Maths is a subject that many people find challenging at one time or another. It’s incredibly important to our day to day life however, so gaining confidence in the subject can make a massive difference.
One of the best ways you can teach maths is to put it into context for students. This is true from reception children all the way through to those taking degree level maths. It can be a very abstract subject so finding ways to understand it’s application in real life can lead to many breakthrough moments.
For example, it’s not immediately obvious that if you get two straight lines and cross them over one another, then that means you add two things together – the ‘plus’ sign. However, using coins and showing children how they can be added together, makes it easier for them to understand as it’s a real life application.
Working out the volume of a prism, cylinder or cone can be a real challenge. A great way to aid that understanding can be found by using chocolate! No, not as a bribery technique. Using different shaped chocolate packaging (eg. the classic shape of the toblerone) means students have something tangible to look at, measure etc. so maths becomes so much clearer.
After all, the times we use maths most are in our everyday lives: splitting a bill, budgeting for the weekly shop… If we can teach children how to use maths in context, then we’re setting them up with skills for life.
Baking provides another easy way to improve maths understanding. I know we’ve all done a lot of it over three lockdowns but baking opens up so many mathematical possibilities – without children realising it. Adjusting a recipe is a logical reasoning skill that comes up in papers from SATs to A-level and is often learned from baking cookies in the kitchen, rather than from a maths lesson in a classroom! Equally, the hands on experience of using weighing scales and ingredients in different proportions can make learning a much easier process.
If you’d like to work alongside one of our tutors to help bring maths to life, then please just get in touch. We’re always happy to have a chat to find out exactly what you need so we can match you with an ideal tutor for you.