It is estimated that a quarter of students attending four-year colleges in the U.S. have a fear of math. In another study, 82% of students in classes 7 to 10 dreaded the subject. This is not the winning attitude that leads to good grades.
Students’ fear of math is unfounded. And for any positive shift to be observed, some effort needs to be put into how students learn math. Here are a few tips that can improve your student’s success in the subject.
Encourage Curiosity and Questioning
Give students the space to be as curious as possible in a math class. The best way to do this is by encouraging participation. Let the students be confident that they won’t be punished or ridiculed for getting any question wrong.
This will allow everyone to chip into the lesson, enhancing their understanding of the concepts being taught.
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Emphasize Understanding Concepts Over Remembering Procedure
Math is more than a set of formulas applied to specific questions. Students need to appreciate that concepts dictate when and how to use a math formula.
Therefore, encourage them to read more on a subject, discuss difficult questions in class, and understand why they used a particular solution.
Encourage Positive Attitude Towards Math
A change in attitude can trigger the biggest change you can see in students’ math performance. Encourage students, teachers, and parents to talk more positively about math. Instead of mentioning how complicated or useless the subject is, especially in real life, which is untrue, let the students believe that math is fun and encourage them to seek the help of tutors to hone their skills.
Encourage Daily Practice
You can treat math like a language designed to show the relationship between numbers. And just like all other languages, you have to practice it to get perfect.
Encourage students to create math study timetables when they can practice the concepts they’ve learned. Also, encourage them that some concepts might take longer to understand depending on the complexity. However, practice will make them stick.
Build Math Study Groups
This is one of the ways you can encourage practice and a good attitude towards math. You learn math best when the problems are tackled together as a group. Encourage each student to join a study group where they can have daily or weekly math discussions.
Collaboration will also benefit them in their career life, where teamwork makes the dream work.
Provide Extra Exercises When Necessary
Despite having study groups and doing personal practice, some students might still struggle to grasp some concepts and solve some maths problems. Develop some concept-based exercises that can help students struggling in the area to understand it better.
Set these exercises differently from homework or tests and have the students struggling or need extra practice to request them.
Encourage the Use of Online Resources
Reading broadly and widely can significantly improve students’ math success. Apart from visiting the local library, encourage students to use online math resources. For instance, online IB math resources have summary videos to help students understand IB math concepts better and feature practice exams and revision material that can help students improve their skills.