If you are a teacher that is frustrated by a student’s lack of interest in math class, you are not alone. Teachers across the nation, and generations of teachers before them, have struggled with engaging their students in this traditionally dry academic subject. All is not lost. You do not have to settle for unmotivated students. By following the simple techniques listed below, you just might turn math class into the most anticipated class in their schedule.
1. Align classroom learning with how they receive information outside of school.
In the last ten years, technology has advanced at a mind-boggling rate. Students today are growing up with computers, cell phones, video games, and iPods. By incorporating technology into the classroom and allowing students to access their schoolwork and homework on the computer, you can begin to communicate with them in their own language and capture their attention.
2. Mix up the lesson by incorporating multimedia.
All work and no play can make math a less than fun class. Spice things up by bringing in math games, videos, and online activities to break up the monotony, while still being productive and furthering lesson plan goals.
3. Use real-world examples.
Students receive an overload of information every day. If they do not see how a math formula fits into their lives, the information filter in their brains will sift it out and they will not retain the lesson taught. By using real-world examples on how math can be applied, the entertainment value of your math lesson goes up and students will be more likely to remember it.
4. Use video to introduce new units.
When you are about to introduce your class to something new, why not use a video or animation to introduce the concept to them before diving right in? This can provide your real-world application of the concept and introduce a media component to your lesson.
5. Use arcade-style games to reinforce vocabulary and reward students.
When students finish a math unit, allow them to play a math game as a reward for a job well done. Games can reinforce math vocabulary and allow students to apply what they have learned in a fun way.
6. Challenge gifted students.
As a teacher, you likely spend a lot of your time helping students that do not understand a concept. This, unfortunately, takes time away from the gifted students, who would benefit from an additional challenge. By utilizing self-directed online math modules that take the unit material to the next level, the gifted students in your class can exercise their minds while you continue to bring the rest of the class up to speed.
7. Provide online resources to aid students who need extra help.
Sometimes students need a little bit more help to understand a concept and would benefit from the use of differentiated instruction methods. To provide this support without holding up the rest of the class, assign the struggling student to review online resources such as self-directed modules, videos, or math games as part of their homework.
By incorporating all of the above tips into your math class, you will better capture the attention of your students and increase their mastery of math. Give them a try today!