As students go through the learning path they are building schema. We’re constantly building schema and to help us gain a better understanding of how concepts become disconnected, let’s think about how students typically think about the math that they’re learning. We have a set of standards that we’re teaching to students, and then students look at these things often in isolation. They see them as bits of knowledge and they shove them into compartments: fractions over here, whole numbers over there, place value goes someplace else. The problem with thinking like that is that there’s no connection. When we get students to really think about the math, to consider the concepts in relation to the other things that they know, we can help them take a list of information and make it into a web of knowledge. This is how schema is built. Students connecting the individual learning to create these neural pathways to learn.