Do your students hate Math?
It’s okay, if your answer is yes.
As per a survey conducted in 2011 to understand Math relevance to middle school students, 56 percent of students said that they would rather eat broccoli than do Math homework.
Why so many students hate Math?
I think, it has more to do with fear. Most of the students don’t feel confident in Math, and they don’t feel they would do well in Math.
How to help students fall in love with Math?
The trick is to personalize their learning experience. This would help them develop a strong relationship with the subject.
To reduce your students’ discomfort with Mathematics, you need to shift your focus from teaching skills and facts. This can easily be achieved by crafting an engaging learning experience, it would allow your students to explore concepts and help them cultivate a positive relationship with the subject.
In short, foster a personalized fun learning experience and soon your students would be able to develop sustained and meaningful understanding of the concepts.
Here are our top 8 Tips to help your students fall in love with Math
Use questions that carry meaning for your students
Don’t just give any problems. Create problems that students can relate with. Draw from their experiences, knowledge and intuitive skills. The best way to accomplish this is by talking with them. Once you have established their skill level, challenge them with problems that are skill appropriate and help them meet the standards.
Promote collaborative learning
Give your students the opportunity to share and discuss their solutions. This is done best by creating groups. Encourage students to work together, and come up with multiple strategies to solve a problem. Let them criticise others’ solutions and analyze their own strategies.
Let them innovate, choose how they express their solutions
Give them a chance to play with Math. Create opportunities for your students to express their solutions creatively. Make available a variety of classroom tools, and ask your students to innovate on their expressions. Prefer using computer manipulatives over concrete manipulatives, as they offer more flexibility than physical shapes.
Promote metacognitive behavior
Help your students reflect on their thinking strategies, and how they approach a problem. Teach your students to question their solutions, and explore if they can come up with even a better approach. Nurture positive attitudes and self-efficacy in your class.
Promote cross-subject learning
Expand the boundaries of your Math class. Develop Math activities that bridge Math and other subjects together. Help your students see the connections that exist between the real world and the Math they learn. Let them step away from numbers and equations and see the real-life applications of Math concepts.
Three Bonus tips
Start the tradition of Math logbooks. Give students complex interdisciplinary Math problems for the logbook. Ask them to illustrate their solutions with diagrams and pictures, and justify the strategies they use to solve the problem.
Instigate reasoning and investigation skills in your class. Repeat frequently.
Use graphic organizers to illustrate the central concepts, their real-life applications and the kind of problems they would solve in the class.
Most importantly, students should get ample time to explore and manipulate Math concepts. This helps develop a positive attitude towards Math.
Math mastery depends a lot on how students feel about the subject. This feeling influences the way they study, revise, and experiment with it. The best way ahead is to use engaging Math learning tools that help you change how students feel about the subject and promote a positive relationship between Math and students. Once you ensure this, it is most likely that your students too would develop a greater understanding of, and a positive attitude toward, Mathematics.