Math, consisting of its various specializations, might be quite a troublesome course, especially for students lacking the motivation to study. Student engagement is a factor that cannot go unseen by an instructor. If your students are unwilling to answer questions, show little or no interest in math tasks, and lack attention, you have a class uninterested and not engaged in math.
In case you’d like to change that, dozens of ways exist, all of which offer practical approaches to boost student engagement in math in the long run. Please take a look at them and try applying them in your usual classroom setting, as follows.
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What is Student Engagement?
Like it or not, but student engagement is such a factor that represents to what extent students are willing to learn. As outlined by researchers, three distinct types of student engagement are usually outlined, including behavioral, emotional, and cognitive. From a bigger picture, you can track whether students are engaged by giving them individual tasks, asking clarifying questions, and reviewing an overall atmosphere.
When it comes to math, some students are too skeptical about it, making their interest in this subject decrease considerably. Since student engagement is essential for acquiring knowledge and boosting one’s competence in the field, you should know a strategy for promoting student engagement. Let’s look at some of the most efficient approaches used by the leading math instructors worldwide.
Clarify the Topic and its Application
Math encompasses a dazzling array of rules, formulas, equations, and other concepts that might not be the most intriguing for ordinary students. That’s why you should always restate the application of each particular topic you’re going through. The same goes for clarifying all the cases, alongside providing links to other learning outcomes and subject matters.
Once students start associating math with a logical sequence of formulas and equations, the entire learning process would become more exciting. For that reason, be sure to clarify all topics, at the same time, defining the practical necessity of each case you cover. Your students would be more motivated to learn about functional applicability features than just a theoretical implementation.
One of the most remarkable features of math is that it has dozens of curiosities and logical puzzles. Some of the most popular ones include the Fibonacci Series, the Golden Ratio, Perfect Numbers, and Pythagorean Triples. The excellent news is that instructors can ask students to justify, defend, or refute one of those curiosities. Since most topics you’d cover in regular math classes would relate to such puzzles, students would certainly be interested in solving them.
As indicated by a 10-year math tutor, who is also a writer at PapersOwl, “Once you ask students to engage with math more practically, they become fascinated with curiosities and logical puzzles; they will keep your schoolers engaged for quite some time.” This real-life example significantly represents that students enjoy being challenged by their instructors, especially when it comes to exciting curiosities and puzzles. Try it in your class, and you’ll see that schoolers would be anticipated to solve some more tasks for the next session.
Since math is one of many courses in one’s curriculum, you can implement student engagement tactics that work for other classes. As advised by dozens of educational experts, fostering teamwork is the key to establishing an engaged classroom. When it comes to math, you can facilitate collaboration variously. Some of the most common approaches include group assignments, teamwork assessments, and tactics related to group work rewarding.
Even though math should be understood and studied on the individual level to get the most results, teamwork is still an essential tool for boosting student engagement. The next time you’d be thinking over the next class’s design, consider emphasizing teamwork assignments. After all, they might work in your particular educational environment.
Some of the most effective approaches for boosting one’s math engagement are to shed light on students’ achievements. Keeping in mind that most math tasks are designed in the way of sequencing and strict order, one can try outlining these steps. You can always track how a schooler is becoming more knowledgeable about quadrilaterals and how they lead from one to another. This way, you are most encouraged to emphasize how sequential knowledge and related achievements are formed.
Once students discover they develop and progress in math with each step they make, their engagement with the course is likely to skyrocket. Even though it sounds a bit abstract, an option of tracking progress might be a tool for renewing a sincere interest in math for most of your students. Instead of merely representing what students learned so far, consider designing a sequential process that clearly outlines their progress so far.
Challenge your Students All the Time
Students, especially the ones with a sincere interest in math, are in favor of being challenged. You can do it intellectually by asking complicated questions and giving complex assignments. Please note that you don’t have to obsess schoolers with theoretical knowledge that much. Instead, try outlining the tasks that would be troublesome for students to solve. Using the teamwork method mentioned earlier, you can unite schoolers in groups.
The first group to solve your equation or any task will get perks and incentives, either in the form of grades or feedback. Don’t forget that those schoolers lacking practical knowledge in math might need your help in solving such tasks. This way, you should design well-rounded and balanced tasks that would match everyone’s skills and competencies. If a student is intellectually challenged, you’d naturally see how it’s engagement will increase sporadically. After all, all you have to do is keep a regular curriculum, frequently supplementing it with these challenging tasks.
In a Word
Engagement is a crucial aspect for any student to strive in a particular course. Regarding math, instructors can implement dozens of techniques to boost their interest and engagement in the course. Some of the most relevant tactics include fostering teamwork, surprising schoolers with curiosities and logical puzzles, designing sequential achievements, and intellectually challenging all schoolers. Once these approaches are applied, you will continually track how your class atmosphere changes over time.
Even though math might not be one’s major or specialization, giving a basic outlook on it is your responsibility. Please note that the mentioned techniques would be handy for your teaching practice, especially once you start implementing them. After all, isn’t it more joyful when schoolers in your class show sincere interest in the course, alongside actively engaging in discussions, teamwork assignments, and puzzles?