Math is a subject that can be extremely difficult for students but the right teacher can make all the difference in the world. Not only can you make a student feel more confident in their learning but you can also challenge them, making them actually want to learn more… But it’s all in how you approach your teaching methods.
Some of the best ways students learn math are when it’s taught to connect them with real-life experiences that make the lessons more engaging and easier to understand. But every teacher teaches differently and no student is the same. The key to success is to know your students and make your approaches in teaching math tailored to the different types of learners you have.
You also have to keep in mind that the success of your students is a direct reflection of your teaching abilities and skills… Sometimes it’s not the student that needs the extra help; sometimes it’s the teacher’s style of teaching that’s not received well by students. Here are some effective ways to help your students better understand math and improve their grades in your classroom.
Effective Ways to Help Your Students Better Understand Math and Improve Their Grades
Set the Tone For the Lesson of the Day
When students enter your classroom, you can’t just bombard them with the lesson right off the bat… You want to set the tone and expectations of the lessons for the day. Ideally, you want to do this within the first five minutes of class starting.
Let them know the lessons for the day and what the goal is for the end of the day. By setting the tone and expectations at the beginning of class, your students will be able to assess themselves whether or not they understand what you taught at the end of class. Depending on their comprehension, your students will be more likely to ask for help if they don’t understand by the end of class.
Provide Your Students With Learning Resources Outside the Classroom
You’re not going to always be available to help your students when they need it… like when they go home and are having trouble with their homework. Because there is no guarantee that all your students will have a full understanding of the lesson during class, you want to at least be able to provide them with tools and resources they can use and benefit from outside the classroom.
Everything from a link to an online factoring calculator to sending them home with math games or video support materials, there are tons of ways to help your students with math outside your classroom, but you have to set them up for success in the classroom first.
Ask Your Students Open-Ended Questions
By asking your students open-ended questions in math, it not only lets them provide you with an answer but it also leaves the door open for you to have them explain how they came up with their answer. This will show you just how much they understand the math and how well you’re teaching it. This will also help you gauge when it’s appropriate to move on to the next area of math.
Show Your Students That There are Different Methods to Solve Certain Problems
Again, each student learns differently and at different paces, meaning it’s important to show your students that there are different ways to solve problems. Depending on the area of math, this isn’t always possible simply because certain areas of math require problem-solving to be done in a particular order. But for the areas where solving can be done multiple ways, you want to show your students that…
A student may not understand something in a particular way you’re teaching it but if you show them a different way to solve it or even look at it, it can make a world of difference for them. Plus, showing them different ways to solve helps them think outside the box in a more strategic way.
In fact, making mistakes is one of the biggest reasons why students hate math so much, according to Oxford Learning. Just because a student doesn’t get an answer right your way, that doesn’t mean that the way they came up with the right answer is necessarily the wrong way. That’s why if there are alternative methods to solve a problem, you want to show your students to increase their chances of getting the answers right.
End Class With a Lesson Overview
Before class is over, it’s important to take five to seven minutes to do an overview of what was taught in class to gauge their understanding. One extremely great thing to do at the end of each class is to review the homework and take one problem from their homework and do that problem in class so that they’ll have it to go by when they go home.
For example, if the lesson is about the distance between two points on a number line, you can help them understand the meaning of absolute value by doing a homework problem with them before class lets out.
Any growth you see in your students is a success for you and for them. Every student learns differently and at different paces and your ability to be patient and utilize different approaches to help your students succeed is what’s going to not only help your students better understand math but it will also help you to become a better teacher as well.