Some people claim that they are not good at math; some even blame their genes. However, mathematical skills are not luck-of-the-draw talents. The problem stems from a perceived lack of real-world relevance and how many learned math in the first place.
Making math fun is essential to engage most students in even learning the basics. In fact, a recent university study discovered that students who do not have a basic grasp of numbers before first grade tend to lag behind for the duration of their grade school years. How can teachers encourage students, especially young ones, to love math? The answer is curriculum overhaul. An advanced degree, like an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction in Math Education, can help, and so can reworking how teachers conceptualize math.
Why Is Math So Important?
The emphasis on STEM in education grows every school year. As daily life becomes increasingly computerized, it is vital that today’s students become proficient in science, technology, engineering and math — especially math.
The other STEM subjects depend on math for their fundamental principles. Without math, there would be no computer algorithms, so no smartphones; no bridges; no computers; no synchronized traffic lights, etc. Love of math often begins with teachers, which means the quality of our future lies largely in their hands.
“Why Do I Need to Know This?”
One of the greatest challenges to teaching math is students’ motivation, but not in the traditional sense. Students typically receive math instruction passively. Teachers ask them to memorize multiplication tables and formulas that do not seem relevant to their own lives. Students then ask themselves, “What is the point of learning this if I’ll never need it?”
However, making math fun can change everything — it can ultimately drive home the importance of math in everyday life. Challenge your students to create something that will require them to measure, multiply or even use formulas to show them that not only is math necessary, it can also offer a sense of accomplishment.
The tricks to interest children in traditionally unpopular and boring subjects are limitless. Making math fun is just the beginning. Educators need to get more creative or even expand their own education in order to positively affect their students’ perception of and affection for topics like math.
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