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How to make maths interesting?

Hira Prasad, Jan 22, 2015, DHNS 0:12 IST
Three out of ten students find mathematics to be a tough subject. A nightmare for many students, this subject of numbers can turn out to be one of the easiest and fun-filled subjects, if taught in an innovative manner.

There are students who like the mathematical concepts and love to deal with them while others just shy away from the thought of it.

The actual reason of showing disinterest in maths can come out of a phobia of numbers. Mathematics is an abstract subject, which involves using large numbers, placement of numerals while performing subtraction, long multiplication and long division.

Students usually find the concepts of carry-over and borrowing, drafting statements for number stories, determining operations to perform while solving problems and geometrical concepts difficult.

Today, students are ahead of their times and are masters of multitasking. These dynamic young minds need innovative and non-conventional techniques of teaching that will captivate and motivate them towards greater learning. Hence, the onus is on the education providers to implement an integrated approach towards teaching subjects by
incorporating activities like games, music, dance and art.

To make maths a fun-filled subject, a few strategies should be adopted which will break the ice and motivate students to take up maths. This could be possible if we introduce a new topic using the following strategies:

Role play: Role playing can demonstrate the Indian and the International Number System, profit and loss, equivalent fraction and similar concepts.

Dance and music:
Yes, dancing and singing can teach the young minds basics of multiplication, division, factors and multiples.

Housie game: Play this fun game to teach the four orders of operation to the kids.

Ludo: A classic game, ludo can teach the basics of LCM (Least Common Multiple).
Chinese checkers: This strategic board game can teach the concept of prime and composite numbers.

Origami:
Delicate and beautiful, origami can enumerate on fractions, angles, circles and polygons.

Currency, stamps and flags: Teach the concepts of area and perimeter using these tools.

These approaches not only induce a fun-filled ambience but pave a seamless transition from classroom teaching to productive learning. For making maths appealing, both educators and parents have important roles to play:

Contribution of a teacher

Make the classroom scenario
interesting by adopting the above
strategies or create interesting methods.
Applaud the students if they solve the assigned problems.
Encourage peer tutoring, provided the tutor could solve his maths problem
accurately and speedily – this acts as morale booster for the students.
If students don’t follow your methods, try something new like art therapy, where students use art media to explore their creativity and understand their drawbacks.

The teacher must feel convinced that the students have understood the present topic before going to the next. Formative assessments help a lot in such decisions.

Contribution of parents

Parents need to follow up on the daily concepts taught in the classroom.
At random, the parents could dodge tables which would help the child in the class to answer dodging questions.

Never force your kids to move ahead of their syllabus. The methods implemented in school may not be the same as yours and this would confuse the child and hinder his learning power.

For developing an interest in maths, parents and teachers can also bank on the personal interests of the student which may vary from dancing to arts and then involving those for a clear understanding.

By implementing the fun part of learning, mathematics can help them score more in exam without any fear. This strategy will enable kids to explore and investigate and thereby sharpen their thinking skills like power of analysing, power of synthesising and power of
evaluation.

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