Math Coach Laura Connell presents a challenge

At Miller-Driscoll School teachers use Math In Focus: The Singapore Approach for math instruction in grades K- 2. This program uses the concrete-pictorial-abstract approach to teach skills. At the concrete level children are working hands-on with manipulatives (physical objects such as counters, unifix cubes, etc.) to develop their conceptual understanding. For example, a Kindergarten student learning about the number five would use different colored unifix cubes to build trains of five cubes in a variety of ways (1 red, 4 blue; 2 red, 3 blue, etc.). Once children have had sufficient time with hands-on experiences, they begin to work at the pictorial level, relating the skills to a diagram or picture of the problem. The same kindergarten student above would be circling or drawing sets of 5 objects. The final level is when children move to the abstract. Now a kindergarten student will be learning to recognize and write the numeral 5 and match it to a set of pictures.