Visual Chunking: Math

  • Situation

    How do I stop my student who knows his math very well, from screaming and head banging when he receives a math paper?

  • Summary

    Cut the paper into 4 strips and place in a row for your student with an office basket to place them in when he finishes. Adults can simply gesture him to the work table. He will see the row of strips and it may appear much more “doable” and easy a task to do.

  • Definition

    Organize items or tasks into manageable units. This “chunking” adaptation can appear to make school work “doable” to students, increasing on-task behavior and decreasing negative behavior towards the task. It can be effective for students whose working memory is compromised. There are a variety of ways visual chunking can occur.

  • Quick Facts

    • Child's Age: 3-5, 6-10, 11-13, 14-17, 18+
    • Planning Effort: Low
    • Difficulty Level: Easy
  • Pre-requisites


  • Process

    1. Determine what work is difficult and perceived as “undoable” to the student.

    2. Make a decision on the type of visual chunking to use: visual cues on the paper, redoing the paper visually, cutting the paper into sections.

    3. Implement and reinforce completing work.

  • Documents and Related Resources

    Examples of chunking Work (Word document)

    Examples of chunking (PDF)


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