Monday, April 11, 2016

Build Confidence and Competence in Math

How? A recent Education Week article* considers four purposes for assigning math problems to help students deepen mathematical understanding. Use Classworks Applied Math to give your students meaningful math practice that addresses each of the four areas.

  1. Learn “new” content.
“...Math teachers should strive to introduce content through problems that are accessible yet challenging for students.”

Applied Math:
Includes differentiated problems that are complex enough to engage students with productive struggle. Activities address the same standard at varying levels of difficulty. Students interact with new content at an entry point that is comfortable and appropriate for their level of understanding.

2: Deepen understanding of previous content.
“...Teachers must assign the right problems and be prepared to scaffold students’ understanding.”

Applied Math:
Provides necessary pre-requisite content standards to make vertical connections between concepts. The canvas supports scaffolding of math communication and is a platform for conversation while students develop understanding and connect to previous knowledge.

3: Reveal and resolve misconceptions.
“...Don’t prevent students’ mistakes, prepare for them.” Don’t rob students of these important learning opportunities.

Applied Math:
Supports you with resource documents for each lesson that include common misconceptions to anticipate. Plan for responses or examples ahead of time to help guide learning. Allow students to make mistakes and then review the error and ways to avoid it.

4: Develop procedural fluency.
“...Procedural fluency builds conceptual understanding, strategic reasoning, and problem solving... Assign problems that are conducive to discovering and discussing multiple solution strategies.”

Applied Math:
Helps develop procedural fluency by building skills and knowledge through the progression of differentiated problems. Problems are written to allow for multiple solving strategies using tools on the canvas and/or the audio recording tool. See it in action.

Blog post written by Lynde Taylor, curriculum specialist and former middle grades math teacher.