Maths has become one of the favourite subjects of my students. They are happy to do Maths for a whole block and this is because they have experienced success in this subject. Maths is like addiction. Once you get it, you want to do more. However I have a few students who are not so good at Maths and feel a little bit discouraged because they are not the first ones to solve the problem. I needed to somehow get them motivated to solve problems. So I got this group on the mat for the whole block and started by what they could do. Our topic of discussion was Fractions.
We have been asked to start with a big problem which always got these students confused... so to get them going I started with very easy problems so that they could get motivated. The problems that I gave them were as easy as...
"Show me quarter of 8"
Students worked in groups and were given white boards and play dough to show their working out.
slowly they got what was meant by quarter and sixths and eighths...
Then I gave them the hard problems that I would normally launch to the whole class. The question that I gave is...
Everyone in the group got it. This group further went on to make their own problems and not only shared them with the class to solve but also helped those who got an incorrect answer.
And they chose not to use equipment any more.
What a delight!!
Sometimes it is important to show students what they can do to build up their self esteem.
I am a very happy teacher to see my students intrinsically motivated. Harder problems may throw a spanner in the wheels!