I teach mathematics to my students. In fact, I teach math, science, social studies, English, reading, art, and PE. It definitely is a lot of work and a busy schedule. It takes lots of prep time, but overall I do feel like I am being productive and aiming to bring the best out of my students – though that is a long-term process.
Mathematics, the subject I always disliked in school, is now something I have to teach. Though it’s only to fourth-graders, I still wonder if I am effectively teaching it. So, I have looked around on various sites for tips and have found some great ones I’d like to share.
What are some effective ways to teach elementary math?
1. Keep a positive attitude – When the teacher is excited (or at least seems so) about teaching a subject, the students may be more inclined to have a positive attitude, and make learning easier.
2. Make sure the students understand the concepts – Use pictures, diagrams, graphs… something visual to help bring out the concepts more easily. Give simple problems and work up to more complex ones to gauge comprehension levels.
3. Explain math as a way to solve problems – People use math everyday, without even knowing it! Explain how people use math when counting change or bills to pay for a receipt, cutting cakes or pies for a group of people, playing sports or games. See if the students are able to find connections in their own lives as well.
4. Encourage your students – Let them know they CAN do math! While some students may understand and excel at math better than others, everyone can be encouraged. Letting your students know that you believe in them really boosts their confidence! That confidence boost can make all the difference to a few students passing and failing.
5. Try to make math fun – Combine the lesson’s concepts with games, worksheets, or other activities to get the kids thinking about math!
6. Keep an open line of communication with parents – Getting parents involved with their child’s education is a MUST! Children do better when they are learning both at home and in the classroom. Sending a note home at the end of the week with what the students learnt in class is a great way to start.
Excellent Teaching Resources
There are many great websites with resources for math teachers! Many of these have FREE printable worksheets plus tons of great tips and links! A few of my favorites are:
I’d like to finish with a quote by Benjamin Franklin.
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.”