Math Strategies for Success

Welcome to the Math Strategies page!  From Kindergarten to 6th Grade, these strategies have proven successful.  Of course, innovative instructors can take a strategy and modify it to best meet their students and I welcome you to do the same! Post your tips to share with others. Together we make a difference!


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  Teaching off the Wall   One of the first ways to establish math strategies is to design a space that displays all of the strategies and concepts explicitly taught.  Designing a Math Wall to display the math terms taught, graphic organizers to utilize,  or conceptual units showing the elements that go together, allows students to have the anchor needed to continue building new math concepts.  All students look for the “Easy Button” and benefit when the concept and strategy is within easy reach!  It also enhances location memory! One amazing teacher I know even used the ceiling tiles to post concepts.  When a student had difficulty retrieving a concept, she simply said, “Look up!”

Interactive Journals  When students place new learning within an interactive journal, anchor examples showing step-by-step problem solutions are an easy reference.  Patterns of problem solving can be established through an interactive journal designed as the model and guided practice part of a lesson. A table of contents is a great way for students to organize pages with headings for a cumulative review or test preparation.

Physical Models to Conceptual Understanding   Using all learning modalities is very important for all learners no matter what the age.  Making a physical model to manipulate can be the difference in the level of understanding and depth of understanding for students.  Physical models can be made from anything!

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From the physical model, students can make a conceptual drawing or a quick draw of the physical model.  This model shows a problem which an unknown quantity of fish was caught and other fishermen caught two, four, and five times as many. The physical model, then quick draw helped students develop a numerical expression to solve the problem.

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