2. Allow the Students to Become the Teacher

In their step-by-step guide, “Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8,” the U.S. Department of Education leads teachers through methods to promote greater engagement of students during math class. Within the fourth point, teachers are advised to nurture analytical thinking by providing a math problem, requiring students to show more than one problem-solving method, and asking students to share these strategies with the class. Too often, students think that the sole point of a math lesson is to memorize a method or formula and then practice it over and over. By asking them to solve a problem in more than one way, teachers can emphasize conceptual understanding of relationships between quantities over memorization of abstract formulas.

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