Rethinking school mathematics: Five tips to make it more interesting | The Financial Express

# Rethinking school mathematics: Five tips to make it more interesting

## Emphasising the relevance of maths to everyday life is an important way to make it more interesting and engaging for students.

By Prodipta Hore

Mathematics is a crucial subject that forms the foundation for many other academic areas and real-world applications. However, it is often viewed as dry and intimidating, leading to many students struggling with, or even dreading, maths classes. Consequently, there is a need to rethink the way maths is taught in schools, to make it more interesting and engaging for students. By incorporating real-world examples, interdisciplinary connections, and hands-on activities, educators can help students see the value and relevance of maths and make it a more enjoyable and meaningful subject.

Here are five tips for rethinking school maths and making it more interesting:

Real-world applications

Emphasising the relevance of maths to everyday life is an important way to make it more interesting and engaging for students. By showing students how it is used in various fields and industries, educators can help students see the practical value of the subject and how it can be applied to real-world problems. For example, students can learn about how it is used in finance, economics, and physics. By connecting mathematical concepts to real-world applications, students can see how it relates to their own lives and future careers.

A game-based approach

Incorporating games and interactive activities into a maths classroom can be a fun and effective way to engage students in learning. For example, a treasure hunt can be an interesting way to practise problem-solving and critical thinking skills. The domino effect, or the concept of cause and effect, is an important concept in mathematical induction, and can be demonstrated through the use of actual dominoes. Probability, the study of chance and likelihood, can be explored through the use of card games, allowing students to apply probability concepts in a hands-on and interactive way.

Embracing dot boards

Exploring dot patterns and arrangements can be a fun and engaging way for students to learn basic mathematical concepts such as addition, subtraction, and multiplication. Using dot cards or dot stickers, students can create patterns and arrangements to represent different maths problems. For example, students can use dot cards to represent the numbers in an addition problem and arrange the dots to visualise and solve it. This hands-on and visual approach to learning maths can be especially helpful for students who struggle with abstract concepts. Dot patterns can also be used to explore more advanced concepts, such as algebra and geometry, by using the dots to represent variables and geometric shapes.

Vertical integration

Vertical integration is a teaching approach that involves building upon previous learning and connecting concepts across different grade levels. In maths, this approach can involve introducing a concept in one grade and then revisiting and expanding upon it in higher grades. For example, if a student learns about algebra in the sixth grade, they may revisit and deepen their understanding in the seventh and eighth grades, and then apply the concepts to more advanced maths topics in the 10th grade. This top-down approach helps students see the connections between different mathematical concepts and how they build upon each other. It can also help students develop a more comprehensive and cohesive understanding of the subject in its entirety.

Supportive environment

Foster a positive and supportive learning environment where students feel comfortable asking questions and making mistakes. Encourage students to take risks and persevere through challenges, and provide support and guidance when needed. By creating a positive atmosphere, students will be more likely to engage with maths and find it interesting rather than fearsome.

In conclusion, rethinking school mathematics to make it more interesting is important as well as necessary. In order to engage students and stimulate their interest in math, educators should incorporate games, and use technology and multimedia resources. Additionally, by addressing common misconceptions and promoting a growth mindset, teachers can help students overcome math anxiety and develop a more positive attitude towards the subject. In the end, we can help students to prepare for their success in the 21st century by making mathematics more relevant and interesting.