## Why do so many students HATE MATH? … um, you know, BOREDOM

September 28, 2019

According to ‘Bored Out of Their Minds’, an article by ZACHARY JASON in The Harvard Ed Magazine (2017):

Boredom accounts for nearly a third of the variation in student achievement.

Half of high school dropouts cite boredom as their primary motivator for leaving.

Boredom begins for Math students at Grade 6 when students (Common Core Standards, USA) tackle more abstract concepts such as linear eqns, exponents, probability, geometry and so on.

Math curriculums in the USA, UK & Australia all demand students solve REAL LIFE problems. Too often these are of the type:

Q. Ronaldo has tethered his goat on a 12ft rein in the corner of a 20ft square field. What area can the goat graze?

THE ANS: Who cares?

# Ask students maths questions which have answers they want to know.

Students really don’t care about Ronaldo’s goat, but here are some questions which involve intriguing answers they might want to work out. And many of these questions involve funny or age-relevant activities, which also helps engagement.

1. Mean, Median STATS: Mean, Median and Coffee: Busting an Urban Myth

3. Geometry: Build a Freestanding Tower

Rates (Speed) & Units:

4a. The Terrifying Math of Running from a bear

USA Units

METRIC UNITS

5. Decimals, %, Volume: What Volume of alcohol is lethal for teens?

6. Decimals, Algebra, Weight Units

How much blood can a kid lose and survive?

USA UNITS

Metric Units

Graph Hunger Game Math

7. GEOMETRY. Angles

Why killer heels can kill!

Any Topic:

Space Math Song here

EVEN TEACHERS GET BORED!!!

The average time it takes an audience at a conference to switch off is 11 minutes. Keep in mind this audience is, at least, being paid to be bored witless.

## MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig MathsPig …………………………………………………. with Kerry Cue

September 3, 2014

# Is our maths teaching too safe?

Does this risk-averse teaching not only make maths boring, but encourage MATHS PHOBIA in children?

Pam Kent, President SAPPA

Pam Kent, President of the South Australian Primary Principals Association (SAPPA) writes that ‘risk-averseness looms large’ in teaching today, yet ‘current research strongly supports the notion of risk taking for effective learning’.

This research includes work by Ellen Sandseter, Professor of Early Childhood Education, Queen Maud Uni College, Norway.

Sandseter claims that children are born to take risks and this is how they learn to deal with such things as fear of heights. (See: John, Tierney, New York Times, 18 JUL 2011) If children do not tackle a fear of heights, say, they can develop a phobia.

To tackle Maths Phobia Mathspig has written a list of

## and *expose them to higher level maths………………..

Take No 21. Kids get this. As you get further and further away from the candle the sphere gets bigger so the brightness decreases. They don’t have to do the maths. But tell them ‘This is university maths, but very interesting’.

As for No 37: How do you break your teeth playing pool? Well, if you leave your hand on the pool table or lean on the cushion the ball can cannon off the opposite cushion and run back up your arm and smash your teeth. (Ref. Mathspig’s brother)

## Cheerio

……………………………………………………

## HUGO does his HOMEWORK, sort of.

February 27, 2014