Different students have unique ways of learning and understanding, and teachers implement various strategies to foster their skills towards comprehending concepts in mathematics. The manipulatives provide a platform for students’ transitioning from concrete practices to abstract reasoning, and teachers help students move through these stages to develop mathematics understanding (Furner & Worrell, 2017). When students have a more profound comprehension using manipulatives like changing different counter colors to produce different results, they can express problems differently and develop a better solution.
Technology includes smartphones, presentations equipped with various figures, and the ability to alter their structures to enhance student mathematics understanding (Uerz et al., 2018). Different mechanics to show improvement, including rating stars for the best performing or interactive students, can strengthen individual dedication in understanding mathematics. Therefore, manipulatives and technology provide a platform for differentiation, facilitating knowledge of mathematics.
Centers allow students to improve skills, enhance concepts and topics widely presented after, during initial learning stages in mathematics. Stations provide the student with independent activities and a free area where teachers can connect with individuals or groups of students. A well-spaced learning station, allowing free movements of students and teachers, fosters differentiation (Rands & Gansemer-Topf, 2017). Teachers can move from one point to another to show and help students understand how particular concepts are performed.
The kindergarten teachers from both videos employed different strategies to enhance student understanding and perception, including technology, inquiry-based learning, and professional and behavioral management. The use of colors was used by kindergarten and third-grade teachers. The interactive whiteboards, video presentations, and smart tablets with various illustrations demonstrate the use of technology in the video. Every student was given white cardboard containing red and yellow counters, which help students differentiate the counting. For instance, the teacher asked the students to remove all the yellow counters and leave the red ones on the white cardboard. Then, she took two yellow counters and combined them with three red counters, asking one of them to identify them separately.
The teachers used questions to differentiate and develop essential thinking skills to understand math and demonstrate their views and thoughts. The teachers changed colors and used queries to identify the difference in counting, and those who performed best were given stars showing their abilities. The teachers also utilized behavioral management whereby students are asked to put their hands on the head when they finished counting. The strategy helped the teacher differentiated those who had understood from the rest. The videos used different learning stations, well-spaced centers where teachers could reach every individual or group to explain a concept. These centers facilitated differentiation and improved student understanding.
The teachers used different strategies to ensure typical and atypical students understood mathematics. Video presentations motivated students to enhance their collaborative skills, and tablets provided individuals with independence in learning. The kindergarten teacher helped one of the students change the upper counters to yellow when the student showed no signs of understanding instructions. The grade three teacher used a behavioral management strategy, including rating stars to reward the appropriate behaviors. These approaches provided a self-paced learning strategy that enhanced students’ understanding and cooperation.
The teachers used different persuasive strategies that enhanced student engagement and concentration, including using stars to demonstrate student’s capability to solve problems. The stars also differentiated the best performing student from the rest, which motivated their efforts towards progressive performance. For my future teaching practice, I would employ technological, behavioral, use of questions, and professional developments to ensures learners understand what is taught in class. The use of academic smart tablets is a critical technological development that can visualize figures and numbers that can easily be identified and understood (Uerz et al., 2018).
Using rating stars to differentiate best-performing students is an excellent way of motivating them and others towards achieving many stars. Also, I would employ the use of questions and enquires to determine if students understood the subject concept, and they can apply it in real-life situations. The strategy can be fostered by using real-life examples for better understanding. Identifying individual student’s unique way of learning and employing relevant techniques enhances their knowledge of a particular subject.
Furner, J. M., & Worrell, N. L. (2017). The importance of using manipulatives in teaching math today. Transformations, 3(1), 1-25.
Rands, M. L., & Gansemer-Topf, A. M. (2017). The room itself is active: How classroom design impacts student engagement. Journal of Learning Spaces, 6(1), 26-33.
Uerz, D., Volman, M., & Kral, M. (2018). Teacher educators’ competencies in fostering student teachers’ proficiency in teaching and learning with technology: An overview of relevant research literature. Teaching and Teacher Education, 70, 12-23.