It seems that modern-day students are more irked by math than students of yesteryears. Unfortunately, the nature of the subject does not grow on people either.
After middle school, it can become even more difficult for children to turn this distaste into likability.
Teachers and parents now find themselves looking for resources and strategies to improve arithmetic retention in modern middle school mathematics students.
This is primarily because of your child's previous experiences that have created this aversion towards the subject and have negatively impacted their perception of math.
Furthermore, it has also affected the meaning of 'fun' in the classroom. Without further ado, let's discuss ways that can make math more fun to learn:
8 Ways To Make Middle School Math Class More Fun
Making math fun for children is not rocket science! It is all about finding the right combination of activities for every student and getting them hooked.
When you reminisce about math classes gone by, you may not always have a smile on your face. Even the mention of the subject can bring some not-so-good memories of dull teachers, dusty chalkboards, and a labyrinth of complex equations.
Hence, learning middle school math seems easier said than done, right? One would not even begin thinking about what to expect from middle school math class.
It is true; therefore, motivation, purpose, and rewards would seem easier to come by when learning to bungee jump than thinking of multiplying.
The good news is that there are ways to make middle school mathematics a more engaging and fun experience than a mental trip to your dentist.
Here are eight ways through which you can make your child's middle school math learning experience memorable and fun:
1. Creating A Hands-On Experience While Learning
As a child, you might have learned math via textbooks and lectures; however, the times have changed, and teachers have now developed ways to make the process more enjoyable.
The otherwise monotonous nature of the subject may kill any motivation and make students feel stuck. Hence, these ways are effective at teaching and entertaining simultaneously.
Some ways include getting students to play online math games and using manipulatives to make mundane topics entertaining.
Children have higher retention, and this is amplified when the examples include candies, games, and other colorful objects that inspire delight.
Even though flashcards and middle school math word problems are vital to the curriculum, practical lessons are a fantastic way to introduce uniquely interesting concepts.
Furthermore, practical lessons make students feel like they are learning more than just basic math. The classes seem unique, and as a result, hard to forget.
2. Building Confidence In Math Skills
Middle school math class students dislike math because they do not feel confident enough to excel in the subject. This group of students exhibits certain traits:
- Some have never performed well at math
- Some were good at elementary school math but struggled with middle school math
- Some who did not have to study before attempting and now they are not able to compete
Hence, every kid has a different reason for disliking math. If you are a parent and have a child struggling in middle school mathematics, it is critical to identify the root cause of the disconnect between math and the student.
It does not matter what the solution is; it could be as basic as reviewing your work, reassessing the middle school mathematics curriculum, or studying newer skills with your child to help them understand the topics.
As a parent or a teacher, it is crucial to assist the student with their struggles and help them every step of the way to learning a specific technique or idea.
3. Making A Grocery Trip Fun, Educational, And Delicious
Food has always been the universal motivator. Make a list of groceries and fun snacks – ideally, your child's favorite things - create a budget, and go to the store.
There is a reason why most math problems originate from the grocery store; it is the perfect match!
Now, you can ask questions based on your shopping list, i.e., what will be a 15% discount on a $3.99 box of cookies.
Grocery stores will compel kids to see practical examples of math – using their favorite snacks – and ultimately develop an interest in the subject.
By experiencing their math knowledge's practical impact and application, the subject would begin making sense to them.
4. Making Sports Even More Fun And Educational
Sports are always about competition and keeping score, whether home runs, points, goals, or touchdowns.
However, once you start going deeper into an individual or team's performance, you would begin to uncover an abundance of game-related statistics.
Therefore, if your child is a young fan of sports and has issues with middle school math topics like fractions, why not link it to baseball?
Consider a batter gets a single hit in four swings; it means the same as ¼ or a 0.25 average.
Sports are an excellent way to explore junior high school math, from analysis to experimentation with probability via fantasy baseball.
5. Extending Maths Outside The Class
If you are wondering how to improve math scores in middle school, you can start by turning class into a meaningful experience.
Try incorporating math where you otherwise wouldn't: when discussing history, language arts, and science.
You can have your students calculate how long ago the Declaration of Independence was signed or get them to memorize the different atomic numbers in the periodic table.
Furthermore, you can create different word problems related to the book your child is reading in school. Or you could work on estimating the anticipated results before beginning a science experiment.
Incorporating lessons like these will help your child gain a holistic understanding of mathematical concepts and calculate independently.
They are also integral at changing a previously negative perception about the subject. Middle school students need to understand that math is necessary for future growth, even if they do not have any interest in becoming a mathematician.
Furthermore, by combining middle school math with a subject that your child enjoys, you will be able to sneak in some extra math practice without them even noticing.
6. Discussing The Importance Of Saving Money
Once children reach a specific age, they start to live for their daily allowance. Suddenly, they begin helping around the house in hopes of an increase in their pocket money.
However, they are also in quite a hurry to spend what they earn, and even though that is the point of having an allowance, teaching them how to save is a valuable lesson?
The first lesson in saving comes when you convince them to set their sights on buying something more expensive than what they were initially buying. Then, they need to know how to save up to that amount.
The act of saving will teach them:
- Patience: Holding on to money will teach them restraint, which will translate into fewer tantrums
- Analytical thinking: Deciding to save up for something expensive will get them to think of intelligent ways to accomplish the same
- Math: Constantly counting down to the next allowance day will also compel them to keep count of how much more they need and how long they may have to wait
- Responsibility: They will learn not to splurge senselessly alongside the most important lesson: how to say no!
There are also several internet applications that can help children save and track their wealth. These are lessons no middle school math resources can teach!
7. Taking A Road Trip
A long road trip can refresh your mind and help you tackle challenging thoughts. That is why the next time you are thinking of hitting the road, ensure that it also becomes a fun math activity.
Ask ponderous questions such as, if you want to reach the first destination by 6 PM, and it is 100 miles away, at what time would you have to leave your house, and what average speed will you maintain?
Follow up with: how will it change if you encounter thirty minutes of high traffic or have to go back home after 20 minutes of driving because you forgot something?
Think of a destination your child s desperate about going to – possibly Disney world – and make a game out of it. Exchange the math worksheet for a map and make it a memorable trip!
After the purpose has been defined, now comes the motivating part, gamification!
Gamification of something amazingly increases the motivation for students. Today's kids are all about taking an interest in viral and exciting things; if something is dull, they won't even notice it.
The purpose of gamifying middle school math is to help your child take an interest in the subject and learn more.
8. Diversifying The Middle School Math Lessons
Not every child is confident about raising their hand to answer questions during class, especially a math lesson.
Every child has a different way to intake and retain information. Therefore, a diversified lesson plan is very crucial for a subject such as mathematics.
A middle school mathematics curriculum can be further enhanced and customized with:
- Small group conversations
- Practical examples and experiences
Furthermore, you can also offer students options for testing their math skills whenever possible. Marked tests are integral; however, unmarked tests can help them measure their level without the pressure.
Some kids may become overwhelmed by seeing a sheet full of math problems; however, they are less daunted when the same problems are displayed on flashcards.
These methods will also help them when they go off to college and university.
Prepare For Middle School Mathematics With The Help Of A Coach
There are multiple ways to help make learning middle school math a fun experience for your child. However, learning math is not an easy feat, and teaching it is even more challenging.
To help you and your child turn this experience into a fun and memorable one, hire a tutor from Superprof.
With thousands of math tutors to choose from, Superprof provides you with convenience, comfort, and a budget-friendly approach to tutoring.