While you will agree that it is tough for the students to understand Algebra — it was no less than a primary school battle while dealing with numbers, and now have a tougher one to win with alphabets in the maths curriculum. But no competition is tough if they have the right teacher, they can understand this difficult subject in a fun and easy way.
While maths leaves many of us bored and sleepy, a little fun and extra activities can make it enjoyable. In this article, we will discuss how you can teach algebra to kids in a fun and interactive manner.
Begin From The Scratch
If you want to sell something to someone, you will have to generate the need first; And so is the case with students and subjects. It would help if you began from scratch. You need to tell them the importance of Algebra and its need in our lives.
That’s the basics; if your students don’t understand the subject’s importance, they will have a tough time learning equations.
Lead By Examples
You may be a master, but your students aren’t, and they still understand the basics. As a teacher, you should always begin by making things easy for them; yes, ‘X’ and ‘Y’ are scary, and even a whisper of algebra can make students anxious. So instead of putting it like X+X= 2X, put it this way Joe+Joe=2Joe. This makes it easy for kids to understand and increases the relatability; they are no longer dealing with mere letters’ X’ and ‘Y.’
Don’t ever assume that your students remember what they did in the past unit or chapter. In algebra, you often need to remember the trick you used to solve the previous question, as it can become a small step of your larger question now. But, beginners always find it hard to remember things, since they aren’t used to it. And, it is imperative for you to know as a teacher that your students might not remember things that you expect them to do. However, you should never let this situation go either — make sure you go back and explain it again. If they don’t remember it this time too, you should always repeat the process until they understand.
For example, fractions are generally taught at a young age, and algebra teachers assume typically that students might know fractions and do not pay attention to it at all. It is always important to keep a regular check that all the students are on the same page.
Go On Step-by-step
While you may be a master of Algebra, your students aren’t and, it is imperative to start from the basics and make sure they fully understand it. For a sturdy build-up, the most important thing is to lay a strong foundation, and so it is with students. Make sure you begin with the easiest of the Algebra Expressions. It is crucial to do sums step-by-step for them to understand it better. Most important is to make sure they understand those steps. Anyone can copy from the book or the board, but it is important to make sure your students can replicate the same with your help during any life test.
Also, by choosing to go step by step in the complex Algebra Expressions, you can gain the attention of all the students and build their confidence along the way.
Make It a Fun Activity
Maths classes are boring, and we can’t agree much on this. While it may not be for you because you are a master of it, it is definitely boring for those who have to read seven to eight other subjects with it.
The uphill task is to make it exciting and make the students engage with you. If you fail to do so, your half of the class may not be on the same page as others.
A Quick Recap
Always begin your class with a quick recap of what you did yesterday — this technique refreshes students’ brains of what they did yesterday or in the earlier class. Recap doesn’t mean you need to go back to the same topic again. You just need to take out a few minutes at the beginning of the class and briefly touch on the crucial points you discussed yesterday. This method will also help students ask questions and queries that they might have had in the back of their minds, and they will be able to learn concepts related to it.
All Students are Not The Same!
Basically, a teacher must understand that all students are not the same. While some students may realize Algebra at one go, others may ask questions, and some may feel shy. And, a sincere teacher understands the need to have all the students on the same page. You may have to teach students after the class. Some students may require extra attention at times. But remember, if you ignore them once, they may not be able to understand the rest of the chapter as they couldn’t grasp the basic concepts. Always encourage your students to ask questions and not to shy away. Tell them sometimes even a silly question can be an opportunity missed.
Connect With Students
The most important is to connect with the students. No matter how hard you try to convince them to ask questions, but they may not. That is why it is crucial forming a connection with students to make them comfortable with you. The bond of a teacher and a student is sacred, and one of the most important bonds after the family as you are the one who will shape and guide their future. You don’t have to be friends with them. But they should be open enough to ask questions, at least related to studies.
Being tough at times may be a good idea but ensure that it doesn’t impact your connection with the students. They should understand that it isn’t wrong, but you have had to take a certain step for their good.
Motivate Your Students
While these things may not be directly connected to algebra but have a vital role in teaching, some teachers nourish students’ minds that they aren’t good in that subject, and it settles in the mind of students leading to them not even trying. No one is a math genius, and no one is a born Einstein — you should never tell a student that they can’t do something. A teacher should be a motivator, and you should always play your part by keeping your students motivated –keep reminding them that they can master algebra and it is no big deal.
You should always encourage your students by telling them motivational stories, and there are a lot out there. This encouragement will also build their confidence for the remainder of the lesson and transition to other fields.
Arrange a Doubt Session
It is advised to keep a weekly class for doubt sessions during the Algebra unit schedule. You may have had a packed schedule in the past one week, and some of the students may not have asked their questions — this session will ensure they don’t fade out in the crowd and be on the same page as others.
Ask Them Questions
Many students nod their heads to deceive teachers and to avoid teacher’s suspicion. While everyone understands this is wrong, the students may not — because it is justified at a young age — the peer pressure and the clean image concept. You should always ask questions to all students to make sure they have understood the concepts.
A fortnightly or a monthly Algebra test may be the solution to your worries. But asking direct questions during the class ensures the students are attentive, and if they face any difficulty or confusion, you can always help them.
Practise Makes a Man Perfect!
Algebra is all about practice, and students will need to practice it daily. You will have to make them understand; they will have a better grasp if they practice algebra. We offer homework and an Algebra Expressions worksheet to solve — this will also help you test their ability and your teachings as discussed in the above point.
We hope this blog helps you with your algebra classes. It is always better to plan your classes and keep talking to your students. If you have any doubts, you can always reach out to us.