In our day to day life, math is all around us. But many students in our school even today show displeasure towards the learning of mathematics. Students view mathematics as dull, boring and stereo typed subject. Actually, Math is not a looker subject like art, a listener subject like music, a looker & listener subject like dance, but a looker, listener & doer subject like craft.
Most students think that mathematics means to ‘get something right’ or to ‘get something wrong’. When they get it wrong they think that they are not good enough for math and lose interest in learning. On the other hand a few students learn enough tricks to ‘get something right’ to pass the exam. There are not enough instances when a teacher has tried to teach math in a different way, say through activities and games. These activities and games make the process of learning more interesting and effective. The setting up of a MATH LAB aids this effort.
A MATH LAB is a place, process & attitude for learning mathematics which is based on learning by doing rather than reading, learning by observation & proceeding from concrete to abstract. We find a collection of games, puzzles, teaching aids and other materials for carrying out activities in MATH LAB. These are meant to be used both by the student by their own and together with their teacher to explore the world of mathematics, to discover, to learn and to develop an interest in math.
We can set up about five math learning stations (math app/manipulative/games/drill practice/review skills) all around the MATH LAB. Each station should be different than the others where students rotate from station to station until they have completed them all. Working in a small setting allows students to be relaxed and actually enjoy math. To make math interesting, utilize technology, create hands-on learning centers, and involve students in every aspect of lessons.
Motivating students to master math skills and problem solving is a challenge for all teachers. MATH LAB helps teachers to revolutionize their teaching ability and upgrade their explanation skills and hence making them more productive than before. MATH LAB also encourages group learning and co-operative learning among children.
For the effective functioning at a MATH LAB, it should be well equipped with concrete materials, pictures & charts, models, bulletin board, white board, drawing instruments, weighing and measuring instruments, surveying instruments, computing devices, computers & multi-media etc.
Objectives of Math Lab:
1. Provides an opportunity for the students to discover through doing.
2. Encourages to become autonomous learners & to learn at his/her own speed.
3. Builds up interest and confidence in the students in learning and doing math.