Tips For Teachers: Creative Maths
Posted on: 30 November 2015 by Joanne Miller
There's a number of ways on how to make maths fun for a class. Teachers should focus their attention on the less interested students, but the motivated ones shouldn't be ignored either.
We have gathered some of the best ways on how to make a maths class more meaningful and fun. Read on to find out.
Tip #1: It Should be Meaningful
A lot of maths courses suffer from the following issues:
- The teachers don't have any idea how to effectively teach specific maths topics because they often don't know what the students are learning from other subjects.
- With that, the students find those maths lessons irrelevant, difficult, and hard to understand. One of the most common questions that may arise is: “Why do we have to learn this?” Teachers should have an answer for this, aside from the fact that it's part of the curriculum. They must think of ways on how to apply that maths topic in their daily lives.
Some of the possible ways to solve this problem:
- Look for ways on how the students can use the maths topic in another class - such as science. It would also be helpful if you can provide examples that the student can relate to.
- There should be connections between the 'real world' and the maths topic being discussed.
Tip #2: The Examples Should be Concrete
No doubt, maths is all about abstraction. For centuries, some of the best mathematicians thought about real problems and the best ways on how they can put a solution to these problems. Later on, they have arrived at a conclusion that the solutions can always be presented with the help of algebraic expressions.
Whenever it seems like the students don't really have an idea in regard with what the problem really means, it can also be difficult for you to explain abstractions clearly to them.
So, instead of starting every topic with a formula, it would be better to employ concrete examples instead. After that, help the students realize how certain maths theories can help in solving problems - teach them how to think behind the solution.
Tip #3: The Use of Patterns
Try to come up with a situation where the students must “discover” a pattern to solve a problem. More often than not, this type of activity can be very rewarding for them and it's something they can take pleasure in.
Tip #4: Challenge Them
Students love being challenged, and the most common reaction to this would be enthusiasm. When selecting a challenge, do this with great care, and make sure it's something that can help them understand the lesson better.
Tip #5: Help the Students Visualize
Word problems are one of the perfect ways to show that mathematics is important in one's life. Though, teachers ought to know that some students are often riddled and end up being confused as they try to analyze a world problem. However, some students have a skill of visualizing this kind of problem internally.
To help a child easily visualize a problem, it should be something he can easily relate to.
Tip #6: Let the Students Create Their Own Questions
Teachers can ask the students to write down the questions that would be part of the upcoming test. Likewise, it's also ideal to assign subtopics to a group of students where they'll be allowed to propose 2 or 3 questions that must be used.
Through this, you'll also be able to determine whether they really understand the lesson or not - let the children see maths in a wider perspective.
These questions should be shared around the room and have other students solve them. There will be instances where some of these questions would be impossible to solve, and this would require the students to discuss the problem and figure out what's wrong with the question itself.
Tip #7: The Use of Recreational mathematics
This can be in a form of games, puzzles, paradoxes, and even facilities. Aside from motivating the students to solve a problem. It should be brief and simple, but must be effective enough that the students would have to apply the lessons learned in order to solve the problem with ease.
These are just some of the best ways on how to make teaching maths more interesting and fun. These are just the “seed” ideas, and there's plenty more. All you have to do is research about it.