CPA Approach in math


Mathematics is an interconnected subject in which children need to be able to make connections across mathematical ideas. This enables them to develop fluency, mathematical reasoning and problem-solving skills.

Concrete-Pictorial-Abstract (CPA) approach Rising Stars Mathematics is based on the belief that mathematical understanding is developed through using concrete, pictorial and abstract (or symbolic) representations. Children will travel along this continuum again and again, often revisiting previous stages when a concept is extended.

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Children use concrete objects to help them make sense of the concept or problem. This could be anything from real or plastic fruit, to straws, counters, cubes or something else meaningful.


As the child’s experience and confidence grows, they may no longer need physical objects to actually move around. Instead, they draw them. These simple pictures to represent the problem could be pictures of real objects they have used in the past, objects mentioned in the problem or something else meaningful.


As understanding develops, children move on to use some form of abstract representation. Solving math problems using only numbers.




Class I students used CPA approach to do partitioning, They used cubes and base ten material as concrete resources and used Partitioning Circles as pictorial resources.  Partitioning is a way of splitting numbers into smaller parts to make them easier to work with.