What are the tools anyone needs to be an effective math teacher? Some are self-explanatory, but others may surprise you. Check out our top six tools for effective mathematics instruction.

1. Calculators

While everyone does need a certain level of mental math abilities, calculators are a great tool for the mathematics classroom. They make it possible for students to practice advanced skills in a shorter amount of time, and they allow students with learning disabilities a way to effectively work math problems.

2. An Effective Team Dynamic

Students who work together in teams learn more through collaboration and conversation than students who work alone. Of course, creating an effective team dynamic for students requires a great deal of work on the teachers part. Students need structure for their groups, and someone checking in to make sure that all group members are contributing.

3. An Interactive Whiteboard

What better way to incorporate the kind of multimedia presentations that engage student interest and contextualize mathematical learning than an interactive whiteboard? Having the ability to display charts and graphs, use internet games as practice or show an internet video illustrating a mathematics concept adds depth and excitement to lessons. Read this article to find out how to defeat students boredom.

4. The Internet

Like it or not, we’re living in a technological age. Students are more hooked into the internet than ever before. As teachers, we need to use that to our advantage by making assignments that require internet usage.

5. Dramatic Skill

Good teachers have some of the same element that makes a good actor — namely, the ability to captivate an audience. When students are engaged in the lesson, through the use of brisk pacing, high response rates and the occasional joke or story, they are less likely to misbehave and more likely to retain the information they’ve learned. Read this article to find out how to grab students attention.

6. Classroom Management Abilities

Effective classroom management is an art, not a science. It requires strong relationships with students, proactive planning, a good sense of humor and a great deal of patience. When students respect and like their teacher, misbehavior decreases and student achievement increases. Only by effectively meeting classroom management challenges can a math teacher create a positive learning environment.

Which effective tools do you use in class?