How to Motivate Students to Learn Math
- Mar 22, 2015
Math is one of those subjects that often torment almost every school-goer. Even some of the brightest students have failed or nearly failed in this tricky subject, at least once in their lifetime. While some learners struggle trying to memorizing the formulae, others are confused about how to apply a particular formula to solve a Math problem. I have also met students who are pretty good at Math, but tend to falter during their Math exams, overcome by the stress associated with them
So you see, different types of students confront Math with different types of issues. However, all these problems are centered on a common difficulty: the inability of students to grasp the basic concepts of Math. I must confess that this subject made me lose my sleep throughout my school life. But, I was persistent and finally I passed my class 12 board exams for Math with decent grades.
Unfortunately, the essence of Math is associated with our daily lives in multiple ways. So, as a teacher, you must make every possible effort to help your students master this subject. Let me share a few tips to help motivate your students to learn Math:
- Be a Math-lover yourself: You can only be a source of inspiration for your students when you are motivated yourself. Are you sure you love the concept of numbers and Math passionately? In your first class, you can start teaching a Math lesson that you found interesting since your childhood. As you do so, point out the problem areas that you used to confront as a child. This goes a long way in helping your students develop an intuition for Math.
- Know your students: Next, you must know the areas of interest or hobbies of each of your students. Firstly, it makes students comfortable as they can relate to you well when they share their passions with you. A large number of youngsters love sports and current events. Ideal Math teachers try associating these areas of student interest with various Mathematical concepts included in the school curriculum. It would make learning Math fun for many students.
- Discuss the history: Who doesn’t like listening to stories? Almost every child loves them, I am sure. When Math lessons tend to turn slightly monotonous, you might try discussing the history behind the Math chapter you’re teaching at that moment. It makes a Math classroom more lively and interesting. Knowing about the historical background of a Math lesson can inspire your students to make attempts to learn more and more about it.
- Explain the relation: Students often wonder about the usefulness of learning a particular Math topic. For instance, I have come across some students who ponder about how the concepts of Calculus can be implemented in real life scenarios. Therefore, it would be a good idea to explain how some Math problems can prove to be useful in practical, real-life scenarios. While teaching ratio and proportion or fractions, you can explain to students how they can be used in daily life for things such as cooking.
- Ask them to solve it: You must figure out innovative teaching techniques for your Math classes. A smart tip would involve use of the process of ‘discovery learning’ to help your students enjoy learning Math. Assign some Math problems to your students and ask them to solve these independently. Avoid the traditional technique of teaching a particular Math concept and making your pupils apply its formula to solve problems. Learners would automatically start developing an interest for a concept once they begin to solve problems on their own!
- Give freedom: Good teachers try their best to enable students to develop a mindset for learning Math. So in your next Math class, grant your students the freedom to choose which Math chapter they would learn next. This would make them more curious about how to imbibe new concepts. And as you already know, curiosity truly helps one master concepts faster. It also aids in better understanding on the part of students.
I hope these tips would assist you in inspiring all kinds of learners. Why don’t you try them out from today onwards? However, another thing you must bear in mind while teaching Math is that patience and positive attitude are two of your most significant assets to make students enjoy your Math sessions. Try to identify the problem areas of your students and explain to them calmly how to solve them successfully. If your students are incapable of solving simple calculations swiftly, share with them some of the best tricks for performing superfast calculations.
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