All school subjects come with their own set of issues — and mathematics is not unlike the rest. A unique issue that students experience with math is that it may be hard to see a connection between math and other areas in life. Whereas biology can be understood simply by viewing the world around us, trigonometry might not be as apparent.
How can teachers encourage students to find a connection and the motivation to learn math?
Explore Creatubbles to find math projects that they are interested in
A great way to nurture students’ appreciation for math is to make it relatable. Creatubbles is a great educational tool to help students gain a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts. For example, students in a geometry class may be particularly fond of digital art. Students can use the search function to find geometric or fractal digital art that fits their criteria. Students might then, choose to reach out to the creator to give encouraging feedback, or ask what digital tools they use to create with or what techniques they used. If students are interested in the geometric shapes of Mandalas, they can connect with creators to ask what mandalas are, what they mean, how they are used and what geometric patterns make up their favorite ones.
Movies are a fun and engaging way for students to understand math
Is your class learning multiplication? Why not create clay characters in the shape of numbers to show this math operation?
Teachers can introduce stop motion animation tools, like HUE Animation or free coding apps, like Scratch. Budding directors can even create movies the old fashion way with a digital camera (or a smartphone) to upload and share onto their Creatubbles pages or dedicated galleries. Creatubbles allows creators to upload their creations via url, as well. So, students can easily share their creations from YouTube or Vimeo.
Integrating art is a creative, interactive approach to learning mathematics
Integrating art into core subjects encourages students to think creatively, problem-solve and take on a more self-guided approach. Assigning art projects for math lessons can help students to gain a deeper understanding of the material and retain more of it. Though, art and math may seem worlds apart, merging the two can create relatable scenarios. For example, geometry students can learn about shapes and angles by creating Kandinsky reproductions.
STEAM projects act as a cross-curricular method of learning math
STEAM projects are a great approach for students to learn math organically, while engaging in a focused project. Educators can assign age appropriate projects that cater to their students’ interests. For instance, is your class interested? Students can create their own flying airplanes, drones or helicopters, using coding and construction pieces, like Quirkbot or Tio.
Kids can have a blast learning through educational games
Most students love playing games. There’s a huge variety of digital games and apps for students of all ages to use. Minecraft, for example, is a great way for students to learn math.
John Pike and John Stuppy explain, “I was teaching third grade that year in inner-city Los Angeles and was determined to teach math with Minecraft…The 8- and 9-year-olds built models of DNA, made engineered calculators and were doing fifth grade math at a class average.Yet what was most surprising was the gradual cultural shift happening in my classroom – students wanted to learn because they were excited about what that knowledge would allow them to make. Soon enough, they were engaged in interest-driven, project-based learning with little prompting from me. They cared about engineering binary calculators or showing off their algebra skills by designing houses using algebra architecture. They were having the time of their lives and they were doing it at school.”
There’s an endless number of ways educators can teach math using Minecraft, simply by assigning a creative prompt for students and allowing them to “play.” The Creatubbles Minecraft Mod takes Minecraft to a whole new level, allowing students to insert original creations in their Minecraft builds and sharing their own builds on their Creatubbles pages. So, essentially, students could create a Minecraft museum using an algebraic design, and then insert their creations into the build.
Creatubbles is an encouraging space for students to learn, inspire and grow creatively, no matter the subject they are studying. Teachers can feel free to use the platform to not only save and share their students creations, but to find engaging activities for their students to develop skills with. If you have any creative ideas that your students can have fun with on Creatubbles, leave them in the comments section below.
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