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Five Principles of Extraordinary Math Teaching

Math tutoring skills

Math can be a difficult subject that many students find themselves struggling with. In this TEDx talk, Dan Finkel explains why it’s important to provide children with the chance to learn about math in an authentic way. This involves room to doubt, imagine, and play with mathematical thinking. Watch the video below and listen to Dan explain the five principles of extraordinary math teaching.


A Different Way To Teach Kids About Math

Rather than teaching students math by expecting them to repeat and memorize disjointed technical facts, Dan highlights the importance of letting students approach math problems in creative ways and work out a solution:

“Let kids struggle with a problem. Rather than acting as an answer key, ask students to explain why they think something is true or throw it out to the class”

It’s important to let students know that not knowing is not failure, but the first step to understanding. Let them present and argue their own ideas and solutions, and then work through arriving at the correct solution together.

By allowing students to doubt, question, and play with the math problems they encounter, they are being taught to participate and have fun with mathematical thinking.

“Play is the answer to nurturing the mathematical instincts of children. If all students get a chance to experience the beauty and power of authentic mathematical thinking, maybe it won’t sound so strange when they say “Math? I actually love math”

If your child is struggling with math, or another subject, Oxford Learning can help with a hands-on math curriculum that makes math fun and accessible. Find out more about our math programs and tutoring programs today!

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