Everyone wants their kids to learn and excel in Math. However, unfortunately, when it comes to solving mathematical equations, many youngsters and even adults have real phobias.

This is especially true with middle school math, as figures, algebras, and equations always seem to induce fears.

When it comes to teaching middle school mathematics, traditional tact barely seems to produce any good.

Besides the sudden complexities of mathematical equations, most students at junior high seem to develop a reluctant behavior.

Luckily, most students will barely have any trouble in junior high math with the teacher’s right, effort, strategy, and behavior. Therefore, middle school math teachers must be wary of effective learning strategies.

Being a community of the best trainers, teachers, and mentors, we at Superprof are here to help. Our group of middle school math teachers has some teaching secrets to share.

Read on if you are curious to find out!

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Jeffry
$27
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Dr. Mary (professional tutor)
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5 (53 reviews)
Dr. Mary (professional tutor)
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5 (15 reviews)
Syed
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$23
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Raise The Bar High For All Students

Contrary to what some people might think, raising the bar of expectations for your students usually encourages their growth.

Now, this might seem like an insignificant point to mention, but it carries great weightage.

The majority of the students grow up believing that math can do them no good and they will never be able to comprehend its rules.

This mindset is especially prevalent among young girls, as society inadvertently believes that their capabilities only lie in creative tasks.

Thus, whether a student is born with math skills or not, a good teacher must let them see their capabilities beyond the societal bonds.

So for junior high students to invest their efforts in middle school math, a teacher first has them believe that their efforts will not go in vain.

A blackboard busy with mathematic calculations
Since math is mainly considered a tricky and dry subject; most students lose interest before trying. Therefore, math games for middle school students can go a long way in helping develop interest (Source: Unsplash)

Leverage Healthy Competition Among Students

A lot of the teachers use competition tactics to motivate their students. However, competition works only when the competitors are willing to compete with one and another.

Therefore, if a teacher’s math competition is based on who will finish the last or get more right answers, they have to create a setup that facilitates the students accordingly.

Healthy competition can also motivate the disengaged students, making them feel a part of the team.

When distracted students are demanded to contribute against one team, their sense of responsibility awakens, and they feel the need to put their best selves forward.

Pair Math With A Subject That Intrigues Students

Even the most talented and intelligent students will say, ‘I don’t do the math’ or ‘I cannot do the math.’

That is because most students are not taught in a way that appeals to their senses. Kids are, after all, kids – showing them similar figures and symbols can only bore them.

The best way to teach math is by infusing it with your student’s interests and inspiring them to learn outside the classroom.

For instance, if your student has a propensity for music, you as a teacher should connect musical rhythm with mathematical equations.

Similarly, if a student has an inclination for games, a teacher should include math games for middle school and seamlessly infuse them with their curriculum.

Additionally, you must never forget that student participation is vital for strategic mathematical thinking to be an efficient teacher. Thus math should be presented in a manner that prompts student engagement.

Fortunately, Math is virtually everywhere, so a teacher can easily take advantage of interdisciplinary sciences and introduce their students to mathematical in an intriguing fashion.

This will compel the students to practice and fall in love with its application.

A young girl practicing math
Since practice makes perfect, a middle school math teacher should also encourage their students to practice mathematical operations (Source: Unsplash)

Give Room to the Curiosity

There is no denying that studying and teaching math can sometimes feel too mundane and repetitive. Unfortunately, this is precisely why most students lose interest.

As a teacher, you should be able to rekindle the student’s curiosity and make them feel engaged.

The best way to do this is by questioning your students and allowing them to speak their concerns. Not to mention student interaction is proof that their paying attention.

Stress Over The Conceptual Understanding

When it comes to conventional teaching techniques, memorizing topics and formulae is more stressful than learning and understanding them. That being said, these teaching techniques have failed to thrive in the modern era.

Instead of asking your students to parrot things back, you should encourage them to express their concerns and admit the confusions they are facing.

Today, students want to know ‘why’ and ‘how’ more than ‘what’ and ‘when.’

Meaningful education goes far beyond memorizing formulae and re-writing the mathematical procedures. These learning methodologies cannot foster understanding.

Thus, rather than forcing the students to memorize math formulae, a teacher should be able to tell them about their applications and the fundamental concepts behind them.

A teacher’s job is not just to inform students about the mathematical intricacies but also to create an explorative space that develops a solid educational foundation.

To give your students a conceptual understanding, it is best to make mental connections with mathematical problems.

You can do this by treating students like actual mathematicians and presenting them with situations that require logical thinking before mathematical manipulation.

The best Mathematics tutors available
Davayne
5
5 (41 reviews)
Davayne
$13
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Jeffry
5
5 (12 reviews)
Jeffry
$27
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Dr. Mary (professional tutor)
5
5 (53 reviews)
Dr. Mary (professional tutor)
$48
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Syed
5
5 (15 reviews)
Syed
$65
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Laura
5
5 (6 reviews)
Laura
$23
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Namita
5
5 (12 reviews)
Namita
$35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sean
5
5 (5 reviews)
Sean
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lyle
5
5 (6 reviews)
Lyle
$18
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Davayne
5
5 (41 reviews)
Davayne
$13
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Jeffry
5
5 (12 reviews)
Jeffry
$27
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Dr. Mary (professional tutor)
5
5 (53 reviews)
Dr. Mary (professional tutor)
$48
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Syed
5
5 (15 reviews)
Syed
$65
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Laura
5
5 (6 reviews)
Laura
$23
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Namita
5
5 (12 reviews)
Namita
$35
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Sean
5
5 (5 reviews)
Sean
$50
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Lyle
5
5 (6 reviews)
Lyle
$18
/h
Gift icon
1st lesson free!
Let's go

Provide Real Problems To Increase Student’s Engagement

When it comes to increasing student engagement, presenting real-life problems has always proved to be a successful tactic.

Therefore, if your students have trouble grasping a mathematical concept or simply seem to lose interest, give them examples from the real world.

The more math is connected with real-life, the less superficial or blind belief it will seem. Consequently, more students will be able to invest in the subject.

Applying this tactic will not just help the students understand the situation better, but it would also increase their interest and motivate them to solve the problem.

A middle school math teacher trying to generate her student interest in catchy ways.
Since middle school math topics can be a bit complex for most students, teachers should get into the habit of applying unconventional teaching methods (Source: Unsplash)

Personalize The Mathematical Problem And Offer a Choice

Students mostly feel subjugated by either their teacher or another student. Therefore when most students love it when they are given a choice.

Moreover, it offers students a chance to pick the method that helps them learn faster.

Furthermore, this helps teachers figure out different ways to address their students' issues and tailor their methodologies accordingly.

Motivate Your Students To Talk Math!

Communication is the key, and that is also applied to math. Communication helps middle school students to process new mathematical procedures and use them effectively.

Once students start infusing complex mathematical terms in regular communication, they would be able to communicate their confusions more unapologetically.

Consequently, this helps teachers to understand their student’s concerns.

Rather than expecting a specific answer, you should encourage your students to voice their concerns and have a deeper discussion. True learning stems out of conversations and not just drilling.

Share Positive Attitude

Math is usually presented as an enemy of joy. Unfortunately, this idea poses a great dilemma for young minds already struggling to wrap their heads mathematical equational and practical applications.

Thus, teachers should abstain from talking about math in a negative tone. So, instead of saying, “Oh! This is difficult”, a teacher should put it ‘Who is up for the challenge?’

Teachers should also discourage other students from talking negatively about math with their peers. Now, this might seem an insignificant thing to do, but it is linked with tremendously positive results.

It is also worth mentioning that Thomas Edison, the man who exemplified learning and reinforced its value, was also convinced that he could not do maths. As a matter of fact, he used to consider himself deficient in Math.

As a middle school math teacher, it is justified for you to dream of a classroom where every student loves fractions, addition, and division, etc.

That said, you also have to be realistic and understand that many of your students will not share your passion for math.

Put Emphasis On Hands-On Learning

As far as studying math is concerned, most teachers rely on abstract learning skills. But, unfortunately, conceptual or abstract learning renders students lose interest.

On the other hand, hands-on learning keeps most students riveted and helps solidify their concepts. For instance, to help students understand the complex mathematical operation, you can use Lego bricks and give their learning a tangible aspect.

Build Excitement And Promise Incentives

Some students are unfairly labeled as dull. Thereby, they have negative attitudes about technical subjects like math.

However, if these students are also given badges, stickers, and trophies, they will stop seeing math as their nemesis.

This, in turn, motivates the students to put their best foot forward and take an interest in the mathematical problems.

Furthermore, weekly announcements celebrating the most participating students can also be really inspiring.

Learn How TO Teach Middle School Math With A Professional

Students cannot learn in a vacuum.  Therefore, if math teacher wants to generate interest in their subject, they ought to think unconventionally and tailor their teaching according to each student.

Hopefully, reading this will help you understand how to motivate your reluctant students and inspire them to take an interest in math.

For more advice, shadow teachers at math camp or reach out to Superprof!

Superprof is a platform where students and teachers can find each other. All you have to do is sign up, search for a teaching coach near you and reach out to them.

And after you’ve found the guidance you need, you can also use Superprof to connect with prospective students. This will help you start your career right.

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