It’s a high school math teacher’s job to come up with innovative and creative ways to engage all students, even the disinterested ones. Students who find a lesson stimulating not only retain information better but may even develop a passion for math. Every classroom has a few students who have a negative attitude towards math. New math concepts are hard for them to learn, and they weren’t successful with math in the past. It’s your job to help those students love math. Here are ways to get students interested in Maths to get you started!
Ways to get students interested in Maths
Make students feel safe
If students are afraid to speak up for fear of getting made fun of by the other students, they will remain silent, whether they know the answer or not. To create a safe and friendly environment for learning, teachers need to make it clear that any negative behavior is not allowed. This should be done from day one.
Creating a high school math classroom with engaged, interactive students is not an easy task. However, the effort will be rewarded with a better learning environment for students and an easier life for teachers. If you want to better meet the needs of your learners through a developmental, constructivist approach then you should learn more about our MEd degree concentration in math education.
Teach your students to have a growth mindset
The first step to helping your students love math is to help them realize that they can get better at it. Many students have a fixed mindset and believe they are just hopelessly bad at math — and with this kind of defeatist attitude, they will never come around to liking it.
Teach your students the “power of yet.” They may not be able to solve new a math problem yet, but if they keep trying, they will eventually be successful.
Be sure to celebrate those successes. Remind your students that they weren’t able to solve that type of problem a few weeks ago, but now they can. Seeing their growth will help them have a more positive attitude toward math.
Set an Attainable Challenge
When students are challenged at the intellectual level, they react with excitement. It is a powerful trigger that can be effectively used to cultivate an interest in math.
While it might seem counter-intuitive, merely handing students a set of problems that is “easy” and requires little thought or struggle from them is not going to motivate reluctant students. On the contrary, they will often be left feeling like you lack confidence in their abilities, leading them to lack confidence in themselves.
Instead, challenge them with real, difficult (for them) mathematics. And show them that you believe they are capable of rising to the challenge. However, you must select the problem with great care and careful thought. Make sure your challenge is within their mental abilities and motivating at the same time.
The term for this is “productive struggle.” This means the challenge is difficult enough for kids to be interested in and challenged by it, but reasonable enough that it is attainable for them
Explore Curious Mathematics
Teachers can also create teams or groups and allow students to explore open-ended tasks they are curious about. Make sure that they are familiar with the mathematical curiosity in order to justify it.
Some sets of numbers with curious properties include the Fibonacci series, perfect numbers, Pythagorean triples, figurate numbers, and perfect squares. You could also give students interesting puzzle challenges to explore and discuss together, or logical thinking challenges such as these.
Exploring curious numbers, puzzles and patterns will not only provide greater interest for students, but it will deepen their knowledge of math and their appreciation for the beauty of math in the world around us.
Use recreational mathematics
Recreational motivation involves puzzles, games, paradoxes, or the school building or other nearby structures. In addition to being selected for their specific motivational gain, these devices must be brief and simple. Effective execution of this technique will allow students to complete the recreation without much effort. Once again, the fun that these recreational examples generate should be carefully handled, so as not to detract from the ensuing lesson.
Ways to get students interested in Maths above may help teachers of mathematics must understand the basic motives already present in their learners. The teacher can then play on these motivations to maximize engagement and enhance the effectiveness of the teaching process. Exploiting student motivations and affinities can lead to the development of artificial mathematical problems and situations. But if such methods generate genuine interest in a topic, the techniques are eminently fair and desirable.