The only way to learn mathematics is to do mathematics

July 30, 2019 11:28 AM

Mathematics is a practical subject and there is no space for cramming. It’s all about understanding!!

Then the question arises that how can we make mathematics learning less challenging? Let’s discuss few strategies to make mathematics learning easy.

Importance of Mathematics: - The role of a maths teacher is to make connection between students and mathematics learning. This can be done by showing them a video on “Maths is everywhere” [https://youtu.be/Q2bF26372gk]. After watching the video students will be able to understand the purpose or importance of learning mathematics in their life.

Raise the bar for all: - This means that we as a teacher should give students an equal opportunity to participate in the classroom discussions. Students should feel that they are important. With practice and persistence they can achieve better in maths.

Prior Knowledge Warm up activities: - Mathematical concepts can be built on their previous knowledge about the concept which can be done by asking questions based on the topic. To create interest amongst students, logical mathematical activity or questionnaire can also be given on the topic.

Engage students in group work:- Group work permits students to develop a range of critical thinking, effective teamwork, appreciation, problem solving attitude, analytical and communication skills, which promotes active learning and enhance student learning.

Involve Bodily/Kinaesthetic and Visual-Spatial activities: - As a Maths teacher, we should incorporate hands on activities and visuals in mathematics learning which allows the students to learn more quickly and effectively.

Integrate Maths with other subjects: - Teachers can help them to connect their classroom learning to real life experiences by integrating topics or blending subject matter, such as bringing literature into Maths class. Doing this allows students to be more motivated and engaged, and to understand more abstract or ambiguous maths problems.

Encourage Maths talk: - It permits teachers to assess students’ understanding on an ongoing basis. To encourage maths talk, teacher can render the guidance services to help students interact more directly with each other.

Observe, Modify and Re-evaluate:- Walk through classroom as students work on problems and observe the dynamics. Interact with the students individually and include “Hinge Questions”( hinge questions are short, closed questions focused on key concepts ) to gauge understanding before continuing.

Choose meaningful tasks: - Students get excited about maths when they have to solve real life problems. For instance, while teaching sixth graders the calculations of finding area and the presentation related to the redesigning of house, provide them with the dimensions of the wall and size of the windows and allow them to determine the space left for the wallpaper and also enquire them to consider how much tile is required to fill a deck.

Build excitement and reward progress:- Students should be rewarded timely with stickers, badges, trophies, medals etc to motivate and create excitement in completing and achieving a given task. Recognition should be given during assemblies and meetings to motivate and create a sense of pride and honour. This will help in building their confidence for the betterment of the subject.

In the end, I would like to say that mathematics requires experiential learning where students are involved in their own understanding of mathematical concepts and practises. In regard to experiential learning, teachers need to focus on reasoning and acquire a sense of using mathematics in their daily lives.

“The role of a teacher is to plant the seed of knowledge through exploration or discovery based learning which will grow forever amongst students”.

By Ekta Bhandari

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