A Problem-Centered Classroom to Teach Math

Topic: Learning Specifics
Words: 646 Pages: 2

A summary of the video as it relates to teaching mathematics

The video shows a mathematics class session where the teacher uses a problem-centered approach to teach mathematics. Students are learning units of measurement such as yards, inches, and feet. In the video, the teacher explains the units of measurement and how they relate and differ. For example, 12 inches is equal to 1 foot. In the video, the teacher expounds on the discussion, comparing other unit measures and more significant numbers until students can determine the relative comparisons between inches, feet, yards, and miles. Next, the teacher instructs on measuring irregular lines such as curves and circles and begins the discussion with a simple demonstration of measuring a curve in groups. Students use their allocated classroom resources to figure out the most practical method of measuring the curve. The group discussions take about five minutes, during which the children use various strategies to measure and record irregular and straight lines. At the end of the lesson, students know customary and non-customary measurements. In the whole session, the teacher engages students more in the lesson as they explore and realize new things, from simple to complex.

How the teacher uses a problem-centered approach to teaching mathematics

A problem-centered approach refers to instructing students through practical activities and experiences. The approach believes that students can solve problems and gain more knowledge through experience. Students explore mathematical problems on their own through a series of contexts, starting from the simplest to a broader and more complex context (TeachnKidsLearn, 2012). The teacher engages students in activities and discussions that develop their interest and understanding of mathematical concepts in the video, as well as starts the topic with basic ideas and information that students can relate to easily and provides hints that help students have difficulties getting the idea.

When starting the lesson, the tutor asks students to participate in converting the measurements after introducing them to the class. The process starts by converting inches to feet and progresses until students can convert inches to yards and miles. The next concept is measuring irregular lines, and the tutor holds up two pencils and asks learners to identify the longer pencil. During the discussion on which pencil is longer than the other, students realized the pencils must be held parallel to each other to identify their length (TeachnKidsLearn, 2012). The discussion goes on until students can identify, measure, and record the results of regular and irregular lines and convert them to various units of measurement.

The implications of the video for the future classroom

Applying the approach will improve my students’ math grades because it makes it easier for students to remember and relate concepts by remembering the procedure and strategy used to solve the problem. Learning from a center-based problem allows learners to develop knowledge and skills through different approaches and learning from mistakes that improve cognitive skills (TeachnKidsLearn, 2012). The approach will enhance my teaching and students’ learning since students incorporate new ideas into existing knowledge that can also be applied in future studies and activities. The problem-centered approach offers a robust understanding of mathematical concepts (TeachnKidsLearn, 2012). Exploring and comparing mathematics through practical activities makes classroom activities lively and interesting, which enhances students’ cognitive abilities.

Group discussions encourage students to present ideas and thoughts toward finding a solution. The approach is appropriate for shy students since they can share ideas in groups rather than the whole class and promote active participation. Active participation at the group level also boosts student confidence in speaking up in public and fosters confident presentations in whole classroom activities (TeachnKidsLearn, 2012). For instance, learners are more willing to present solutions that they have agreed on and discussed as a group than presenting individual ideas. Finally, the mathematics approach is more valuable and practical, and my students can apply the knowledge in real life.


TeachnKidsLearn. (2012). Using a problem-centered classroom to teach math at a conceptual level. [Video] YouTube.

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