Subset of a Problem

UDL 5.3

Working on a subset of a math problem involves allowing a student to work on parts of a problem rather than the entire problem. In a complex, multi-step problem, a student may be assigned to do one piece of the problem at his/her ability level. This strategy allows all students to participate in grade-level math by giving particular students portions of the problem that meet their goals.

Implementation Tips

For a student who requires more time to process information, the teacher can assign the subset of the problem ahead of time so the student can prepare.
Group Work
Students can be assigned to solve problems in pairs or groups where each student participates at his/her level.
For students who are working at a math level significantly below the grade level class, the work that is assigned to the majority of students can be adapted to the individual learners needs. A student working on the concept of matching can be given a page of algebraic expressions and match the number “4” with all “4s” on the page instead of solving the equations.


Math Equation
When a teacher does a math problem on the board {(4+3) - n (2)}, a student who is not doing algebraic equations can be asked to solve the (4+3) portion of the problem.
Math Word Problem
Vary responses to word problems based on the individual goals of students. When giving word problems involving money the teacher can take a core problem such as “Jenny bought a milk and hamburger in the cafeteria” and vary responses according to needs of students. Some can calculate the cost of the meal, others can determine how much change would be given, and others can be asked to determine what the least amount of coins would be necessary to make the transaction.
Worksheet with Multiple Levels
When creating a page of math problems, the teacher can vary the difficulty of the problems. For example, the even numbered addition problems involve regrouping, the odd numbers do not. Students are assigned odd or even based on their goals.

Related Strategies