“Maths is really difficult. I cant learn maths.” We usually get to hear these things from most of the students. Many of the students find mathematics too difficult to understand. But in the long term scenario, maths is really interesting and easy to learn. You just have to practice more and more, and that’s all it takes to make maths easy to learn.
Most of the students think that they are not able to solve a maths problem only because it is extremely difficult. Students usually give up halfway while solving maths problems which led them to dislike maths. But most of the time it is seen that students don’t think about the problem from an analytical point of view. Many times most of the problems can be solved analytically without even writing the equation.
Due to such obstacles, students find mathematics difficult to handle.
So to make students feel comfortable with mathematics, teachers should try various strategies to help students to make them understand and remember the concepts without mugging up the formulas.
Here are some important points that teachers should keep in mind while teaching mathematics to students:
Most of the students believe that mathematics is not meant for them. They assume that they can’t solve problems and won’t be able to understand the concept, which results in them getting bad grades in mathematics. But whether it is mathematics or any subject, they should first and foremost have confidence in their learning ability. Without having a positive approach we can’t even learn to ride a bicycle.
Teachers should encourage students to practice more and more mathematical problems, which would help them boost their confidence in mathematics. The more you practice, the better your understanding gets.
Many students usually don’t like mathematics because they usually think it is useless. They always think that they would not be applying mathematics in their life anytime soon. Teachers should patiently explain the real-life problems that can be solved by the ongoing mathematical concepts in the class. It gives the mathematical concepts a new meaning in students’ minds. They now know that they are learning something valuable that they can apply by themselves one day.
The way to solve a mathematical problem may differ among students. The teacher should encourage the students to participate in a group discussion after solving the problem their own way. This will ensure that the students will get to know different ways a problem can be approached. They might even propose a more optimized way to solve that problem.
This increases their understanding of the mathematical concepts, so they don’t have to solely rely on cramming formulas to solve various mathematical problems.
Students are often afraid of asking doubts in class due to a lack of confidence and insecurity. They fear other students making fun of them for asking silly doubt when they find it easy to understand. Unfortunately, this results in their doubt getting unresolved which ultimately leads to failure. So, teachers should conduct one-to-one doubt sessions to avoid this outcome. One-to-one doubt sessions are also mutually beneficial as the students are more relaxed to ask their doubt and the teacher can find ways to improve their teaching style. The teachers can also track the progress of each student this way.
Students gain a lot of insight into mathematics when they have to create their own questions. One simple idea to get the students into this is to get them to write questions for the class test. You could assign sub-topics to small groups of students and get them to propose 2 or 3 questions. It's surprising how well this demonstrates whether students really do understand what they've been doing. It also lets them see mathematics from a broader perspective.
Then, get them to share their questions around the room and solve them. Some of them may be impossible to solve - it can be transformational when they discuss what's wrong with the question and then feedback their conclusions to the question posers.
Students should be given various projects which involve their current understanding of the mathematics concept. By participating in such projects students get a more clear vision and real-life uses of maths.
It would be really powerful if the item they need to make is related to other subjects they are studying. This helps students work out the big picture and make connections between what they need to know.
It is always a better option to conduct quizzes and reward students. This usually creates a hunger in students to become top performers.