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Art in my Maths Classroom

Right from Fractions in Mathematics to Compounds in Chemistry, there’s a range of interesting concepts to learn. The human brain is designed to process an immense amount of information at one go.

But, learning becomes fun and interesting when creativity is brought in the form of curiosity.

For instance, a child seems more intrigued about what he or she has in the lunch box than what’s written in a book.

Well, how can we as teachers, make a chemical compound seem preferable over that yummy pasta in the box? The answer is rather simple, adding an element of surprise really does the trick. Innovative ways are required to teach this ever-wandering yet inquisitive minds, as their attention spans tend to snap quicker than a catapult. The limitless possibilities that art brings with it, allows us to be innovative while introducing a new concept.

In my experience, I have managed to derive remarkable results, by integrating everyday objects into the learning process. This not only helps to put across new concepts effectively but also allows me to understand and function according to the capability of each child.

Here are a few ways that art has helped me redefine teaching.

Origami in Mathematics

Back in the day, teachers would introduce the concept of Fractions by drawing a rectangle that is divided into four parts. They would then shade one part of it to depict a quarter, which is one upon four. Instead, I prefer using a colorful paper and allowing the child to fold the paper four times, to make a boat. The open flap of the boat with three parts folded represents the concept of a fraction, in a fun and interactive method. I ensure that I give each of my students a different color paper and allow them to pick the color they want to work with, which motivates them to learn.

Interpreting the mindset

Involving art in my teaching has allowed me to interpret the mood of the child. During an activity, the active choices that a child makes could speak volumes about the child’s frame of mind. In my experience, if a child decides to pick a dark color like black or brown, I figure that the child is unavailable to learn a new concept. On the other hand, if the child chooses a bright color I know the child is happy. This understanding of the child’s mindset helps me make informed and appropriate teaching choices.

Permits Differential Learning

As teachers, we recognize that each child picks up new concepts at a different pace. However, art seems to considerably solve this issue as well. I have actively used art in order to oversee and provide the learning support that a slow learner requires. When the quick learners are kept busy with an art assignment I am able to divert my attention towards children who need learning support. Art assignments also provide a sense of accomplishment in children who are predominantly interested in craft over studies.

Being the mentors, we have the power to mold young minds, and therefore I strongly believe that we need to think out-of-the-box, to help a child grasp new concepts in the best possible way.

The teaching method that we employ must lay emphasis on a long-term lesson rather than a superficial one.

What did you think of this wonderful activity? Have you invented a game that helps to teach things in a fun way? Share with us in the comments or in an article.

Read other wonderful article –

Mathematical Creativity- Developing Life skills Embedded in Maths

Secondary Active Learning Resources from Cambridge Mathematics

Math Magic, Multiplication Bingo

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Written by Sampada Sarkhot

Ms. Sampada Sarkhot, an advocate of the ideology of ‘Learning by Doing’, firmly believes in the power of art in education. She teaches science to pupils from grade 6 to 8, at Panbai International School, Mumbai.

 

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