There has been a significant change in the way this generation learns. With more field trips, field trips, etc., educators have tried to break the traditional paradigm of teaching and learning into more contemporary paradigms.
However, one consistent aspect has been the teacher’s influence on students’ lives and their role in driving positive learning outcomes for children.
Teachers are the builders of a better future who can transform the landscape of education through creativity to improve student performance. This can configure 21stlearners of the century to succeed in a globalized and connected world.
Over the years, mathematics as a subject has become an inseparable part of everyday work in the 21st century. Math educators are constantly looking for creative teaching methods to eradicate fear of math in children from an early age and instill a love of the subject by making it fun.
Let’s look at some creative and effective ways teachers can use to make learning math fun for students:
1. GAMIFIED CLASSROOMS
Generation Alpha’s mastery of technology makes gamification a sought-after technique for learning how to spark excitement in a child.
Catching up with today’s students in their digital spaces will lead to constructive learning outcomes and improve their performance.
Here are some popular math games:
- Card games like Race to 100, where two students use multiplication, subtraction, or even exponent rules to construct cards with a higher value than their opponent.
- Math stations filled with number blocks and other objects to manipulate during play-based learning activities for young students.
- Math board games that help students learn basic math facts, while developing social-emotional skills like taking turns and collaborating. Teachers can try filling out a tic-tac-toe board with math facts or hosting a math bingo game for the whole class!
2. CREATE A VISUAL CALL
Visual learners connect better with images and thus easily understand new concepts. Educators replace x and y with real-world examples that visually explain a concept, making math more relevant.
A popular problem today is asking kids if they want two 10-inch pizzas or one 12-inch pizza which can help your students master new math concepts in no time.
You can even invite students to create their own visual aids to help them memorize key terms and concepts!
Picture books are also a great way to engage students who prefer to see and read in math assignments. Some of the best are:
- Bean Thirteen by Matt McElligot — Ralph and Flora try to get rid of the unlucky thirteenth bean, but it keeps coming back! This story is a clumsy exploration of leftovers and division.
- G is for Googol: A Math Alphabet Book by David M Schwartz — Ideal for students in grades 4-8, this math book explores interesting math concepts for each letter of the alphabet.
- Uno’s Garden by Graeme Base — Look for different plants and animals in the forest where Uno lives. Students must complete skills, puzzles, and multiplication questions to complete the adventure.
3. APPLY LESSONS OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM
“Are we ever going to use this theorem in real life? is a common phrase heard in many math classes.
Teachers can help students connect concepts/lessons studied in class by asking students to identify and share real-world application examples, for example, identifying the logic behind an airplane remaining in the sky after the take-off or symmetry in historical monuments like Charminar.
This would not only strengthen their understanding of mathematics, but also allow them to appreciate the beauty and wonder of this subject.
4. INTEGRATE MATH INTO EVERYDAY LIFE
Students find it easier when they can relate complex topics to their daily lives. For some children, learning subtraction can be difficult.
So, to make it easier for them, you can give them tasks to better associate mathematics with everyday processes.
For example, the next time they sit on the bus or travel on the subway, they can observe how many passengers get on and off the vehicle.
For students who find geometry complex, you can associate it with environmental objects by giving them three wooden sticks to explain the concept of triangles, explaining to them the cycles cicadas emerge from their underground habitats after a prime number (7 , 13 or 17) years old, or bees making a hexagonal hive to use space efficiently.
You can also give them building blocks and ask them to build cubes. These will help students understand the concept of numbers or basic geometry without fearing numbers or shapes.
5. USE MODERN TECHNOLOGY TO PERFORM ADVANCED ASSESSMENT AND CUSTOMIZATION
Use technology to assess and understand the varied academic needs of each child. Creation of a student-driven digital portfolio that documents students’ current classroom learning in real-time, then assigns a score to indicate the child’s net understanding.
Based on this score, teachers can customize each child’s worksheets as they progress from the easiest to the most difficult math skill development challenges.
6. BE PATIENT
Many children find math difficult. Therefore, it becomes especially important to be patient with the child and teach him in a sequential step-by-step manner that will address math anxiety and help him establish a positive relationship with the subject.
The most important thing is to listen and see your students’ reactions to your teaching styles and adjust your lessons accordingly.
A happy and cheerful environment is essential for academic and personal growth, regardless of what children are studying.
Feel free to try new ways to make math more fun in your classroom!
See which ones your students respond to the most, then use them to keep your students engaged in the math lesson. We hope that some of these math teaching approaches and strategies will effectively improve classroom dynamics.
– Article by Manan Khurma, Founder and President, Cuemath
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