Research-Based Instructional Strategies for Math

Instructor: Shannon Orr
This lesson discusses research-based instructional strategies for math and why they're important. It also describes three specific instructional strategies and how they are used in the classroom.

What Are Research-Based Instructional Strategies for Math?

Imagine that you have just arrived in Pakistan. You've always lived in the United States, and English is not only your primary language but the only language you can speak. You're expected to adjust to this new society and function as any other citizen, despite the fact that you have no background knowledge and are unsure of their expectations of you. It's unrealistic to even think that someone would be comfortable in this situation, and you are likely to make your return to the U.S. as soon as possible.

For many students, walking into their math class on a daily basis is similar to entering an unfamiliar country. Mathematical terminology can leave your head spinning, and one wrong move during the setup of a problem will most definitely end in incorrect results. Teachers have tried several different approaches to minimize and eliminate this feeling, help build confidence, and improve the success rate for students in math. Research-based instructional strategies are techniques that have been tested and proven to show that students can be successful in math and can actually enjoy the learning process.

Why Use Research-Based Strategies?

There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Data has already been collected based on how well students perform when certain teaching strategies are used. To ensure that students are successful, teachers should utilize these strategies so that students have the greatest opportunity to not only do well but retain the information they've received. As students become more successful, they can become better students and their overall attitudes improve.

Types of Research-Based Instructional Strategies for Math

There are many different types of research-based instructional strategies for math that have been effective at helping students excel. For this lesson, the focus will be on direct instruction, peer tutoring, and cooperative learning. These strategies were chosen because they are probably the most commonly used and are easy to incorporate in any or all of an instructor's daily math lessons.

Direct Instruction

Direct instruction is exactly what it sounds like; it is instruction that comes directly from the teacher. Most teachers use direct instruction even if they don't realize it. In order to teach students a new concept or ensure that they understand how to perform a particular operation, the teacher will explain and show how students need to complete a particular task. Students have the opportunity to ask the teacher any questions they may have and watch as the teacher models the correct way to solve a math problem.

Peer Tutoring

Peer tutoring is when two students are allowed to work together to complete an assignment or activity. Peer tutoring is unique because it places two students together who can help each other. This means that both students are working to help each other instead of just one student always teaching the other. This method is helpful for students who may need a little extra help and are able to perform or understand better when the information is explained by another student.

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