Tips and Ideas / Sep 26, 2018

5 Incredibly Easy Ways to Teach Math Like Nobody Else

If we could wave a magic wand and transform the way common core math is taught in our schools, the majority of us would do so. The limitations of the current paradigm are clear. Subjects that may be vital in the minds of educators become hollow due to the way they’re transmitted to students. It’s not at all rare for kids in Algebra to ask, “When will I ever use this in real life?” and for their teacher to respond, “Mathematics helps you learn to think,” which is the truth, but only if it gets taught in a fun and engaging way.

To argue that this situation is finally changing is to invite a roll of the eyes. For many different reasons, from the standard training of teachers to the challenge of reaching consensus on best methods, education is stubbornly resistant to change. If you’re one of the teachers who want to revolutionize how math is taught and create immersive learning experiences, you surely realize the potential of technology and play. This year, we teamed up with innovative math educators, JumpStart, to share five ways for math success!

1. Tap into the intelligence of play

Let’s face it: games can unfold a much deeper learning than regular math lessons thanks to the increased interaction among children. Often, students are having so much fun they don’t even realize they’re learning! Playing helps them develop ideas both intuitively and as a rational method for problem-solving.

Immersive game context enables kids to operate at their own individual level of thinking and to continually learn from one another. The team might include one child confronting an idea for the first time, another refining their grasp of it, and a third integrating ideas learned previously. Last but not least, kids love playing games and would never feel forced to do so!

2. Encourage teamwork

Research has shown that emphasis on cooperation and shared effort can radically improve children’s learning of math. Students in social learning groups “develop better decision-making skills than children who study the same curriculum via teacher-led discussions,” according to a study of more than 700 fifth-grade students by the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. If you let kids help each other learn through an adaptive team-based game, they will become better communicators, problem solvers, and critical thinkers.

3. Subtle but informed guidance

In a game-based lesson, students can work with minimal guidance from the teacher. The game’s set rules and the personal interest of each child are enough to keep them focused and engaged. JumpStart Academy Math gives you real-time data that allows you to adjust your instruction, and tailor the lesson to each student without bothering or boring the others.

4. Make parents your partners

We all know that kids these days can’t wait to get home so they can play their favourite computer game. Wouldn’t it be nice if this was actually a math lesson as well? One that was prepping them for their finals with questions resembling Smarter Balanced/PARCC? JumpStart Academy Math fosters the teacher-parent partnership by offering students 24/7 access to the game interface. This way, homework will never be boring again.

5. Jump-start your career parents your partners

Being up to speed with modern teaching methods is a must for every passionate teacher. In today’s fast-paced ed-tech environment, it’s always a good idea to put in some professional development hours. Personalized coaching can be a game-changer in your career, and can be that one thing that finally transforms math education.

JumpStart Academy Math is an award-winning learning tool that is supporting ClassTag classrooms this season. Their donations will help provide classroom supplies and fund fun activities for thousands of students across the country.

At ClassTag, we only partner with awesome companies we personally believe in and JumpStart is used in thousands of schools & districts in all 50 states in the U.S., and in over 70 countries internationally. Their cast of characters are about to become your students’ best friends. A year-long independent study shows that JumpStart junior mathletes have 18% higher SBAC scores. Remember, when a math class is fun, higher scores follow!

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