Date Approved

5-25-2016

Embargo Period

6-17-2016

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.A. Special Education

Department

Interdisciplinary and Inclusive Education

College

College of Education

First Advisor

Kuder, Sydney

Subject(s)

Word problems (Mathematics); Exceptional children

Disciplines

Science and Mathematics Education | Special Education and Teaching

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to find which problem solving strategy was more effective for special education students in the general education classroom; CUBES or Solve It! The students completed a pre-test, solving five single step and five multi-step word problems. The students then received four instructional and activity sessions on the CUBES and Solve It! strategies. The results indicated that the six fourth grade special education participants increased their problem solving skills after using each strategy. The Solve It! strategy resulted in a larger increase then the CUBES strategy. The students showed a slightly larger decrease in the number of single step incorrect problems using the Solve It! strategy. The CUBES strategy showed a slightly larger decrease in the number of multi-step problems incorrect. The research demonstrated that the use of CUBES and Solve It! was beneficially to the special education students who receive their math instruction in the general education classroom. This study demonstrated the high demand for all students to develop successful problem solving skills. The research also indicated that with the use of a problem solving strategy, special education students can increase their problem solving abilities. Further research is needed to determine all the factors that lead to an increase in the students’ problem solving abilities.

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