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Best Practice in Teaching Mathematics:

Effective Approaches in Teaching Mathematics Using Reusable Instructional


Materials

An Investigatory Project of Mini English Program


Anubanyasothon School
Jangsanit Road, Nai Muang, Muang Yasothon, Thailand

Researcher:

Mrs. Jherlenne Mae Asuncion- Atupan

Acknowledgement

The researcher wish to express her deepest thanks and gratitude to the following
people who have extended their valuable time and support for making this study possible.
Without them, this case study would not have been successful. Thanks to :
Mr. Prakart Suwannaharn, Anubanyasothon Schools Director for supporting me in
this project;
Anubanyasothon Schools Assistant Directors for the moral support;
Mrs. Prenpapa Charaenporn, Anubanyasothon Schools MEP Head, for the support;
Mrs. Sunant Rueangsanam, Anubanyasothon School MEP Coordinator, for the moral
support and partner in teaching Mathematics ;
Mr. Dandel Marlon Atupan, for some ideas;
My fellow MEP teachers for the encouragement;
My students at school for the smiles;
My family, parents, and friends for the moral support;
And above all to God who gives me wisdom and good health making this project into
reality.

Teacher Mae

ii

Table of Contents

Page

Title page.
Acknowledgment

ii

Contents.

iii

List of Tables

iv

Abstract.

1. The Problem
Introduction
Conceptual Framework..
Statement of the Problem..
Assumption.
Hypothesis of the Study.
Significance of the Study..
Delimitation of the Study..
Definition of Terms

Review of Literature
On Teaching Mathematics
On Studies about Mathematics Teaching
On Studies of Best Practices .

Contents

Methodology
Research Design
Research Locale
The Subject/Respondents
Sampling Procedure
Research Instruments
Conduct of the Study
Management of Classes
Data gathering Procedure
The Statistical Treatment

Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Data

Summary, Findings, Conclusions and recommendations


Summary
Findings and Conclusions.
Recommendations.

References
Appendices

Page

List of Tables

Table
1

Page
Distribution of Subject-respondents According
to Academic Performance in Mathematics

2
Common Problems Encountered by students and Teachers in Teaching and
Learning Mathematics

Abstract

Atupan, Jherlenne Mae Asuncion

Best Practice in Teaching Mathematics: Effective Approaches in Teaching


Mathematics

Using Reusable Instructional Material. An investigatory Project,

Anubanyasothon School, Jangsanit Road, Yasothon, Thailand.


This study was realized after 5 years of teaching Mathematics both in Primary and Secondary
Level. This was through careful observation and thorough investigation on how learners learn best in
teaching Mathematics. The aim of this study was to investigate effective teaching approaches,
strategies, method, and techniques in teaching Mathematics; and to check whether the reusable
instructional material made was effective in teaching Mathematics. Secondary students from Intensive
English Program in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand and Primary Students from Mini English Program
(MEP) in Yasothon, Thailand were observed and investigated from School Year 2009-2013. The
results showed that Learners learn best in Mathematics through experiential, student-centered, and
cognitive method of teaching; and the reusable instructional material made was effective in teaching
Mathematics because students were more engaged, more interactive, and gained more conceptual
understanding in Mathematics concepts.

Chapter 1
The Problem

Introduction
Teaching Mathematics is a challenging work to do. It involves time of preparation, lesson
planning, preparing of Instructional Materials, figuring out the best and effective teaching approaches,
strategies, methods and techniques to be used and helping out influence the learners to develop love
for Mathematics. But teaching is not just a job, it is in fact more than a job since teaching is not only
to instruct students in the subject but also influences them to love learning. That is, learning to love
Mathematics.
This paper was made into reality after five years of teaching Mathematics in Thailand both in
Primary and Secondary Level. This was made by investigating the students problems and difficulties
in learning Mathematics and how to solve these problems. Some of the problems encountered by the
students were noted and based on these problems, varied teaching approaches, methods and strategies
were tried to test which ones were effective in teaching Mathematics. This is how Best Practice was
developed.
Best practice in Mathematics teaching is a serious, thoughtful, informed, responsible, stateof-the-art teaching. It involves content based knowledge at the same time gaining knowledge of the
Principles of Teaching. As you read through the following pages, you can find valuable information
that will guide you in teaching Mathematics and will help you love teaching this subject.

Statement of the Problem


This study was concerned to investigate the how Mathematics students learn best.
This study was conducted in Northeast Schools in Thailand, particularly at Ave Maria School
in Srinarong Road, Muang Ubon, Ubon Ratchathani and at Anubanyasothon School,

Jangsanit Road, Nai Muang, Amphur Muang, Yasothon, Thailand From School Year 20092013.
Specifically, this study ought to:
1. Investigate effective teaching approaches, strategies, methods and techniques in
teaching Mathematics.
2. Check whether the reusable instructional material made is effective in teaching
Mathematics.

Assumption
The use of varied approaches, strategies, methods and techniques in teaching
Mathematics could enhance students understanding of the Mathematical concepts, engage
the students in the learning process, and develop in them the love for Mathematics.

Hypothesis of the Study


Learning by doing is the most effective way of teaching Mathematics.

Significance of the Study


The results of this study will provide information regarding varied approaches
effective in teaching Mathematics that will bring important implication and insights to the
following:
The students. The students experiential learning motivates them to understand
important mathematical concepts more effectively and enjoyably, specifically on the concepts
of fraction.
The Teachers. The finding of this study will create an opportunity for teachers to find
out how well the students benefit from their instructional efforts and materials by presenting

their lesson using student-centered approach. This will enable them to better assist the
students in the learning concepts without merely requiring them to memorize a list of facts.
The School Administrators. The findings of this study will provide useful information
that will enable administrators and supervisors to determine what specific instructional
materials to be used and how instruction should be modified and paced to maximize
achievements in teaching Mathematics.
The Mathematics Department of Anubanyasothon School. The results of this study
will provide relevant information regarding varied approaches effective in teaching
Mathematics that will encourage the teachers of Anubanyasothon School

to be more

resourceful and innovative in presenting their lessons using experiential approach, studentcentered method and by using Higher order thinking skills( cognitive) approach.
The Ministry of Education. The recommendations derived from the findings of this
study could be a guiding source of significant information for the Ministry of Education
officials. They could then initiate in-service trainings and seminars in designing appropriate
teaching strategies that will provide greater focus to assist teachers to become more
resourceful and innovative in presenting their lessons in a varied ways. This hopefully should
result in a higher achievement level in Mathematics instruction in all areas of Thailand.
The Researchers. The findings of this study will also serve as reference for future
researchers who plan to conduct further study on topics related to this research.

Delimitation of the Study


This study was conducted in two different schools in the Northeastern part of
Thailand. One is the Secondary School at Ave Maria School in Srimuang Road, Amphur

Muang, Ubon Ratchathani and the other is a Primary school at Anubanyasothon School,
Jangsanit Road, Nai Muang, Amphur Muang, Yasothon from School Year 2009 to 2013. This
is the limitation of this study.
Definition of Terms:

Teaching approach- It is a set of principles, beliefs or ideas about the nature of


learning which is translated into the classroom. It comes from the teachers own
philosophy of education, the nature of education, the role of the teacher, and that of
the student.

Teaching strategy- It is a long term plan of action designed to achieve a particular


goal in teaching.

Teaching Method- It is a systematic way of doing something. It implies an orderly


logical arrangement of steps. It is more procedural.

Teaching technique-It is a well-defined procedure used to accomplish a specific


activity or task. It is the teachers particular style or trick used to accomplish
immediate objective.

Chapter 2
Review of Literature
The following review of literature is a description and summary of the research results
that inspired and guided the study. Included are the findings of the study that investigated
effective teaching Practices in teaching Mathematics and the Principles of Teaching
Mathematics.

On Mathematics Teaching
Mathematics is a form of reasoning. Thinking mathematically consists of thinking in a
logical manner, formulating and testing conjectures, making sense of things, and forming and
justifying judgments, inferences, and conclusions. We demonstrate mathematical behavior
when we recognize and describe patterns, construct physical and conceptual models of
phenomena, create symbol systems to help us represent, manipulate, and reflect on ideas, and
invent procedures to solve problems (Battista, 1999) as cited by the Alliance Education
(2006). These are the basis why and how teachers teach Mathematics.
Thailand has joined the Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study
(TIMSS) which was first conducted in 1995. TIMSS reports every four years on the
mathematics and science achievement of fourth and eighth grade students worldwide. TIMSS
2011 is the fifth in the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational
Achievement (IEA)'s series of international assessments of student achievement dedicated to
improving teaching and learning in mathematics and science. Findings from the survey are
used to inform education policy-makers and to improve teaching ( The Nation, Oct. 22, 2012)

. Furthermore, The results of the world's famous international math and science
test have shown that Thai students' achievements continuous declines over the past decade
since Thailand joined TIMSS. Thai students' scores were 525 for science and 522 for
mathematics in 1995. The scores dropped to 482 (science) and 467 (maths) in 1999. Even in
2007, the scores also dropped to 471 (science) and 441 (math). Meanwhile, TIMSS average
scores were about 500 or a little more or less than 500 ( The Nation, Oct. 22, 2012).
By this report, there is a need for effective Mathematics Instruction here in Thailand .
What can Math teachers do to improve this? Teachers can do a lot. By helping Thai students
love Mathematics and by effective instruction, Mathematics teachers can help Thai students
improve their Mathematics skills and problem solving skills. This is why the author
conducted this study. The main aim of this study is to determine effective teaching
approaches, strategies, methods and techniques for effective Math teaching. This is the
authors best practice in Math teaching.
The United States of America (USA) has also conducted a study of this Best Practice
because of the poor performance of U.S. students in math. The researchers have traced it to
the method used to teach math at the elementary level. The focus is on specific problems and
not on building the foundations necessary for understanding higher level math. These
foundations can only be built with a mathematics program that teaches concepts and skills,
and problem-solving (Daro, 2006) as cited by The Education Alliance (2006).

On the Standards-Based Mathematics


Jaijain, a Professor from Khonkaen University, Thailand conducted a research about
the Thai Mathematics Curriculum and Mathematical Connections and have found out that the
educational curriculum in Thailand in the past was Content-based curriculum. As a result, the
teachers gave an importance to teaching based on the content by using textbooks as major

material for instructional organization because the textbooks included the determined content
in curriculum of each class. Specifically, throughout the long period of former time, Thai
educational system was the centralized system. The curricular were determined by Ministry
of education. The same total content frame was organized throughout the country. Textbooks
of different printings consisted of content covering curriculum in each level by classifying
into lessons for the teachers convenience in organize their instruction. Therefore, they were
familiar to teaching by the texts as if they were curriculum. The National Educational
Curriculum in recent time, the Ministry of Education by Department of Academic, followed
up and conducted research for curriculum development throughout the time.
In addition, the research findings found that the present curriculum was used for more
than 10 years. The curriculum use wasnt be able to develop the basis for thinking or
constructing Thai peoples learning technique in organize and life skill (Ministry of
Education, 2001). In addition to the information from the 10th issue of National Economic
and Social Development regarding to guidelines for developing human beings in Thai society,
and the focus of Ministry of Education in developing youth into the 21th century, the revision
of Basic Education Curriculum 2001 was revised in order to be core curriculum of Basic
Education 2008 with clearness both in objective of curriculum in developing the students
quality development, and skill process in putting curriculum into practice in The Educational
Service Area and schools (Ministry of Education, 2008, p.2). In practice, the movement of
curriculum into classroom didnt include the clear guidelines determined by curriculum.
In the US according to the Education Alliance (2006), Standards-based instruction in
mathematics is designed to clearly identify what students should learn at each level.
Standards provide more than a curriculum framework as they delineate the skills, concepts
and knowledge that are to be mastered. For successful standards-based implementation,
teachers must understand the rationale for using standards, know applicable national and state

standards and use them as a basis for planning instruction, and implement best practices
instructional strategies. Essential characteristics of an effective standards-based mathematics
classroom include:
Lessons designed to address specific standards-based concepts or skills.
Student centered learning activities.
Inquiry and problem solving focused lessons.
Critical thinking and knowledge application skills
Adequate time, space, and materials to complete tasks.
Varied, continuous assessment, designed to evaluate both student progress and
teacher effectiveness. (Teaching Today, 2005a)

Chapter 3
Methodology
This chapter presents and describes the research design, research locale, subject
respondents, sampling procedures, research instruments, and validation of instruments,
conduct of the study, management of classes, data collection procedure, and the treatment of
the data.
Research Design
This study was carried out by qualitative data analysis. This was done by listing down
the problems encountered during and after teaching Mathematics. Interviews were also done
from the Mathematics teachers from different schools about the effective teaching techniques
they commonly use in teaching Mathematics. Some Questionnaires were also given to the
teachers. Students Assessment results were recorded and analyzed thoroughly.
Research Locale
This study was conducted at two different schools in the Northeastern Part of
Thailand specifically Ave Maria School School ( School Year 2009-2010) in Srinarong Road,
Muang Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand and Anubanyasothon School (School Year 2010-2013),
Jangsanit Road, Yasothon, Thailand. These schools are under the supervision of the Ministry
of Education which implements the Basic Core Curriculum of Thailand.

During the study, Ave Marias Schools Director was Sister Sangwian Saensawat and
Anuban Yasothon Schools Director was Mr. Prakart Suwannaharn. Mini English Program is
headed by Mrs. Prenpapa Charaenporn, and coordinated by Mrs. Sunant Rueangsanam.
The Subject-Respondents
There are approximately 1500 pupils enrolling every year at Anubanyasothon School .
It is divided into many programs namely, English Communication for Life (ECL) and Mini
English Program (MEP). MEP is in its seventh year which has almost 2 sections in each
grade level. For this study, the subject-respondents were the Grades 4-6 students only.
At Ave Maria School, there are about 1500 students enrolling every year. The
subject-respondents observed were the Grades 7-8 Intensive English Program (IE) students.
Sampling Procedure
Table 1. Distribution of Subject-respondents according to Academic Performance in
Mathematics
1. Anuban Yasothon School
Grade Level

Male

Female

Total

Grade 4

17

18

35

Grade 5

10

11

21

Grade 6

14

19

42

43

85

TOTAL
2. Ave Maria School
Grade Level
Grade 7

Male
35

Female
57

Total
92

Grade 8
TOTAL

31

59

90

66

116

182

Data Gathering Procedure


A. Classroom Observation.
Classroom observations were recorded and problems encountered by students about the
mathematical concepts were listed down to enable the researcher to completely capture what
was happening in the classroom focusing on the case students to check which teaching
approach, strategy, technique was effective for mathematical concepts. Ideas on how to solve
these problems are also included. (See table 2)
B. Determining Varied Approaches in Teaching Mathematics which are effective for Thai
students
Different teaching methods and strategies were tried out in each mathematical
concept and determined if those methods were effective or not in the class. According to
The Education Alliance (2006) survey, Mathematics should be taught using multiple
strategies, however, the teacher is responsible for selecting the strategies appropriate for a
specific concept. That is why the researcher tried out the following approaches and
strategies and methods: (Corpuz,et.al ,2013 Principles of Teaching)
1. Interactive-you make learners interact with you (their teacher), with their classmates
and with the learning material.
2. Innovative-Your teaching is fresh because you do introduce new teaching method/s.
You do introduce one teaching method.
3. Integrative- you connect your lesson to one another, to other disciplines and to life.
4. Inquiry Based- You ask questions and the learners look for answers.

5. Constructivist-You make learners construct knowledge and meaning by connecting


lesson with their past experiences.
6. Varied- You dont stick to just one teaching method. You have a ready repertoire of
teaching methods from which to draw any time.
7. Experiential (hands-on, minds on, hearts- on).You engage learners in varied
activities.
8. Metacognitive- You make learners think about their cognitive and thought processes.
9. Collaborative-You make learners work together.
10. Reflective-You make your students reflect on what they have learned and how they
have learned.
C. Some Principles of teaching and learning which are found effective in teaching Math
for Thai Students are also listed down. (See Chapter 4)

Chapter 4
Presentation, Analysis and Interpretation of Data
This chapter presents analyses and interprets the data obtained from the respondents.
The presentation of results is organized based on the order of the stated problems presented in

Chapter 1: (1) Determining the effective approaches in teaching Math; (2) Check whether the
reusable instructional Materials made is effective in teaching Mathematics.
A. Observation. Based on my observation, I was able to note down some common
problems encountered by the students in learning Mathematics. (See Table 2).
B. Effective Approaches, methods, strategies and techniques in Math teaching.
Below are some of the teaching approaches, methods, techniques in Math teaching
which I found it effective. I tried out many more strategies but this 10 are the more
effective ones.
1. Interactive- Making the students interact with the teacher, with their classmates and
with the instructional material. e.g. Concept about equivalent fractions
Teacher: Why is three-fourths equal to 75/100? (Showing the instructional material)
Student: Three-fourths when multiplied by 25/25 is 75/100 so is equivalent to
75/100.
In Mathematics teaching, the author usually asked students to justify their
answer so that speaking is encouraged and critical thinking is enhanced since students
must think how they arrive to their answer and must use English words to explain.
Therefore this teaching approach encourages students to interact with their teacher,
their classmates and the learning material. Teacher also gives extra points to those
who can speak out.
This interactive approach was proven effective since students are encouraged
to interact with their teacher as well as their classmates and with the instructional
material and there were more talking in the class than merely solving the equations
which is less effective.
2. Innovative- Teaching is fresh because teacher introduces new teaching method/s.
Teacher doesnt overuse one teaching method. (e.g. using Multimedia in teaching
Math). Teaching mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, multiplication
and division, when a teacher uses multimedia such as PowerPoint, video or smart

board is proven effective. The author had observed one Thai teacher who teaches
Math using PowerPoint presentation enhances the students learning ability and enable
them to understand fully the concepts since it is explained with such animation that
captures their attention.
3. Integrative- a teacher connects his lesson to one another, to other disciplines and to
life.

Usually I use this approach when I teach Division and Fraction solving

problem concepts. First I introduce the scientific method to be followed such as 1)


sensing and defining the problem 2) Formulating hypothesis 3) testing the likely
hypothesis (by observing, conducting an experiment, collecting and organizing data
through normative surveys) 4) Analysis, interpretation and evaluation of evidence,
and formulating conclusion. Then I tried to give the steps on how to solve the
mathematical problem. First, is to write the given, second is to write the mathematical
sentence, third, show solution, fourth is write the answer. I have to tell them they can
construct their own knowledge and solution (Constructivism).There are many
solutions to a problem so they are free to chose which solution they like to follow. Of
course, I already gave them some techniques how to solve a problem.
4. Inquiry Based- Teacher asks questions to the students and they look for answers.
This Approach is effective since students explore, inquire and discover new learning. I
dont tell students everything they need to know rather I gave them opportunities to
inquire and discover. One best example is teaching Data Analysis and probability. I
usually give students some questions and they look for answers. They explore, inquire
and discover things.
5. Constructivism- Students construct knowledge and meaning by connecting lesson
with their past experiences. This is an effective technique in teaching Math since it
requires students prior knowledge to connect or relate to the new lesson. I usually
give students activities by grouping them and giving them some tasks to do and talk

about such as why is 3/6 is equal to 27/54, and topics such as Identifying the size of
the angles, Identifying parallel lines from Perpendicular lines, etc.
6. Varied- Teachers dont stick to just one teaching method. This is the approach I
usually use since I have to consider students learning style and I have to come up
with my lesson objectives. The best technique I use since I have to switch from one
technique to the other as the need arises. Since there must be clear understanding of
the objectives of the lesson and strategies to be used. Most of the time, I have my
lesson planning and I do use the strategy I plan to use like using 5Es instructional
model-Engage, Explore, Explain, Elaborate and Evaluate, but then I find some
students do not understand the concept yet so I have to switch to Interactive approach.
But take note, this approach needs a background of some if not all the teaching
approaches, methods, strategies and techniques in teaching.
7. Experiential (Hands-on, minds on, hearts- on)- teachers engage students in varied
activities. This approach is effective in practicing how to solve mathematical
equations, letting the students experience and recall how to solve the equation by
remembering the rules and formulas and applying it to solve the equation. In my
experience, mere memorizing of formulas and rules without understanding is less
effective for students. Thats why I always tell my students to remember the formulas
and rules by heart together with conceptual understanding.
8. Metacognitive- Teachers make learners think about cognitive and thought processes.
In most mathematical concepts, learners must use critical thinking skills to solve
mathematical equations and mathematical problems. This will help the students learn
best when the cognitive skills are used such as students memory, intelligence,
intellect and the five senses to think critically with higher order thinking skills.
9. Collaborative- Teachers make learners work together. In some of my lessons such as
solving problem involving decimals or fractions, I ask students to group themselves to
work together and share what they have understood about the lesson, then I let one

representative to report in front of the class, while the rest show or role play what they
have done in class.
10. Reflective- teachers make students reflect on what they have learned and how they
were able to learn. This is another approach which the researcher-teacher found
effective in teaching since students are given time to reflect on what they have learned
and how they were able to learn such as in Adding, Subtracting, multiplying and
dividing Fractions. After they reflect on what they have learned, teachers usually ask
them to justify their answers by speaking in English and discussing how they are able
to get their answers. By this, students have enough time to contemplate, recall and
practice the vocabulary the researcher-teacher introduce to them in each chapter of the
lesson.
Some other techniques the researcher-teacher find it useful in Teaching Mathematics for Thai
students are the following:
1. Teaching by repetition. By repeating the steps how to add, subtract, multiply and
divide numbers, students are able to remember it by heart.
2. Teaching by association. Usually learners understand easily the concepts when they
are able to experience it or associate it in their present life. If teachers teach about
parallel and perpendicular lines, teachers usually associate parallel lines to two
students standing in front in straight line. So two lines never cross each other. For
perpendicular line, I let one student do hands forward then one student do hands up so
two lines meet each other, that is perpendicular line.
3. Teaching by example- In teaching Math, teachers find it effective if teachers teach
how to solve a mathematical equation by example. Students usually follow the steps
clearly if they can see an example.
4. Teaching by translation- In teaching Math, some words in English are not clearly
understood so my Math co-teachers has to translate in Thai language so students can
understand better, or students can look over to their English-Thai Dictionary for those

words. Examples of these vocabulary words are additive inverse, Lowest Common
Multiple (LCM), simplest form, equivalent fractions, reducing fractions, Greatest
Common Factor (GCF), radius, circumference, acute, obtuse, isosceles, scalene
triangle, rhombus, pyramid, bisecting lines, etc.
Other principles of teaching and Laws of learning the researcher-teacher find it useful
in teaching Math for Thai students are the following: Some of these are things the
researcher-teacher learned from the book Principles of Teaching by Corpuz, B and G.
Salandanan (2013) as described by Thorndike in 1932.
1. Law of readiness- Students learn best when they are ready to learn. If students are
still busy doing something, they wont learn best so better stop teaching first then let
students be in their seats and be quiet for 2-3 minutes before starting a lesson.
2. Law of recency- Students learn best when it is the latest topic were discussing in
class. The past topics are sometimes forgotten so sometimes the researcher-teacher
had to remind them of the mathematical concepts theyve learned from the past.
3. Law of experience- Students learn best if they have experience such thing. So
oftentimes teachers let them practice solving problems, give them homework so they
can remember the technique and concepts in Mathematics.
4. Law of exercise- Things most often repeated are best remembered. This is also called
the Law of repetition. So in teaching Math, it is also necessary to repeat the steps on
how to divide, how to solve complex fraction problems, etc. So students can
remember the steps and they can recall easily.
5. Law of Primacy- Things learned first creates a strong impression. In this case, the
researcher-teacher had to make sure teachers teaching Mathematical concepts rightly,
not misconceptions because Students create a strong impression and remembrance the
first thing teachers teach them. It should be right at the first time of teaching.

6. Law of Intensity- The more intense the concept or material used, the more it is likely
learned. If teachers teach more on fraction, basically students learn more and best in
this topic.
C. The effectiveness of the instructional material made to enhance learning
The reusable instructional material made was found effective since more
students are more engaged in the lesson, more participative, more interactive and
more active. I used two teaching methods in testing the effectiveness of the learning
material. One is without the use of that instructional material and using only lecture
method and one is by using it through games. Then I evaluate students academic
performance. Based on the results, those students that participated in the game using
that instructional material have higher scores than those students only listen to the
teacher through lecture method. This concludes that teaching math by using
instructional materials is more effective than merely lecturing.

Chapter 5

Summary, Findings, Conclusions and Recommendations


This chapter presents the summary and findings, discusses relevant conclusions, and cites
recommendations for the realization of the objectives of this research study.
Summary
This study was realized after 5 years of teaching Mathematics both in Primary and Secondary
Level. This was through careful observation and thorough investigation on how learners learn best in
teaching Mathematics. The aim of this study was to investigate effective teaching approaches,
strategies, method, and techniques in teaching Mathematics; and to check whether the reusable
instructional material made was effective in teaching Mathematics. Secondary students from Intensive
English Program in Ubon Ratchathani, Thailand and Primary Students from Mini English Program
(MEP) in Yasothon, Thailand were observed and investigated from School Year 2009-2013. The
results showed that Learners learn best in Mathematics through experiential, student-centered, and
cognitive method of teaching; and the reusable instructional material made was effective in teaching
Mathematics because students were more engaged, more interactive, and gained more conceptual
understanding in Mathematics concepts.

Findings and Conclusion


Based on the researcher-teacher observation, experiences, and personal interview, she found
out some common problems encountered by students and teachers in teaching and learning
Mathematics. Some common ones are the accuracy and spelling of number words, adding of
denominators when asked to add fractions which should not be, reading and writing fractions
incorrectly, language barrier problem, misconceptions, and many more. Therefore varied approaches
were tried out to solve these problems and had found out 10 effective approaches in teaching
mathematics so learners learn best. These are 1) Interactive 2) Innovative 3) Integrative 4) Inquiry

Based 5) Constructivism 6) Varied 8) Experiential 7)Metacognitive 9) Collaborative and 10)

Reflective.

Other Principles of Teaching are teaching by repetition, by association, by

example and by translation. The Laws of Learning I find it effective in Math class are the
Law of readiness, Law of exercise, Law of Recency, Law of Exercise, Law of Primary and
Law of Intensity.

Recommendation
Based on the findings of this study, it is recommended to use other methods of
teaching and trying out if they are also effective in teaching Mathematics. It is also
recommended to use other grade level students as respondents to compare the results. It is the
hope of the researcher that her work with the Best Practice in Mathematics teaching will give
Mathematics teachers another tool to improve the Mathematics Education not just in
Thailand but in the whole world.

References:

Corpuz, B and G Salandanan ( 2013). Principles of Teaching, 3 rd Edition, Lorimar


Publishing ,Inc. Manila, Philippines.
Jaijan, W. The Thai mathematics Curriculum and Mathematical Connections, Khon
Kaen
University,
Thailand.
Retrieved
on
August
24,
2012
in
http://www.recsam.edu.my/cosmed/cosmed09/AbstractsFullPapers2009/Abstract/Mathe
matics%20Parallel%20PDF/Full%20Paper/18.pdf
The Education Alliance (2006) . Closing the Achievement Gap: Best Practices In
TeachingMathematics.
Retrieved
on
August
24,
2013
at
http://www.educationalliance.org/files/Teaching-Mathematics.pdf.
The Nation (October 22, 2012). Key maths, Science test results due out soon .
Retreived on August 24, 2013 at http://www.nationmultimedia.com/national/Key-mathsScience-test-results-due-out-soon-30192784.html.

Appendix

Table 2. Some common problems encountered by students and teachers in teaching and
learning Mathematics
Topic
Fractions

Common Problem
Some students add denominators when asked to add
fractions.

In comparing fractions, some students choose the bigger

denominators to be the biggest fractions.

In comparing fractions with the same denominators,


some student choose the smallest numerator to be the
biggest fraction like the example below: They choose 3
which is wrong.
7

Example: Which is bigger: 3 or 5

7?

Reading and Writing of

14 is read as forty while 40 is read as fourteen

numbers

40 is spelled as fourty instead of forty

Language

13 is spelled as thrity instead of thirteen


Some students have difficulty in pronouncing and
understanding mathematical words and understanding

Place value

word problems.
Some students are confused with the place value of
numbers especially when theres decimal point. They
usually start in the right numbers after the decimal with
ones, then tens instead of tenths after the decimal point
then hundredths, thousandths, ten thousandths, ten

Solving Problem

Geometry

thousandths, hundred thousandths.


Difficulty of understanding some words therefore cannot

understand the whole problem.


Difficulty in developing spatial sense.

Cannot recall the concepts for finding the size of an


angle, or cant differentiate rhombus from a

Statistics/Probability

parallelogram or from a rectangle.


Difficulty to analyze and make decisions since English

Patterns/Functions/Algebra

language is used.
Difficulty in developing and using tables, graphs and
rules to describe situations