Slow developing executive function can be a major contributing factor in children having trouble with math. Edutopia here has a great article about how you can help bolster the development of the executive function.
The Three Read Protocol is one way to do a close read of a complex math word problem or task. This strategy includes reading a math scenario three times with a different goal each time. The first read is to understand the context. The second read is to understand the mathematics. The third read is to elicit inquiry questions based on the scenario. This is a great way to help students with dyscalculia or adhd.
Numberless word problems shift the focus from solving to understanding.
When students see numbers in a word problem, they know that the expectation is to solve. They are “done” when they’ve added, subtracted, multiplied, or divided and they’re left with an answer. When the numbers are removed from the problem and replaced with blanks, the focus immediately shifts away from solving, because there’s nothing to solve! There is no operation to do because there are no numbers!
Do test-anxious students perform worse in exam situations than their knowledge would otherwise allow? We analyzed data from 309 medical students who prepared for a high-stakes exam using a digital learning platform. Using log files from the learning platform, we assessed students’ level of knowledge throughout the exam-preparation phase and their average performance in mock exams that were completed shortly before the final exam. The results showed that test anxiety did not predict exam performance over and above students’ knowledge level as assessed in the mock exams or during the exam-preparation phase. Leveraging additional ambulatory assessment data from the exam-preparation phase, we found that high trait test anxiety predicted smaller gains in knowledge over the exam-preparation phase. Taken together, these findings are incompatible with the hypothesis that test anxiety interferes with the retrieval of previously learned knowledge during the exam.
Students who have fallen behind should have twice as much instruction to engage in grade-level mathematics. And the time spent in math should be organic, rich, task-based teaching and learning. What this means is meaningful, personal experiences need to happen every day in math class. For example, a hands-on activity in math class, a story problem that is relevant to every student, or the students creating their own story problem with a teacher asking different types of questions to challenge the learners. All students need to see themselves as mathematicians so that they develop a personal connection to mathematics learning.
When people practice sports or music, they generally do so with a strong understanding of the performance that practice is meant to support. They’ve watched other people play the games or listened to other people play music. They have very likely messed around clumsily on a court or at a piano. They understand its point and like it well enough that the practice feels welcome and necessary.
Define the performance of math however you want and ask yourself, first, how well do your students understand it? Have they watched other people play math? Have they messed around clumsily with math themselves? Do they understand the point of math and like it well enough that the practice feels welcome and necessary?
We need skill fluency that blends practice and performance.
In a new 14-page paper, published by Zheng et al. (October 2022), research explores the inconsistency regarding the effect of working memory capacity on the testing effect – otherwise known as retrieval practice.
The typical finding is that in the final test (exam), items practised in the test condition (e.g. mock exam) are better than those in a restudy condition (day-to-day classroom).
Recent research on the double-edged nature of curiosity is riding to the rescue. The work not only sheds light on its many benefits for learning and creativity, but also the reasons that it can lead us astray – and how we can make the most of this trait.
This game involves writing down numbers (randomly generated by a die, spinner, cards, etc.) on a recording sheet. Once the number has been placed, it cannot be moved. Two numbers on any given round may be “thrown away.” Play continues until all of the boxes are full. (a better description is available in the link for today)
Sets of mathematics problems are generally arranged in 1 of 2 ways. With blocked practice, all problems are drawn from the preceding lesson. With mixed review, students encounter a mixture of problems drawn from different lessons. Mixed review has 2 features that distinguish it from blocked practice: Practice problems on the same topic are distributed, or spaced, across many practice sets; and problems on different topics are intermixed within each practice set. A review of the relevant experimental data finds that each feature typically boosts subsequent performance, often by large amounts, although for different reasons. Spacing provides review that improves long-term retention, and mixing improves students’ ability to pair a problem with the appropriate concept or procedure. Hence, although mixed review is more demanding than blocked practice, because students cannot assume that every problem is based on the immediately preceding lesson, the apparent benefits of mixed review suggest that this easily adopted strategy is underused.
Evidence from What Works Clearinghousetells us that through providing regular opportunities for pupils to examine multiple different strategies for solving problems, they can become more confident, efficient, and flexible in selecting appropriate approaches. This shifts the focus away from ‘the answer’, and towards a deeper understanding of the different approaches available to us when tackling an unfamiliar problem.
Twinkl has a great bolog post on a recent teaching assistant CPD webinar all about dyscalculia and how TAs can support pupils with math difficulties, sharing strategies and resources that TAs can use with pupils to support their mathematical understanding and number sense.
Privacy & Cookies Policy
Necessary cookies are absolutely essential for the website to function properly. This category only includes cookies that ensures basic functionalities and security features of the website. These cookies do not store any personal information.
Any cookies that may not be particularly necessary for the website to function and is used specifically to collect user personal data via analytics, ads, other embedded contents are termed as non-necessary cookies. It is mandatory to procure user consent prior to running these cookies on your website.