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Math Made Easy: 9 study tips to make solving problems fun

Concept-based learning is very important in mathematics, says an Apeejay school teacher



Students, more often than not, are wary of numbers when it comes to solving mathematical problems. While some show reluctance others keep racking their brains trying to find the right answer to a problem. As students or their parents, if you are facing something similar, we have some tips that can come to your rescue. Naresh Marwaha, who teaches Mathematics in Classes IX-XII at Apeejay School Mahavir Marg, advises students, teachers, and parents, to keep the following tips in mind:

Connect maths problems to real-life situations: Students should focus on understanding concepts rather than memorising. This will go a long way in ensuring students retain the mathematical concepts they learn. To promote better understanding, they should be motivated to connect the concepts to real-life situations in their daily lives instead of relying just on solving questions, something that National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 also emphasises. For example, you can learn a topic like Ratio and Proportion while mixing ingredients for a dish. Children can calculate their food bill when they go to a restaurant or parents can take their children to the bank to introduce them to the banking system.

Also Read: Maths Wizard & IMO Champion shares 5 tips to get rid of Maths phobia

‘Why’ before ‘how’: Concept-based learning is very important when it comes to mathematics. Many of us wonder about the relevance of certain mathematical topics we study. For instance, studying Coordinate Geometry can help you calculate the position of objects in a room, which can be determined by the ‘x’ and ‘y’ coordinates. Therefore, it is of foremost importance to explore ‘why’ you are studying a particular concept and its purpose in real life. To pique your interest, read the history of the mathematicians who contributed to diverse mathematical concepts. Similarly, teachers must adopt a storytelling pedagogy.

Practise written assignments: Children should devote more time practice, which, in turn, will help them grasp concepts thoroughly. Solve as many assignments as possible at home. In fact, students should be encouraged to explore a mathematical subject beyond their textbooks.

Develop a self-directed engaged learning method: It is not that students will only practise tasks assigned by their teacher. They should develop the habit of revising the concepts taught in class on a particular day once they go home. They should try to learn more about the topic on their own without relying completely on the teacher.

Become a problem-solver: Make efforts to solve mathematical problems occurring around you. A good way of developing deep interest in Maths is by relating it to sports, arts, music, yoga, architecture, nature, and so on. In yoga, for example, many asanas mirror geometric angles. Setting challenging goals for yourself will further help you innovate ideas to solve problems easily. Developing an attitude of tackling challenges will also make sure you don’t get overwhelmed when you come across a complex mathematical problem.

Use modern technology efficiently: There is a lot of insightful content available on YouTube that children can make use of to get a good hold of a particular mathematical topic. The CBSE has also come up with engaging apps to help children.

Adopt game-based learning: This learning practice proves helpful for students till Class VIII. Children can play card games. Another game could be finding out the angle at which a swing or a seesaw moves. Students can analyse dance postures also.

Participate in math-based activities: This is a fun way of improving mathematical and analytical skills. Students can participate in various activities like Olympiads, quizzes, talks, modelling, celebrating National Mathematics Day, to name a few. Schools and parents should infuse enough enthusiasm in students about such activities.

Connect, reflect, and act: Connecting with the teacher is very important for learning a subject like Maths. In fact, teachers should also involve students in preparing lessons. Enquiry-based or discovery-based methods of learning must be encouraged whereby students keep asking questions about every topic they learn. This improves their logical reasoning and critical thinking skills.

Every child deserves a good teacher who can show them how they can explore a topic better while keeping the learning process fun. Students must then reflect on the topic well before applying it to solve problems.  

Disha Roy Choudhury is a Principal Correspondent at Apeejay Newsroom. She has worked as a journalist at different media organisations. She is also passionate about music and has participated in reality shows.