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There’s math theory and then there is real life in the classroom. You may LOVE the idea of the CRA math model but you may wonder how you can incorporate this type of model with a classroom full of students with varying needs.

Let’s dive into some common roadblocks to the CRA math model so that you can simply incorporate this practice into your teaching.

#### How to Choose Math Manipulatives

- Model with hands-on materials whole group and then allow students to practice in a small group setting.
- Keep “math manipulative” kits in each students’ desks with materials periodically changed out to avoid material distribution during each and every lesson.
- Use hands-on materials with a partner to decrease the number of materials needed.
- Set up a “manipulative center” where students can access manipulatives as needed for independent work time.

*which*manipulatives to use, this blog post outlines the different types of concrete manipulatives that may be most useful to your students. Believe it or not, there is a progression to manipulatives – not all are created equally! This post will help you to determine the best tools for each of your students.

#### How to Differentiate Math Instruction

- Some students may need linking cubes that they can quite literally take apart.
- Some students may have progressed to base ten blocks who are able to “make a trade”.
- Some students may feel comfortable with base ten blocks– they are working on making accurate place value drawings that match their work.
- Some students may be quite proficient with place value drawings and they are attaching their drawings to the standard algorithm.

*strategically assign students to a given model.*You may ask a group of students to solve the problem using counters and a math drawing, another group to solve using a math drawing and an equation and a final group to solve the problem using an equation and base ten blocks.

#### How to Decrease Dependence on Teacher

*less*teacher dependence down the line!

#### How to Incorporate Problem Solving

*I have $0.48 cents in my pocket made up entirely of dimes and pennies. How many dimes and pennies might I have?*

This problem can be solved while honoring the CRA math model. Ask your students to model the story using base ten blocks and to record the different combinations of dimes and pennies both in place value drawings and words.

#### How to Assess

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