Effective Math Teaching

There are certain concepts of teaching that I feel very strongly about. My main concern is with the lack of effective Mathematics teaching within the school system. Many parents, teachers too, dislike the “new” curriculum. They refer to the words COMMON CORE as though it’s part of the list of the 7 dirty words you cannot say on television. Many even spit the words out with disgust. This bothers me because if they feel that way, then more than likely, they are instilling the same feelings within their children/ students.

Our “new” curriculum puts an emphasis on critical thinking, rather than memorization, and collaborative learning. In other words, instead of simply teaching multiplication tables, schools are adopting “an ‘inquiry method’ of learning, in which children are supposed to discover the knowledge for themselves.” Many educators believe that this creates frustration for students. My answer is, “Yes. Solving a problem is not easy. Learning is not easy.”

I have always taught this way, whether as a 1st grade teacher or even an 8th grade teacher. I make an emphasis of it now more so, because I am in a role that allows me to model this for the teachers in my building. The best part is that I have seen growth, not only with our students’ perseverance in solving problems, but also in my teachers. In the way they question the students, ask for explanations, and allow the students to explore.

So my question is this; “What is the recipe for truly effective Math instruction?”

I posed this question to my fellow math coaches, specialists, and teachers via twitter and one of my favorite responses was from @gfletchy:

What are your thoughts?

Jason