Every classroom has some students who have a negative preview of math. They must have had some unpleasant experience in math class or found it extremely difficult and boring, to crack the math sums. When math as a subject has such as fearful projection, it doesn’t help if the math subject teacher is herself strict or expects students to ace the subject in one session.
On the contrary, if math is made meaningful, playful, and creative, students will be drawn towards the subject, and will look forward to attending class. Through this blog we aim to share some ideas, as to how educators or even parents, can make math fun, and keep the learners motivated.
Device Attractive Math Learning Aid
Learning or teaching aids are nothing but tangible elements that make the subject more interesting. Especially for a boring subject like math, teaching aids are extremely useful, thereby adding some excitement to the topics.
Worksheets are the easiest to prepare and a range of questions can be covered, to test the child’s knowledge. Worksheets can be made colorful and interesting characters can be printed to make it fun.
Young children love to play with blocks, and when they are presented with 2D and 3D shapes, it allows them to use their sensory-motor skills to touch and feel the objects, thereby helping them to retain what was learnt.
Sometimes educators think out-of-the-box and prepare attractive art and craft projects, like making a paper pizza to teach children fractions or making two ice cream cones with pom-pom balls as scoops to teach the concept of greater than and less than.
Create Challenging Puzzles
When children are presented with a challenge, they get enthused and give their 100%. Challenging math puzzles can be formulated, where the student needs to select ‘one correct answer’ from the four options, thereby putting his skills to test.
Mathseeds is a comprehensive online math platform that offers math puzzles and activities for children between 3-9 years of age and rewards them for their achievements. Mathseeds popularity has growth in regions like Middle East, UK, US, and Australia, thereby assisting teachers to incorporate it as a part of their lesson plan. Even parents love Mathseeds, for its unique concept of presenting an interesting e-book at the end of every lesson, to reinforce concepts in a story-like manner. In Dubai, UAE and GCC Countries K-12 schools encourage young learners to practice math concepts conveniently on iPads & phones by downloading the Mathseeds app.
Organize a play day every fortnight for children in class, where they are exempt from using textbooks. Instead, divide them into teams and let them compete with their classmates to crack the math problems in the least time possible. This play-way method is extremely powerful and gives students the opportunity to interact and learn from others.
Math Songs and Stories
Thanks to e-learning platforms and EdTech apps, the internet is flooded with all kinds of creative stories and songs that include concepts of math, especially for the preschool age-group. With help of audio-visual teaching aids, simply ‘dim the lights’ of the classroom and allow children to escape into the world of fantasy, where the ‘fairy God mother’ teaches children counting by moving her wand over 10 frogs. You are also allowed to throw a party and dance around the classroom while Mr. Math sings the 12 times table song.
Did you know ‘2’ is the only even prime number? Did you know the letter ‘e’ is present in every odd number when it is written in words? Or Number ‘0’ doesn’t have a Roman numeral. As interesting as it may seem to you, children find it intriguing to learn about such Math trivia. This changes their perspective about the subject, and adds more depth while learning. If you are a math teacher, we advise you to first fall in love with math yourself, if you haven’t already, and then pass on the same enthusiasm to children.
Don’t Give Readymade Answers
Math is all about discovery, and once the concept is understood, it can be applied to any math equation or problem, to derive the answer. Let children correct themselves when stuck while calculating the steps of a sum, instead of prompting them the answer directly. Efforts and practice go a long way, in sharpening math skills. Give sums which are not in the textbook, so that students don’t turn pages and find the answer, even before trying. Self-help is the best help! So, guide them, and leave the rest to be figured out.