Teaching Math - How to Make it Interesting
Sep 5, 2009 Teaching 2555 Views
Math is scary. If you don't believe me just ask your kids. Or if you are a teacher, ask your students. Or better still; think back to when you were a kid. Unless you were one of those who are naturally good with numbers, you'll have to admit that it was a bit intimidating at times. So now if you are teaching math as either a school teacher or a home schooler, you have a pretty good idea what your kids are going through. This also applies if you are just a parent helping your kid with his or her homework. So how do you get through to the children?
Well the first step is to make it interesting, which of course, is much easier said than done. If a child find a subject boring (any subject), then it will be difficult for them to learn. Your job is to overcome this challenge.
Sometimes it is necessary to go back to the beginning. What I mean is before they can learn things like fractions, you have to make sure they have a firm grasp on things like adding and multiplying. If this is completely understood, then the next step will be easier. Depending on where you child or children are with their math work, you may need to take one step back before you can take two steps forward.
Many children are visual creatures. They learn when they can see something. Numbers may seem abstract, so use anything visual that you can to get the point across. Illustrations are great for this. So are props. Anything visual will make things like adding and fractions much easier to understand.
If you are a teacher, do your best to make math fun. That means playing games with the students. Incentives are very useful so perhaps give a small prize to the winner. And maybe another prize to the student who seems to have improved the most from the last time you played. That way, even the brightest math student doesn't wind up winning every time you play. And the kids who struggle more will still have an incentive to try and get better. Remember that anything you can do to make the class interactive will make it easier for the kids. It's a whole lot better than lecturing on formulas.
Don't be bound to the textbook curriculum. It may be easier for you as the teacher, but there's always a better way. Do some research online for other teaching techniques. Experiment a little to find the ones that work best for both you and the students. Of course you can (and should) make modifications to fit your style and personality.
Most teachers agree that teaching math is the most difficult job they have. You really have to have a passion for teaching to be truly effective. And you have to be a little creative as well. If you can accomplish this then you will be the teacher the kids remember and tell their kids about when they are adults. You won't always get recognized or rewarded for your efforts, but you'll know inside just how much of a difference you've made in the lives of others.