Too often when I talk to children about their favourite and least favourite subjects at school I hear that maths is mentioned as the least favourite subject.
When I question children as to why, general responses range from “it’s boring”, “when am I going to use this?” and “it’s too hard.”
I feel it is essential to make math learning not only fun (thus providing motivation) but also relevant for students so they can fully benefit from it.
Therefore, I’m introducing………A Celebration of Maths
Over the coming weeks I’m going to be sharing with you math tips, strategies, games and ideas to help your students develop an appreciation for mathematics.
Maths shouldn’t be viewed as something that is just done at school and part of what has to be done. But rather we should be celebrating the fact that maths influences so many aspects of our lives and we are going to have FUN exploring these varied aspects.
We want our students to experience an all round approach to mathematics teaching and learning that will encourage them to become life-long learners and explorers of maths.
To start this celebration I’ve put together some of my top math tips.
28 math tips
1. Teach for understanding.
2. Provide a motivating environment where students will want to learn.
3. Allow all students to experience success in mathematics lessons.
4. Math games are a fun way to learn and rehearse taught skills.
5. Implement class meetings so students can have some say in the mathematics curriculum and what they will be learning.
6. Show students that it is enjoyable to complete mathematics activities so they will want to do maths.
7. Allow your students to use calculators to explore other ways of solving problems. Let them know that it is another tool that we can use to determine answers.
8. Teach the skill of estimation to help your students determine if an answer is in fact reasonable.
9. Encourage students to use mental computation as a first choice and as a way of checking other forms of calculation.
10. Challenge students to want to seek out problems and attempt to solve these (either individually or with other children).
11. Encourage students to reflect on approaches taken and what occurred.
12. Make your students aware of the link between your maths instruction (or what actually occurs in the classroom every day) and the assessment tasks/activities that they will complete.
13. Provide many varied situations where students will actually ‘do maths’.
14. Establish with students a repertoire of mathematical concepts and strategies from which they can draw on to complete more difficult mathematical problems.
15. Assist your students to be able to see patterns in numbers by using hundreds charts.
16. Allow students to complete all facets of the math activity they are engaging with and have appropriate time to practise specific skills.
17. To find out what students already know and what they’re interested in use strategies such as brainstorming, bundling, graffiti boards and mind maps.
18. Relate mathematics teaching to daily situations that occur in the students’ lives.
19. Ask students to help with finances related to the class, such as for supplies, class parties or excursions.
20. Solve problems together that occur in everyday classroom routines.
21. Students don’t need to recite the times tables to learn them. They can also make a times tables booklet which helps kids to understand the concept and they’re fun to make as well.
22. Students need to feel that they can contribute to the mathematics lessons and not be afraid to provide their opinions or ideas. Students will participate more willingly in the mathematics lesson if they are provided with the opportunity to succeed in a non-threatening manner.
23. Use assessment tasks that don’t hamper risk taking.
24. Involve parents and other members of the school community.
25. Set up the physical environment of the classroom to allow students to be independent and have easy access to equipment and resources.
26. The use of materials in mathematics teaching is essential for students’ mathematical development. Many mathematical concepts are abstract and cannot be immediately seen, therefore materials are used to aid the learner in bridging the gap between real life and abstract.
27. Help students focus on the deeper level of the maths ideas, with the aid of the materials. Provide more of the deeper level mathematics rather than focusing at a surface level of how to manipulate the materials.
28. Have fun!
So what would you add? What are some of your best math tips?
The bumper book of fun math games and activities
At times it can be challenging to engage children during math lessons as well as provide the content needed in order to meet the demands of the curriculum. That is why I’m very excited to share with you some of my favorite math games and activities.
In this eBook you’ll get 138 pages that focuses on helping children develop their skills in number, mental math, space, measurement and chance and data.
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