MENTAL ABUSE TO HUMAN- No More
CITY OF BALANGA NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL
One time while doing his homework, I heard my son complaining about how difficult Mathematics is. He even told me that probably MATH is an acronym for “Mental Abuse To Human.” Upon hearing this, an old familiar scene flashed before me. 28 years ago the same scenario happened, I feel sick, nauseated and about to vomit every time I was inside the classroom of my math subject. I was a first year high school student then. I believed I had the best and the most approachable Math teacher but that does not suffice my fear of numbers. Was it psychological? Probably, yes. Mathematics has been my waterloo during my high school years.
But the irony of it, when I took up a teaching course, I majored the subject I hated the most, MATHEMATICS. Why? I wanted to answer the question that has haunted me since high school. That question is, “What makes math difficult? Is it the subject itself or is it just a perception?”
Now, being a Secondary Math teacher, I solicited my students’ opinion about this subject. When I asked them to list down their favorite subject, mathematics is listed at the bottom. We share the same opinion when I was at their age.
One factor that I believed contributed to this perception is that “Math is boring.”
Mathematics is considered as a skill subject. Mastery of a certain skill can be acquired through repetition known as drill. After the teacher’s discussion, board activities, seatwork then an examination will follow. Life inside a Math classroom goes around these activities. Until the students find it uninteresting, bland and boring.
As facilitator of learning, the teacher must be creative to think of activities that would entice or arouse the student’s interest. Here are some suggestions to lessen the students’ passive acceptance to Mathematics:
1.Provide the students with Multiple Intelligence Activities.
These activities must be holistic, focusing on the body, emotions, social and intellect of the learners. Here are strategies I utilized which I found effective at the same time enjoyable, making Math appealing or interesting to students:
A. Concept mapping and graphic organizer are two activities that will be effective for them to be familiar with the concepts the teacher wanted to achieve on a certain topic. It is also considered interdisciplinary approach since Arts is interrelated with Mathematics. Manipulative skill of the students is also improved through this activity.
B. Coordinart- this is an art on the Coordinate or Cartesian Plane. This activity is more on self expression through drawing at same time mastery on plotting of points is achieved. You can also ask the students to make a floor plan of their dream house. Through this, concept on Drafting is also introduced. Creativity is also improved.
C. Factor Bingo Game- factoring is one of the most mind boggling topics in Algebra, while Bingo is considered a popular game of chance. The students’ skill in memorization of the concept of factoring is applied at the same time speed and accuracy is developed. The students, being young love any form of game.
D. Gallery Walk-this strategy can be applied in reviewing past topics related to the present topic. It decreases boredom since the students will walk around the classroom to observe the answers posted on a group station. This is also a form of cooperative learning.
E. IRF Worsheet- I stands for initial answer, R for revised answer and F for final answer. It can be used in pre and post test. Initial knowledge and the knowledge gained by the students after the discussion should be written in the form of a worksheet.
F. Web-based Activity- this is an interactive activity through the internet. Special website is made available on some topics in Algebra. This is integration of technology in teaching Mathematics. Technology is an “IN-thing” to young learners.
G. Video Watching- websites to watch different discussions and activities are available. This generation is described as “techy generation” , young learners are largely influenced by technology. They will learn fast if you teach them where their interest lies. There are recommended websites that the students can visit.
H. 3-2-1 Chart- It is in the form of a chart. The purpose is to list down concepts learned and those that were not clear to the learners. An example is given below:
I. Journal Writing- this activity will enable a learner to reflect about the topic and activities that the class underwent. Writing proficiency is also tested through this method.
J. Picture Analysis- lessons are best learned if they are visible. Visual presentation will help a lot.
2. Associate Mathematics to real life situation.
Beyond the lines, symbols, formulas, graphs, postulates, theories, equations, surveys, life cannot go on without mathematics. Make them aware that math exists in every aspects of human life. Nature is a form of Geometry consisting of shapes and lines. Buildings, structures and bridges are part of Trigonometry. Population is Statistics. Every detail that deals with money is Business Mathematics. Life itself is Mathematics.
3. Show your students how mathematics is relevant to them and why it is not just another academic discipline that must be endured. As a math teacher, it is our obligation to let them know how useful the subject is for them , or about them and not just about grades.
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