Tips and tricks for teachers to make math learning fun for students

By Mahalakshmi Satish, Director-India, Prodigy Education*
December 24 2021: Any subject can become challenging for a student if they don’t get the right mix of a good teacher and proper interest in that subject. Mathematics for instance, is generally viewed as a tough subject and most students are either slightly scared of it or they don't like it very much. Reasons can be many but the end result is - students get disengaged with the subject and ultimately face difficulty in mastering the same. This may also lead to negatively affecting their overall grades and more long term effects like lack of basic calculating skills in their adult life. So how do we change it?
Whether your students are bored, disinterested, disengaged or struggling, these secrets can help you make Math learning engaging during your class – no matter how they feel about the subject.
1. Math games
Games have the tendency to engage people and catch their interest. Incorporating games in learning is a tried and tested method to make lessons exciting and interesting. A game-based approach can help you engage your students and align them to the lesson plan. Card games like War, Go Fish, Math puzzles & crosswords,  can help your student learn basic Math lessons like multiplication and subtraction. Math station and Math board games can help students learn basic math facts, while video-game inspired learning platforms make Math learning engaging, interesting and effective.
2. Visual aids and picture books
Visual aids and picture books help students make sense of new concepts and provide reference points while solving problems – making learning more engaging for them. Anchor charts, diagrams and other printables make classes less boring. Not only this but also encouraging students to come up with their own visual aids can help them in remembering new concepts better and develop math skills.
3. Modern technology
Leveraging modern technology to teach students is another way of increasing their engagement with the subject. Today, new age technology has given rise to new methods of teaching namely videos and game-based learning. For instance, platforms like Prodigy Math Game, an adaptive Math adventure game, helps students have fun while learning Math lessons. Moreover, with the increasing penetration of mobile devices into our households, children find it easy to access such platforms and enjoy games that help them learn new Math lessons and excel in them.
4.  Routine for Math learning
Having a fixed routine for Math lessons can help students settle and be more confident about the subject. A routine might start with giving students a Math topic to discuss as the class begins to share the challenges they faced and how the problem was solved. Once this is done a teacher can dive into introducing new concepts and lessons. Moving on, a teacher must end the class with quick activities that reinforce learning. Here, a teacher can also take casual quizzes to understand if the students have learned the concept or a lesson that was intended through the class. 
5. Use of objects during Math class
Using a real object can help your students memorize Math concepts easily. Today, there are various math tools that can help students learn their lessons while making the exercise a fun activity for them. For instance, abacus can be used for counting and getting a sense of numbers, shapes like spheres and prisms can help students clear the concepts of geometry. Making use of objects can really help students learn the basic concepts of the subject easily.
6. Personalized learning
It's easy for students to understand a particular topic if they can relate it to something they know or are fond of. As a teacher, you should figure out a way to understand what interests your students – it can be a book, a game, a movie etc. Once you have an understanding of your students' liking, you can use this to draw references to make learning easy and interesting for them. For example, if a student likes Harry Potter books – you can figure out ways to incorporate the use of the book’s characters to increase their engagement.
It is also necessary to have a healthy environment in a classroom – both online and offline. No matter what subject a student is learning, it is important to have a fun and positive environment for students so that they feel comfortable and enjoy their time with you.

*Mahalakshmi Satish is India Director for Prodigy Education - a Canadian headquartered Edtech venture that has over  150 million users world-over for its flagship K-8 Math game-based learning solution (Prodigy Game). Prior to Prodigy, Mahalakshmi has led other SME verticals and  held a management position at iReboot - a career exploration startup.She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering and a Master's in Technology from IIT-Madras.