Tuesday, 13 November, 2007

Making Mathematics Interesting

Some tips and tricks to make mathematics interesting...

Introduce a topic by relating it with daily life, narrate a story,involve students.
Demonstrate some examples and leave rest for students to explore,call children to help you in solving the questions,they will feel important and involved.
Arrange one day in a week, when you are sitting and students are taking up the lessons ,turn wise. It instill confidence in students.
Give home work involving investigation,exploration, not just question solving from the text book.
Allow students to speak, express and write mathematics. This way they will learn to read ,speak and write correct mathematics.
Arrange some sessions of motivating them to read stories ,anecdotes about famous mathematicians and their contributions.
Show them mathematics. Provide them opportunities to visualise mathematics either by hands-on or by showing them readymade resources like Shiksha content CD/EFK content or something prepared by you.
Talk to them about the power of web resources. Tell them to utilise them effectively. Prepare some guidelines so that they do not waste time in surfing the internet.You may prepare a topic wise list of useful websites for them .
Give them sufficient knowledge of web tools/open source software ,like GeoGebra for learning geometry/algebra ,so that they can learn the subject in an interactive manner.
Arrange class competitions for exploring hidden talent in students. It may be a group activity like organising games/puzzles/vedic math demonstration/play etc by the students.
Appreciate work done by students. It is a source of motivation.

A small effort made by a teacher can change the life of many students

Tuesday, 6 November, 2007

Using pictures

Pictures/photographs/diagrams/figures etc play an important role when we are teaching. The schemetic diagrams, flowcharts, mind maps helps a student in remembring outline of the topic.
We may utilise this strategy of teaching through them, in the following way.
Select a photograph.Show it to the students.
Ask them to observe it and note down the observations. This will help in improving the writing skills as well.
You may initiate a discussion on the same, according to the subject's need. .This will improve their verbal skills.
In the subject like mathematics pictures/figures may be used for relating the subject to daily life, deriving information etc.
Through inspiring pictures ,students may learn moral education lessons too.

You may draw animated figure/diagram related to your subject using UnFREEz . Part of an image may be taken using Irfan View. There are other ways also. It is all need based. You may draw the image yourself also and then click its photograph.
I have started with this technique with my students. They try to explain the hidden concepts in their own way, thereby enhancing creative ability, logical thinking and analytical ability. It has helped the students for retaining a concept because of visualisation.

Example Consider the following figure.

The students may observe many mathematical facts from it.

These are concentric circles .(Circles having same centre)

For inspirational picture lessons ,I have created a blog http://inspiringpictures.blogspot.com/