Student engagement strategies are the best way to make students love math. Math teachers shall use these strategies in their classrooms to make math fun. These strategies focus on engaging students in the problem-solving process; there are different ways to do this. We’ll discuss some of the best student engagement strategies for math teachers that they can apply in their math classes. All these strategies have an expected outcome which is engaging students in math classrooms in a way that they understand the concept better.
20 Best Student Engagement Strategies:
1. Active participation
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Active participation in the learning process by students ensures better learning. This can be included in learning through activities such as reading, writing or journaling, dialogue, or problem-solving such as formula application in Math and algebra.
It promotes assessment, synthesis, and evaluation of course content. Active participation in the classroom also allows students to receive guidance or feedback regarding their understanding of the study material.
The method of active learning allows for a deeper understanding of the problem. This technique can be implemented in the following ways:
Asking questions is simple yet effective in encouraging engagement and gauging your student’s understanding and comprehension. It plays a vital role in mathematics as students can develop different ideas to solve a particular equation.
Teachers can prepare the questions ahead of time and decide when they will ask them. Questions can be put forward at any time, but the timing should be varied to avoid repetition or boredom.
In the brainstorming method, students are asked to generate ideas on a specific mathematics topic, classification, or question while you accommodate and record their responses. Encourage students to use previous knowledge and memories while generating ideas.
For example, while teaching three-dimensional figures to the students, the teacher can prompt them and use their knowledge regarding two-dimensional shapes. This will help them understand the topic using their previous knowledge. During this period of brainstorming sessions, it is critical to acknowledge all the responses.
Interactive demonstrations can be used to show how a concept is applied, and students can be asked to participate in the demonstration and to reflect on and examine the process. A teacher can, for example, have students anticipate the calculation results of the area covered by different types of triangles individually and then communicate in groups or with the entire class. In-class demonstrations are beneficial because they help students understand concepts while also increasing gratification levels in the classroom.
2. Collaborative learning
Collaborative learning is a form of an educational approach that uses groups to improve learning by making the students operate together. Learners in groups of two or more voluntarily collaborate to solve assigned word problems in math, complete assignments or tasks, or learn new topics. Rather than rote memorization, collaborative learning actively involves students in processing and interpreting information.
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For example, the teacher can assign numerical problems to every group and encourage them to solve them collaboratively. Students develop a deeper understanding as a group than they would as single individuals by explaining their method to solve the problem, reshaping ideas, understanding the other student’s points of view, and addressing them accordingly.
3. Inclusive learning
Inclusive learning is a conscious method teachers adopt so that every math classroom student feels relevant and heard. While giving examples, the teacher can include all genders in the classroom in various instances.
Examples can be quoted while projecting how different situations would occur in different cultural, ethnic, or economic backgrounds so that all the students feel included in the classroom learning process, for instance, including the names of students from different ethnicities in the mathematical problems to make them feel included.
4. Cooperative learning
Cooperative learning involves students working in small groups on a well-defined or structured activity that involves solving math problems. Students are individually responsible for their work, and the group’s overall mathematical performance is evaluated. Cooperative groups meet in person and learn to work in a team. In a cooperative learning setup, the following activities take place:
- Students actively participate in problem-solving.
- Teachers become students, and students occasionally teach.
- Every member is treated equally
- Students are drawn to and challenged by questions and equations
- Diversity is valued, and all contributions are appreciated.
- Students learn how to resolve conflicts as they emerge.
- Members rely on their prior experience and mathematical knowledge.
- The objectives are clearly defined and used as a guide toward solving the given problems.
- Internet access and other research tools can be made available.
- Students are enthusiastic and invested in their knowledge-acquisition process.
5. Group discussion
The group discussion method is a student-centered technique that encourages students to participate in and collaborate in the teaching-learning process actively. Students discuss and share their ideas with their peers and instructors, and they improve their ability to reach group consensus regarding how a particular mathematical problem can be approached.
The process of group discussion can be implemented in various easy ways. After lecturing, teachers can encourage students to take part in group discussions, where the teacher supervises and guides them to ensure that the discussion is meaningful and productive.
Example: There can be multiple ways to solve an equation. The teacher can assign these equations, and the students can discuss and come up with the easiest and correct method to solve them.
6. Active Questioning session
Active questioning can also prove to be an excellent student engagement strategy. This can help students think on their feet to answer the math questions correctly and encourage healthy competition among the students.
The teacher can indicate at the start of the lecture that questions will be put forward at the end of the learning session. This will motivate the students to pay attention throughout the math lecture. Whenever there is an inability shown by the student and answering the question correctly, the teacher can prompt and lead the way.
7. Project-based approach
A project-based approach is a highly creative strategy that enhances the effectiveness of all the cognitive areas of a child’s imagination. The project assignment motivates the student to think outside the box and develop unique ideas to stand out in the classroom.
It also promotes different ways of looking at a particular problem and developing multiple ways to solve it. This can be quickly done by assigning working mathematical models to the students.
8. Peer Tutoring
Peer tutoring is a broad term for a strategy in which students assist other students in their learning. While the teacher provides the initial instructions on the given problem, students can successfully provide assistance, encouragement, or stimulation of a wide range of math topics. Peer tutoring can also involve functional, cognitive, or social skills.
The concept of peer tutoring allows for various types of student pairings. Some approaches are for students with similar math problem-solving abilities, while others pair a higher-performing student with a student weaker in math.
Some models recommend that students of various ages be put together. Teachers should pair students based on their behavior and personality, problem-solving abilities, needs, and the math topics being acknowledged.
9. Creative Approach
Throughout the math teaching-learning process, the students should be encouraged to develop their ideas and ways to solve problems. This helps in the enhancement of the thinking abilities of students. This also develops a sense of recognition in the students, making them feel that their ideas are acknowledged and heard.
10. Interdisciplinary Learning
Interdisciplinary learning requires students to draw connections between various subjects. It involves creating assignments that encourage innovation and experimentation while broadening your students’ worldview across subjects and with colleagues.
Drawing out relevant sections appropriately from several disciplines to reshape issues outside of usual confines to achieve solutions using a fresh understanding of complex situations is what we call an interdisciplinary approach.
For instance, the interdisciplinary approach is significantly used in higher classes while teaching physics and math as they are highly interrelated.
11. Educational Technology
Educational technology assists students in attaining critical 21st-century skills while retaining engagement throughout the learning process. Educational technology is a field used as a tool in analyzing, establishing, incorporating, and determining the educational environment, educational tools, learning material, learners, and the teaching-learning process for effective teaching and efficient learning.
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These days, educational technology is essential in education because it enables today’s teachers to incorporate new technologies and the latest tools into their classroom teaching methods. Teachers can modernize and enhance the classrooms’ learners-centeredness, allowing teachers to engage with their students in novel and inclusive ways.
Teachers can also broaden their network and interact with other educationalists nationally and globally. Educational technology has become the most necessary tool for online teaching programs.
12. Positive Reinforcement
Reinforcement is an age-old method of extracting better results from students. Positive reinforcement, specifically, is a strategy best suitable for the inculcation of innate motivation and a sense of self-development in the minds of the learner. It also creates a positive environment in the entire classroom and encourages every student to improve and harness their learning capacity.
A teacher can carry out the process of positive reinforcement by assigning variable equations or asking area and volume of shapes questions. The teacher can then recognize every response that comes their way and give positive feedback or reward for every correct response.
13. Friendly competition among peers
A teacher can frequently organize friendly competitions in the class, like mathematical quizzes, equation-solving competitions, etc. This encourages the students to stay consistent throughout their learning experience. The motivation to perform better in each competition will create healthy and friendly competition among peers. A reward at the end of the competition can also be added as a bonus to enhance innate motivation further.
14. Differentiated and personalized teaching
Before carrying out the teaching-learning process, a teacher should understand the needs of every student in the classroom. A classroom always has students with various mental capacities to solve math problems. Recognizing their abilities and enforcing teaching-learning strategies following their mathematical abilities will bring the best results.
Individuals with higher capabilities and interests in math are stretched when classroom activities are assigned based on students’ distinctive learning needs. In contrast, those with difficulties approaching math as a subject are given adequate support. Also, a strategy should be implemented only after deciding the end goal, and implementing strategies that are personalized toward the needs of all the students is the most effective.
15. Multiple media
The latest and most popular approach is displaying learning material in several formats, such as audio, video, and digital resources. Usage of such technologically advanced tools in explaining numerous mathematical formulas is highly appealing for the following reasons:
- It is a refreshing change from the piles of paper or bunch of textbooks that our students were accustomed to.
- It maintains a direct and meaningful connection with the digital world that they live in.
16. Providing real-life examples
It is crucial for a learner to stay in connection with the surroundings and to be able to apply concepts to their immediate environment. Providing real-life examples leads to more straightforward concept clarification and grasping of knowledge. It also helps in understanding the concept in a better way by applying it to the actual mathematical figures or speed and time-related situations that the learner witnesses around themselves.
17. Behavior Management
A practical behavior management approach is essential for obtaining your students’ respect and ensuring they are given an equal opportunity to reach their optimum potential. Because noisy and troublesome classrooms do not promote a favorable learning environment, cultivating a mutually respectful atmosphere via a mixture of restraint and reward can benefit both the teacher and the students.
18. Including suitable teaching aids
The teaching aids can be additional tools that offer concept clarification and visual pleasure to the students—recognizing what type of teaching it would be suitable to include in which subject or discipline is the key to using this tool efficiently. A teacher can include charts depicting various shapes, formulas, and equations to be memorized, audio aids, audiovisual aids, etc., according to the requirement of the ongoing topic and the students.
19. Frequent knowledge-testing sessions
Testing students’ capabilities from time to time can paint a better picture of the current level of students, the effort they put daily towards their efficiency in solving equations, and how and when the desired goal would be achieved. The teacher can conduct these types of knowledge testing sessions every week, fortnightly, or monthly. These tests can be written and oral (in the case of memorized formulas), in a quiz form, MCQ type, or in equation-solving tests.
20. Creative homework ideas for students
Providing homework to the students creates a stronger connection between the classroom and the learner, establishing a sense of responsibility in the learner’s mind. Adding creative ideas to the homework provided to each student can further enhance their interest in setting down to do their math homework and show up the next day.
Student Engagement in Online Learning Programs
In today’s times, online teaching programs have become much more common and convenient. Keeping students engaged throughout the teaching-learning process in both a classroom setting and an online learning system is challenging.
The most challenging aspect of teaching students online is that they are prone to distractions. And they may become distracted not only by surfing the internet or indulging in video games but also by other students involving themselves in unimportant activities while the teaching-learning process is taking place.
Another reason online learning is hard for students is the lack of emotional connection with the class. Students become less motivated to participate in discussions or complete their assigned homework if they do not feel they have a relationship with the teacher or their classmates. So, the above student engagement strategies will help the teacher supremely, even if the learning medium is online.
Also read: 15 Best Student Engagement Strategies for Math Teachers
Following the above-mentioned engagement, strategies can positively change the teaching-learning process. It will inculcate the habit of more and more student participation and make the classroom an active learning space. It will also help the students work as a group and approach an assigned problem in various ways.
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