A much better understanding of how children learn math and also better ways of teaching math have been developed over the past few decades. Some teaching practices that work to support student learning include;
posing challenging tasks that connect to children’s prior understandings and out-of-school experiences
providing opportunities for children to make sense of and talk about mathematics
promoting the use of mental mathematics based on patterns in our number system.
The best math instructors can be said to be the ones who have been prepared to empower their students as good mathematicians. Preparing teachers on an individual level is the best way to help them make some changes in standard practices that leads to a successful approach that is both manageable for teachers and very helpful for their students.
Novice teachers can employ the following;
- Ask students “why” at least once every day. Why did it work? Why does it make sense? Why would it work for all numbers?
- Instead of only checking for correct answers in student exercises, teachers can check on the what went right in the adopted methods of solving questions. They can then build on what the students understood in the next lesson.
- Textbooks can be used as a tool for generating essential tasks that are accessible for students. Some changes in numbers or contexts can easily be made in such books.
- Provide at least one opportunity each day for students to solve and explain problems mentally without the use of pencils, paper, calculators, etc. It will enhance creativity and mathematical thinking.
It is an undeniable fact that children learn best when they have more opportunities to explore and make sense of classroom learning. These changes (stated above) can help teachers develop their teaching practices and can cause significant improvement in classroom learning.
Teachers cannot be expected to have the sole burden of such changes. They must, however, be willing to work together across all their communities to advocate for systematic changes in systems that continue to perpetuate oppression in mathematics education.
Based on: http://hechingerreport.org/the-fantastic-new-ways-to-teach-math-that-most-schools-arent-even-using/