6 Effective Teaching Techniques Every Math Teacher Should Know

Sadly, with the COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers were forced to take on the challenges of remote learning rapidly, and many students struggled with this learning method, just as many teachers struggled to give each student the time and attention they needed to thrive. 

Teaching mathematics is a challenge, all on its own. Teachers must juggle different teaching methodologies and techniques to reach students across various levels of knowledge, abilities, and backgrounds. This article will list several teaching strategies that teachers can use to improve the class as a whole and specific methods to help struggling learners individually.

Let’s go over 6 of our top effective teaching strategies every math teacher should know. 

1. Introduce Less Common Methods

Most math classes only focus on proven methods of solving problems. Sure, there are times when it is appropriate for a student to solve a problem without “proving” their solution – especially in earlier years – but showing students how other approaches work can be useful at all grade levels. 

For example — have students learn about proof by contradiction, which involves assuming the opposite of what you’re trying to prove is true and then seeing where that leads. It can be an exciting way to solve problems, and it will show students that not all math problems have to be solved in only one way.

Teaching students about less common problem-solving methods can greatly help them when they become more advanced in math. Finally, confronting a problem from multiple angles will make it easier for them to understand and embrace creative problem solving now and in the future.

2. Do Assessments Every Day

One way to gauge if your students are learning is to give them a daily assessment at the end of class. Getting daily feedback from students gives you the information you need to address many questions and problems. 

Make sure to ask your student if they’re feeling good about their level of comprehension and ability to perform on tests and quizzes. If not, what are they struggling with in particular? Is their roadblock self-imposed or due to lack of resources? Would introducing additional practice materials benefit them? Each of these questions can help pin down the problem and poses potential solutions.

3. Try Methods That Appeal to Visual Learners 

The Concrete, Representational, Abstract approach (CRA) is an evidence-based strategy specifically created for the middle school algebra classroom. CRA focuses on teaching by moving from very concrete examples of numbers to the abstract numbers themselves. 

With CRA, teachers begin with concrete examples of numbers, like blocks or checkers. These can be balls or blocks they show to the class – real ones or simply squares on paper. Then they move to a more representational (R) symbol, like lining up plus and minus signs in rows to mimic the same numbers. Then they move to the abstract (A), the numbers themselves. These methods help students come to see that algebra is not necessarily a hard, elusive kind of math — it’s just a different way of thinking about the same numbers. 

4. Integrate Supplemental Technology 

Today, blended classrooms combining online learning platforms with face-to-face teaching are proving more effective together than either approach alone. Research

has shown that blended classrooms provide students with the best of both educational worlds, a face-to-face instructor and self-paced learning tools that help students catch up to the place they would have otherwise been, knowledge-wise, if the pandemic had never happened. 

5. Teach Word Problems with Schema-Based Instruction

Many students fear word problems. But using schemas can help a student literally “see” the equation within the words and map it out in their mind. 

Schema-based instruction helps students recognize the basic patterns within all word problems and solve them according to type. In a recent study, schemas enhanced even disabled students’ word problem-solving accuracy by 22-34%.

6. Use Multimodal Approach

Multimodal approaches are perhaps one of the most valuable ways to teach math, because they allow everyone – even those who cannot read well – access to concepts otherwise difficult for them to understand. The benefit of learning with these different tools is that it allows every student agency over their own understanding. They don’t have to rely on someone else’s version of what math looks like.

However, many teachers are hesitant to allow students to use these tools because they’re worried it may slow down the class. Unfortunately, this is just not the case! Using these materials in classrooms actually results in higher engagement with lessons. The teacher can take advantage of using manipulatives or drawing throughout their math lecture.

Having discussions about these different approaches will give students a better concept of how to solve problems independently in the future. Even if you provide them with one way to solve a problem, they will know that there are multiple ways they can go about reaching their goal.

Let Us Help You With Your Student’s Needs

Here at De Alba Math Center, we specialize in custom-designed online learning platforms and take-home consumables to help students overcome pandemic-related setbacks and get the middle school math education they deserve. 

We create custom online lesson platforms tailored to your student’s abilities. Our learning packages give teachers the tools to create a classroom that is equipped for successful learning.  

Our platforms are compatible with Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, and other popular networking apps. 

De Alba Math Center is located in Texas and is dedicated to helping Texas teachers and students to meet Texas Education Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards. Instructors can feel confident that Texas middle schoolers (and any student grades 1-11) will excel on their State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR®) and in their coursework as well. 

Get started now! Blended classrooms give you the freedom to help students by letting them take the reins to their math-learning journey. 

Contact us for a free consultation and we will assess the best package and lesson plans for your students. De Alba Math Center will custom design a learning platform package that gives your students the tools to overcome post-pandemic learning deficits and win. 


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