Do you remember how math used to be taught? The teacher would stand at the blackboard and demonstrate how to do a problem, then write the page number, turn to the students and tell them to get their books out and do problems 1 through 30, and the lesson was over. I guess you could call this the 2 phase method of teaching math. Effective math research has identified a much better method of teaching called the 3 phase approach (Dixon & Belmont). Phase 1 is to introduce, demonstrate and explain the concept. Phase 2 is where the students try the new concept under the guidance and help of the teacher. Today we call that “guided practice”. Phase 3 students work independently either in class or at home doing homework related to the lesson. Adding that middle phase of the teacher working and guiding the students has made a huge difference in overall understanding of the lesson. Make sure you always put it in your lessons.