The subject MATH has had a reputation being dreaded and terrified of ever since, relating to the opinions surrounding not only from my classmates but also from fellow students. With regards to my experience with Math especially on the topic of Algebra, I feel like always having a stomach churning as I think of the guilt of the perception that this subject is boring, leading me to feeling less motivated about it. Though having been drowned in the black hole of not being able to excel as much as I wanted to in Math, I endlessly hoped for this opportunity to be possible in my former years, especially as a high school student.
The topic on Module 2 about frameworks for assessment of student learning has really been a great help for me to see a wider perspective on the factors that affected my case in learning Math and not being able to excel on it that much. To be honest, elementary Math and a math subject in my high school which is called Statistics, has actually been interesting for as they are the ones that seem really practical lessons that can be used in everyday situations in real life. One research study in the Republic of Tanzania that tackles on the topic as to why most students dislike Math stated that the factors to this issue includes the influence of teaching methods, learning environment, influence of teachers, self-notion of students, secondary education preparation, and impact of abstract math concepts.
Of all the factors that lead to difficulty of students in the Math subject that has been mentioned in the research paper, the ones that really caught my attention is about the influence of teaching methods and impact of abstract Math concepts. Teaching methods inside the classroom really is a vital process to be thought about, as shortcomings in this can also have a major effect on its relationship with the process of learning for students. According to this research paper, there usually is a misalignment occurring as the instrumental teaching often leads to irrational understanding of students. Learning Math, usually in primary levels are said to be practical by many (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division) as this uses the mechanical teaching method. Nevertheless, as Math progresses to complex types, like algebra, majority of students cannot cope up as they are used to the rote teaching of primary Math. For that of the impact of abstract Math concepts, the subject of complex Math is also challenging to adapt to different kinds of teaching methods as topics in here depend on the existence and relationship of algebraic symbols. This factor of also a major influence with students’ difficulty as abstraction of Math affect the reciprocation of usual cognitive abilities to it.
Going back to the title of this e-journal, Making Math Fun- Is it possible? , I would like to share in here two interesting educational videos that gave me hope that it indeed is possible Math to be fun!
In this video published by SoulPancake, they made a series named Class Act that features inspirational teachers who can share their own stories in making the classroom a better place for the students. This video features Robert MacCarthy also known as “Mr. Mac” by his students and what makes him unique is that he teaches by making Math cool through giving activities to his students, which is making music.
In this video, I have learned so much from the points this teacher has shared, and that is about fact that Math is in everything we see, telling that it is a lie to tell ourselves that Math is just in the textbooks. Honestly, I do agree with his point in here as being a college student at this point of my life opened a way to independence for me to tackle aspects influenced by Math such as budgeting my finances. I also appreciated how Mr. Mac really considers his students’ perspective as he tries to include their culture in his teaching in the classroom. By means of this careful consideration, he introduced the activity of making music to help learning Math be more enjoyable.
Upon watching this video, I have also seen the genuine smiles in his students light up as they enjoy this interactive type of learning to help more understand the complex Math subject which is Algebra. Mr. Mac not only emphasized in his teaching a deeper understanding of this academics, but also the lesson of learning to be able to work with everyone, which is also an important skill to be honed in life.
As someone who plans to be an educator in the future, I have learned through this video that not only is vital to be thinking outside the box of the curriculum, but there also has to be a mutual understanding between the teachers and students to be able to create a productive and enjoyable atmosphere inside the classroom
This video created by the Ministry of Education in Singapore is also interesting, as I have seen how incorporating fun and activity-based teaching in Mathematics really is a solution to the challenge of having learning difficulties in this subjects.
Among the points raised in this video, I have learned from the experience of the teacher in here that one way to help kids overcome being nervous in Math is incorporating games that are hands-on and exciting, to help them be more relaxed in here. Materials used such as fraction discs and multiplication and division cards are only a few of the examples to help the Math subject be more fun, and less boring.
On the near end of this video, it has also been emphasized that teachers can use a wide range of pedagogies of teaching wherein one type is activity based. I have also appreciated the point shared that with children’s better engagement, there can have a develop a positive attitude with regards to learning Math.
I hope that this e-journal of mine can help lots of educators and also students to help widen the perspective with regards to Math being fun. Thank you very much and have an awesome day! 🙂