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21 July, 2023

Tips for Math Teachers: How to Make Lessons More Interesting


One common hurdle many math teachers face is designing a curriculum that keeps their students engaged and excited about learning. While the importance of mathematics cannot be overstated—playing a significant role in fields such as engineering, finance, and computer science—it’s often seen as a dry and difficult subject. This blog post aims to provide actionable tips for math teachers to make their lessons more captivating and memorable.

1. Incorporate Real-World Problems

In order to make math more interesting, it can be helpful to connect lessons to real-world scenarios. This not only makes abstract concepts more tangible but also shows students the practical value of their learning. For instance, teaching probability by predicting weather patterns or exploring geometry through architectural design. Students are likely to be more engaged when they see the direct application of math in everyday life.

2. Integrate Technology

Modern technology offers a wealth of resources for making math lessons more interactive and engaging. Tools such as Kahoot! or Desmos provide dynamic platforms for students to explore mathematical concepts. Virtual reality (VR) can also be an exciting way to visualize and explore complex math ideas. Remember, today’s students are digital natives and thus respond well to technological integration.

3. Use Collaborative Learning

Math doesn’t have to be a solitary pursuit. Encourage students to work in groups on problems or projects. This will not only make the lesson more interesting but can also improve understanding as students explain concepts to each other. Collaborative learning also fosters a sense of community and teamwork in the classroom.

4. Create Competitions

A bit of healthy competition can make math lessons more thrilling. Try setting up math games or contests, whether they’re simple speed-solving challenges or more complex problem-solving tasks. The competition can stimulate interest and encourage active participation. Websites such as Prodigy Game offer a range of math games that you can incorporate into your teaching.

5. Tell Stories

Stories are a powerful tool in any teacher’s toolkit. They can bring dry mathematical concepts to life, make them memorable, and even spark curiosity. You might tell historical anecdotes about famous mathematicians, or create narratives that illustrate mathematical principles. Storytelling is a highly effective way to make math lessons more interesting.

6. Reinforce Concepts Visually

Using visual aids in your teaching can make abstract mathematical concepts much easier to grasp. This might mean using physical objects, diagrams, or interactive digital resources. Visualization is an excellent strategy for engaging different types of learners and can significantly enhance understanding and retention of information.

In conclusion, making math lessons more interesting doesn’t require reinventing the wheel. It’s about connecting to the real world, using technology and competition to engage students, and explaining concepts through stories and visual aids. Remember, the goal is to ignite curiosity and inspire a love of learning, helping students see the relevance and beauty of mathematics in the world around them.

With these tips, you’re well on your way to creating an exciting, engaging math curriculum. If you’re interested in further resources, check out the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics for additional tips and materials. Good luck, and happy teaching!