Pathways to concept-mastery

Athmaraman R
The only way to understand mathematics is to be thorough with the concepts in math. Unfortunately for our students not many of their teachers teach accordingly, leading to the students being more interested in simply knowing the ‘how’ of a problem rather than the ‘why’. But math should be taught for life and not exams. So here are a few a few ideas on how you can get your students to master mathematical concepts.

Hanuman’s tail – continued fractions and Ramanujan

V S S Sastry
The tragedy of school mathematics is that it restricts the teacher and students to the textbook. The teacher and therefore the students as well are not encouraged to go beyond the textbook and explore the world of mathematics. It seems that children are being kept away from the magic and beauty of math, why otherwise would such a fascinating topic like continued fractions be dropped from textbooks?

Math in action

Suma Vivekanandan
If the mathematical foundation in primary school is solid then children can master complex mathematical concepts fairly easily in high school. This is why how teachers teach math in primary school becomes very important. A primary school math teacher should be a storyteller, an artist and a games developer rolled into one. Here are two fun activities to teach students the concepts of time and area and perimeter.

Making smart use of technology

Sinny Mole
Technology is now omnipresent and like professionals in every other field, teachers too have to learn to make good use of technology to teach. And with so many advanced technology tools available, both hardware and software, teachers must also learn to use them smartly.

Investigating irrationals

R. Sivaraman
Irrational numbers have always been a challenge to the students of mathematics. But they needn’t really be. All you need are the right methods to unravel these numbers that don’t seem to make sense. And one of the best methods to investigate irrational numbers is the proof by contradiction method.

The magic of magic squares

T R Mani
The world of numbers is a fascinating one. Engaging with it helps develop creativity, curiosity, thinking and problem solving skills. Teach your students how to make their own magic squares and provide them with the perfect entry into this fascinating world.

The art of mathematics

Saroja Sundararajan
Art is one of the best mediums to learn mathematics. Whether it is the visual or performing arts, drawing or dancing, mathematical concepts are better absorbed by students while performing one of these arts. Teaching math through art should become everyday practice for the math teacher and not a one off project work for the student. So how do you integrate art into the math classroom? Here are a few ideas.

One problem – many solutions

M. Gopalakrishnan
Every problem has not one but many solutions. And it is the math teacher’s job to help their students explore different ways of arriving at a solution to a given problem. Looking at a problem from different perspectives not only enhances their understanding of a concept but it also promotes creativity and perseverance.

Tangrams in early mathematical education

Lalitha Sundaresan
Spatial intelligence is very crucial to performing several tasks in life including achieving a good solid foundation in mathematics. Why then do we ignore the development of this skill in school? Use tangrams to help students visualize shapes and the relationship between them even as you teach them the concepts of area and perimeter.

Maths education in India: policy and reality

Rajesh Kumar Thakur
When we talk about India’s contribution to mathematics, we only look to history and talk about our glorious achievements in the past. Why did we stop contributing to the field of mathematics? While we have been grappling with this question for some time, we haven’t been able to do anything on the ground to change the situation. What are we not seeing when formulating policies? And what can we do to bring about actual change?