Recently, I spent a day with K-6 teachers exploring the why and how of using math tools in their classrooms.

The “why” is easy! Years of research indicate students gain deeper conceptual understanding when they have teachers who engage in specific instructional practices. The recommendations form NCTM’s Principles and Standards for School Mathematics suggest that teachers employ 8 specific instructional practices. They include:

A **Problem Solving** approach

Children are **Active Learners ** in the classroom

The use of **Concrete** materials

**Cooperative** work in small groups

**Discussion** of ideas

**Justification** of thinking

**Writing** in class lessons

On-going **assessment**

The common core state standards were born out of this type of research and the 8 mathematical practices were framed around these ideas and the Strands of Mathematical Proficiency from the National Research Council.

The “How” of using math takes more time. Read more ›