College math is hard. No, let’s say that differently. College math is challenging. Am sure most of you would agree with me on that. The professors examples are difficult to follow through and homework cannot be completed without seeking math help from any available source. Does this have to be this way all the time? Well I think there are a few things that a tutor can do to salvage the situation given that math is an essential field in learning. Marry Bourne offers a few tips on how this can be done. As a student this may not apply directly to you but if your professor often asks for feedback at the end of the class, you can share some of these workable options for future students to benefit. Here are a few ideas on how to make math interesting for any student
1. Add meaning to math problems
Many students don’t understand why they have to study certain topics in mathematics. Realistically, some topics may never apply in one’s life directly. For instance, calculus may not find common application in real life. However, algebra has a lot of application in normal day to day activities. Giving students real examples of such solutions allows them to relate to the example given.
2. Give real world problems for a start
Rather than bombarding your students with formulae on a particular topic, you can begin by given them a real word problem to solve. As they ponder on the problem you gradually introduce the topic under study and illustrate how it helps one arrive at the most suitable solution.
3. Embrace technology
Math is often about concepts rather than computations. There is no need to keep students making additions or multiplications that can be handled by a computer or a simple machine such as a calculator. Buy blending the use of computers in normal math lessons and in homework completion, a lot can be achieved.
4. Foster creativity and ownership
Several students cannot relate to what they are taught by their math professors. The assignments issued are similar. Thus in a way kills creativity. Allowing students to invest different strategies of handling a problem such as video, animations or diagrams can enhance class ownership among students.
5. Increase engagement with the students
Most lectures will often run between 2 and 3 hours. Talking to the students the entire time can be extremely boring. To avoid this, prompt the students to participate in the lectures by organizing discussions or giving small class tasks.
6. Diversify on questions
Math questions often involve calculation, you can include a few questions that do not need computation which allows the student to conceptualize the problem alluded to. A good example of such a question is:Imagine that you are sky-diving. The graph of your speed as a function of time, from the time you jumped out of the plane to the time you achieve terminal velocity is most likely a) Increasing concave down. b) Decreasing concave down. c) A straight line with positive slope. d) Increasing concave up.
7. Introduce Projects
Math projects are another good way to keep students involved. This creates an opportunity for hands on learning which is often lacking in most schools today.
These are just a few ideas. There are various options that are available online but this list should definitely get you started.