1. Multiple Means of Engagement

© CAST 2021

In reality, there is no one ‘correct’ way in which we can hope to engage all children throughout an entire lesson. However, in choosing and designing activities, and in launching these activities, teachers should try to provide multiple access points to the relevant material, supporting the expectation that all children are able and expected to participate.

Where possible, teachers should use open-ended questions or tasks that allow students to approach it by using different processes or strategies. This, in turn, allows students at different stages of mathematical development to offer responses. To explore some open-ended, three act,  maths tasks and to see how they could be used in the classroom visit makemathmoments.com.

The following checklist will help to guide teachers in providing multiple means of engagement in mathematics lessons.

Checklist for Providing Multiple Means of Engagement

Where possible, mathematics tasks should:

  • Be framed in a manner that is relevant and authentic to the learner
  • Present minimal anxiety or threat to students in the launching of the task i.e. is accessible to all pupils
  • Contain a variety of open-ended and “I wonder” questions
  • Include opportunity for individual choice and autonomy in how students might approach the task
  • Vary demands and resources to optimise challenge
  • Foster collaboration and community

*Adapted from udlguidlines.cast.org

We will now analyse some video clips of mathematics lessons, with respect to the above checklist.

Before continuing please take time to review the ‘Learning from Video’ section of the Maths4All website.

In this video clip, second class students have been introduced to an algebra activity related to growing patterns.

With reference to the following questions, consider the approaches used by the teacher in providing multiple means of engagement.

  • How was the lesson introduced? Did the task appeal to the children?
  • How did the children react to the content presented here? ?
  • What types of questioning techniques were used by the teacher?
  • Was there an opportunity for autonomy and choice in how the pupils approached the task?
  • To what extent was collaboration promoted?