Spring 2017

Document Type

Master's Thesis (Open Access)

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Teacher Education


Decreasing the mathematical learning gap between students with disabilities and their neurotypical peers has been a priority for educators and researchers for years. Teachers require an easily implemented intervention to improve students’ comprehension of algebraic concepts. Algebra tiles are an intervention that has been frequently used to improve students’ understanding of abstract math concepts. This study used a quasi-experimental design with a pre- and post-test to examine the impact of algebra tiles on students’ understanding of distributive property and evaluating expressions. The treatment group received direct instruction and algebra tiles for a five-week period. Independent and paired samples t-tests were conducted to determine if there were statistically significant differences between the means of both groups on the post-test. The results of this study suggest that there were no significant differences in the final achievement of both groups. However, both group’s scores improved from pre- to post-test with statistically significant scores. Therefore, although using algebra tiles increased students' scores they were not statistically more beneficial than direct instruction. Future studies should continue looking for ways that will allow student with disabilities access to the general education curriculum.