How Educators Ensure That All Students Can Do Math

Eric J Garrett

February 2, 2023

Eric Garrett

When students are provided opportunities to think, reason, explain, and model their math concepts, they can better develop a deeper understanding of math beyond rote memorization.

Educators must respond to students’ backgrounds, experiences, cultural perspectives, traditions, and knowledge when designing and implementing mathematics programs and assessments. This practice helps ensure that all students have access to high-quality mathematics instruction and learn challenging mathematics content.

Ensure all students have access to high-quality math instruction.

Effective math instruction makes it clear to students what they are learning and why. It also allows them to practice the skills repeatedly.

Explicit instruction is the most effective way to teach. It explains what you are doing, enables students to practice the skill, and gives them quick feedback, so they stay on track.

Show students various ways to represent math and solve problems, including concrete manipulatives and visual representations. This can help English language learners and students with a learning disability like dyscalculia, which makes it difficult for them to use numbers.

In addition, high-quality lessons encourage student interaction and provide opportunities for purposeful discussion. These discussions often focus on reasoning, proof, and evaluation. The conversations also encourage students to share their thoughts, discoveries, and conjectures about mathematics.

Ensure all students have access to high-quality math materials.

The quality of the math materials students use to learn mathematics is crucial. This includes instructional content, classroom activities and assessments materials, technology tools, and other resources that educators use to teach and assess student learning.

High-quality content develops mathematical knowledge, skills, and strategies based on conceptual understanding. It also engages students in complex thinking — tasks where they have to explore, analyze, and reason about mathematical concepts or relationships and solve problems that are new to them.

Teachers who select and implement quality content also experience professional growth opportunities that help them see how to incorporate this learning into their teaching practice.

Providing all students with access to high-quality math materials is key to improving outcomes for all children. This can be accomplished by expanding curricular adoption and ensuring teachers have the support to adopt and implement the materials.

Ensure all students have access to high-quality math assessments.

Math is essential to many everyday activities and routines, from shopping and banking to cooking and home repair. It is also one of the most important academic subjects and is critical to students’ future success.

Assessments help educators evaluate student performance and determine where to focus their instruction. There are two primary types of assessments: summative, which measures a student’s achievement at the end of a unit or school year, and formative, which is done frequently to assess student progress throughout the study.

Ensure all students have access to high-quality math teachers.

Math is a challenging subject that requires patience and perseverance on the part of teachers. They also need to consider students’ learning capabilities and provide extra help for struggling students.

To be an effective math teacher, a person must have extensive mathematical knowledge, strong teaching skills, and an understanding of best practices in the classroom. In addition, educators should have a passion for the subject and be able to motivate and inspire their students.