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How to effectively teach Mathematics to young children

How to effectively teach Mathematics to young children

Creating the fluency with the basic facts of mathematics is an imperative part while teaching mathematics. One cannot expect that the student will learn higher order algorithms of mathematics without having command with their basic concepts. So it is a crucial job of a teacher as well as of a student, that they pay attention to each and every concept of mathematics.

There are several ways of representing a topic, and every teacher has its own way of teaching.  Teaching effectively is not a guided step by step process scribed somewhere. It is a methodology which you develop and apply on your class.

First, before starting with any topic, try to give a real time example related to that topic, or how that topic is directly or indirectly related to their life.  Suppose you are starting with the basic concepts of addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. Now, before embarking on the algorithm of addition, you can give an example, that they went to buy some candies. They gave some money to the shopkeeper, and buy some candies. How much money should they get back? The idea is keep the environment captivating. You can always start with the basics. For example, you are beginning with the concept of profit and loss, which include the concepts of percentage too and lot of multiplication and other calculation. Calculation is an inevitable part of any topic in mathematics, but you can always overcome this cumbersome part by teaching some other tactics. This will definitely take a class or two, but this will be helpful to the students in long term. You can teach some basics of Vedic mathematics or some other tactics.

Second, do not try to feed so much at a time. Start with one topic. Go in depth of that topic as much as required. Then show some examples, make them solve some examples. Analyze if they have understood the concept. Even if they are wrong, do not frown on the wrong answer. Instead motivate them. Give them some practice time. One should always give a proper amount of time to digest what they have learnt, and to practice as it is a key to master the subject. This should be a cumulative process. It should be designed in such a way that once the student is done with his/her practice, he should not hesitate to any problem. So a new concept should be added once the previous one is being mastered by the student. And it is a good practice to keep the topics related.

Third, you can take help of teaching aids. In an era of multimedia-based education, you can raise the level of your class. Though this is not always possible, but if you have the resources, this is a very good method of teaching. Teaching means to deliver knowledge in such a way that the recipient gets the maximum out of it. Through visual training, it is comparatively easy to understand and to remember. We all know about the Pythagoras theorem, and most of the time it is delivered as it is. And it is expected from the children that they will either understand it as it have been delivered, or they end up mugging this simple equation. Google it once and you can get number of models, which you can add to your presentation. A simple model of Pythagoras theorem can make the concept easy to understand, and at the same time, the children got a glimpse of why this is happening. This is a big question. Why? Why we are doing it in this manner. What if I try some other to do it with some other method? At least they will save some energy of visualizing it in their mind, and the same can be utilised to understand the concept better. Make them think. This will help them to push their threshold. The students will be more logical in their approach.

Furthermore, consistency is the key to success. To master anything in your life, you should be consistent. You have to give it some time. We all are aware of the fact that (1.01)365 =37.8 and (0.99)365=0.03. Everyday do a little bit more. Thus if you give 1 percent to it each day, at the end of a year, you will be far from where you started. It just takes a step to reach to your destination. And to be consistent, you should have interest in that thing. Even if you don't have interest, you develop automatically once you do it religiously.  So if you want your students do better in their subject, it's your responsibility that they find the subject interesting. Give them different kinds of problems. Give them the raw material and leave them in field of problems, show your faith in them and they will come up with solution. Do not overload them with problems. Quality always overcomes the quantity. Thus it's your responsibility how you control your class. They should have a routine of their daily practice. And this practice should be reviewed in the form of surprise tests and then the feedback. Every student would like to hear about their performance if it is good. It boosts their confidence, give them a motive to compete, and there is nothing wrong about creating competing environment.

At the end, teaching and learning are two parallel processes. You can have a set of methods which you imply on your students, but sometimes you confront some students, who need different approach. There are three kinds of students, one, who can perform without any help. Second are those who can perform well with a little help and third, who needs a little less than spoon feeding. So you can never have the same approach for these three kinds of students. You have to be patient as well as dynamic in your approach. However, the best mathematic teachers are the ones who can unshackle their students from the fear of mathematics and can empower them as a mathematician and can make them believe that mathematics does make sense.

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