APPLY ALL LEARNING STYLES WHEN TEACHING MATH
Math is one of those subjects that benefits from applying all seven learning styles: visual (spatial), aural (auditory), verbal (linguistic), physical (kinesthetic), logical (mathematical), social (interpersonal) and solitary (intrapersonal).
The lesson should be developed to address the needs of the visual, verbal and aural learners so it’s important to include pictures or other visual tools and verbal explanations of new concepts and sing songs if possible.
Once the lesson is completed, students can be placed in groups to use manipulatives to practice the concept which helps the physical and social learner. The students then complete paper and pencil work that helps the physical, logical and solitary learner.
Lastly, the students play math games to further reinforce the concept in a fun setting for the logical, physical and social learner.
Don’t be Afraid to make it Personal
I usually start the lesson with something that will grab the classes’ attention. I include my family as much as possible in the stories I use in my lessons since I find that the students really enjoy learning about my life and it fosters a more personal connection with the students.
My family and pets become the main characters in scenarios involving math questions that they need to help me solve. They always love to help the teacher!
For example, I need to buy something for my family and only have a certain amount of money to use, or how much money do I need to buy…. or I am painting my room and I need to know how much paint to buy so they will help me figure out the area of my walls…. or my own children want to know how many students I have with brown eyes so I need their help to graph the results.
We begin to solve my problem using the concept that I need them to learn, making sure to draw pictures on the board and verbally explain everything I am doing.
Having activities that use manipulatives is fun for all the students and encourages them to use the new concepts to physically solve a problem.
Once the lesson is given I move on to large or small group activities. For example, money is a great unit to use manipulatives. One of my favorite activities is to simulate a restaurant visit where I create a restaurant menu and display it on the board.
Each student is given play money to pay for their meal. They need to write out what they would order in this restaurant, calculate how much they need to pay and what change they would receive if they paid a certain amount of money to the server. (MONEY Grade 2; MONEY Grade 3; MONEY (US coins)).
I have them help me sort my sewing buttons and laundry. (Sorting Unit)
I use fraction pieces (can purchase fraction manipulatives or print your own circles and squares and cut them into fraction pieces) and food, like an apple, to understand fractions. (FRACTIONS!)
Let’s Record It!
While they are working with the manipulatives in their groups I have them record information and patterns or descriptions on specific pages for their math duo tang. Sometimes they need to write a description or explanation of what they are working on. After the group work is completed, they complete a paper pencil task.
Writing out what they have learned in the lesson and completing additional paper pencil activities helps commit the concepts to memory and gives the tactile learner the opportunity to understand the concept. I include work sheets in all of my math units.
Once the written work has been completed, I always have available some games that reinforce the concepts learned and again help the kinesthetic learner. These can be used for early finishers or as an activity for every student.
When learning the value of money, matching or memory games are very effective. Students are given cards with a number on one card and pictures of coins that add up to that number on another card. There are many cards with various combinations of coins that add up to the same number (Money Games up to $10 (Canadian); Rounding Money Games up to $4.99 (Canadian); MONEY GAMES up to $1.00(US money)).
A two and three dimensional matching game solidifies the shape, its name and its description. (Two Dimensional Shapes – Matching Game: name, shape, description (grade 1-2); Two Dimensional (2D) Shapes – Matching Game: name, shape, description).
Try having them play Battleship for mapping coordinates.
Hold an addition and subtraction challenge. I divide the class into two groups, one or two students from each group get to yell out the answer to a number question. The student that yells out the answer first gets to stay in the game. The other (one or two) students sit down. The group with the most students left wins the game.
While the students are completing their written work and playing their games, I pull students individually to given them a verbal question or task to complete to make sure they are grasping the concepts.
Once all the lessons have been taught, I send home a review (one or two questions for each lesson that was taught that are similar to what will be on the test) and their math duo tang that has all the completed worksheets for them to study for the final assessment. A day or two after the review goes homes, the students complete a written test as their final assessment for the concepts taught.
Lessons with this type of format reaches all types of learners and results in all students feeling successful because they can comprehend the concepts.
I hope you find these concepts and suggested lesson plans useful in teaching math.
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