Archive | Math Instruction Techniques

The category for all things Math Pedagogy.

Quick Easy Way to Untangle Confusion re: “Greater” and “Less”

Once students learn about negative numbers and absolute value, the concept of greater and less becomes a bit “cloudy.” What was once clear is now “muddied.” But there is an easy way for students to tell which of two numbers is greater and which is less. That method involves looking at the numbers on the […]

Visual Symbols Slay the Distributive Property

The distributive property can befuddle and confuse the best algebra students. This post explains a way to teach the distributive property that breaks the process down into “baby steps.” Using this process, many students lose their sense of being overwhelmed and succeed at the process.

Movie Math: Wake Students Up with Silver Screen Riddles

The end of the year is near. So give students something different. Here’s an idea for a complete lesson plan that uses math riddles to grab students’ attention. The clip shows a math riddle from the movie “Die Hard.” This is a springboard to get everyone excited about riddles. From there you have many options […]

Secrets of the Calculator, Part 1

Calculators can be great assistants when doing math. Unfortunately many students are unaware of the capability of many calculator keys. This is the first in an occasional series of posts that will help students learn how to make better use of the calculator.

Math in movies: Who says math isn’t cool?

Who says math is not “cool”? Check out this list of movies that prominently feature math content in the storyline? This should be enough to motivate many of our students who complain that math is not relevant to the “real world,” or who just feel that math is only for “nerds.”

How to Decrease Algebraic Mistakes – Part 6

Factoring by grouping is one of the trickier skills in Algebra 1. But by using a special form of notation, the double-slash, students can do this skill with greater ease. This post explains how this notation can help students tackle this challenging form of factoring.

How to Decrease Algebraic Mistakes – Part 5

Combining like terms confuses many students. But by using a special notation, the double-slash, students get a visual aid that helps them combine like terms with greater care. This post shows how to use the double-slash to combine like terms. And it offers practice problems and their solutions, too.

How to decrease Algebraic mistakes – Part 4

The double-slash notation comes to the rescue in algebra once again. In this post we learn how this clever notation device helps students combine positive and negative numbers, the trickiest pre-algebra concept of all. Read to find out how you can use this notation to make this concept easier for your students or children.

How to Decrease Mistakes in Algebra – Part 3

The double-slash helps students for a variety of reasons. This post explains some of the reasons why it works.

How to Decrease Mistakes in Algebra – Part 2

Algebra is an area of math that leads many students to make mistakes. Using a simple “Double-Slash” mark helps students wall off parts of algebra expressions from other parts, so that they avoid making mistakes. This post and the next several post will help educators learn how to use the “Double-Slash.”