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The benefits of physical health go beyond our bodies—our cognitive skills also improve with physical fitness. Our Physical Well-being involves proper nutrition, regular exercise, and quality Sleep. Students with good overall Physical Well-being benefit from improved cognitive skills, which in turn can boost academic performance including learning math.
Physical Well-being is dependent on several important components:
Adolescents experience many physical, cognitive, and social-emotional changes triggered by the beginning of puberty. Their Physical Well-being can also impact the timing of puberty which may be delayed by nutritional deficiencies or start earlier in girls who are obese. Physical Well-being is also tightly intertwined with psychological well-being (see Emotion). Each can have a significant impact on the other, and this interplay ultimately defines a student's overall health. For example, just like in adults, stress in children can lead to increased levels of stress hormones, high blood pressure, obesity, and other negative effects. Managing stress is an important part of maintaining Physical Well-being.
Teachers support language development by using and providing vocabulary and syntax that is appropriately leveled (e.g., using simple sentences when introducing complex concepts).
Content that is provided in clear, short chunks can support students' Working Memory.
Providing math tasks with high cognitive demand conveys high expectations for all students by challenging them to engage in higher-order thinking.
As students solve problems in a group, they learn new strategies and practice communicating their mathematical thinking.
Students activate more cognitive processes by exploring and representing their understandings in visual form.
Thinking of and about patterns encourages learners to look for and understand the rules and relationships that are critical components of mathematical reasoning.
Teaching students to recognize the structures of algebraic representations helps them transfer solution methods from familiar to unfamiliar problems.
Discussing strategies for solving mathematics problems after initially letting students attempt to problem solve on their own helps them understand how to organize their Algebraic Thinking and intentionally tackle problems.
Overtly encouraging all students to seek support and ask questions creates a safe space for risk-taking and skill development.
Analyzing incorrect worked examples is especially beneficial for helping students develop a conceptual understanding of mathematical processes.
The flipped classroom has two parts: cooperative group activities in class and digitally-based individual instruction out of class.
As students walk through stations working in small groups, the social and physical nature of the learning supports deeper understanding.
Having space where students can go supports Self-regulation and individual deliberate practice.
Math games allow students to practice many math skills in a fun, applied context.
Multiple tables and chairs on wheels allow for setting up the classroom to support the desired learning outcomes of each activity.
Multiple display spaces help develop oral language skills as well as Social Awareness & Relationship Skills by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Visualizing how ideas fit together helps students construct meaning and strengthens recall.
Visual representations help students understand what a number represents as well as recognize relationships between numbers.
Multiple writing surfaces promote collaboration by allowing groups to share information easily as they work.
Maintaining consistent classroom routines and schedules ensures that students are able to trust and predict what will happen next.
Sentence frames or stems can serve as language support to enrich students' participation in academic discussions.
When students create their own number and word problems, they connect math concepts to their background knowledge and lived experiences.
When students explain their thinking process aloud, they recognize the strategies they or others use and solidify their understanding.
Spaces that are structured, organized, and clean provide increased room for collaboration and active learning.
Having students verbally repeat information such as instructions ensures they have heard and supports remembering.
Providing visuals to introduce, support, or review instruction activates more cognitive processes to support learning.
Wait time, or think time, of three or more seconds after posing a question increases how many students volunteer and the length and accuracy of their responses.
Analyzing and discussing solved problems helps students develop a deeper understanding of abstract mathematical processes.
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