High-Quality Mathematics Instruction: What Teachers Should Know
As we have seen, high-quality mathematics instruction involves the combined implementation of:
A standards-based curriculum
–the content and skills believed to be important for students to learn
Evidence-based instructional strategies–strategies proven through research to be effective for teaching students mathematical skills and concepts (e.g., explicit instruction, peer tutoring, cooperative learning)
In addition, teachers can employ a number of classroom practices—independently or in combination—to increase their students' understanding of mathematical concepts. These include:
- Encouraging student discussion
- Presenting and comparing multiple solutions
- Using manipulatives
- Selecting appropriate instructional tasks
- Assessing student understanding
Eighth-Grade Mathematics Teacher
Brentwood Middle School
Lois Coles, who began her career teaching mathematics using traditional methods, discusses the positive effects of using a standards-based curriculum and effective practices.
A Look at Lyle
After learning as much as possible about high-quality mathematics instruction, the Lyle teachers supplemented their existing curricular materials and began consistently implementing evidence-based strategies and effective classroom practices. Over time, the teachers were excited to see:
- Improved student interest and motivation
- Greater conceptual understanding
- More elaborate and in-depth student discussions about problem-solving processes
- The transference of knowledge from one mathematic topic to another in order to solve novel problems
- Improved student performance on the year-end standardized test
Think back to your initial responses to the following questions. After working through the resources in this module, do you still agree with your Initial Thoughts? If not, what aspects of your answers would you change?
What is high-quality mathematics instruction and why is it important?
How can teachers determine whether they are using an effective mathematics curriculum?
What evidence-based mathematics instructional strategies can teachers employ?
How can teachers effectively provide high-quality mathematics instruction?
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