This week, we kicked off our 12 Days of Teaching series, which will feature three weekly posts for the next month that offer strategies for keeping you and your students focused throughout what is often a highly distracting time of year.
Mathematics often gets a bad reputation. You hardly ever hear people say, “I was never good at reading” but “I was terrible at maths” is a common phrase, especially from your students’ parents. Bringing them into the fold is actually our first tip.
Curriculum is ever-changing. It’s important to communicate to parents what students are being taught in maths, to give them a better understanding of how they can help their kids at home. Workshops or parent meetings are a great way to help parents understand new strategies or mathematical terms. Consider hosting a school math fair for students and parents. When parents understand what is being taught, they’re more likely to engage.
This Teachers Media International video offers some great tips on how to make maths less scary for parents.
Combat “Maths phobia”
A fear of maths is a real thing for students. Creating an environment in which students feel comfortable to take risks, express themselves, ask questions, and work together can go a long way towards building trusting relationships that can take some of the fear out of learning, particularly where “maths phobia” lurks.
In this Teachers Media International video, you’ll find great tips on how to create the right maths environment.
Ask Meaningful Questions
Be sure to ask meaningful and purposeful questions that require students to be thoughtful when responding. Model aloud how to think about a question, respond, and clarify thoughts. You can use evidence of student thinking to assess if they are understanding the content and how they are progressing.
Take a look at this Teachers Media International article for more assessment ideas.
Of course, there are many more strategies for teaching maths we haven’t covered here. How do you combat “maths phobia” in your classroom? We’d love for you to share your tips in the comments.
We hope you’ve enjoyed the first week of our 12 Days of Teaching Campaign. We’re back Monday with the fourth installment. Until then, we hope you have a great weekend!
~ The Teachers Media Team