Let’s face it; most students don’t like math. To them, math is complicated and are tortuous. So if you’re wondering how you can make your math classes more fun, then we have some tips for you. Let’s get started.
Start the lesson well
The way you start your lesson determines how your math session will end. Engaging your students from the start will keep them interested from start to finish. You can improvise an opening act for this purpose.
The act can be a simple celebration of a special Math event, like Pi Day, or perhaps history about known individuals in the field of Math.
It can be anything that you can continually refer to during the lesson. Whatever action you decide to start with, make sure it is fun, engaging, and interesting.
Incorporate math activities and math games
To make math classes fun, you need to engage your students. One sure way to do so is by using math activities and games. These activities and games serve as motivational tools that will help reinforce the topics you have already covered.
A good example is Math Bingo which is basically Bingo, but with a twist of Math. Each card will contain numbers, but instead of calling out the numbers, you call out the equation. For example, instead of calling out 10, you call out an equation like 5+5 or 2+5.
This way, your students will have to do some problem solving before they check if that number exists in their cards.
Teaching math to your students while doing other activities and playing games is more engaging than merely teaching math on the whiteboard.
Read math storybooks
Students love stories, and math storybooks can help pique their interest in the subject. Math storybooks help students connect math to their daily routine.
They can learn math language easily using visual representation, making it easier for them to understand it. Just make sure you pick some good math storybooks that you think your students will enjoy.
Come up with narratives
Do you want to introduce a new concept to your students but are unsure how to help the concept stick? A solution to this is to come up with narratives during the lesson. Students respond better to narratives than images drawn up for them.
For example, you can use alphabetical characters to explain algebra before asking them to know all the formulas. It’s basically integrating language into math to provide your students with some inspiration.
One such example of this is Greg Tang’s books which involve pictures and nonfiction texts that are tied to various math concepts.
Repeat the core areas of the lesson
Sometimes, students zone out involuntarily and get lost in between, especially if they’re not interested in the subject. Since it is hard to know when a student stopped paying attention, it is essential to repeat the critical areas of your lesson.
Repetition helps in memorization, and students positively respond to it. You can also come up with a graphic representation for the concept. During the lesson, make sure that your students have the model with the main points they can refer to.
Give them a choice
Like anyone else, students like it when their voice is heard. Giving them a choice such as which activity to participate in makes them feel like part of the learning process.
For example, if your students have a competitive nature, you can create friendly math competitions in which they’re most likely to take part. This way, they may feel more positive towards your lesson because of how engaging it is!
Choices are a great motivator as they enhance their interests. It also makes them feel more independent.
Help students understand why your lessons are important
You’ve probably had a student ask you how your lessons can help them. This only proves that they are curious which is good! Of course, explaining why the concept should matter to them will increase their interest even more.
Once you get them interested, they will be more likely to pay more attention. It will also help them revise, memorize and remember how to solve the problem.
Most students dislike math because they don’t understand how it relates to their daily lives. Helping students connect the importance of math to their day-to-day experiences will change their perceptions.
You can do this by giving them out-of-class examples while solving a mathematical problem. For example, you can ask them to estimate the steps between their desk to the door.
Focus on collaboration
It is your role as a math teacher to create a collaborative learning environment for your students. You can do this by structuring learning groups where students can work together.
Students learn quickly from one another as they don’t hesitate to ask questions or clarification among their fellow students. Besides, they also enjoy working alongside their peers, hence making the lesson fun.
Add a touch of mystery
There is no fun in knowing everything. The same applies to your students. Learning will be more fun if they don’t know exactly what to expect at the end of the class.
For example, you can add some sort of a mystery by giving them hints about a new topic you are looking to cover every day after class. That way, they will be curious and interested when you begin teaching the new topic.
Make use of technology
You can use the power of technology to engage your students by making it fun and vibrant. Children love electronics, and incorporating gadgets in your math class will make them look forward to your class.
Instead of using the traditional lecturing method, you can adapt teaching with an iPad. This is especially true nowadays that the pandemic is still present. Students are prompted to participate in online classes instead.
This presents you the opportunity to incorporate teaching through video conferencing with the use of some online tools.
Don’t be too serious
Teaching or tutoring might be the career you decided to pursue, and it’s no doubt a serious one. However, it doesn’t mean you need to be serious all the time. Each student is different, and some of them could have other learning methods and interests.
So at intervals, you can stop to crack a relevant joke or two. It is okay to have some fun while teaching. Students appreciate this, and you will notice that your students are more responsive when you are relaxed.
It is essential to think outside the box. Lesson plans don’t necessarily have to mean your students sit down and calculate as you teach. Try planning a different lesson that defies the norm.
For example, you can plan one lesson and invite a guest speaker. Alternatively, you can schedule an outdoor class or a field trip to break the monotony. This creativity will go a long way in the minds of your students.
Most students fail in math because they have a negative attitude toward it. Fortunately, there are some steps you can take that will help make math fun and interesting to your students. Ideally, you also want to avoid math teaching mistakes as these will only cause your students to hate it even more.
As long as you can apply these tips to your classes, you’ll eventually notice an improvement in your students’ performance.
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