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Teaching Mathematics in Secondary Schools

    • 1). Present a concept and provide your students with examples and practice in a traditional format. Allow them to ask questions and help them develop a basic understanding of the new concepts before trying to incorporate outside-the-box teaching strategies. Once they at least have a basic understanding of a concept, you can move on to more engaging activities that help them to retain and apply the knowledge.

    • 2). Consider incorporating math games into your lesson plans. These games present a mathematical concept and strategy while engaging students who are often involved in physical and emotional changes that may be distracting. For example, when teaching geometry, consider using the polygon capture game (see Resources), which helps students to identify and evaluate geometric shapes and concepts in how they relate to each other. Because it's a game, students are more likely to stay engaged and retain the material.

    • 3). Assign students hands-on math projects with skills that can be incorporated in other subject areas, such as science. This helps to teach math application skills and provides students with examples of how they will use what they are learning in the future. You could also broaden their cultural awareness and cooperation by registering the class for a cooperative project, such as The Noon Day Project, in which students around the world use mathematical concepts to cooperatively measure the circumference of the earth.

    • 4). Use technology to engage tech-savvy students and demonstrate new concepts. The Internet offers a variety of teaching tools, such as the MegaPenny project (see Resources), which helps students visualize large numbers, to make complicated concepts easier to understand. This strategy can appeal very well to both visual and auditory learners.

    • 5). Look through the Middle School Portal website's Mathematics Pathway (see Resources) for additional resources and ideas to help engage students in out-of-the-box activities. This site provides secondary mathematics teachers with links to tools and resources to help maximize students' learning.

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