Guiding Students to Connect Maths to Their Real World
By : Ida Ayu Diva Saraswati
It is a common knowledge that many students are not big fans of math. In most cases, it is caused by a lack of understanding of the main concepts, this leads students to have feelings of frustration with the subject. Meanwhile, for those students who enjoy the subject, to them, solving math problems is exciting and challenging. When children go to school, they will encounter real world problems that are related to math.
Children need guidance to improve their understanding of the main concepts of Math, while trying to utilize them in their studies. Let’s take a look at these points that can guide students towards a better understanding of Maths and its uses in real life.
1. When learning shapes and solids, we can do regular mathematical show and tell activities. This can be done everywhere; outside or inside the home. Ask them to point which objects are certain shapes such as a circle, oval, square, rectangle and triangle. This can also be done by asking the learner what the name of the shape or solids are from certain objects. If they are able to master it, try to ask them other shapes such as pentagon, hexagon heptagon, octagon, and so on. Ask them to find the difference between 2D and 3D objects. This activity can help students to memorize the features of shapes and solids as well as the specific names.
2. Managing money. Learning calculation (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) will help children to know the value of money. This is one of the most important skills which used in daily life. Try to involve children when they want to buy something. Let them calculate the price and find the possible change before going to the cashier. Understanding math can help children to start saving money. Guide them to make a chart of how much money they will earn in a certain time. The children will be excited to reach their goals.
3. Cooking activities are a fun way to introduce the concept of measurement to children, by involving them in a the fun activity that is cooking. Allow the children to count, measure and sort items in the kitchen. You can ask them to measure the flour, sugar or even a cup of milk or water. Let them count in tablespoo
ns. The next level, you can introduce the concept of ratio and proportion. It can be done by explaining to the children that in order to prepare one glass of orange juice, they will need to squeeze 2 oranges into one glass of water and add 2 tablespoons of sugar. You can ask them gradually to prepare the next orange juice with the same proportions as the first one.
Learning Maths is not always done by using books and worksheets which can be quite complicated and abstract. Make Math more interesting for the children by involving them in simple activities which will help them to memorize concepts easier. When the children learn to use the concepts of maths in daily life, they are actively mproving their problem solving and critical thinking skills simultaneously.