8 Ways to Help Students Understand Math better
Math always seems like a tough ordeal, more for the teachers who teach than for the students who learn the subject. Considering math as a life skill rather than how it’s perceived today, as a school subject, wouldn’t we want students to understand math?
Cuemath Teachers swear by these 8 ways to help students understand math.
- Encourage Mistakes
The first and foremost step is to encourage mistakes. This is a sign of active learning. When a student works out a problem and makes mistakes, she is showing far more progress than just listening to a lecture about that very concept. Ensuring that she understands her mistakes and corrects it on her own is a crucial part of her learning process.
Math has always been about practice, never about definitions or formulas and the Cuemath Learning System makes sure of this.
- Encourage Questions
A question is a sign of curiosity. Set aside some time and encourage students to ask questions. This ensures that their curiosity is ignited at all times. Moreover, learning the “why” behind the “what” of every concept is crucial to imbibe the concept. Encourage an atmosphere like this. You will find that students themselves begin to answer questions of their peers.
- Use Physical Learning Aids
Physical learning aids are considered a blessing for students. Stanford education professor Jo Boaler explains that when children count on their fingers, they are building their mathematical ability. Similarly learning aids can help students develop strong foundation about various concepts. The most common example for this is the abacus counting frame that help children count.
Cuemath Teachers are equipped with Cuemath’s Mathbox that consists of a number of learning aids that help students discover math better.
- Use Visual Models
Once students have learnt the basics with physical learning aids, their skills can be scaled using visual models to deepen their understanding. For example, showing a child one grape next to a bunch of 20 grapes will help them analyse that the number 20 is much bigger than the number 1. Similarly, even concepts of fractions, algebra, geometry etc. can be made easy using visual methods.
Once a student is able to “see” math, it will be easier to introduce him/her to the more abstract concepts of math.
- Time Based Challenges
Engage students by allowing them to play time based games online or on math gaming apps. Games like these help children build their aptitude and improve individual skills like agility, pattern recognition and many more. Moreover, technology is an important facet in today’s world and it hooks them on for a very long time.
Cuemath Teachers use the Cuestudent App to help students build their aptitude with the vast number of delightful games and exercises on it, specially designed for each grade.
- Introduce Puzzles
Introducing puzzles to students as a method of learning helps them devise their own ways around problems and concepts. This improves their reasoning skills to a large extent. Allow them to work individually or in groups and be open to multiple answers. As far as puzzles go, there may be more that one right answer!
The Creative Reasoning Cards by Cuemath are carefully designed so as to widen a student’s understanding of concepts and go above and beyond it.
- Put in Some Math Games
Most math classes spell boredom for students and they look for ways to skip it. This doesn’t have to be the case if math games are brought into the picture. Games like Ken-Ken, Sudoku and some other popular board games available in the market increase the interest among students.
Cuemath employs many such math games to not only increase interest among students but also to impart knowledge.
- Apply Math to Real World Problems
Any subject would seem redundant to students if they don’t understand it’s use in everyday life. This is where theory and practical knowledge combine. When students are able to gauge priorities and employ those decision making skills, they are practically using math.
Cuemath’s workbooks tackle this problem wherein the word problems given to the students help them grasp the practical usage of a particular concept.
These are some of the teaching methods that can be followed to ensure that students holistically understand math.
Do you use some creative teaching methods apart from these?