Maths is that ‘frenemy’ who you are not very fond of but can’t really disregard either. No matter how much you despise the subject, you need to learn it to pass your semester.
I understand that this is most difficult for the math teachers who know that students hate the subject, but have to encourage the students to master it. For ages, teachers have been trying to look for different ways to motivate the students in math classes. One recently found way is to give positive feedback to students.
Hence, here I bring you a list of 4 tested ways to give positive feedback to students in your math class.
- Fostering an effective communication environment
Communication in math class does not only imply explaining different concepts. Communication in maths class is effective only when, as a teacher, you will be able to give your insights on a sum solved by students.
For instance, when students submit or took assignment from Assignment Writer , you can offer detailed feedback when you send back the solutions. There is no hard and fast rule that this feedback must be positive. It is, in a way, telling students how accurate their solutions were. If a student fails to solve the problems right, explain where they went wrong. You can also try telling them that their thought process was not wrong (if so) but was not suited for this particular sum. Here, you can give examples of similar such problems.
- Encouraging students’ choices
A math problem can have multiple solutions, as the approach to one problem can be different. It is your responsibility to introduce students to these. Also, when a student solves a problem using an approach different than yours, acknowledge their choices and do not demotivate them.
If you feel that the approach used by the student is time-consuming and complicated, show the easier way out instead of criticising them. Let them make the decision and choose the easier approach. For example, many students do not prefer skipping steps. They get confused in such cases. Hence, they elaborately solve sums. If that is the case, let them do so. Once they are confident about that approach, try introducing them to the new one. But again, do not force them to choose one under your influence.
- Acknowledging growth and accomplishments
Math is challenging, and not all students have an equal interest in the subject. Some take more time to comprehend than others. But most of them are constantly trying to understand the concepts and theorems and solve problem. While they are in the process, what they need the most is acknowledgment and encouragement.
But how do you acknowledge a student regularly? It is actually easier said than done. But as a teacher, you must be patient enough to do this difficult job. Try to acknowledge their small achievements. If not anything, a pat on their back for completing their homework would also do the trick. Remember, your two words of acknowledgment can give them the mental endurance to push through challenges.
For example, you might have noticed that students have this tendency to point out teachers’ faults. Let them do it. If possible, do some mistakes intentionally and wait for their reaction. Once you get a response from their end, say a small ‘thank you and acknowledge the amount of attention they pay during class hours.
Also, if you know that a student is working very hard to solve a sum, congratulate them when they successfully solve it. These small appreciations are very important for assignment help students. It works as fuel.
- Appreciating reflection
As you are done teaching a chapter, try to arrange one or two classes where you take a reflection from students regarding what they have learned. Ask them their favourite portion from the chapter or the portion they feel is the easiest. If possible, ask them to explain it once more to their friends, along with examples.
After you have completed a chapter, and when students are solving the worksheet, communicate with them. For example, ask them questions like “Why do you think this is the strategy to use for this sum?” or “What if I use theorem A instead of theorem B to solve this sum? Will I get the same results?”
The more you ask such questions, the more you involve them with the subject. Also, it encourages them to think more vividly.
But this is not the end. You also have to appreciate the efforts made to explain a particular portion or answer the questions. They might be wrong. Correct them, but that too, along with the appreciation of their efforts.
Now, when you talk about giving feedback, it isn’t always possible to write in the solution or call the student and give one-on-one feedback. That is when you need to tap into the potential of tech tools.
Did you know that you can also use online tools to give feedback? Yes, you read it right. Using these tools, you can give feedback to students. The best part is that both you and the student can keep track of the feedback given and the progress made.
On that note, here are a few tools you can use to offer feedback to students and motivate them to do better:
5 Tools to Give Feedback to Students in Math Class
- Talk and comment
You can use this feature to record and provide personalized feedback while you are checking your students’ work. It’s faster than checking assignments on paper. Also, receiving timely feedback translates into better understanding and increased student engagement.
Using this tool, you can create screencasts of your students’ work and record yourself commenting on them, or you can create videos while you check your student’s work and provide feedback along the way. It is a cloud-based tool.
It is a google doc based add-on. It includes voice comments, lessons, and skills. Here students can request feedback for specific areas in their text.
Using this tool, a teacher can give feedback in both audio and video format. Both audio and video feedback helps students understand your actual excitement over their work.
Audacity not only gives you a scope of giving feedback, but here you can also edit the feedback before sending it to students.
Summing it up,
Feedback works as a motivational factor for students. The above mentioned 4 ways can help you give effective feedback to help students grow their interest in the subject. Also, the list of tools mentioned above can make the process easier for you. You can use the tips in your class and grow a sense of tolerance for maths among your students.
About the author – Rose Haughes has been working as a maths teacher for the past 15 years. Now she has joined the team of to extend her to a greater number of students.