Ways To Get Students Enthused About Math
- Demonstrate that Math is Part of Everyday Life
- Set up an Interactive Learning Space
- Give Students a Choice Between Individual Work or Group Work
- Present the Lessons as Puzzles, Challenges or Riddle
- Lead them To Discovery of Patterns
Each teacher, regardless of their field of specialization, plays a role in getting students enthused about math. It is a core course at all levels of education, and the ability to process mathematical information is a life skill that is useful in many aspects of daily living. Given the importance of math, there remains many barriers to learning, some of them passed down from parents. It is not uncommon for parents to tell their kids that they are not good at numbers, suggesting excuses for students not to embrace math either. Motivating students to engage with math lessons to learn key concepts isn’t all that hard especially in the earlier stages of learning.
1. Demonstrate that Math is Part of Everyday Life
Students become discouraged with math too easily when it appears overly complicated and meaningless to them. Make math relatable by referencing their actual environment, activities and persons familiar to students when discussing math problems and puzzles.
Incorporate pretend-play activities such as sharing toys, shopping or designing their rooms to emphasize how number sense and math abilities solve real life problems.
2. Set up an Interactive Learning Space
Standing in front of kids and reciting formula even with whiteboard graphics is not the most effective way to teach new concepts or even review familiar knowledge. Allow students to deploy as many senses as possible when discussing puzzles and problems. Use manipulatives designed for the particular topics, but you can also be creative about the type and use of math manipulatives. You can use any safe objects as counters, anything that can be partitioned or divided for teaching fractions and actual toys to measure dimensions, distance between points.
3. Give Students a Choice Between Individual Work or Group Work
Give students a chance to own their learning experience. Students have different learning styles, so it may be more effective if you encouraged them to work individually, if they prefer to do so, or work with a partner or a team. Make sure to encourage everyone to try out each type of learning environment at least once.
4. Present the Lessons as Puzzles, Challenges or Riddles
A string of numbers on the whiteboard will make most people drift off. Especially in the early years, present each topic and each problem in a manner that will hook the students’ attention. Think in terms of individual or team activities such as physical game playing, board games and competitions.
5. Lead them To Discovery of Patterns
Math is the science of patterns, and patterns take many forms in math. Understanding patterns encourages the development of logical reasoning and number sense. Many of the patterns are learned by rote, such as when children are learning the multiplication tables. Use an illustration to drive home the lessons of these early patterns. For instance, show how the patterns create color grids and how patterns create more patterns. Show them nifty math tricks that can be performed just by understanding number patterns.
Math is one the courses that is met with resistance even among early learners. Part of this situation comes from attitudes learned at home or from students’ peers. It is up to the teacher to present math as a relatable course with many applications in real life for everyone at every stage in life. Be creative and present your lessons using outside-the-box strategies to get the students hooked on math to help them get over their fears and math anxiety. Getting students enthused about math even as beginning learners will set them up for success in learning more complex topics in higher math.
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