3 Ways to Help Your Students Love Math!

  • by Kelly Harmon & Randi Anderson
  • April 8, 2018, 11:44 a.m.

1. Give Students a Choice

For students to take ownership of their learning, they need to be provided with opportunities to make choices. Students can make choices about what they need to practice in math stations. Have students reflect on strengths and areas for growth. Fourth grade teacher, April Buchanan has students track their progress on focus standards and then choose activities to strengthen standards the student identifies as a need.

Students should also make choices about which strategy to use for solving problems. Encourage students to solve problems in a way that makes sense to them. By doing this, students will strengthen neural pathways through productive struggle and repetition. Also, when things don't work out as planned, the student identifies misconceptions and corrects their error, causing them to learn twice as much.

Math Tubs

2. Make It Relevant

Have you ever asked "When will I ever use this in the real world?" while solving equations in a mathematics class? (Hand raised over here) Be sure to always give students a reason for importance and real world application for each concept taught. This gives students a sense of urgency when learning and practicing the concept. Use manipulatives and word problems that incorporate their real world interests!

3. Work in Teams

Teaming is all about collaborative thinking! In the real world, we are expected to work with others to accomplish a task. The classroom should be modeled like this. Students will need roles, or jobs, as part of the team to ensure everyone contributes to the work needed to accomplish a task. In math, students work in teams to solve problems and discuss their thinking. Teammates are accountable for their team's learning. Think win-win. When one team player wins, the entire team wins. There is no 'I' in team.


For more ways to get your students loving math, attend ourGuided Math Workshop on April 26th or July 30th, 2018!!!!!

Kelly Harmon and Randi Anderson

About The Authors

Kelly Harmon & Associates began in 2001 with a mission of instructional coaching and providing rich literacy resources for educators and parents. Our work incorporates research-based best practices for teaching and learning.

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