Recent Research on Math

Three follow-up strategies to keep math discussions moving forward

How did you get that?  It’s the quintessential question teachers use to start a math discussion in their classrooms. But what if the classroom discussion sputters?  What other questions and techniques do teachers use to guide their students toward a “productive struggle” with math problems and ideas? To find out, a team of California researchers collected video of classroom math discussions at an… Tell Me More »

Low-performing students learn fractions better in specialized intervention than inclusive classroom

Low-performing students learn fractions better in specialized intervention than inclusive classroom

Very-low-performing 4th-grade students did significantly better learning about fractions when they received specialized fraction intervention than in inclusive instruction, according to a new study in Exceptional Children. In 3 randomized control trials conducted in 3 consecutive years, 203 students who scored at or below the 10th percentile in mathematics at the start of 4th grade… Tell Me More »

Build confidence and skills in independent math practice with embedded instruction and worked examples

Authors: Paul J. Riccomini, Ph.D., Stephanie Morano, M.S.,Jiwon Hwang, M.Ed., The Pennsylvania State University Independent math practice doesn’t need to be frustrating and confusing.   With careful design, independent math practice can build students’ confidence and proficiency and help them move from novice learners to expert learners. The “interleaved worked solution strategy” is a new approach to providing students with… Tell Me More »

Third-graders ready for big algebra ideas, researchers say

Third grade is not too early to begin teaching algebra, nor is early algebra instruction incompatible with the regular arithmetic curriculum, says a new study in the Journal for Research in Mathematics Education. Third-graders who received 19 one-hour algebra lessons on 5 big algebraic ideas for about 10% of math class time significantly outperformed controls… Tell Me More »

Improve classroom discussions with this novel approach

Students often are not aware of how they participate in classroom discussions. They may not realize that they are not sharing “space” when they interrupt, talk too much, talk too little, ignore lower-achieving peers or fail to question or challenge a higher-achieving peer. A new study in The Elementary School Journal proposes a novel way to raise awareness: Take video… Tell Me More »

Word walls in math discussions raise student achievement

For many math teachers, leading a discussion in math class is a novel and challenging role but one that takes high-priority in current math instruction practices. What teaching practices for in leading discourse are most effective in raising math achievement? According to a new study in the Journal of Advanced Academics funded by the National Science Foundation, K-2 students whose… Tell Me More »

Paraphrasing math word problems improves performance of some students

Math word problems are especially challenging to students because they place demands on both reading and math skills. Does paraphrasing the word problems improve performance? A new study in Learning Disability Quarterly says  paraphrasing is helpful for students at risk for math disability only if they have a good working memory capacity. This may account… Tell Me More »

‘Leaky pipeline’ to STEM careers is misleading metaphor

Are you worried that too few of your students are taking advanced science and math courses and are on track for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers? It’s much too early to predict their career trajectories, says a new study in Science Education.  The path to a chosen career is rarely linear.  In 10 years, many students… Tell Me More »

ADHD students benefit more from binder organization system than planning, time-management interventions

A checklist that helped middle school students keep their papers organized in a school binder was more effective at helping students with ADHD complete their school work than other organizational-skills interventions, according to a recent study published in the Journal of Child and Family Studies. Over 16 sessions, 23 middle school students participated in a… Tell Me More »