Mathematics is one of three key subjects taught in the school curriculum, whilst it is also an excellent skill to acquire and improve upon with regards to future successes in later life. Maths is often integrated into various day-to-day activities on top of the standard academic structure, which is why it’s essential that children are given a platform to enjoy and embrace mathematics as a school subject.
However, it can be quite difficult teaching maths to the vast majority of young children who find it tedious, dull and uninspiring. Therefore, your approach as a teacher is vital when teaching maths, so here are a few methods of teaching that you can introduce to improve class attention and contribution throughout.
The classroom environment is often very similar to a child, regardless of what they are learning about. For this reason, it can be difficult to encourage a child into seeing maths as something different to the everyday aspects of school work and learning in general. Therefore, you should try and create an atmosphere that creates excitement and passion for the subject. In other words, try and hide the idea that they’re learning about maths!
Learning Mathematical Functions
Sticking to the memorisation method will only lead to an uninspired room of pupils who are being force fed the information without properly understanding the concept of mathematics. You can overcome this by making sure that mathematical functions are displayed and can be referred to throughout their learning. If they begin to understand HOW maths works, they can start building upon what they’ve discovered and subsequently improve their mathematical skills.
If it’s pure inspiration you’re after, you can introduce an award scheme that creates more of a compelling atmosphere in the classroom. If the child knows that they will achieve something from the work that they do, they are far more likely to compete with their fellow pupils and contribute more to the lesson. They will also adopt the drive and ambition to succeed naturally through this method of teaching.
Games & Activities
If you stick to writing sums and equations on the board for your pupils to copy down and attempt, you risk losing their interest and attention over longer periods. This is why it is almost essential to mix up the activities that you introduce to the lesson. You can take full advantage of the learning environment to create maths games, whilst you can also integrate other interests outside of mathematics with the topics that you cover.
When you come to the end of your lesson or approach the last lesson of the working week, it’s always good to wrap things up with a board game that involves mathematical functions. For example, monopoly is a game that involves accumulating money in order to succeed. It would also involve managing your financial accumulation to the point where a mistake in calculations would lead to failure, providing an extra incentive for the pupils. For younger children, simple mathematical skills are required to win at games such as connect four.
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