MODEL

Math 3-6

Systems Change
Math 3-6

About This Model

The goals for students’ math skills in Grades 3-6 include thinking mathematically—that is, connecting mathematical concepts to each other and modeling the world with math. Understanding the Learner Factors and strategies that impact math skills and how they connect to each other can help you build tools and lessons that support all learners.

Our research highlights several key themes about teaching and learning Math at the 3-6 level

Students represent math concepts and numbers in a flexible and abstract manner.

Students can work with number combinations using different strategies to build a network of connections between numbers.

Students’ Math Flexibility—the ability to shift between representations of numbers and between problem-solving strategies—supports a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures.

  • Allowing students to try problems on their own and then discussing strategies can help them compare and choose one problem-solving strategy over another.

Planning, communicating, and reflecting about math helps build a deeper understanding.

As math becomes more complex, students need to increasingly talk and think through their process when working on problems.

  • Metacognition develops through childhood, allowing students to use prior knowledge to make predictions, plan, monitor, and adjust their problem-solving strategies.

Math Communication can also support these metacognitive processes.

  • Talking through their thinking by themselves allows students to better reason and reflect on their steps, while communicating with teachers and peers to justify their process encourages collaboration along with a deeper understanding of the content.

Students’ mindset around math relies on connecting to the work.

Students’ positive Math Mindset can increase their engagement with math learning and help them see math as meaningful.

Increasing students’ feelings of confidence in their ability to do math can also support their Self-regulation as they set more challenging goals for themselves.

The Research Behind This Model

To create each Learner Variability Project Learner Model, we follow a systematic methodology led by our expert researchers. The process is also overseen by an advisory board of leading content area and learning sciences experts.

Advisory Board for Math 3-6

These leading researchers supported the development of the Math 3-6 Learner Model.

Maria Blanton, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist, TERC

Susan Empson, Ph.D.

Professor of Learning, Teaching & Curriculum, University of Missouri

Gerardo Ramirez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Educational Psychology, Ball State University

Bethany Rittle-Johnson, Ph.D.

Professor of Psychology & Human Development, Vanderbilt University

Jeremy Roschelle, Ph.D.

Executive Director of Learning Sciences Research, Digital Promise Global
Math 3-6

Students represent math concepts and numbers in a flexible and abstract manner.

Students can work with number combinations using different strategies to build a network of connections between numbers.

Students’ Math Flexibility—the ability to shift between representations of numbers and between problem-solving strategies—supports a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts and procedures.

  • Allowing students to try problems on their own and then discussing strategies can help them compare and choose one problem-solving strategy over another.

Planning, communicating, and reflecting about math helps build a deeper understanding.

As math becomes more complex, students need to increasingly talk and think through their process when working on problems.

  • Metacognition develops through childhood, allowing students to use prior knowledge to make predictions, plan, monitor, and adjust their problem-solving strategies.

Math Communication can also support these metacognitive processes.

  • Talking through their thinking by themselves allows students to better reason and reflect on their steps, while communicating with teachers and peers to justify their process encourages collaboration along with a deeper understanding of the content.

Students’ mindset around math relies on connecting to the work.

Students’ positive Math Mindset can increase their engagement with math learning and help them see math as meaningful.

Increasing students’ feelings of confidence in their ability to do math can also support their Self-regulation as they set more challenging goals for themselves.

Next:

Planning, communicating, and reflecting about math helps build a deeper understanding.

View Theme 2

Next:

Students’ mindset around math relies on connecting to the work.

View Theme 3

Next:

Students represent math concepts and numbers in a flexible and abstract manner.

View Theme 1