From mental model

We know that nearly all students have access to good processing capabilities when dealing with concrete materials.

We also know that students are typically poor at making connections between the concrete and symbolic representations. Thus, we should explicitly model the process of developing conceptual models from the concrete.

We know that good mental representations are very difficult for students to construct.

The link between conceptual models and mental models is missing: students don’t know how to get from one to the other, and they don’t get taught how to do it.

Moreover, students may not actually recognise conceptual models as such. We should explicitly tell students whenever we are presenting a conceptual model.

We should explicitly teach students how to construct good mental models from conceptual models and otherwise, via modelling.

We should explicitly model the processes of developing conceptual models from the concrete, and developing mental models from the conceptual and/or the concrete.