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How to teach mathematics in 2021

7 Effective Strategies for Teaching Elementary Math by Mathseeds

  1. Make it hands-on. Manipulatives are hands-on tools that make math a lot easier for young children to understand. Tools like Lego, clay, and wooden blocks can all be used in the classroom to demonstrate how math ideas work.
  2. Use visuals and images. The most powerful way to use graphics in elementary math is in conjunction with specific practice or guidance, from a teacher.
  3. Find opportunities to differentiate learning. Technology-based classroom tools offer a powerful way to differentiate learning while teaching elementary math, which is an effective way to help students in mixed-ability classrooms to succeed.
  4. Ask students to explain their ideas. Have you ever noticed how much more confident you feel about a concept after explaining it to someone else? Meta-cognition is the process of thinking about your options, choices, and results, and it has a big impact on the way students learn.
  5. Incorporate storytelling to make connections to real-world scenarios. When it comes to igniting the interest of young minds, not much comes close to a good story. Incorporate story problems into your classroom lessons allow students to see how certain math concepts can apply to real life. Story problems are also a good way to help students understand how to use math in everyday life, and see the relevance of math.
  6. Show and tell new concepts. Elementary math teachers should normally begin each lesson with a ‘show and tell.’ Telling is the process of sharing information and knowledge with students, while showing involves modeling how to do something.
  7. Let your students regularly know how they’re doing. Feedback is an important part of teaching elementary math and improving students’ results. Let your students know how they have performed on a specific task, along with helpful ways that they can further improve and extend their skills.

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6 Ways to Help Students Understand Math by Matthew Beyranevand

  1. Create an effective class opener. The first five minutes of the class period set the tone for the entire lesson. Ideally, teachers would start by sharing the agenda for the class period so that students will know the expectations for what will be occurring.
  2. Introduce topics using multiple representations. The more types of representations that you can present to students addressing their different learning styles, the more likely they will truly understand the concept being presented.
  3. Solve the problems many ways. In the best classroom environment, the teacher is able to show different ways to solve the same problem and encourage the students to come up with their own creative ways to solve them.
  4. Show the application. In a perfect world, we would always be able to demonstrate how every concept can be applied to the real world — and when that’s possible, it helps improve the students’ understanding.
  5. Have students communicate their reasoning. Students need to explain their reasoning when solving problems. In order for a teacher to determine if every student truly understands the objective for the class period, it’s necessary for each student to communicate both orally and in writing.
  6. Finish class with a summary. Everyone can get lost in the class period, and it’s easy to lose track of time until the bell rings and class is over. The final seven minutes might be the most critical in making sure that students have understood the day’s learning objective.

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14 Essential Strategies in Teaching Math Posted by WeAreTeachers Staff

  1. Raise the bar for all. Holding high expectations for all students encourages growth. Rather than being born with or without math talent, kids need to hear from teachers that anyone who works hard can succeed.
  2. Don’t wait—act now! Look ahead to the specific concepts students need to master for annual end-of-year tests and pace instruction accordingly. Think about foundational skills they will need for future learning.
  3. Create a testing pathway. You may not even see the results of standardized tests until next school year, but you have to teach to it now. Use formative assessments to ensure that students understand the concepts.
  4. Observe, modify, and reevaluate. Sometimes we get stuck in a mindset of “a lesson a day” in order to get through the content. However, we should keep our pacing flexible, or kids can fall behind. Walk through your classroom as students work on problems and observe the dynamics.
  5. Connect math to other learning areas. The more we show students how math is connected to the world around us, the more invested they become. These conversations will help reinforce how mathematical thinking can help kids in all subject areas.
  6. Personalize and offer choice. When students are given the opportunity to choose how they learn and demonstrate their understanding of a concept, their buy-in and motivation increase. It gives them the chance to understand how they learn best, provides agency over their own learning, and allows for the space to practice different approaches to solving math problems.
  7. Encourage math talk. Communicating about math helps students process new learning and build on their thinking. Engage students during conversations and have them describe why they solved a problem in a certain way.
  8. Play math games. Student engagement and participation can be a challenge, especially if you’re relying heavily on worksheets. Games are an excellent way to make the learning more fun while simultaneously promoting strategic mathematical thinking, computational fluency, and understanding of operations.
  9. Emphasize hands-on learning. In math, there’s so much that’s abstract. Hands-on learning helps make the conceptual concrete. Consider incorporating math manipulatives whenever possible’
  10. Seek to develop understanding. Meaningful math education goes beyond memorizing formulas and procedures. Memorization does not foster understanding. Set high goals, create space for exploration, and work with the students to develop a strong foundation.
  11. Choose meaningful tasks. Kids get excited about math when they have to solve real-life problems. For instance, when teaching sixth graders how to determine area, present tasks related to a house redesign.
  12. Allow for productive struggle. When giving students an authentic problem, ask a big question and let them struggle to figure out several ways to solve it. “Your job, as a teacher, is to make it engaging by asking the right questions at the right time.
  13. Build excitement and reward progress. Students—especially those who haven’t experienced success—can have negative attitudes about math. Consider having students earn points and receive certificates, stickers, badges, or trophies as they progress.
  14. Encourage teacher teamwork and reflection. You can’t teach in a vacuum. Collaborate with other teachers to improve your math instruction skills. Start by discussing the goal for math lessons, what they will look like, and plan as a team to be most effective.

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26 Snappy Answers to the Question “When Are We Ever Going to Use This Math in Real Life?” by Elizabeth Mulvahill

As a math teacher, how many times have you heard frustrated students ask, “When are we ever going to use this math in real life!?” We know, it’s maddening! Especially for those of us who love math so much we’ve devoted our lives to sharing it with others.

  1. If you go bungee jumping, you might want to know a thing or two about trajectories.
  2. When you invest your money, you’ll do better if you understand concepts such as interest rates, risk vs. reward, and probability.
  3. Once you’re a car driver, you’ll need to be able to calculate things like reaction time and stopping distance.
  4. In case of a zombie apocalypse, you’re going to want to explore geometric progressions, interpret data and make predictions in order to stay human.
  5. Before you tackle that home wallpaper project, you’ll need to calculate just how much wall paper glue you need per square foot.
  6. When you buy your first house and apply for a 30-year mortgage, you may be shocked by the reality of what interest compounded over 30 years looks like.
  7. To be a responsible pet owner, you’ll need to calculate how much hamster food to have on hand.
  8. Even if you’re just an armchair athlete, you can’t believe the math involved in kicking field goals!
  9. When you double a recipe, you’re going to need to understand ratios so your dinner guests don’t look like this.
  10. Before you take that family road trip, you’re going to want to calculate time and distance.
  11. Before you go candy shopping, you’re going to have to figure out X trick or treaters times X pieces of candy equals…?
  12. If  you grow up to be an ice cream scientist, you’re going to have to understand the effect of temperature and pressure at the molecular level.
  13. Once you have little ones, you’ll need to know how many diapers to buy for the month.
  14. Because what if it’s your turn to organize the annual ping pong tournament, and there are 7 players at a club with 4 tables, where each player plays against each other player?
  15. When dressing for the day, you might want to consider the percent likelihood of rain.
  16. If you go into medical research, you’re going to have to know how to solve equations.
  17. Understanding percentages will help you get the best deal at the mall. For example, how much will something cost with 40% off? What about once the 15 VAT is added? What if it’s advertised as half-off?
  18. Budgeting for vacation will require figuring out how many hours at your pay rate you’ll have to work to afford the trip you want.
  19. When you volunteer to host the company holiday party, you’ll need to figure out how much food to get.
  20. If you grow up to be a super villain, you’re going to need to use math to determine the most effective way to slow down the superhero and keep him from saving the day.
  21. You’ll definitely want to understand how to budget your money so you don’t look like this at the grocery checkout.
  22. If you don’t work the numbers out in advance, you might at some point regret choosing that expensive out-of-province university.
  23. Before taking on a building project, remember the old saying—measure twice, cut once.
  24. If have aspirations of being a fashion designer, you’ll have to understand geometry in order to make the perfect twirling skirt.
  25. Everyone loves a good bargain! Figuring out the best deal is not only fun, it’s smart!
  26. If you can’t manage calculations, running the numbers at the car dealership might leave you feeling like this:

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What is Effective Teaching of Mathematics? by Chris Coombes

The old paradigm of balanced instruction focused on enabling children and teachers to achieve success at school.

Today’s paradigm focuses on students achieving college and career readiness in life, beyond school.

The old paradigm of balanced instruction focused on enabling children and teachers to succeed at school.

Today, the focus is for students to achieve college and career readiness in life beyond school.

This new paradigm expects that students:

Construct their own understandings

Apply prior knowledge and skills

Are consistently challenged

Take risks

See purpose in what they learn

The goal is for students to be literate in mathematics so that we can prepare them for a world where the subject is rapidly growing and is extensively applied to a diverse number of fields.

How effective teachers of mathematics skillfully integrate a range of instructional approaches and resources to meet the diverse learning needs of their students:

Know how students learn

Know what students need to learn

Know what their students already know

Encourage risk taking

Create purposeful learning experiences

Create challenge

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The Best Way To Teach Math

by Julia Brodsky

We have gotten accustomed to seeing math education as a lifeless, impassive pursuit. We need people who know how to pose questions, how to deal with being stuck, and how to have enough self-confidence to look for new solutions.

One of the most promising ways of encouraging students to study math is to put them in charge of their learning experience. Developmental psychologists and business leaders know that taking ownership of an activity fosters happiness and raises motivation.

Students become real mathematicians when they create their own mathematical worlds that are intriguing to them.

Mathematics, by its very nature, is a creative endeavor. No amount of standardized testing can capture its infinite variety.

Bertrand Russell observed, “The pure mathematician, like the musician, is a free creator of his world of ordered beauty”.

At its core, math education doesn’t need to be about tests. The pandemic has (quite literally) brought this message home for educators. This past spring, many teachers around the country were not required to “teach to the test.”

Engaging mathematical explorations can help students overcome boredom and math anxiety by letting them enjoy the discovery of elegant solutions to seemingly intractable problems. What could be a better approach to developing a growth mindset than letting children experience the awesome powers of their minds firsthand?

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6 tips for teaching mathematics: How to make it simple by AZ Big Media

  1. Pair up Students. One of the best ways for students to learn from each other. Some students may grasp concepts and problems better than other students, which is why it’s a good idea to pair them up.
  2. Re-teach. Sometimes it easy to move on to the next lesson before you realize that you need to reteach a lesson. Reteaching a lesson is crucial if you want more of your students to learn something better.
  3. Make a Game. You can also make math a fun game by having students play a game with each other. You can also quiz them for fun and offer prizes to students who get the most questions correct.
  4. Look at All of Your Resources. If students are struggling with your math lesson, you might consider various options. You want to consider all of your resources that can help improve a student’s learning.
  5. Consider Technology. Giving students access to technology can help them learn differently. They can also learn independently. Technology can also be a great way to introduce students to other video examples of how math is taught. It can help supplement your lesson.
  6. Talk to Parents. The final teaching strategy involves reaching out to parents. You want to encourage students to work with their kids on math problems. The more parents are involved, the more it can help their kids.

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What Does It Take to Teach for Mathematical Proficiency?

by the National Academies Press

First, what does it take to be proficient at mathematics teaching? Teachers must have a clear vision of the goals of instruction and what proficiency means for the specific mathematical content they are teaching.

Teachers need to be able to hear and see expressions of students’ mathematical ideas and to design appropriate ways to respond.

Three kinds of knowledge are crucial for teaching school mathematics: knowledge of mathematics, knowledge of students, and knowledge of instructional practices.

In the context of teaching, proficiency requires:

  • conceptual understanding of the core knowledge required in the practice of teaching;
  • fluency in carrying out basic instructional routines;
  • strategic competence in planning effective instruction and solving problems that arise during instruction;
  • adaptive reasoning in justifying and explaining one’s instructional practices and in reflecting on those practices so as to improve them; and a
  • productive disposition toward mathematics, teaching, learning, and the improvement of practice.

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How to Teach Maths Understanding Learners’ Needs By Steve Chinn

How to Teach Maths challenges everything you thought you knew about how maths is taught in classrooms.

Chinn guides readers through re-adjusting the presentation of maths to learners, considering learners’ needs first, and explains the importance of securing early learning to create a conceptual foundation for later success.

This highly accessible book, published November 2020, uses clear diagrams and examples to support maths teachers through many critical issues, including the following:

  • The context of maths education today
  • Topics that cause students the most difficulty
  • Effective communication in the mathematics classroom
  • Addressing maths anxiety.
  • This book is especially useful for those wanting to teach the foundations of mathematics in a developmental way to learners of all ages and abilities. It has the potential to change the way maths is taught forever.

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by Keith Devlin

Mathematical thinking takes a long time to develop. The challenge facing today’s math educators is finding the most efficient way to reach that goal. A way that does not fail, and alienate, the majority of our students. We need to find that way as rapidly as possible, without losing the majority on the way.

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