyze why and how they learn.
Text-to-speech functionality activates different parts of the brain to support learning.
Providing a structured way for learners to think about a question and discuss their thoughts with a partner before sharing with the larger group allows them to practice their skills and participate while speaking with and listening to others.
Three-phase lesson format is a problem-solving structure to promote meaningful math learning by activating prior knowledge, letting students explore mathematical thinking, and promoting a math community of learners.
Using manipulatives for hands-on exploration in a variety of ways supports conceptual understanding which is critical to mathematical thinking.
Wait time, or think time, of three or more seconds after posing a question can increase how many learners volunteer and the length and accuracy of their responses.
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Generating summary page
On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Summary" to view your Design Summary Report.
On this page, using your heatmap, you will be asked to select factors to further explore, and then select new strategies you might incorporate into upcoming instruction. Once done, click “Show Report” to view your Design Summary Report.
By selecting "Show Report" you will be taken to the Assessment Summary Page. Once created, you will not be able to edit your report. If you select cancel below, you can continue to edit your factor and strategy selections.
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