Articles for Teachers
Math is a subject that is difficult for some students. Writing numbers on a board and solving seemingly endless equation can be boring for many students. Enthusiastic teachers cultivate eager students. Motivated teachers with a positive attitude can help students to become excited about math. Encourage students to work together, introduce games and reward students to help increase their motivation to learn math.
Exhibit enthusiasm about math to motivate your students. The teacher's self-confidence and belief in the students' abilities motivate students to learn. Motivated students will enjoy the subject, participate in class activities and absorb more material. A state-of-the-art classroom with all the latest electronic whiteboards, computers and fancy textbooks will not replace a highly motivated and positive teacher.
Involve the students in the class. Incorporate activities that help students learn by doing to solve math problems and learn mathematical concepts. Ask students to suggest ways to solve a math problem rather than tell them how to solve a problem. Encourage students to think of new methods or variations on methods to solving math problems. Make math games and activities as daily learning opportunities.
Remove the focus on grades. Grades are a major source of anxiety for students. Give credit for class participation and completed homework assignments. Shift the focus from penalizing a student for incomplete or inaccurate work to credit for completed and correct assignments.
Relate math to real life situations that the students can understand. Use daily activities such as creating a budget, calculating interest on a loan and determining the amount of sales tax due on the video game the student wants to buy. Computers, electronic games, measuring ingredients for a recipe and the deductions from paychecks are all mathematical functions. Once students grasp the every day applications of math, they will become more inspired to learn math.
Return homework and tests as soon as possible so that students get feedback on their performance quickly. Reward students for success. Avoid negative feedback. Tell students what they are doing well by praising their accomplishments.