4 out of 10 Americans hate math.
In other words, four out of ten Americans hate math. It’s not really fair to give math so much trouble, though, when we think about the way students generally learn the subject.
At least for Arizona, this is the general way students learn math:
The teacher stands at the whiteboard (maybe a SmartBoard, if you’re lucky) and introduces a new chapter to the class. Students go home and start on homework. If you’re a really quick learner, you might not have any questions. But most likely, you’ll get stuck on a problem or two. So, you bring the question to class the next day.
Although, that doesn’t help the homework grade…
By the time you get to class, you might find time to ask the teacher. But even then, it’s time to learn a new chapter. So, the teacher gives another lecture and assigns more homework.
Now you’re not only stuck on yesterday’s homework, you’re trying to learn something new. And more likely than not, something on that newly assigned homework will confuse you.
Now you have even more questions, and the teacher introduces yet another math concept. Before you know it, the homework and confusion have piled up and it’s time for a quiz.
As the homework piles on and you fall behind, it’s frustrating. And it’s why many students give up on the subject altogether.
It’s not the best solution to expect students to seek out help, tutoring and keep up with the curriculum. It can work for some, but for many, it’s disheartening and it loses student engagement.
Instead of expecting the student to adapt and keep up, it might be time to rethink the way math is taught to our students.
At Primavera, we flip the classroom.
It sounds a little funny, we’re sure, but the flipped classroom is actually an important method of teaching. It means that we find out student’s weaknesses and strengths before introducing any subject.
With online math courses, students log in and start with the coursework first. They’ll read through some instruction, watch videos and complete some math problems, or our version of ‘homework.’
Student’s answers are recorded and sent to the teacher. The teacher then reviews and examines which areas the students did well, and which areas need help.
Then the instructor presents the lecture. Teachers don’t go in blind, they know exactly how to help their students. And so, students log in to a live synchronous session and discuss specific struggles and get more insight.
If a student is still stuck on a math problem, they can email, call their teacher or set up a one-on-one online session to help them truly master the concept.
While online math courses require discipline to stay on track, they can often be much less frustrating because the teachers don’t move on without you. You also have the ability to learn at your pace, from the comfort of your home.
Math doesn’t have to be boring.
Don’t laugh, it truly can be an entertaining subject. All it takes, really, is a curriculum made for you, the teens, known as digital natives.
Primavera offers an award-winning curriculum jam-packed with videos, games, fun stories and interactive content throughout the lessons. You won’t be just reading PDFs or textbooks, you’ll work through online courses that will help you actually enjoy what you’re learning.
All Primavera curriculum is aligned to state and national standards. You could take a math course with Primavera while enrolled in your school, or you can enroll with us full time and earn an accredited high school diploma recognized by universities and employers.
If you’re a current Primavera student struggling with math, we hope you know your teachers are here to help you succeed.
Maybe you don’t feel comfortable asking questions within the online synchronous sessions. Don’t let that stop you. Your teachers actually want you to email, call them or whatever you need to comprehend the subject. They are ready to help, they just won’t know how to until you tell them what’s confusing you. As Primavera Online math instructor, Mr. Walter Allen said:
“The chances of getting concerns met rise to a far greater level when students reach out to the teacher…(teachers) can’t know students’ concerns from another when the student remains silent. Any student who is invested in their education experience must speak up and be noticed.”
Reach out to your teachers. Set up 1-1 online synchronous sessions and keep moving forward. For little tricks to improve your math skills, check out this post.