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Ways to Help Students Understand Math

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Ways to Help Students Understand Math

Maths has always been a nightmare for most of the students. The reason behind this is due to lack of understanding, as this subject requires the conceptual knowledge rather than just learning the topics. Students generally believe that being good in the subject of mathematics requires one to be a genius, which is a myth. Students can learn in a better way if they enjoy learning, just like how they enjoy themselves while playing.

The ultimate goal is to make students understand the concepts, add skills to them and overcome their fear of the subject.

Here are few methods that the students can follow to have a better understanding of the subject:

(i) Encourage their Mistakes:

The first and the foremost step is to encourage their mistakes. “Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried something new.” This is the active sign of learning. When a student makes a mistake, they are showing the positive response of practicing the subject. Encouraging them and correcting them is the other step in ensuring that the mistakes are not repeated again, which is a crucial part of their learning process.

(ii) Maintain notes:

Mathematics include formulas, theorems, proofs, etc. which plays an important role in understanding the subject. Notes can be really helpful at the time of revision. As the subject of mathematics follows the cumulative nature, i.e. the concepts studied may have a connection with the topics that they may learn in future. Such as the topics like Integration may have a relation with algebra, trigonometry, etc.

(iii) Multiple representations of topics:

There can be more than one way to represent things. Different ways include representation using images, drawings, manipulatives, symbolic representation etc. Students can learn things in a better manner using these different approaches along with examples, which can be beneficial for them to retain concepts.

(iv) Show the real-life application: The subject of mathematics can be very closely related to the real world around us. Everything requires the basic knowledge of mathematics. Mathematics is used in every corner of the world along with different fields such as in Science (in creating a new technology), etc. Relating things to real-life can make students to understand the concepts in an easy and a better way such as in purchasing goods, in medical field, in constructional work, in science and also helps you save money by having a better understanding of finance. All these applications of mathematics connect you to the real world.

(v) Make sure the students communicate their reasoning: It is very important to know the reasoning of students when they solve problems. In order for a teacher to determine that each and every student has understood the session and method of solving, it is necessary they have a communication, by providing their reasoning. There can be more than one approach of problem solving in mathematics, so if their methods are correct, students can learn more than one method of the solving question, if in case they are wrong in solving the question they may learn from their mistakes. This will save them from making the same mistake again in future, finally, leading to better understanding of the subject.

(vi) End up with a brief summary: Many students get distracted and lose track of their topic during lectures. Thus investing the last few minutes on a summary can be very crucial for the students to make things taught in a class to be clear. Following steps can be followed:

A quick assessment to determine how much they learned, reviewing things taught in the classroom and a short summary, such as if they were taught about the topic circles, then students can be asked about the properties of circles, their terminology, area of a circle etc.

All these steps can be helpful in making this understanding in an effective manner.

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