What do you remember the most about childhood? For me, one of the things that stands out is how I used to play. Running outside, climbing trees, even playing dress up. While I remember school, the lessons that stand out are the ones that could be applied in real life. Interactive lessons that were also fun were the most effective. From counting candy to playing cashier or having a lemonade stand, these lessons help me to experience maths rather than just learning maths.
Interactive lessons help your students feel engaged, which is a leading problem in education. Students often feel disconnected from math because they can’t apply it to their life. That’s where you as the teacher need to connect the dots.
What are the Benefits of “Hands-on” Learning?
To combine the real world with maths curriculum is called “hands-on” learning. When students are able to correlate new concepts from the curriculum with real-world concepts, their brains are stimulated. The knowledge acquired through this style of teaching is easier retained for long term memory. Hands-on learning helps develop critical thinking and analytical skills which will continue to be beneficial throughout their life. These are the skills imperative to getting into university and landing a job. More importantly, hands-on learning adds fun to the lessons for all parties involved.
How do you incorporate hands-on learning into your lesson? By asking yourself a simple question: How will this topic translate to them in real life? Each lesson will have real-world implications. Perhaps instead of using formula and worksheets to teach geometry, play a video game. Geometry serves as the foundation for most video games, which makes it a great tool. Encourage them to observe the shapes or angles present throughout.
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Math U See manipulatives are a great way to fuse hands-on learning into your lessons. Working with tangible blocks they can see and feel can help them understand maths concepts. This creates a solid foundation to build upon with formulas and word problems.
Begin with one to two hands-on activities per week. Once you start, you’ll find more creative ways to incorporate them into your lesson plans.