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Many students, in various grades, believe that they do not have enough skills required to perform well in mathematics. Such students consider mathematics as an intimidating subject, and fail to seek mathematical awareness. Those students who are curious about mathematics always achieve high grades because they dedicate enough time to explore and learn about it. Therefore, teachers are responsible in helping students develop curiosity towards mathematics regardless of exceptionalities and cultural differences among the students. The most appropriate strategies that a teacher can employ to help students develop curiosity towards mathematics include, use of whiteboards, show me the answer, thumbs up/thumbs down, and think-pair-share.
The use of white boards will allow all students to participate actively in working out mathematical problems during a lesson. Students hold up the white boards after solving the problems to show their teacher the answers. The teacher will comment positively on each student’s effort and help increase their performance levels by rectifying the wrong answers. Show me the answer is another strategy in which a teacher includes visual elements into the responses of students. For instance, a teacher can issue students with cards that have fractions on their faces. The teacher will ask the students to hold up the cards that have fractions representing a percent or decimal written on the chalkboard. This will develop the students’ interest in mathematics. Another strategy is thumbs up or thumbs down which allow students to participate actively in agreeing or disagreeing with their fellow students’ answers respectively. A teacher will ask students to give explanations regarding their disagreements or agreements. Last but not least, think-pair-share is another strategy that encourages students to gain ideas from their fellow students. The teacher allows students to share responses regarding some questions by giving clear explanations. This strategy is extremely effective in eliminating reluctance of students to participate.
In conclusion, many students can perform well in mathematics if they develop curiosity towards the subject. Teachers are responsible to help students develop curiosity towards mathematics through the application of a number of appropriate strategies in classrooms during mathematics lessons.
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