We’ve put together a list of some of the worst mistakes math teachers can make. Read through and find out how your math instruction rates.
1. Math Teachers Overuse Textbooks.
It’s hard not to use a resource that has lesson plans, tests, worksheets, and even overhead slides all wrapped up in one package. Yet, when teachers design their own course of instruction, they tend to put more thought into course of study. They include activities that will peak student interest, and they plan better for extra time to reteach difficult concepts
2. Math Teachers Don’t Use Small Group Instruction.
Math, like any other subject, is not learned well in isolation. Working problems along at a desk will not result in the same kind of math expertise as working through problems collaboratively.
3. Math Teachers Ignore Technology.
There are so many resources available for every kind of teacher these days, it’s almost criminal not to have some way to access them in the classroom. Using interactive whiteboards to present videos, games, and other internet content is best practice for the math classroom.
4. Math Teachers Give Repetitive Practice.
Students are expected to reach a higher problem-solving level in high school math than ever before. It follows logically that student practice should be focused on working through multi-step problems that require them to exercise their problem-solving ability, not solving row after row of repetitive problems.
5. Math Teachers Ignore Student Engagement
Low student engagement is a causal factor for all kinds of classroom problems, like low student achievement and disruptive behavior problems. When students are bored or uninterested, they tend to be more disruptive and they learn less. To keep engagement high, keep lesson pacing brisk. Add stories or jokes where appropriate, and keep student response rates high by specifically calling on individuals throughout the lecture.
6. Math Teachers Don’t tell Students Math is Important.
Technological fields are some of the fastest growing industries in the nation. We need future generations of workers to have a level of math and science proficiency that this generation doesn’t possess. Math teachers need to tell students how important math is, and how crucial math skills will be to their future employment.