Saturday, May 6, 2017

Mathematical Vibes

Sometimes math is hard and people give up... It's that simple.

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When people are asked their favourite subjects in school, they often say: physical education, art or English. On the other hand, many students tend to openly confess that they HATE math.... Math teachers often find this repulsive and don't understand the reasoning behind these students perceptions but let's debrief a little bit...

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  1. Many mathematical instruction has been taught through rote memorization in the past. Students might ask "why" but they are not given straight forward answers. These are the answers that they crave and seek. 
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2. It might also because students have never developed a strong attachment to the language or never saw the importance of math in their daily lives. Maybe they never enjoyed their math classes in the past and have memories of textbook questions and taking notes. BORING. Math is so much more fun and there are so many more exciting new ways that students can be engaged!
3. To top it all off, math is hard! You have to work hard at it in order to be successful and sometimes it is super frustrating when you don't get it! It is something that you have to work continuously hard at to get better. After all practice makes perfect. Therefore, when people start to stress out, they might label it as "hard" and "dumb."
    However, what if students saw the importance of the concepts of the problems that they were learning and their connection to real life problems? What if they were taught interactively and in a way that built off of different learning styles? What if each mathematical class built up their class as a community in order to help, support and celebrate the members of their class?

    Image result for what if clipartThese are a lot of "what ifs", but it is important to know, that teachers have the power to change the perceptions of math amongst their students. Sometimes students just need that extra care and attention in order to be successful. That extra push, the creation of interactive and rewarding mathematical games and the constant reference of the importance of each concept in our daily lives, is important for students in order to develop a stronger connection to the subject. The passion for different mathematical concepts is also important for students to witness. They need to know that the teacher appreciates what she/he is teaching and values the importance of the daily implications of mathematical problems and the success of his/her students.


    1. I totally agree that math can definitely be an intimidating subject but once students get the rhythm of it, it can actually be one of the easiest subjects. Math in many ways is a lot like music class, until you understand how to read sheet music, it all seems like a series of circles and lines on a paper (and somehow that is supposed to translate into a masterpiece!) but once you understand how to read it and get the “rhythm and flow” it all slowly begins to come together and make sense. Math is the same way. At first, a new equation may just seem like letters are getting added and subtracted instead of numbers but once you know how to properly use the equation, it will all make sense to you!

    2. Exactly I feel that students need to understand that it is hard and that it has even been hard for us in the past because it is not always easy and clear for everyone. For example, I have always loved math but I always needed to work extra hard at trigonometry identities. These were a constant struggle with me throughout high school. However, when students are able to relate with the teacher then there is also a better chance that they will have a different perspective on math.

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