Teaching Tips

4 Principles of Deeply Effective Math Learning

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We all know how challenging it is to keep students occupied. Math is one way to fire their imagination and keep their young minds busy. However, this is not happening today considering how math is popularly taught by rote. Children today think that math is all about numbers, equations, complex diagrams, protractors and graph sheets.

Is that all there is?  

Math experts from Cuemath have listed 4 principles of deeply effective math learning that you can get familiar with to keep your students interested and on track with math.

  1. Understand the goal of math learning
  2. Use the why-behind-the-what approach
  3. Get your math tools right
  4. Help students learn from mistakes

1. Understand the Goal of Math Learning

Math is a life skill and that is how you should look at it. Students should understand how concepts tie into their lives. This helps them relate to the concept and builds interest.
Let’s say, while learning numbers, a student understands that 10>1. Help them now differentiate between 300 mm rainfall and 3,000 mm rainfall.
Academic knowledge alone is useless. Applying concepts to life is where the beauty of math lies.

Afterall, no one learns the piano just to get certified, the goal is to make music for audiences.

2. Use the why-behind-the-what approach

Using this approach will benefit your students immensely. Understanding why a concept works instead of simply memorising steps is so much easier. Once students understand the working of a concept, they will never need to remember steps.

Take a look at this video that explains “why” the addition algorithm works.

3. Get Your Math Tools Right

Using tools to help students understand concepts would be helpful not just for them but for you too. You can use these tools to teach math by following the concrete-pictorial-abstract framework.

Concrete learning happens when a child touches to internalise the basics of concepts. Once the basics are set and the child can “see” math, introduce pictures to develop pictorial learning and finally move on to abstract concepts of math.

4. Help students learn from mistakes

Making mistakes are a sign of active learning. However, it is crucial to find out why the error played out that way. When students learn from mistakes, it helps them internalise concepts and learn better.


Follow these principles for effective math learning among your students and overtime, you would be able to build on these and frame your own principles.

Have a few? Share them with us, we’d love to hear.


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Meryl Vincent

Campaign Associate at Cuemath
Meryl is the resident blogger at Cuemath. She works with Cuemath teachers and students to bring out their math related stories. Apart from this, she also collaborates with the Curriculum team at Cuemath to bring out the fascinating side of math through articles and contests. You can contact her on meryl@cuemath.com for any blog related enquiry.

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