Mathematics, often seen as a daunting subject, holds the key to logical reasoning and problem-solving skills. As educators, our approach to teaching maths can profoundly impact how students perceive and engage with this discipline. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into effective strategies for teaching math, emphasizing a student-centric approach that empowers learners to explore and comprehend mathematical concepts. Throughout this exploration, we’ll incorporate the focus keyword “teaching math” to underscore the significance of these strategies.
The conventional approach to teaching math often involves the gradual release model – the teacher demonstrates a concept (I Do), guides the class in a collective practice (We Do), and then assigns independent practice (You Do). While this model has been widely used, it comes with its drawbacks.
Problem: it takes away opportunities from students to make sense of mathematical concepts on their own. It implies the teacher as the keeper of knowledge rather than a facilitator of learning, limiting the students’ exploration and understanding.
To foster a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, consider a paradigm shift. Embrace a model where the teacher launches the lesson, students explore the concepts independently, and the class comes together for a discussion.
Benefits: this approach places students at the center of their learning experience. It encourages exploration, critical thinking, and collaboration, fostering a deeper connection with mathematical concepts.
In the “I Launch” phase, the teacher introduces the mathematical concept, providing context and relevance. This can include real-world examples, visual aids, or engaging scenarios that capture students’ interest and curiosity.
Tip: Incorporate interactive activities or multimedia presentations to create an immersive learning experience during the launch.
The “You Explore” phase empowers students to delve into the mathematical concept independently. Encourage hands-on activities, problem-solving exercises, or collaborative projects that enable them to apply the newly introduced knowledge.
Tip: Provide a variety of resources, such as manipulatives, digital tools, or worksheets, to accommodate diverse learning styles during the exploration phase.*
The “We Discuss” phase brings the class together for a collaborative discussion. Encourage students to share their findings, ask questions, and engage in dialogue about the mathematical concept. This discussion allows for peer learning and a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
Tip: Foster a supportive and inclusive environment where all students feel comfortable sharing their thoughts and asking questions.
1. Encourages Critical Thinking
This model promotes critical thinking as students are actively involved in exploring and making sense of mathematical concepts. It shifts the focus from passive learning to active engagement, fostering a deeper understanding of the subject matter.
2. Fosters Independence
By allowing students to explore independently, the model encourages independence and self-directed learning. Students take ownership of their learning journey, leading to increased motivation and confidence in their mathematical abilities.
3. Facilitates Peer Learning
The collaborative discussion phase provides an opportunity for peer learning. Students learn from each other’s perspectives, share insights, and collectively build a richer understanding of the mathematical concepts.
4. Develops Problem-Solving Skills
Engaging in exploration and collaborative discussions enhances problem-solving skills. Students encounter challenges, discuss various approaches, and develop a toolkit of problem-solving strategies that extend beyond the realm of mathematics.
1. Numbers and Operations
I Launch: Introduce a real-world scenario involving numbers and operations, such as budgeting or measuring ingredients for a recipe.
You Explore: Provide activities where students independently apply operations in different contexts, such as solving word problems or creating their mathematical scenarios.
We Discuss: Facilitate a discussion where students share their approaches to solving problems, addressing misconceptions, and collectively reinforcing understanding.
I Launch: Introduce a geometric concept through visual aids or interactive demonstrations, such as exploring shapes in the real world.
You Explore: Have students independently identify and categorize geometric shapes in their environment, applying the concept in hands-on activities.
We Discuss: Conduct a collaborative discussion where students share their findings, discuss the properties of different shapes, and explore geometric relationships.
Incorporating the “I Launch, You Explore, We Discuss” model into your **teaching math** approach transforms the classroom into a dynamic learning environment. By placing students at the forefront of their mathematical exploration, this model nurtures critical thinking, independence, and collaborative learning. As educators, we play the role of guides, fostering a love for mathematics that extends beyond the classroom and empowers students for a lifetime of learning.
Lavanaya is a Math teacher in an International School in Hyderabad, India and is also a passionate sketchnoter.