Math teachers, are you struggling to find new and creative ways to help your students succeed in math class? If so, you’re in luck. We’ve put together six tips that the most experienced and successful math teachers use to help their students learn.
Assessment doesn’t just mean chapter tests from the textbook. The best teachers are continually assessing student learning both with formal and informal assessments. When a teacher does an informal assessment like an exit slip right after class, it gives them time to see who is getting the concepts, and who might need extra help. This is invaluable for teachers to know and address before the formal chapter test.
Utilize Small-Group Instruction
Math doesn’t have to be learned alone at a desk. Putting students in small, highly structured groups and having them learn together is more effective than having them work alone.
Keep Student Engagement High
Tell jokes or stories, keep pacing brisk and use subject matter that interests your students — These are all ways to keep student engagement up. When students are engaged, They are attending to everything you say and they are far less likely to engage in minor misbehavior. Most classroom problems revolve around students not paying attention or students misbehaving, which is why keeping engagement high is such a crucial consideration.
Avoid Meaningless Practice
Yes, you could give out a homework sheet of 50 of the same kind of math problems, but should you? Having students practice basic skills over and over without context and rational for their practice is ineffective and old-fashioned. Instead, try giving real-life problems that require many steps to solve.
Use Project-Based Learning
When possible, steer away from worksheets and chapter tests and have student small groups work together on a project. Consider the math involved in computer programming, building scale models, or putting together business propositions and use those as some ideas of where to start.
Set Goals and Chart Progress
Student learning is demonstrably affected when students are able to see their progress to a goal. That’s why setting classroom goals and updating progress charts can be a valuable endeavor.