Have you ever been to a workshop or a conference where the presenter droned on about a topic in a monotonous humdrum? Were you at the edge of your seat, or did your mind wander somewhere else? Well, let us tell you a secret. Kids feel the same way. Explaining a complicated maths problem in an uneventful, monotonous manner can push the children to hate the subject, and regard it as a tedious and boring affair.
Here are a few simple hacks to make maths engaging, exciting and easy for students.
Look at maths beyond the textbook
While faced with the task of tackling a complicated maths problem, how often have you heard a young learner utter the words, “What’s the point of learning this concept and how will it be useful in real life?” Most of the time, the answer is something like, “You may need it in the future.” Or “it improves your critical thinking ability.” Although these are well-intended responses, they don’t serve the practical and immediate needs of the students. They need to understand maths is part and parcel of their lives. Remind them of practical applications of maths. This helps the students assimilate the ideas differently and appreciate the subject. Here are a few examples you can quote when your children ask the same question next time.
- Managing Money: Addition and subtraction are the basics of finance management. Along with that, complex concepts like Simple Interest, Compound Interest can be applied in understanding loans, interests, and money management.
- Recreational Sports: The most practical application of geometry is in recreational sports. The best way to hit the ball, the angle of throwing a disc, jogging around a track. These kinds of sports and activities make for great examples of the application of geometry.
- Home Interiors: Perceive geometrical concepts such as perpendicular lines, parallel lines, shapes, areas, volumes, etc. in your own home. Use the containers in your kitchen, furniture, wardrobe, doors, etc. to emphasise different geometrical concepts.
- Shopping: Arithmetic concepts such as Cost Price, Selling Price, Discount, Fixed Price, Profits and Loss can be understood and appreciated with a quick trip to the supermarket.
Master the basics and learn multiplication tables
Maths is a sequential subject. It is essential to know the fundamental concepts that drive the sequence and understand the logic behind the mathematical problems. For example, from the point of view of exams, learning the maths formula derivation may not be crucial, but learning the derivation process can help students strengthen their fundamental understanding of the subject.
Another handy skill to have while tackling maths problems is being good at multiplication tables. Teach the students maths tables from 1 to 20. Explain the logic behind the concept and tell them how it can be of use in daily life.
Take external help
Whether you are an amateur or an expert in maths, you can always make the subject more fun. One way is with the help of technology. Young learners today are extremely tech-savvy. Use that to your advantage. Download new age educational apps such as BYJU’S – The Learning App or online maths games or watch online video tutorials. These learning methods make maths fun and easy to learn.
Learn Maths tricks
Maths can scare us if we are not equipped with some simple tricks to solve complex problems. Vedic maths is one such handy tool. Vedic maths is an ancient approach to mathematics that offers a collection of math tricks. It helps in solving math problems quickly and with ease. Learning such techniques not only make you quicker but also boosts your confidence. Here are a few examples.
- Squaring a two-digit number whose unit digit is 5: For example, what is 85 squared?
Here’s the Vedic math trick
Step 01 – Find the square of the last digit: 5*5 =25
Step 02 – (First digit of the number)*(First digit of the number + 1): 8*(8+1)=72
Answer: The square of 85 is 7225
- Multiplying a number by 5
Here is the Vedic Math trick:
For even number: 876*5
Step 01 – Divide the number by 2: 876/2 = 438
Step 02 – Put zero at the end = 4380 = 876*5
For odd number: 999*5
Step 01 – Subtract one from the number: 999-1 = 998
Step 02 – Divide by 2: 998/2 = 449
Step 03 – Put 5 at the end: 4495
- Subtracting from 1000, 10000, 100000: For example 1000-673
The Vedic math trick for this problem is subtracting all the numbers from 9 except the last number (unit digit). Subtract the last number from 10.
Step 01: 9-6 = 3
9-7 = 2
Step 02: 10-3 = 7
Answer: 1000-673 = 327
Maths can be tricky and complicated at times. But with these tips and tricks, it can be quite a fun journey.