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Saturday, November 21, 2015

Math Smart?

How do we help students forge math smart brain paths so that they can think and problem solve with mathematical process and problem solving?

I suggest the following activities.

Positive Attitude Towards Math
Eliminate all negative math talk and replace it with math interest, talk, and activity.

Early Learning in Math
Read math children's books, play math games, and include math in early learning talk and play.

Computation Ease
While modern day math education leaders are prompting us to use technology to do most of the calculations, it's still important for young children to count, establish one-to-one correspondence, understand the basic operations, and know how to calculate and estimate simple computation mentally and on paper.

Rationale and Real World
As much as possible tie every math activity to a real world context or problem.

Progressive Programs
Teach math by building one skill on top of another. Look for ways to boost progressive math programs rather than grade-level approaches to math learning. Like reading, math takes on a step-by-step process for most concepts, knowledge, and skill.

Collaboration and Engagement
Allow students to regularly work together with engaging math activities.

Technology Integration
Identify and use the best online math tech tools regularly to develop students' math ability. Teach students how to learn with online tools and activities.

Professional Learning
Create teams of math professionals who study, learn, and develop programs together. This professional collaboration will help to develop all math programming.

Vital Math Learning Environments
Make sure that math is visible in thought provoking, engaging ways in the hallways, classrooms, and meeting spaces throughout your school.

History of Math
Tell the story of math.

Make sure that students understand that math is a language that has its own vocabulary. Be explicit about teaching that vocabulary.

Math Play and Playgrounds
Create play spaces that allow students to experience math as they play.

These are a few starters as I think about how to increase math learning and engagement for my many students. What would you add to the list?