Ask your students what they think about math. It is usually a love or hate response. How do you feel when you teach math? Do you love it or hate it? Having a math program where students are engaging and you are not so stress, is a dream for most elementary teachers. Yet, the dream can be a reality.
What Does Your Math Program Consist Of?
Math literacy is so important for students to grasp and yet often it is about worksheets and testing. I’ve been in schools where they tell you what math to teach and other schools, where they encourage you to write it! Eek! But I have found a way to work around that!
What does your math program look like? Let’s break this down:
- How many days a week is it?
- What is the duration of each math block?
- Where are the students during the math block? Are they seated at their desks? Are they on the carpet?
- What materials are you using each block to teach? What materials are students given to facilitate learning?
Ways To Teach Math
There is no “ONE” way to teach math, but what I purpose is a variety of ways that will engage students. We have different learning styles in our classroom, and the more that we embrace teaching to those different styles, the less struggle you should see with students learning math.
These children need to “see” the concepts. They like anchor charts, drawings, work shown on white boards,
This is the way most teachers teach (I use to teach this way!), but sadly, it is usually the lowest percentage of students in the class. These students will sit and listen to you all day! They thrive on oral discussions. You can also give them videos to watch.
These children are the movers. They want to touch, feel, play with stuff. I find the this group of learners is a high percentage in primary classrooms. Ask who wants to play games, and these children will raise their hands.
Readers & Writers
Just give these children a book and pencil and they are usually good to go! They like the independent work. Much like the auditory learners, you will have a small percentage in this category.
So What Does This Look Like To Teach Math With All These Styles?
The easiest way I have found to incorporate all these styles is to do math rotations 3x/week, 1 formal group instruction 1x/week, and to have a game block. With online learning, this does look differently at present, but I’m hoping to get back to a more normal teaching practice in the fall. There is a lot to this style of teaching but not being able to teach this way (this year) reminds me how much I enjoy it! And so do the students!
This post is just a start to this series. I will be posting each week 1 of the components to this math program. What is great about it is that if your school requires you to use a particular math book, most curriculums can fit this style of teaching too! If you are looking for some videos on using math talks (one of the activities), click here and I will explain how I use them.
If you are interested in learning more about “Teaching Math Like A Boss”, click over to the side and subscribe. When you sign up, you will get a pdf on several activities in this math program! Then you will receive a weekly email letting you know when the next blog post or video are available.
Until then, happy teaching!