# Three Tips for Remote Mathematics Instruction

Last week, we posted three tenets to guide as you navigate remote ELA instruction. Whether you are a teacher or parent, building and maintaining your students’ understanding of mathematics can also be challenging. To that end, we’d like to share three ideas for navigating remote mathematics instruction.

Here are the tenets:

##### Work with multiple representations

Whether we are multiplying two-digit numbers, combining like terms, or solving an algebraic equation, abstract representations are important aspects of math; it takes time, however, for students to develop comfort with numbers, variables, and other abstract symbols. To help your student along, working with either concrete objects or pictorial representations can help. For example, if your second grade student is working with symbolic representations like 13 + 49, manipulating or drawing place value disks may help to illuminate the meanings of expressions like these. Middle or high school students may work with tape diagrams, algebra tiles, or other representations. Remember that working with these should always be in service of developing comfort with abstract representations, so they should always be connected to written methods. To help, our math guides include numerous examples of grade-level problems that incorporate drawings and concrete objects.

If you have an aligned curriculum to support you with remote instruction, that’s great! If not, there are several free sources of high-quality curricula that you can use such as the curricula on our site, as well as Student Achievement Partners and Illustrative Mathematics. You can also direct families to check them out at home. Remember that less can often be more! Giving students substantial time to try problems, show their thinking, and then discuss online together will go a long way. Incorporating the ideas of math talk and multiple representation above, in conjunction with these resources, can also support students who are acquiring English.  And together, they can help ensure that students are developing skills and understanding even during this period of disrupted schooling.

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