I feel that maths is an important subject. It is linked to various other subjects and disciplines. In addition, it helps with your thought process and problem solving skills.
Here in Singapore, we are good at maths and science. But how did we get there? Governments around the world have sought to incorporate elements of the “Singapore model” into their own approach to teaching maths and science. Well, maths and science are core subjects in Singapore, taught throughout primary and secondary education. While students can choose to study humanities for A-levels, they must continue studying either maths or at least one science subject until they leave school (the reverse is also true: science students must take one subject from the humanities). From the later years of primary school onwards, children have specialist maths teachers.
The “Singapore process” was first created in the 1980s by a team of city-state teachers, who were given the task of producing high-quality teaching materials by the education ministry. To compare the effectiveness of different teaching methods, they studied the latest behavioral science research as well as traveling to schools in other countries, including Canada and Japan. In order to move away from simple rote-learning and instead focus on teaching children how to solve problems, the group’s textbooks were influenced by educational psychologists like the American Jerome Bruner, who posed that people were learning in three stages: using real objects, then pictures, and then using symbols. That theory contributed to the strong emphasis Singapore places on modeling mathematical problems with visual aids; for example, using colored blocks to represent fractions or ratios.
In the West, it is taken for granted that certain children have greater skill than others to particular subjects. Not so in Singapore, where diligence is favored over talent. A change from an individualized learning model focused on ability to a model that says all kids are capable of something, depending on how it is introduced to them and the effort they put into learning it.
The Asian approach to maths, related to this theory, often encourages teaching the class as a whole, rather than splitting the class into smaller groups with different abilities to work through exercises. The whole-class approach allows the teacher to recognise vulnerabilities and to intervene quickly if a child needs support, rather than waiting for them to get stuck on a question and demand attention.
So back to my take on how to make maths easy.
- It’s all in your mind.
If students or anyone who thinks studying in this world is more difficult than anything, then we have to change that. If a person starts practicing and learning maths then your opinion will certainly change. There are people who think that if someone find maths as easiest subject than anything, then those people definitely will be declared as the most intelligent people. To overcome that thinking, a person needs to understand their capability of handling maths and then maths is going to be the easiest subject. You’ve got to get fast wins that build morale to try more.
2. Keep practicing.
The only subject that can be solved through continuous practice is maths. Maths is not so easy to understand but if a person is determined to solve the sums then maths is a subject that can be solved within a fraction of seconds. There is a famous saying that practice makes a man perfect. And if a person keeps practicing something in his / her life there is nothing which can stop them from achieving their dream. Similarly, when it comes to maths it is simple, you need to keep practicing the solution for the problems.
3. Understand the concept of problems:
Most of the time a student or anyone fails to figure out such a math problem because they don’t grasp the question’s meaning. If a person has misunderstood the question then obviously they will also get the answer wrong. To solve a math problem a person must first understand his/her question. Most people make simple mistakes of this kind and find maths tough to understand.
4. Identify your mistakes.
There will be sometimes a possibility that a person may not get the answer for the question while working out a math problem. That may be because of their minor errors. If a person wants to get rid of the feeling that math is a tough subject, then he / she must keep an eye on his / her own errors. At some point of time while working out a math problem, a person may fall on bad at some of the methods and to overcome that bad fall, he / she need to rectify their errors and mistakes so that there won’t be any kind of repeating such mistakes.
5. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
As explained earlier, that maths is a problem which can be solved by practicing it regularly. Similarly, if a person receives doubts about the solution while practicing such a problem, then it would be better if that person were to refer from another to clear their doubts. Referring to the solution worked out with a teacher or someone who understands the question better will clear all doubts and make it easy to work out a math problem.
Maths demands concentration and focus. While understanding the mathematical problem requires concentration, it helps to identify the actual problem hidden within the problem. It is therefore advisable that the person who solves the problem should be attentive while understanding the problem, in order to solve the problem as soon as possible.
6. Make it fun.
In schools, it is recommended that the children create a chart of all mathematical methods and formulas, and place it in their room where it can be seen. So that they keep looking at the chart and understand how the problem can really be solved. And when it comes to the mathematical problem it is easier for a individual to find the root of the problem when the solution is the only one.
Therefore, making creative activities will be helpful for all those people who thinks that maths is a difficult subject.
7. Stay calm and be creative.
A individual needs to maintain a calm approach when it comes to mathematical issues while solving some mathematical questions. In order to make that happen a person should start with some creative ideas to make math fun.
Hence indulging in some creative ideas will help one better solve mathematical problems.
Many people believe, based on their experience of learning math at school, that it is a rigid and sterile subject that stifles curiosity and leaves no room for creativity. But progress in mathematics has actually been driven by remarkable flights of imagination. Maths undoubtedly is the base of several developing technologies that are being evolved. And will be used in almost every sector. Remember one needs to have time and patience to fall in love with mathematics and master this maths subject.
Check out my related post: How do you keep kids busy with a box?