9 ways to motivate students in math lessons
Effective teachers pay attention to both motivated students and those who are not so interested in learning. We present nine techniques for internal and external motivation that will help you increase your students’ interest in maths lessons.
External and internal motivation
External motivation – the pupil is not rewarded by the teacher for success in the subject. This includes money from parents for good study, respect for classmates, avoiding “punishment” for poor performance, praise, and so on.
Internal motivation includes a student’s desire to understand a topic or concept (academic), to perform better than others (egoistic) or to impress others (social). The latter goal is on the borderline of external and internal motivation.
Keep these concepts of motivation in mind, they are what we will influence with our techniques. It is important that you adjust these techniques to yourself, so that their application does not look artificial and does not cause rejection among students. Under each technique, we have provided examples to reveal them in more detail.
Ways to increase motivation in math lessons
1.Pay attention to the gaps in your students’ knowledge: when we identify a student’s lack of knowledge about a topic, we give birth to a desire to learn. For example, you could give a few simple examples on a topic and then atypical examples on the same topic. The brighter you point out the gaps in a pupil’s knowledge, the more effective his motivation will be.
2.Show a sequence of accomplishments: This technique is closely linked to the past. Show your students the logical consequence of each other’s concepts. This technique, unlike the previous one, motivates students to learn about related topics rather than focusing on a complete understanding of only one.
3.Sample detection: Set a complex situation where students will need to find the right sample solution to get out. Finding a pattern strongly motivates students, as each of them wants to be the first to find it and declare themselves the author of the idea. Example: Add numbers from 1 to 100 together. You can add them up one by one, but it will take a long time. It is easier to find a certain pattern here: add the first and the last (1+100=101), and so on. Then the students have to multiply 101 by 50 – that’s how many times this number will repeat itself. The answer will be 5,050.
4.Throw an intellectual challenge to your students: such challenges are met with enthusiasm by children. It is very important to choose the right challenge. The example (if it is the one chosen) should be related to the topic of the lesson and the students can do it. The challenge should not distract from the lesson, but smoothly lead to it. Go to the site and find out morehttps://argoprep.com/blog/21-effective-ways-to-boost-your-childs-math-and-ela-scores/
5.Show off mathematical tricks: there are many examples in mathematics that seem to contradict common sense. Such examples, by their very nature, attract a lot of attention to mathematical exercises. For example, to fascinate children with probability theory, discuss the Paradox of Birthdays with them (In a group of 23 or more people, at least two people are more than 50% likely to have the same birthday (number and month)). The incredible result of the paradox will delight students.
- Show the benefits of knowing the topic: Show at the beginning of the lesson how the new knowledge can be put into practice. For example, in the geometry lesson you can ask a student to measure the diameter of a plate, but only the area of a part of the plate is known to be smaller than a semicircle. Such examples should be short and simple so as not to involve the children in the class, rather than distract them from it.
- Use fun math assignments in class: Entertainment includes puzzles, games, paradoxes, or math tours on school premises and nearby buildings. These activities should be simple and not time-consuming. Successful application of this technique is to involve students quickly in math lessons. It is worth paying attention to the effect of these games – fun should not distract from the lesson itself.
- Tell an interesting story about mathematics: about a historical event (for example, how Karl Friedrich Gauss summed up the numbers from 1 to 100 in a minute when he was 10 years old in 1787). Such success stories motivate students well. The main thing is to devote enough time to history. Otherwise, it won’t have the right effect.
- Discuss interesting mathematical facts with students: one of the most effective techniques to motivate students is to ask them to express their opinion on curious mathematical facts: for example, “if the sum of all digits of a number is divided by 9, then the number itself is divided by 9”. Of course, all these facts should be well known to students.