Making math real can help students see how it applies to their lives. You can do this by using everyday objects to teach concepts or by showing how math is used in the world around us. You can also use technology to make math more interactive and engaging. There are many apps and websites that make learning math more fun for students.
Here are some ideas to make math more exciting and fun for students.
How to Make Math More Fun for Students?
1. Make It Happen
Start with these interesting questions: How tall is a person compared to a Carpenter Ant? How fast can a sailboat travel if its length is doubled? Is it possible to find more trees per person than there are people in the world? Do you prefer to get two heads when you flip two coins or one? How many pizzas can you make if the radius of your pizza is doubled? What function does a car have to accelerate at a stop light? And why is it the best one? How can you figure out the percentage of green M and m in the world using one bag? How should I spend the money? In this circumstance, what is the most probable outcome?
Every learner is inherently curious about the world. Sometimes it seems that algebra abstractions seem far removed from daily life. However, there are plenty of opportunities to draw real numbers and spark enthusiasm. The questions above can open up deep discussions on math exponential notation and square root functions. You can also use entertainers, athletes, and news from the real world to help bring ‘out there” into the classroom.
2. A Different Grading System Can Be Created
There are choices to letter grades. The problem with math students is that it’s binary. This does not mean your grading systems have to be like that. Do we want grades that reflect students’ accuracy in solving math questions to be more or less similar? This isn’t our best thinking.
However, you approach it – make the progress visible and tangible so that the grades, ‘points’ and other ‘points” motivate students rather than discourage them. It doesn’t matter how little or big your progress may be. Consider grading to get an idea of what it looks like.
3. Incorporate a Small but Comfortable ‘Learning Area’
To allow students to collaborate more, it is important that there be a structure in the classroom. See my previous post for how to establish expectations and perform the role of facilitator when teaching group work. It takes patience and effort to build a culture among self-directed students. But once groups are functioning, it can be an effective learning structure. This is also a great way to observe each student in action.
4. You Can Help Them to Embrace the Struggle
You were taught swimming by a lifeguard as a small child. He would take you deep into the water. You were allowed to struggle when you were strong enough, but you knew he would catch you out if your situation was serious. Students must know that they can clearly struggle with mathematics and that they’ll be allowed to keep at it as long as they need. They should also understand that you’ll be there to save them if they get lost in a group. Do your best to maintain balance.