Six Alternative Ways to Improve at Maths
Chances are you’ve heard the phrase, “Maths is boring”. When people think of Maths, they normally think it’s all about complicated numbers and equations. However, there is much more to Maths than meets the eye. You get to learn about how the world works, how buildings are made, and even how bees make honey. (Yes, you read that right). Maths is very important, but it is also exciting to study.
Maths is valued so highly because of its ability to train the brain, build reasoning and problem-solving skills, as well as its usefulness in other subjects. It’s key in scientific subjects, social studies, architecture and design, and even music and art. Because it can sometimes be tough to study, we have put together a list of six alternative (and fun) methods to study Maths, going beyond the standard textbook technique.
Maths Books and Podcasts
There are many podcasts, documentaries, and books that explore and educate you about mathematical topics. Finding out about other people’s interest in Maths (maybe even your favourite celebrity too) and their stories behind the subject will help you have a deeper understanding of it and fall in love with Maths too. It is also useful if you have been struggling to learn a concept in class, textbooks can only teach you so much, exploring the topic through wider mediums will allow you to discover different ways to look at these difficult concepts and understand them fully.
It works as a great activity to do in your spare time. Listen to interesting mathematical debates and ideas whilst cooking your favourite meal or on your walk to school. You can watch documentaries about the History of Maths with your family, or if you are a bookworm, Maths Girls by Hiroshi Yuki is a great read, it has a gripping story that seamlessly works in maths making it a fun and easy way to learn.
Get Matched to a ‘Perfect Fit’ Maths Tutor
Class sizes are getting bigger and bigger, meaning teachers today are too overworked to give enough support to all students. Its little surprise private tuition is becoming more and more popular and essential to exam success. In fact, Maths is the number one requested subject at Tutor House, a top online tutoring platform. Their team of educational experts will use your needs and requirements to find the perfect tutor for you. Lessons will be delivered by a highly qualified and experienced tutor who will prepare lessons based on exactly what their student needs. This is the best approach to overcome any difficulties you may be experiencing in class and get a top-quality education.
Learn to Play Chess
Gamification is a trending teaching technique where learning becomes play rather than work. It’s not just about finding a few games that have some element of Maths in it, as the Maths part will still feel like ‘a chore’. Instead, it’s about adapting game elements into learning, by this we mean competition, points, and logic. So why not try your hand at the classic board game, chess? Research has shown that chess players tend to have higher cognitive abilities. This will come in handy when approaching your mathematics studies, as it helps with mental arithmetic and understanding complex topics logically. It’s even known for being a highly social game, so it’s a great way to meet people with similar interests, as well as be able to improve your maths ability.
Practise ‘Real World’ Maths
One of the most complex things for maths students to get their heads around is how abstract the subject can be. Imaginary numbers, anyone? Reading textbooks and revising for exams can only get you so far. Instead, a great way to understand Maths is to work it into your everyday life. Don’t worry, it’s easier than you might think. Maths is pretty much everywhere and can be used in multiple situations. For example, you could try to bake a cake, practicing measurements and quantities. If the cake doesn’t taste right, perhaps look over your calculations again. Budgeting your finances and researching statistics for a topic that interests you are also good ideas.
Many students prefer a kinesthetic approach to learning, where practical experiences are the best process to understand a concept. Although this is not always easy to do in Maths class, model making is a great way to break that barrier. Whether that’s by hand, through computer software, or both. Model making helps you practice your geometry skills. You can start with simple origami or delve into more complex ideas and draw up a model of your home. This is a nice way to showcase your skills and learn multiple ones at the same time as you will be learning ideas behind maths as well as software and creative skills. Perfect if you are thinking of following a career in architecture or computer programming.
Join a Maths Club
Maths Club is great for putting some of our previous ideas into practice, with others. It’s some extracurricular fun where you can find friends with similar interests, play Maths games with each other, and talk about books you are reading or podcasts you are listening to at the moment. Finding some study buddies will be a useful support system to aid your studies, where you can learn from your peers as well as reinforce what you have learned in class. If your school doesn’t have a Maths Club, try looking for one in the local area.
Fallen In Love With Maths?
Hopefully, some of these ideas will help you find a true passion for Maths. Whether that’s finding friends at Maths Club, applying it to your hobbies like baking or model making, or even trying to play more maths-related games. There are lots of different ways you can spark up your Maths studies and be able to learn new skills along the way too.
Author: Sadiyah Zaman