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Improve student outcomes and confidence in math

Have you ever attributed a student's inability to master a math concept or skill to a lack of multiplication fact fluency? Did the task of re-teaching multiplication facts seem so time consuming that you allowed the student to use a calculator and move on? If so, you and your students could benefit from the research-based, self-regulated, scripted multiplication strategy that includes master copies of all of the materials you need to get your students started. Multiplication facts 0 to 81 by Cecil D. Mercer and Susan Peterson Miller is a part of the Strategic Math Series from The University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.  This series includes seven research-based strategies to develop basic math skills and increase student independence. Each strategy uses the concrete-representational-abstract teaching sequence to guide students' mastery toward the selected skill. Students who participated in the multiplication strategy went from a mean score of 45% on their multiplication facts pretest to a mean score of 92% on the posttest. 


If you are interested in helping your students make those types of improvements, check out the book from the VDOE T/TAC at VCU libraryMercer, C.D., & Miller, S. P. (1992). Multiplication Facts 0 to 81. Lawrence, KS: Edge Enterprises. For more information on self-regulated strategy development visit 


Get rolling with strategy instruction

Self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) is essential for any school working on building a system of Tier II interventions.  You can learn more about SRSD by reading our articles Teaching learning strategies to build student independence and Improve adolescent persuasive writing skills with SRSD. If you're really interested, keep building your skills by reading the 2013 edition of Strategy instruction for students with learning disabilities. This practitioner-friendly text has an overview of recent research, a how-to guide on teaching strategy instruction, and specific strategies for handwriting, spelling, reading comprehension, writing, math, test-taking, and study skills.


Check out the book from the VDOE T/TAC at VCU libraryReid, R., Lienemann, T.O, & Hagaman, J. (2013). Strategy instruction for students with learning disabilities, 2nd Ed. New York: Guilford.

Using Peer Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS) in the classroom

Do you have students who need additional practice and support with their reading and/or math skills? The Peer Assisted Learning Strategies is a resource for you to consider. PALS is a classwide peer tutoring program that pairs students to review and reinforce reading or math skills. Partners take turns supporting (i.e., coaching) each other as they participate in activities to address a variety of skills.


The PALS for Reading Methods Grades 2-6 and the PALS for Math Methods Grades 2-6 are available in the T/TAC at VCU library. The manual for each program provides lessons for teachers to teach their students 
explicitly how to use PALS. PALS for Reading Methods Grades 2-6 guides students to work together to read stories and answer questions to develop reading fluency and reading comprehension. PALS for Math Methods Grades 2-6 teaches pairs of students how to work on specific math skills through "coaching," with one student providing explanation to another student who needs instruction. Student and teacher materials are included in each of the manuals.


If you are looking for a program that complements your reading or math curriculum and is a proven support for students, then try Peer Assisted Learning Strategies. Both you and your students will benefit! 


Stop by our library to check out these and other instructional resources. Our office is open Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. Can't make it into the office? Some library items can be placed in the mail or delivered to your school.  Call us for more information.

VDOE's Training and Technical Assistance Center at VCU
700 E Franklin Street, Suite 140
P.O. Box 843081
Richmond, VA 23284-3081