Teaching Math in Middle School

There are many challenges which we face as teachers who are dealing with kids in this transitional period from elementary school math to high school math.
At elementary school level kids were used to concrete concepts in math and they could easily see and follow manipulative s,   but now in middle school things are different and some kids find it difficult when you introduce abstract concepts like equations and inequalities and yet these concepts form the core of their high school math.

The gifted kids who make up at least 30% of your class are able to understand the concepts with ease but the remaining 50-70% really struggle. The use of calculators has really ruined their mental math capabilities since most of the kids can no longer carry out simple multiplication and or division in their heads.

They no longer get tested on multiplication tables and division tables first thing in the morning.
The kids now rush to bring out their calculators and although in the end, they may end up with the correct answers
deep down, they do not understand the basic concepts which are involved in coming up with that answer.


  1. As a high school math teacher, I agree with your comment on how the use of calculators has had a negative impact. My students expect to the calculator to do all the work. Also, something that I find extremely frustrating is when a student gets a question wrong but justifies their answer by saying "My calculator says.....!" Absolutely frustrating!

  2. As a high school chemistry teacher I completely agree your statements. Students that are in chemistry are struggling to solve for x in simple equations. Its really tough to teach the underlying concept when the basic math still cannot be accomplished by the 11th grade.