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4. Abstract & Concrete

Connect abstract and concrete representations of concepts.

Connecting abstract ideas with concrete contexts can help students understand challenging topics and learn to transfer their understanding to new situations. There are many ways teachers can connect the abstract and the concrete including using stories, simulations, hands-on activities, visual representations, and real-world problem solving.

Teaching a new concept in purely abstract terms can make it difficult for students to fully understand what is being taught. On the other hand, teaching a new concept in exclusively concrete terms can limit a student's ability to recognize key concepts or understand how to apply the concepts when faced with a new problem. Connecting abstract and concrete representations, and clearly highlighting the similarities and differences, can help students master the content being taught and develop better problem-solving strategies.