In a student-centered mathematics classroom, students connect mathematics to real-world ideas, communicate their mathematical thinking, and persevere in problem-solving.

A focus on student-centered math provides educators with the skills to select purposeful tasks, anticipate common errors, and choose instructional routines that support the mathematical abilities of all students.

Focus Area

Student-Centered Math

Components of Student-Centered Math

Student-centered mathematics instruction engages all students through creativity, exploration, and collaboration. We support skill development through personalized pathways built from workshops1:1 coaching, and learning walks to achieve clear outcomes.

Student-Centered Math in a Flexible Learning Environment

Outcome: I can implement student-centered math practices in a flexible learning environment by adjusting instruction and deliberately selecting strategies that work in synchronous and asynchronous learning environments.

Fundamentals of Student-Centered Math

Outcome: I can implement student-centered math fundamentals in my classroom in order foster student ownership, support students to become confident math thinkers, and increase engagement by connecting to students’ interests and identities.

Mathematical Discourse

Outcome: I can promote mathematical discourse in my classroom in order to support students to share ideas, clarify understandings, and learn to see things from other perspectives.

Scaffolding, Differentiating, and Choice

Outcome: I can scaffold, differentiate, and utilize choice in order to support students to meaningfully engage with mathematics.

Using Representations and Reasoning

Outcome: I can use visual representations in order to support mathematical reasoning.

Math Language Routines

Outcome: I can implement the Math Language Routines in order to support my students to communicate about their thinking and to make sense of math concepts.

Humanizing Mathematics

Outcome: I can humanize mathematics by building a positive math culture that shifts teacher and student beliefs about what math is and how people learn math.

The 5 Practices with Desmos

Outcome: I can use the Desmos Snapshots Tool in order to organize an inclusive, productive 5 Practices-style class discussion.

Just-in-Time Math Supports

Outcome: I can implement “just-in-time” supports such as vertical mapping, creating acceleration stations, and differentiating using tech tools, in order to accelerate my students’ math learning.

Tech Tools for Math

Outcome: I can use tech tools strategically to support students to collaborate, communicate and visualize mathematical ideas.

“This Learning Series was awesome! I got so many new ideas and encouragement from other teachers. I feel supported and excited in finding new routines for my classroom.”

“I felt that I grew very much as an educator. My coach enabled me to take risks, build on my successes, and reflect on my challenges.”

Learning Strategies From Our Library

Notice and Wonder

Support students to enter the content by engaging in the I Notice, I Wonder protocol.

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Number Talks

Increase math fluency by discussing and critiquing structure, patterns, and mathematical properties.

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Which One Doesn't Belong?

Help students reason mathematically by determining which figure, diagram, graph, or expression does not belong.

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A Focus on Student-Centered Teaching and Learning

We’ve identified four Elements that are key for academic success and for building student-centered classrooms. BetterLesson guides teachers, instructional coaches, and leaders through Focus Areas within each Element to lead their professional development journey.

Instructional Leadership Arrow

Instructional Leadership Focus Areas

Improve instruction and learning for teachers and students by building your skills as an instructional leader.

Leading Through Change: Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success.
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Instructional Coaching: Provide teachers with personalized coaching cycles that support them growing and developing their teaching practice. Learn More
Collaborative Professional Learning: Develop a collaborative professional culture to support student-centered teaching and learning. Learn More
Feedback and Observation: Create an authentic, replicable observation and feedback cycle that promotes alignment of student-centered goals and non-evaluative conversation.
Learn More
Inclusive and Responsive Practices Arrow

Inclusive and Responsive Practices Focus Areas

Build an equitable learning community where all students can be supported, celebrated, and successful.

Social-Emotional Learning: Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Learn More
Culturally Responsive Teaching: Develop learning communities that honor diverse student backgrounds and experiences. Learn More
Trauma-Informed Practices: Approach learning with an understanding of the impacts of trauma and adversity on students. Learn More
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity. Learn More
English Learners: Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments. Learn More
Students with Disabilities: Support students with disabilities to learn and grow in their learning environments. Learn More
Flexible Instructional Models Arrow

Flexible Instructional Models Focus Areas

Find unique ways for all students to learn, communicate, and solve meaningful problems.

Accelerating Growth: Accelerate student growth and provide differentiated support for all learners. Learn More
Formative Assessment and Differentiation: Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning.
Learn More
Blended Learning: Leverage technology in the classroom to maximize student learning and growth. Learn More
Hybrid and Virtual Learning: Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model. Learn More
Project-Based Learning: Engage students with real-world, inquiry-based tasks.
Learn More
Competency-Based Learning: Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate competency in flexible formats. Learn More
Curriculum and Academic Content Arrow

Curriculum and Academic Content Focus Areas

Use learning tools and curriculum to create a student-centered classroom.

Student-Centered Math: Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking. Learn More
Student-Centered Literacy: Develop students’ literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Learn More
Open Up Resources 6-8 Math: Strategically implement the Open Up Resources 6-8 Math curriculum. Learn More
EL Education: Strategically implement the EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum to support student-centered literacy instruction. Learn More
Newsela: Supercharge reading engagement and infuse literacy skills across content areas using Newsela. Learn More
Labster: Support student engagement in authentic investigative science lab simulations using Labster.
Learn More
Derivita: Cultivate targeted, responsive math practices using Derivita’s question and feedback tools. Learn More

Instructional Leadership Focus Areas

Improve instruction and learning for teachers and students by building your skills as an instructional leader.

Leading Through Change: Lead the improvement of teaching, learning, and overall school climate to enhance student achievement and success.
Learn More
Instructional Coaching: Provide teachers with personalized coaching cycles that support them growing and developing their teaching practice. Learn More
Collaborative Professional Learning: Develop a collaborative professional culture to support student-centered teaching and learning. Learn More
Feedback and Observation: Create an authentic, replicable observation and feedback cycle that promotes alignment of student-centered goals and non-evaluative conversation.
Learn More

Inclusive and Responsive Practices Focus Areas

Build an equitable learning community where all students can be supported, celebrated, and successful.

Social-Emotional Learning: Prepare students with the self-awareness, relational, and decision-making skills they need to succeed in school and in life. Learn More
Culturally Responsive Teaching: Develop learning communities that honor diverse student backgrounds and experiences. Learn More
Trauma-Informed Practices: Approach learning with an understanding of the impacts of trauma and adversity on students. Learn More
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion: Create inclusive educational ecosystems by examining structures, systems, and beliefs informed by race and identity. Learn More
English Learners: Support all English Learners to grow and thrive in their learning environments. Learn More
Students with Disabilities: Support students with disabilities to learn and grow in their learning environments. Learn More

Flexible Instructional Models Focus Areas

Find unique ways for all students to learn, communicate, and solve meaningful problems.

Accelerating Growth: Accelerate student growth and provide differentiated support for all learners. Learn More
Formative Assessment and Differentiation: Provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their understanding, track their progress, and guide their future learning.
Learn More
Blended Learning: Leverage technology in the classroom to maximize student learning and growth. Learn More
Hybrid and Virtual Learning: Deliver equitable, engaging, and student-centered instruction and create supportive learning communities in a remote or hybrid model. Learn More
Project-Based Learning: Engage students with real-world, inquiry-based tasks.
Learn More
Competency-Based Learning: Create personalized learning paths that allow students to progress toward goals and demonstrate competency in flexible formats. Learn More

Curriculum and Academic Content Focus Areas

Use learning tools and curriculum to create a student-centered classroom.

Student-Centered Math: Create transformative mathematics classrooms where students engage in problem-solving, discourse, application, and critical thinking. Learn More
Student-Centered Literacy: Develop students’ literacy skills by supporting student ownership of evidence-based reading, writing, speaking, and listening. Learn More
Open Up Resources 6-8 Math: Strategically implement the Open Up Resources 6-8 Math curriculum. Learn More
EL Education: Strategically implement the EL Education K-8 Language Arts curriculum to support student-centered literacy instruction. Learn More
Newsela: Supercharge reading engagement and infuse literacy skills across content areas using Newsela. Learn More
Labster: Support student engagement in authentic investigative science lab simulations using Labster.
Learn More
Derivita: Cultivate targeted, responsive math practices using Derivita’s question and feedback tools. Learn More

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