Category: Mathematics

Engaging Math Students: Compete or Collaborate?

Math students who prefer competition do a good job of creating it for themselves, writes author-educator Jerry Burkhart. On the other hand, kids who prefer collaboration and reflection need teachers to create an environment that supports their mathematical learning.

Overcoming Myths about “Being Good at Math”

Imagine the long-term benefits if teachers, schools, and educator prep programs address the issue of mathematical confidence in a systematic and vigorous way. Jerry Burkhart looks at causes of low “math self-esteem” among kids and teachers and outlines potential cures.

More Ideas to Spark Mathematical Creativity

The use of open-ended, visual tasks is a very non-traditional way of teaching and learning math. But its potential for expanding students’ mathematical creativity and understanding makes it well worth exploring! Math education consultant Jerry Burkhart shares examples.

Exploring the Joy of Math with Students in India

Math educator Jerry Burkhart expanded his horizons this summer when he taught a 3-week math exploration course to a class of 22 gifted middle level students from across India. Learn what he discovered about the similarities and differences in U.S. and India math education.

10 Tweaks That Can Deepen Math Tasks

So often we miss opportunities to deepen our students’ thinking about mathematics that would require just a few moments of our teacher time. Take a minute to look at these 10 simple strategies from Jerry Burkhart that transform formulaic math problems into explorations.

How Open-Ended Math Problems Keep on Giving

Imagine an open-ended math task that gets students asking questions as well as answering them. Jerry Burkhart shows how a problem like this can help teachers differentiate instruction for advanced students while stimulating curiosity and perseverance for all learners.

How We Become Skillful Math Teachers

Tracy Zager’s professor told students it would take five years to become a skillful math teacher. In this message to beginning educators, Zager shares insights that can help push the process. Most important: “Become addicted to listening to students’ mathematical ideas.”

How I Learned to Love Middle School Geometry

Christopher Danielson used to hate teaching geometry. Now he sees it as a playground of mathematical ideas for middle schoolers, with opportunities for exploration, wonder, and smart conversations. Here Danielson shares ideas and images teachers can use to begin the fun.

Mathematical Fiction: A Novel Look at Numbers

Children’s writer and systems engineer Robert Black, who is finishing his third mathematical novel for middle schoolers, describes the challenges of making math stories engaging and offers tips for students and teachers interested in the new fiction genre.

Use Number Talks to Boost Math Reasoning

Many students don’t expect math to make sense and learn to disengage their reasoning and even distrust it. Teacher-experts Cathy Humphreys & Ruth Parker highlight an 8-step “Number Talks” process that can promote deeper discussions about how numbers work.