Math Intervention

The C-R-A Model (Concrete, Representational, Abstract) is a research based math intervention. It has been proven to strengthen students’ conceptual knowledge of mathematics. The CRA Model is a cyclical way of teaching math. The first step is using concrete materials and hands-on activities to introduce students to a concept. There is no mathematical symbols or notations during this phase. The second step is transferring the knowledge from concrete to representational through the use of representations. The students will need to see or create several representations of the concept being taught through drawings, virtual manipulatives, graphs, etc. Once students have had multiple opportunities to practice transference of knowledge from concrete to representational you can move to step three. Step three is the abstract method of teaching. This is where mathematical vocabulary, symbols, and numbers are used to teach the concept. The abstract level of thinking is extremely difficult for some students, we must make sure they have a strong foundation of representation before moving into the abstract way of teaching.

CAUTION: Many teachers skip over the representational part of instruction, which is where many of our students lose the connection from concrete/hands-on activities to the abstract or using numbers and symbols to help solve problems.

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Additional Resources:

CRA Model Article The Access Center for Improving Outcomes for All Students K-8

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About Me

Tina Cordova has been a classroom teacher since 2002; where she developed a love for all subjects especially mathematics.  She currently serves as a Math Coach at Pine Grove Elementary in Hernando County, FL working with the SUMS Math Program.