This Is AuburnElectronic Theses and Dissertations

The Effects of Concrete-Representational-Abstract Sequence and a Mnemonic Strategy on Algebra Skills of Students Who Struggle in Math




Strozier, Shaunita

Type of Degree



Rehabilitation and Special Education


The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics (2012) and the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC; 2012) have stressed the importance of all students learning algebra. CEC stated that there was a crucial need for algebra instruction and intervention that can help students with disabilities in the general education classroom. Algebra is difficult to understand because of the abstractness of the concept. The use of the concrete-representational-abstract (CRA) sequence has been an effective instructional tool for students with disabilities in learning many math concepts. In order to assist with the abstractness of algebra, the CRA sequence assists students by using concrete manipulatives, drawings, and then numbers. Mnemonics have also been effective as a memory technique for students with disabilities. Currently, there was little research on CRA and SUMLOWS instruction for middle school students who struggle in solving algebraic equations. Therefore, this study investigated the effects of CRA and SUMLOWS on algebraic skills of middle school students who struggle in math. Specifically, students were taught one-step, two-step, and multiple-step equations with the distributive property. A multiple probe-across-behaviors design was used to demonstrate a functional relation between CRA and SUMLOWS instruction and the solving of equations across all behaviors.