COVID-19 contributed to the largest student performance decline in mathematics in the United States since 1990 (National Center for Education Statistics - National Assessment of Educational Progress [NAEP], 2022). The release of 2022 NAEP scores was followed by calls to identify and implement effective interventions in mathematics (and English Language Arts) to accelerate learning and address gaps in student achievement exacerbated by COVID-19 (e.g., Schneider, 2022). Efforts to address these gaps by educators, curriculum designers, and parents should be informed by Institute of Education Sciences (IES) What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) practice guides that present recommendations for educators to address challenges in their classrooms and schools.
IES publishes practice guides to share rigorous evidence and expert guidance on addressing education-related challenges not solved with a single program, policy, or practice. The authors of each practice guide combine their expertise with the findings from rigorous research and rate the strength of research evidence that supports each of their recommendations. The goal of the practice guides is to offer educators specific, evidence-based recommendations based on the best available evidence.
Available practice guides that address mathematics include:
- Teaching Math to Young Children: This practice guide provides five recommendations for teaching math to children in preschool, prekindergarten, and kindergarten. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to build a strong foundation for later math learning. WWC | Teaching Math to Young Children (ed.gov)
- Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8: This practice guide provides five recommendations for improving students’ mathematical problem solving in grades 4 through 8. This guide is geared toward teachers, math coaches, other educators, and curriculum developers who want to improve the mathematical problem solving of students. WWC | Improving Mathematical Problem Solving in Grades 4 Through 8 (ed.gov)
- Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade: This practice guide presents five recommendations intended to help educators improve students’ understanding of fractions. Recommendations include strategies to develop young children’s understanding of early fraction concepts, and ideas for helping older children understand the meaning of fractions and the computations involved. The guide also highlights ways to build on students’ existing strategies to solve problems involving ratios, rates, and proportions. WWC | Developing Effective Fractions Instruction for Kindergarten Through 8th Grade (ed.gov)
- Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Intervention in the Elementary Grades: This practice guide provides evidence-based practices that can help teachers tailor their instructional approaches and/or their mathematics intervention programs to meet the needs of their students. WWC | Assisting Students Struggling with Mathematics: Intervention in the Elementary Grades (ed.gov)
- Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students: This practice guide provides three recommendations for teaching algebra to students in middle school and high school. Each recommendation includes implementation steps and solutions for common roadblocks. The recommendations also summarize and rate supporting evidence. This guide is geared toward teachers, administrators, and other educators who want to improve their students’ algebra knowledge. WWC | Teaching Strategies for Improving Algebra Knowledge in Middle and High School Students
- Encouraging Girls in Math and Science: The objective of this guide is to provide teachers with specific recommendations that can be carried out in the classroom without requiring systemic change. Other school personnel having direct contact with students, such as coaches, counselors, and principals, will also find the guide useful. WWC | Encouraging Girls in Math and Science (ed.gov)
All IES practice guides are available at WWC | Find What Works! (ed.gov)
NCES – NAEP. (2022). Mathematics and reading scores of fourth- and eighth-graders declined in most states during pandemic, Nation’s Report Card shows. https://nationsreportcard.gov
Schneider, M. (2022, September 13). Addressing the COVID learning crisis. Institute of Education Sciences. https://ies.ed.gov/director/remarks/09-13-2022.asp