Mathematics Instructional Materials to Avoid in 2021-2022

Introduction to mathematics instructional materials not recommended list

Mathematics Instructional Materials Not Recommended List

As the academic year swiftly approaches, schools and districts nationwide are in the process of selecting new instructional materials to use to teach their students. When it comes to mathematics instructional materials, there are a plethora of options available for educators to choose from. Unfortunately, not all of these materials are created equal. To help educators make informed decisions, various organizations have compiled lists of mathematics instructional materials that are not recommended for use.

These resources have been flagged due to various concerns, including lack of alignment with rigorous standards and insufficient instructional support. Below are a few examples of mathematics instructional materials that have landed on the not recommended list for 2021-2022, along with the reasons behind their exclusion:

Outdated textbooks and workbooks to avoid

outdated textbooks and workbooks

It is no secret that mathematics is essential in our daily lives. In this digital age, students need quality instructional materials to learn and enhance their mathematics skills. Unfortunately, some textbooks and workbooks used in classrooms still contain outdated materials, which can affect students’ learning and retention. Therefore, in this article, we will highlight the instructional materials that are not recommended in the 2021-2022 academic year due to outdated and unhelpful content.

First, let’s consider traditional textbooks and workbooks. Many of these materials engage students in rote memorization and fail to motivate learners in the subject. Some of these materials do not engage students in stimulating discussions or practical applications, thus missing an opportunity to build students’ interest in mathematics. It is not surprising that students struggle to remember topics learnt from traditional textbooks and workbooks. Believing that learning mathematics means memorization is an outdated notion.

The following books, in particular, contain outdated materials and are not recommended:

  • Technical Mathematics with Calculus; Second Edition by Paul A. Calter and Michael A. Calter published in 1999;
  • Mathematics: Structure and Method: Course 1 by Mary P. Dolciani, Richard G. Brown, and John W. Molenda published in 2000;
  • Mathematics of Finance by Timothy Biehler published in 2001;
  • Algebra 1: Common Core Student Edition Grade 8/9 by McGraw-Hill Education published in 2011;
  • Pre-Algebra: Student Mathematics Handbook by Scott, Foresman and Co. published in 1988;
  • The Practice Workbook by Prentice Hall published in 2006;
  • Basic Math and Pre-Algebra by Jerry Bobrowski published in 2000; and
  • The Math Teacher’s Problem-a-Day, Grades 4-8: Over 180 Reproducible Pages of Quick Skill Builders by Dorothy P. Hall and Bonnie Tank.

Older materials in schools can make students face a disconnect between what they are learning in mathematics and how they can apply it in the real world. Thus, the focus in mathematics learning should be more on practical approaches. For example, students can learn everyday financial applications of mathematical concepts such as budgeting, investments, and interest rates.

Another significant challenge with traditional texts and workbooks is their lack of diversity. Some traditional materials use examples or names that are not inclusive and can make some students feel excluded. Students must see themselves and their communities in examples taught in classrooms. Therefore, it is vital to select instructional materials that foster inclusivity and cultural relevance.

In conclusion, it is essential to use instructional materials that not only teach mathematics but stimulate students’ interests in the subject. Traditional textbooks and workbooks that use rote memorization and outdated materials are not recommended in the 2021-2022 academic year. To conclude, teachers, and educational institutions should strive to update their materials to reflect current advancements in mathematics and ensure inclusivity in learning.

Non-diverse and non-inclusive learning materials to steer clear of

Non-diverse and non-inclusive learning materials to steer clear of

It is no secret that cultural representation and inclusivity have become increasingly important in today’s world and education system. Unfortunately, some mathematics instructional materials fail to reflect these values and can be harmful to marginalized groups. Here are three types of non-diverse and non-inclusive learning materials that educators should avoid:

1. Materials that lack cultural representation

Mathematics materials without cultural representation

Mathematics textbooks and other instructional materials should represent and celebrate diverse cultural backgrounds and experiences. However, some materials may only feature examples or problems that are based on Western culture, which can exclude and marginalize students from other cultures. For example, a textbook that uses only Western names or examples and excludes names and examples from other cultures can make students from those excluded cultures feel like their experiences and identities are not valued in the classroom. It’s essential to choose materials that reflect cultural diversity to create an environment of respect and inclusivity.

2. Materials that use offensive language

Materials with offensive language in mathematics textbooks

Mathematics materials should also be free from language that is offensive or hurtful to certain groups. Offensive language can impact students’ well-being and even discourage them from continuing their math education. Careless use of language in textbooks can perpetuate stereotypes and reinforce prejudices, which can have lasting effects on students. It’s important to choose instructional materials that use inclusive language and are sensitive to students’ backgrounds and experiences.

3. Materials that do not provide accommodations for different learning needs

Materials without accommodation to different learning styles

No two students learn the same way. Different students have different learning styles, and it is the teacher’s responsibility to accommodate those styles. Unfortunately, some math instructional materials do not account for these differences and do not provide options for students’ diverse learning needs. This can hinder a student’s ability to learn and can make them feel discouraged. It is important to choose instructional materials that accommodate a range of learning styles and provide various methods for solving problems.

In conclusion, it is critical to choose math instructional materials that are inclusive of all cultural backgrounds, free from offensive language, and account for diverse learning needs. By providing inclusive materials, teachers can create a welcoming and respectful classroom environment that values all students’ experiences and identities.

Inaccurate information and misleading resources to bypass

Inaccurate information and misleading resources to bypass

Choosing the right instructional materials for mathematics is critical in ensuring students’ success. With the many options available in the market, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and end up with resources that may be inaccurate or misleading. To avoid this, it’s essential to be cautious about the materials you choose. Here are a few examples of inaccurate and misleading resources you should bypass:

1. Online forums and social media posts

Online forums and social media posts

While online forums and social media can be great sources of information, they can also be misleading. Many individuals provide advice and resources that may not be accurate or reliable. Therefore, it’s essential to be cautious of the information you obtain from these sources. Before using any resources from these platforms, ensure that it’s from a reputable source and has been reviewed for accuracy.

2. Outdated textbooks and resources

Outdated textbooks and resources

Mathematics is a continuously evolving subject, with new concepts and approaches continually being developed. Therefore, it’s essential to use up-to-date materials when teaching the subject. Outdated textbooks and other resources may contain information that is no longer relevant or may be inaccurate, leading to confusion among students. Ensure that you use the latest textbooks and resources that align with current educational standards.

3. Inaccurate online resources

Inaccurate online resources

With the increased reliance on the internet, many online resources exist for mathematics instructional materials. However, not all these resources are accurate or reliable. Some may contain errors, while others may provide incomplete or misleading information. When using online resources, ensure that they come from reputable sources that have been reviewed for accuracy.

4. Materials that promote memorization over comprehension

Materials that promote memorization over comprehension

While memorization is an essential aspect of mathematics, it should not be the focus of instruction. Many instructional materials promote the memorization of formulas and procedures over true comprehension of mathematical concepts. This approach may lead to students struggling to comprehend advanced topics later in their education. Therefore, it’s essential to use materials that encourage comprehension and provide opportunities for students to apply concepts in real-world situations.

As the educational landscape continues to evolve, it’s essential to use instructional materials that align with current standards and promote comprehension over memorization. Avoiding these four inaccurate and misleading instructional materials will ensure that your students are on the right path to mathematical success.

Poorly designed digital resources and apps to exclude from your list

pixelated apps

The use of technology in teaching mathematics has revolutionized the learning process. However, not all digital resources and apps are created equal. Some are poorly designed and can do more harm than good when used in teaching. Here are some of the apps and digital resources you should exclude from your list.

Poorly Designed Apps

pixelated apps

Using poorly designed apps can significantly impact the learning process. Here are some apps to avoid:

  1. Pixelated Apps: Pixelated apps are apps with low resolutions. Such apps are known to hinder the learning process, as learners cannot see clearly.
  2. Games Masqueraded as Learning Apps: Many developers are guilty of designing games masqueraded as learning apps. Such apps are not designed for teaching but have been made primarily for entertainment purposes. They are not good for teaching students, and their use in a classroom should be discouraged.
  3. Apps with Poor User Interface: Apps with a poor user interface can be frustrating to use. They take away the interest of the learner in the subject matter and can make learning difficult. Avoid such apps if you aim to provide quality education to your students.

Poorly Designed Digital Resources

pixelated apps

Just like poorly designed apps, poorly designed digital resources can cause more harm than good in the learning process. Here are some digital resources to avoid:

  1. Resources with Low Print Quality: Learning materials with low print quality can hinder the understanding of the content. Students need to have clear and well-printed materials to learn effectively.
  2. Resources with Irrelevant or Incomplete Content: Irrelevant or incomplete content does not provide value in the learning process. Teachers need to ensure that all learning materials are relevant and complete for the intended subject.
  3. Resources with Poor Quality Visuals: Poor quality visuals like diagrams and graphs can lead to poor understanding by the students.
  4. Resources with Complex Vocabulary: Complex vocabulary can be a hindrance to learning. Teachers need to ensure that learning materials have simple and easy-to-understand language to aid learning.
  5. Resources with Poorly Organized Content: Well-organized learning materials are essential to aid learning. Poorly organized content makes it difficult for students to understand and retain information.

Teachers and parents alike need to pay close attention to the digital materials used in teaching mathematics. Using poorly designed resources is counterproductive and a waste of valuable time.

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