Math Instructional Supports and Strategies – Division III

01 Nov


Photo Credit: Jorge Franganillo via Compfight cc

* For professional reading

– AbEd Math Video Series – includes My Child’s Math, 7 Processes, and Math: It’s everywhere videos.

– AbEd Fact Sheets and Useful Links – 7 mathematical processes fact sheets series, K-9 fact sheets for parents.

– AbEd K-9 Mathematics Achievement Indicators

– Boaler, J. (2013) Setting up positive norms in math class.

Lockhart’s Lament (first six pages) –

– Walle, J. (2004). Elementary and middle school mathematics: teaching developmentally. Boston: Allyn and Bacon.



  •         Develop and use mathematical language

– communication in math can occur while constructing a Foldable (cross-curricular integration) from Zike, D. (2003). Dinah Zike’s big book of math: for middle school and high school. San Antonio, TX: Dinah-Might Activities

  •         Activate and build background knowledge

JUMP Math – In JUMP lessons, students practice inquiry in manageable steps. They are expected to discover and understand mathematical concepts by answering questions and working through challenges on their own, but they are also provided with a good deal of rigorous guidance and support from the teacher. JUMP Math publications include a student assessment & practice book (grades 1-8), Smart lesson materials, Teacher’s guide, Answer keys, Unit tests, Curriculum guides, Confidence building units, Teacher’s manuals for CBU’s.

IXL software for supplementary support – as a warm-up or cool-down for the day’s Math activities or twice a week during a regular schedule, has a subscription cost per student.

– Math Planning Guides with outcomes, evidence collection, instruction plan, assessment and follow-up at each grade level found in LearnAlberta and extras found on Chalkboard > The Classroom > Curriculum > Mathematics K-9.

Alberta Assessment Consortium (AAC) Math Performance-based tasks at various grade levels

– Math Problem of the Week from University of Waterloo –

– More problems of the week from MathCounts (US organization) –

– Utilize this process of Think n Draw, Talk about it, Try something, Does it make sense?

  •         Reference and use models and exemplars

– Big Book of Math (as referenced above)

– keep student exemplars from year to year (with permission)

Discovery Education Canada > Curriculum Standards Search > Math > Grade level will offer video clips for specific outcomes.

  •         Use manipulatives and pictorial representations to explore and express learning

– Use Kushnir, D. (2001). Cooperative learning & mathematics: high school activities. San Clemente, CA: Kagan, to structure activities and interactions to allow for positive interdependence, individual accountability, equal participation and simultaneous interaction.

– have manipulative kits available

– use the SMART Notebook Gallery

– Problematize math by using Walle, J. & Lovin, L. (2006). Teaching student-centered mathematics. Boston: Pearson Allyn & Bacon.

– Implement strategies and work through questions and tasks from Small, M. & Lin, A. (2010). More good questions: great ways to differentiate secondary mathematics instruction. New York Reston, VA Scarborough, Ont: Teachers College Press MCTN Nelson Education

– Utilize for math and cross-curricular lessons

Asking effective questions – provoking student thinking/deepening conceptual understanding in

the mathematics classroom

  •         Connect numbers to their own real/authentic-life experiences

– challenge all students to a monthly or per unit question using Westley, J. (1995). Puddle Questions for Math: Assessing Mathematical Thinking, Grade 7. Chicago: Creative Publications

to assess their mathematical thinking


  •         Create scaffolded hands-on activities for students to work with a partner or in small groups to:

o    learn and use mathematical words

– word walls

– collaborative class Google Doc

– Frayer model



o    create connections between personal  experiences and new mathematical concepts

-Numeracy Nets for each grade level ($138 each for grades 3-8 by Pearson) which is an assessment and planning tool that uncovers students’ misconceptions, enhances instructional responses and improves student achievement. Appendices show correlation with specific approved Math resources!!

– Leaps and Bounds (grades ¾, 5/6, 7/8 by Nelson) provide interventions for various topics in each strand. Each intervention can be used for whole class/small group/individual. Use a diagnostic, choose a pathway, then an intervention which is either open-ended or guided. Teacher’s Resource and Student Blackline Masters cost around $300 together.

– Use Creative Commons images, take photos from around the community, brainstorming, compare/contrast maps or even check out the Bad Maths Flickr group.

– use the Think Pair Share Kagan Cooperative Learning Structure which provide students with food for thought on a given math problem enabling them time to reflect and share these ideas with another student. See more ideas in Andrini, B. & Kagan, S. (1991). Cooperative learning & mathematics: a multi-structural approach. San Juan Capistrano, Calif: Resources for Teachers.

o    learn to use manipulatives

– fraction circles, base ten blocks, balance + counters) to represent numbers and problems in a variety of contexts

o    use visual models and supports

– open number lines, hundred chart, rekenreks, strings, place value mats, open array, grid paper, LearnAlberta Gizmos,, Discovery Education Canada, Paperport Notes iOS app grid paper

o    revisit and review key concepts using a variety of learning experiences connected to real-life experiences at home, school and in the community

– Khan Academy (online videos), ShowMe/Educreations (iOS apps) demos by students/teachers

– problematize math examples from (and check out Dan Meyer and other noteworthy math bloggers!)

o    develop and apply personal strategies

– write, type, use audio or video in math journals/blogs, think alouds

o    explore multiple ways to express learning

– create math picture book such as building one from Read & Write Gold/for Google Vocabulary List, posters – paper and GlogsterEdu

– use Growth Mindset Feedback (added comments) throughout. Originally  from



  •         Use direct teaching, repeated modelling and guided practice and small group and individualized instruction to:

o    Create hands-on multisensory activities to introduce and explore new math concepts and/or experiences

– iOS apps: Educreations/ShowMe

– LearnAlberta Math Gizmos

– National Library of Virtual Manipulatives –

– SMART Notebook Gallery

o    Support development of vocabulary related to numbers

– math journal/blog

– iOS apps: Fotobabble, Wordfoto

o    Explore, discuss and record how numbers are used in the physical environment at school, at home and in the community

– math station/centres

– collaborative small group Google Doc

o    Have access to math materials and visual prompts that are modified for ease of use

– box of manipulatives at point of instruction

– embed visuals into lessons, introduction to concepts

o    Create and use visual records from previous learning experiences using photos, anchor charts and experience charts

– build a math folder in Google Drive and make a math journal, add various Google docs and presentations created throughout the year

– utilize specific graphic organizers to target thinking

– save parts of math videos (Discovery Education, LearnAlberta, Khan Academy or student/teacher-created) for certain students to review as many times as they need

o    Explore and record number operations and basic math concepts using visual prompts, concrete objects, pictures, photos and dramatizations.

– view (subscription) on specific math concepts and create own hip hop video explanation



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