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8 Fundamental Strategies Promoting Students’ Understanding Math

Written by Adam Torkildson

The primary goal of teaching mathematics is for pupils to grasp the concepts taught, utilize the techniques, and be able to recollect the key ideas whenever required. There is no benefit in students remembering a formula or method in preparation for an examination but forgetting them the following week. Teachers must focus on ensuring students can comprehend the concepts and not simply memorize the algorithms. This article discusses eight methods to conduct an understanding of math in the classroom. 

1. Develop a practical class opener.

The first 5 to 10 minutes establish the tone for the whole lesson. In a perfect world, teachers should begin by announcing the plan for the class period to ensure that students know the expectations of what will happen. Then, the teacher may announce and communicate the learning goal or key questions to the class to guarantee students are aware of the purpose, and then, towards the finish, they can evaluate whether the objectives have been achieved. In addition, the opener may include a couple of warm-up problems to assess and review students’ previous skills prior to their introduction to the subject matter. 

2. Introduce subjects using multiple models.

The more representations you are able to explain to students that address their diverse learning ways, the more likely they will fully grasp the concept being taught. Distinct representations can include manipulatives, showing the illustration, drawing the problem, and providing a figurative example. For instance, when introducing linear relationships (investigate this and countless other topics at Study Crumb) with one unknown, demonstrate to students the same issue on an arithmetic line, in terms, and with images. Students who can comprehend the same equation in different ways of representation will be more inclined to develop a conceptual framework of the relation and perform better on tests.

3. Focus on understanding in the first place. 

The most obvious but equally crucial advice. A meaningful math instruction goes far beyond memorizing formulas or techniques. Memorization does not actually promote omprehension. Set lofty goals, provide an ample environment for inquiry and exploration, and help the students to build a solid basis. Make them feel like true mathematicians. Give them a broad issue, overview different methods to solve it, and then ask for the idea or formula from the children instead of beginning with the formula right away. This helps to form a deeper knowledge of the concept and a mental connection with the subject. 

4. Find solutions to the problem in many ways.

In the ideal classroom, the teacher will be capable of showing different approaches to tackle the same issue and also encourage students to develop their own unique strategies to tackle them. The more approaches and strategies students are exposed to, the greater their conceptual knowledge of the subject grows. The ability to empower students to develop their own methods for solving problems can cause the teacher to be anxious. What happens if we don’t understand their reasoning? What if they’re not right? Nevertheless, it’s still worth it to let them do the research. After an individual or a small group of students has completed the problem in class with a single approach, encourage them to search for different ways of coming to the same solution. Pushing students to invent their personal, somewhat unique methods and then discuss the proper steps with the class is a highly beneficial learning experience. 

5. Demonstrate the application.

Ideally, we’d be able to explain how each concept can be applied to the real world, drastically improving pupils’ comprehension. If an idea cannot be involved this way, we can still clarify how it could be used in math or another domain of knowledge. Another approach is to illustrate how the concept was designed throughout math’s history. You can take a few minutes out of every lecture to explain to pupils how or where math is used or utilized beyond the classroom.

6. Ask students to describe concepts themselves.

Have you observed your greater confidence about a concept when you explain it to another person? Meta-cognition is the method of thinking about your choices and results, and it has a major influence on how students learn. Before you assign a math-related problem, you can ask students to think of methods for solving problems that they could use. Encourage students to brainstorm different strategies with respect.

This method can be used at each stage of problem-solving in the classroom when instructing elementary mathematics. After students have provided an answer, they are asked to explain step-by-step how they arrived at it. 

7. Permit for effective struggle.

If you are offering your students an original issue, ask them a broad question, and then let them work to discover ways to address the issue. Your role as an educator is to make it immersing by asking the relevant questions at the right moment to ensure that you don’t impede their ideas but rather assist them in finding the answer.

Give away as little prompt as possible, but enough so students can reflect effectively. Well-taught math assists students in grappling with concepts and connections. They can find out what really works and face difficulties along the way while they develop a positive attitude regarding mathematics. 

8. End class with a brief summary.

Everybody can get lost and lose track of time before the bell goes off and the lesson is over. The final several minutes might happen to be the most important in ensuring students have successfully grasped the day’s learning goals. This time can be used to accomplish three critical things: 

  • A short formative test to assess how much was understood
  • Revisiting the goal and a short talk on what the lesson plan will be the next time
  • Discussing the homework together to eliminate uncertainties.

About the author

Adam Torkildson