How often do you hear one of your friends say, “I just don’t like math.” Math is one of the subjects that is stigmatized, that’s why many students are afraid of it. As a result, students walk into a math class with negative preconceptions.
Learning math can be fun, and it’s not only your teacher who can make it fun; you also can. A math class isn’t all about teaching a lesson, practicing problems, assigning homework, and repeating the cycle once again. Students who endeavor to increase their attention in class and are fully engaged usually do much better than their peers. To be fully involved in a math class, there are several things you could do. Let us explore a few of them.
Strategies to Boost Engagement in Class
- Take Notes
At times your teacher might explain things in class and provide handouts as well. It helps to take notes even while he is explaining. Taking notes is a great way to stay focused in class and keeps you actively engaged. The information you will be noting can be reviewed later. If there is anything, you cannot understand, you can always highlight it and ask the teacher to explain it later. If you have trouble taking notes and listening simultaneously, first absorb what the teacher is explaining and then copy or write down your notes.
- Ask questions
Do not feel embarrassed if you fail to understand a math problem. Asking questions helps you stay focused. Remember, if you do not understand something, you are probably not the only one; your teacher’s explanation might also help other students. If you feel uncomfortable asking questions during class, you can always approach the teacher after class.
- Avoid distractions
If math isn’t your favorite subject, a math class can seem boring. Even if you go to class with a good intention, the more bored you are, the more distracted you will be. If you are easily distracted by your friend’s chatter, it’s best to sit in front of the class so that you can concentrate. Avoid chatting with your friends during class about unrelated subjects. If you tell your friends that you need to get better grades in math, they will understand when you disengage from the conversation.
- Use a planner
A planner can help you stay organized; it lets you write down and note important test and quiz dates. You can label your planner and color code it for organizing different assignments and activities. A planner that is divided by subject and has enough room to write all the information is preferable.
- Get to class on time
Being late to class without a legitimate reason can jeopardize your comprehension and grades. Math is a subject that requires involvement and complete understanding in every step of the way. If you miss the first quarter or half of the class, you will spend the rest of the class trying to catch up. That’s why it is important to stay up to speed by arriving to class on time. If you are ill, ensure that the lesson and assignments you missed are noted. Talk to your teacher and set up a time to review the lesson you missed.
Activities to Enhance your Attention
We have already discussed some strategies you can use in class to boost engagement. Let us now consider a few activities that could improve your attention and can greatly help at home or school.
- Play games to practice math
Playing math games can improve your memory and fact recall. Memory is like a muscle; the more you practice it, the better it will be. Playing memory math games at home or in after-school activities can remarkably boost your attention span. Memory games do not have to be complicated; there are a variety of online resources for memory games. For younger children, a simple game of red-light-green -light or I spy, or Simon says, can enhance your child’s concentration.
- Use Visual aids
Visual learning is engaging for several reasons. Visuals are easier to remember than text or auditory learning. For example, when a kindergarten student learns to add by being shown three apples in one hand and three in the other, it’s easier for him to add them together as six. Similarly, online videos help break down complex math topics allowing students to digest them in short format and manageable sessions rather than a long chapter explanation in a textbook.
- Practice Math
When you take notes in class or do your homework, copy the fundamental problems or equations you want to study on a separate paper and work through them. Keep adding to the list until you form your own study guide. It also helps to practice math problems or equation examples by covering them up and solving them alone.
- Work with a math tutor
A math tutor can do much to help you understand the subject better. Every student learns differently; it could be that your teacher’s style of explaining things is different. This doesn’t mean that you cannot understand the information; it just needs to be relayed differently.
- Utilize online math help
There are plenty of online math resources to help you solve math homework; these digital tools can prove helpful in explaining complex math problems using videos, games, and quizzes. Desmos, for example, is a math website that fosters math discussions, while Moose Math allows students to play math games that earn them points to build a town. The Khan Academy is also a helpful website with over 8,000 video lessons to help students explore math topics.
OMC Helps Students Get Better at Math
Struggling with a math topic or homework shouldn’t be a big issue. The OMC tutors are educational experts trained in helping you apply math principles and concepts and everything else a math class throws at you. Contact us for a consultation or to schedule an appointment; we will be happy to assist you!