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Introducing Math Concepts


Introducing Math Concepts

The objective of setting this group is to aggregate ideas and strategies for introducing a Mathematics concept in a classroom at all levels. I think right start would definitely help in making lesson easy to understand as well as interesting.

Members: 41
Latest Activity: Mar 3, 2012

Please Note

I have a suggestion to contributors to the group: make more use of the "Start a Discussion" link. I think that will keep the content more organised, than using comments to the main page of the group. (Colin McAllister)

Discussion Forum

How do you introduce Geometry to class 6 students?

Started by Rashmi Kathuria. Last reply by Rashmi Kathuria Jun 4, 2011. 13 Replies

How to introduce concept of function?

Started by VASUDEVA KH. Last reply by v.eswaran Jun 4, 2011. 17 Replies

Comment Wall

Comment by Ramneek kaur on August 15, 2009 at 12:48pm
Mathematics is a subject in which many students struggle for the whole year for passing the examination. I am a teacher. I am looking for solutions. Why students are afraid of learning Mathematics. One big reason for this scenario is lack of interest in the subject. Why their is lack of interest ? Probably it is not the right start. By this I mean to say when the topic is not well introduced students are not clear with what to do? Everything is abstruse for them. So, I think in the beginning of a chapter it must be either start with relating to the previous via questions or with what children know ,that is, from their daily life.
What do you think?
Is it the right approach? How do you start a lesson. It would be nice if you share some examples.
Ramneek Kaur
Comment by Maggie Verster on August 16, 2009 at 11:50am
Hi Ramneek,

Thanks for creating this group. I think the way you introduce your lesson or concept is indeed very important. We often feel that we need to get stuck in and explain without creating hooks for the learners to hang what we want to explain on...?? So shall I kick off- off the top of my head???

My matric (grade 12 class) always struggled with loci. So I started off with a bit of "bodymaths" and took them outside to the field where they had to follow "simple-simon says" like instructions eg "everybody stands 5 steps away from Sue- what shape do you have?- what is the equation of the shape that it represent? Take a roll of string with for the more complex loci. When I then did it formally in the classroom, they had a much better understanding.
Comment by Rashmi Kathuria on August 16, 2009 at 1:18pm
Thanks Ramneek for creating this space. It is indeed very important to make a right start. Children often forget what they had learnt in their previous classes. One need to brush up all previously learnt concepts via brainstorming sessions and also by puuting up related questions which would lead to the new topic. In my Maths classroom, I begin my lesson with simple questions which I know students would answer in large number. This ignite their mind and thought processing begins automatically.
Maggie Verster talked about the introduction of Loci. This is one topic which students hardly understand. Activity approach is very useful for learning the concept of locus. Definition of circle given in the textbook is " A circle is the locus of a point which moves in a plne in such a way that it is equidistant from a fixed point in the same plane. The fixed point is the centre and the fixed distance is radius of the circle. Children tend to cram this definition because they donot visualise it. But when the same concept is explained through an activity by fixing one point on the ground and marking other points on the same ground which are equidistant from the fixed point. A geometrical shape is obtained by new points. This is how they understand better and retain the concepts for longer.
Comment by Danny Clarke on August 16, 2009 at 11:47pm
Ramneek, I want to share a technique I have developed for introducing math concepts. I call it Math for a Reason. First I introduce a problem and then teach the math necessary to solve just that problem. This seems to help with motivation, because the normal way to teach is to introduce a series of concepts that appear to be unconnected parts that do not congeal until much later.
Here is an example from a prealgebra developmental class I teach at the local community college:

Justin and Heather drove from Reno to Las Vegas in 6 hours. Justin drove the first half of the trip and Heather drove the second half. The following are the hour-by-hour average speeds that Justin drove: 55,58,62 mph. Heather drove the at the following average speeds: 53,58,59 mph.

a.) What was the overall average speed that Justin drove?
b.) What was the overall average speed that Heather drove?
c.) Round the average speeds of each to the nearest 10 mph.
d.) Make a bar chart of the speeds for each.

While this seems to be a trivial problem for college-level students, it is amazing how many (remember, this is a developmental (i.e., remedial) class) do not know how to approach solving it. From this problem I first deal with taking the average of a set of integers, then how to round integers to the nearest tens position and how to construct a histogram. Along the way, I throw in the concepts of the real number system, including the number line, inequalities, finding the distance between numbers and positive and negative integers. But mostly the focus is on learning what is needed to solve the original problem.
Comment by MariaD on August 17, 2009 at 12:00am
I start all math experiences from inviting students to design, create, compose and otherwise author something. This accomplishes several things:
- a rich example space, because everybody creates something different, so we can compare, contrast, sort and do other such math category work on examples
- strong motivation, because people tend to get attached to their own creations
- and another source of strong motivation, because math is being used for a project from the get-go
- a window into students' minds, relatively clear of adult pre-conceptions
- a good collective/group activity support through collage, jig-saw, or collection of individual projects, or direct collaboration among creators
- connections among math topics and to other areas of culture
- many cool media opportunities

"Make math your own, to make your own math!"
Comment by Colleen Young on August 17, 2009 at 12:22am
Wouldn't it be easier to use discussion forums rather than a long list of comments? That way we could have more structured discussions. It strikes me that lesson starters are crucial as are what we do during the lesson, also how we conclude. All worthy of separate discussions.

I think one of the most important things we can do is constantly ask questions of our students, they need to be very active in lessons.

So there is another possible discussion - great questions to ask!
Comment by Girishkumar Seshadri Rao on August 17, 2009 at 4:04pm
I start lesson by asking students to fill KWHL chart, From this i come to know about the previous knowledge of the children and what they intend to learn
Comment by Bonifas on August 17, 2009 at 4:36pm
I started lesson by giving so many examples from daily life, then I introduced the concept. I feel it was motivating and easy to understand the concept.
Comment by marsha landau on April 24, 2010 at 4:52pm
My blog has a page (in the process of being updated) that I designed for teachers looking for support in teaching a specific concept. It contains links to resources and recommended (by me) lesson plans and activities. Take a look!
Comment by Brinda Ramesh on March 2, 2012 at 1:12pm

My way of introducing the concept is with the help of an example connected to them, they are only involved in it so it makes more interesting.



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