Math teachers have a tough job. With science and math scores falling in the United States, more and more scrutiny is being placed on math teaching methods and practices. Teachers are on the receiving end of cultural pressure to increase math scores and ability in their students. Here are five common errors that may be holding your students back.
You don’t give enough guided practice
A large part of any lesson plan is the guided practice, but if all students are not able to get important feedback on whether their practice is correct or incorrect, they will start practicing errors. If you have one, using an interactive whiteboard student response system can give a teacher instant feedback on who in class understands the concepts and who needs continued support.
Your homework doesn’t seem to help
You send home 30-60 problems every night, but even students who complete it regularly are struggling with the concepts. It might be time to reconsider the format of the homework. Individualize homework to target the areas where students are struggling, and it will start to help students learn.
Your pacing is off
Crafting a lesson plan is a fine balance between giving new information and giving students enough time to practice working with new information. Make sure that you don’t lecture the entire period, but instead provide many different opportunities for guided and independent practice.
Your teaching doesn’t emphasize group processing
We know that group learning is an important skill for students to learn and also a support for students who are working to master concepts. Students working together to answer problems can contribute information when they are confident and learn from their peers when struggling. It’s also more likely that students will better retain concepts learned through group work.
Your student engagement is low
Students zoning out and distracted will not be able to learn and retain information like students who are mentally engaged in the lesson. While not everything you teach can always be fun, you can always include interactive and cooperative elements that will increase engagement.