Teaching Tips: Making Math Easy

Jan 19, 10 Teaching Tips: Making Math Easy
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I do not know about you, but when I was young, I was intimidated by mathematics.  There were plenty of kids that had natural math skills, but for some children (like me), math was extremely difficult.  Despite the complex math formulas created and utilized by bankers and traders that turned the economy into a high-tech casino, many American students lack basic math proficiency.  In order to have fiscally responsible citizens, it is essential that American kids learn and understand math.

For many children, the biggest math challenge is maintaining interest.  Since math can be difficult and seemingly abstract, many children find it boring.  Teachers play a vital role in finding new approaches to teaching math that can make the subject engaging to children.

• Knowing basic math is fundamental.  If a child knows how to add and multiply, then fractions and other math problems seem more manageable.

• Teaching math does not have to be just about numbers.  Mathematical principles can be illustrated too.  Some children learn better through visualization.  This is a great way to teach fractions, word problems, and other topics.

• In addition to using pictures and images, you could also use or incorporate games into math lessons.  There are many excellent video games, puzzles, and interactive activities that do an excellent job of helping kids understand difficult math concepts.

• Sometimes, teachers tend to approach formulas in an imposing manner.  They unintentionally force students to memorize formulas without full comprehension.  However, with everything that has happened in the last two years, there are dozens or real world examples that can be applicable to many math classes.  These real world examples may instill a respect for the power of math in everyday life and stimulate something rarely seen in a math class: discussion.

• Tests and exercises do not have to be boring.  You can create a different kind of exam utilizing puzzles, riddles, or brain teasers.

For teachers, their love of math will be revealed through the enthusiasm they demonstrate in the class.  However, making this enthusiasm contagious can be quite challenging.  Making math fun will go a long way towards instilling lessons that are more important now than ever.

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