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WATCH — There’s No One Way to Teach STEM: 3 Teachers Show Their Creative Techniques for Enriching Math Lessons (While Preserving High Standards)

By Erika Ross and Joshua Parrish | March 11, 2020

Pi Day is just a few days away. So naturally, math is on our minds.

Unfortunately, some parents see math as an obstacle when it comes to supporting their children in school. In fact, many feel that the homework their children are bringing home from school is anything but a piece of pie (pun intended) — in no small part because math instruction has changed dramatically since their days in the classroom.

The evolution of math instruction over time has gone beyond mere memorization to emphasize broader skill development that ensures students are given stronger foundations at an earlier age. Educators know that such skills are critical to preparing students for high levels of learning through college and career.

While we recognize that the history and conversation surrounding math curriculum can quickly turn wonky, these broader changes in design and instruction are based on the expertise of educators and mathematics professionals who collaborated in the creation of rigorous academic standards.

Don’t just take our word for it, though: Below we’ve partnered with members from the Georgia Council of Teachers of Mathematics to create quick and fun videos that capture tangible classroom examples of how educators can be creative in their approach to teaching math while maintaining high standards. And also how parents can support that effort.

MULTIPLE WAYS TO MULTIPLY: High standards allow for flexibility to teach kids math in a variety of ways that resonate with them. In this video, Miranda Westbrook, a K-5 math specialist, shows us how multiplication can be represented in different ways:

BRINGING MATH INTO THE REAL WORLD: Rigorous standards help elevate higher levels of thinking and problem-solving. In this video, Angel Brown, a K-5 math specialist, shares her real-world example of how she’s helping kids achieve new levels of understanding of math concepts:

GETTING CREATIVE TO DRIVE UNDERSTANDING: Higher expectations help ensure that students develop the skills they need to be prepared to succeed in life after high school. Check out this video from Brian Lack, one of the district’s K-8 math specialists, as he explains why it’s so important for students to able to “make sense of math, not just do it.” Brian shows that math can be as simple as a magic trick:

Find these videos helpful? Share them with others for Pi Day! Just click here to tweet: For most of us, #math instruction looks different today than when we were in school. That’s okay. This simple video by a math teacher shows how #algebra can be represented in various ways, building #mathmuscles #STEM #mathrocks #PiDay

P.S. And to make this all more accessible and useful for parents, be sure to check out the Collaborative for Student Success’s math resources page that connects to even more tools and information that parents can use to help their kids succeed!

Erika Ross is the communications manager of the Collaborative for Student Success. Joshua Parrish is the communications specialist of the Collaborative. 

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