Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Teaching Math Well

I spent the today at the first day of the Wayland Math Institute. I thought a lot about the math program I teach as I listened to speakers, presenters, and participants

My takeaways included the following:
  1. It is essential that all children believe that they are capable of learning math.
  2. A "Learning to Learn" curriculum that strengthens students' mindsets and learning actions is critical at the start of the school year with review and reference throughout the year.
  3. Math class needs to be engaging and empowering.
  4. Relevant problems and projects are integral to learning success.
  5. There needs to be many paths available with regard to learning math well.
  6. A 24-7 platform of tools, links, and study information aids student achievement and participation.
  7. The more you know and understand about math, the better you will teach it.
  8. We need to foster students' apt mathematical processes and strategies.
  9. We need to look deeper, converse, and problem solve around the best structures with regard to schedules, personnel, space, and time to teach all of our math students well.  
  10. When possible math learning should be integrated into the learning of other subject matter, and visa versa.
  11. Students who struggle need alternative strategies and more time to boost their core skills and grade-level learning. 
  12. It is imperative that you explicitly teach the standards of mathematical practices throughout every math unit.
  13. We can't underestimate the strength technology holds for math thinking and learning development as it's amazing. 
There's a lot of prep with regard to pedagogy, content, and skill when it comes to teaching well, and attention to the areas above will turn that prep into a successful math program for the students you teach.