As a Math teacher, I know that students need to be taught math differently than everything else. Working with a wide variety of students and different cultures, I knew that each class would have a unique character and learning style. The biggest challenge was building rapport without letting the less motivated students get off track or distract the others.
It’s not enough to just teach them the material. For example, telling a student to memorize the timetables will not guarantee success.
In order for students to be more successful in math, they need to understand why they’re learning the material and how it ties into their lives. I have provided ways that teachers can accomplish this.
Focus on understanding over memorization:
From my experience as a math teacher, I have come to realize that the best way to do math is to understand the concept behind it. Memorizing formulas and doing repetitive practice will only make a student a good test taker, and will not improve their understanding of concepts or ability to solve problems on their own.
I strongly believe as math teachers we can dramatically improve our student’s performance by encouraging them to focus on understanding over memorization. The key is to learn how to think about math and how to solve problems. It’s also important to study effectively and efficiently.
The results of a study were made public that show that teachers who focused on making sure the students understood the material versus those who expected the students to memorize the material had much higher performing students in the long run. This means students should spend more time understanding the concepts instead of trying to memorize formulas and other information.
If they do not understand something, encourage them to take time to really figure it out until they do. They should ask themselves these questions when studying:
What is the problem asking me?
What is it trying to tell me?
What am I being asked to find?
You can answer these questions with a few simple steps:
- Read through the problem carefully. Don’t just read it once, read it twice or even three times if needed (depending on the difficulty).
- Understand what they are saying, what they are asking you, and what they are telling you is true based on what they have given you in your equations (if applicable).
- Simplify your problem as much as possible.
- Then answer the question.
Review what’s being taught regularly:
As a math teacher before introducing a new concept, I review the previous concept. This helps the students to remember what was taught in the previous class as it can be very useful in understanding the new concept. I also encourage them to review what’s being taught regularly.
Math students must look at the big picture and make sure they understand everything they’re going over before moving on to new material or concepts. Focus on what you don’t understand, not just what you already know or think you know. Use examples to uncover misconceptions. One of the best ways to do this is through problem-solving and discovery learning activities, where you work directly with numbers rather than trying to memorize formulas, rules, and definitions.
Give students control over their own learning process by teaching them strategies for problem-solving and conceptual understanding that they can use outside of class, especially when they’re stuck or confused about something.”
One way to ensure they review what is being taught is by giving assignments. Make sure that they do the assigned math problems at home so that they grasp the subject and give your students access to practice problems.
Besides, help them set realistic goals for themselves and encourage them not to get disheartened if they don’t succeed the first time.
Section: Make math fun & easy:
Math is one of the core subjects taught in schools and it is important that students learn the basic concepts. While you might not be able to make math fun and easy for your students all of the time, you can certainly make it feel more like a subject and less like a chore. This can be accomplished by changing how you approach teaching math in the classroom. You should stop focusing on how much math you need to teach that day but instead focus on letting students know what they will learn and what they will be able to use that knowledge for. Just like any other subject you teach at school, the math should have an objective and should be treated as such.
Teaching basic math skills can help improve student performance when it comes to test grades. However, if students do not understand the underlying concepts behind math skills, they will not be able to apply them when doing problems during tests or homework assignments. Teaching math skills is a key foundation for improved maths performance.
You can make your students excited about learning math by making it fun and easy. When students are having fun, they will keep coming back to your class every day. Here’s how you can avoid some common mistakes that many teachers make:
Avoid giving too much homework or practice after school. Your students will get bored with math quickly if they have to practice too many questions at a time!
Be sure you are including math facts in your lessons. Students need to know their facts if they want to be successful in middle school, high school, and college!
Keep coming up with new ways for your students to learn the material. The more fun you make it, the more enthusiastic they will be about learning it!
Be more visual with math in class by solving puzzles and crosswords at least once a week:
In a study on Cognitive Load Theory, researchers found out that students who solve puzzles and crosswords while they are studying get higher grades than those who don’t. Why is this so? The answer is simple. When you solve puzzles and crosswords, you have to use more of your brain power to understand the problem given to you. And when you have to use more of your brain power, your mind stays more alert and focused on what it’s doing.
Telling students to memorize the formulas is not enough. We have to include visuals in math education. Using puzzles and crosswords is a key to improved performance. By doing the puzzles, they are making connections between the formula and what it means. This helps them be more successful in class and beyond. It’s also very important for them to see how math can be applied to real life, in this case by helping them solve problems that they deal with every day.
This helps in improving one’s performance in a subject like math and science. One way of implementing this strategy is to give your students a puzzle or crossword during a test or exam week so they can do it during class time instead of dozing off.
Another way is to give them these puzzles or crosswords as homework for test and exam weeks so they can practice them every day before the exam and get better at solving them. Crossword puzzles are not only fun but can help improve one’s performance in math exams. The trick is to choose simple crosswords that can be solved easily by your students.
In addition, solving puzzles will help your students to improve their analytical skills and enhance their problem-solving skills which are very important for passing exams as well as getting good grades.
Target your time for the student who needs help the most.
I have spent my years as a math teacher running through the various tips and techniques I tend to use when it comes to improving the math performance of my students. Remember that every student is different and what works for one may not work for another. It is up to you as the teacher to recognize this and adjust accordingly. I will share some of the tips that teachers can use to help students who need help in our math classes.
Determine your student’s current skill level. This is not as hard as you might think, but it does involve some testing or assessment. The best way to assess your student’s skill is through pencil-and-paper tests or computer-based tests from test websites. If you don’t have access to these types of tools then you can use self-assessments or quizzes found online, which will help you identify if your student has a grasp on the fundamentals or needs more time in a specific area. Once you have determined your student’s skill level, you can move forward with the next steps.
Keep a detailed log of each student. I have found through experience that having a detailed log of each student’s performance is very important. It can be used to track progress and areas where they need extra help. A detailed log can also be used to plan lessons and identify what topics need more attention.
Think about your teaching methods. I think this is probably one of the most important things you can do. You should always be asking yourself if you are getting the best results for your students by using the teaching methods that you are currently using. If not, then change them!
Give plenty of time for each topic and make sure that you cover all of the objectives before moving on to the next topic. Don’t rush things or try to teach too much at once! This can easily confuse students who are new to this type of learning style.
If you have to, go over a concept more than once. By going over the concept multiple times with the students followed by assignments, you will be able to find areas where students may be struggling and focus your class time on those specific students until they are comfortable with the concept.
Coach the students.
Coach the students. Give the student class activity and guide those that may be struggling to figure out the answers. As a coach, you have to help the students understand where they’re going wrong. The key to helping my students understand where they were going wrong was to analyze their mistakes.
I have always said that all teachers are coaches. So don’t just instruct them, coach them.
When we stop lecturing and start coaching, our students’ grades improved dramatically. By coaching them, we helped them become independent learners. They became better at asking for help when they needed it instead of just sitting in class and hoping the material would soak in.
We can integrate coaching into our classroom by;
Breaking down difficult concepts into smaller pieces so students can better understand why those steps are necessary and how each step builds on previous steps to get to their final answer.
Give them examples of where the math concept is used in the real world so that they can connect with it.
Coaching them as we work through problems together instead of just assigning problems for homework and then giving them answers as if I know how each student will solve it on their own. By coaching our math students, we are helping them understand how to solve different problems that are similar but not worded exactly.
In conclusion, I strongly believe putting one or more of the tips mentioned can help in improving the performance of students to a great extent.