Questions tagged [student-motivation]

For questions concerning the motivation of students and helping them to motivate for their study in general.

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2
votes
2answers
175 views

Introductory exercise for the addition of large natural numbers

I'm starting a repetition with my students in 5th grade after they learned in elementary school how to sum up larger natural numbers (also 5- to 6-digits) by writing down that calculation. As ...
12
votes
5answers
647 views

Teaching a student who refuses to learn

How to deal with a student who refuses to learn? I've met a few of those over the years as a a private-class math teacher. They don't want to learn anything about the subject. Some of them are just ...
-3
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1answer
142 views

A role for a non-symmetric equality relation in teaching mathematics? [closed]

First, I will simply observe that it seems to be standard practice, in elementary set theory, to define relations to be sets of ordered pairs. If we had the option of introducing a "symmetric ...
11
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2answers
299 views

How to stay interested in less-tangible math

I've graduated high school and I am joining college soon. The problem with me is that I'm not finding less tangible math interesting at all. Some people find abstract math to be very beautiful, and I'...
9
votes
1answer
145 views

Motivation vs. Rigor

This is such a vague topic that I hesitate to post. I constantly struggle between the time-tradeoff between motivating a topic, and delving into the rigorous details necessary to fully "grok" the ...
11
votes
4answers
7k views

How to work with polynomials in difficult classes?

I am currently teaching a very difficult class, with young people (16 years old) who are deeply unmotivated and restless. I should work with them with polynomials, but I'm having a troublesome time; ...
26
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17answers
5k views

Examples of Innumeracy

I read Innumeracy by John Allen Paulos and would like to share more up-to-date and relevant examples of innumeracy to motivate my grade 8, 9 & 10 students. Are there any websites, blogs, books, ...
7
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3answers
227 views

Complex numbers and encourage justification

In remedial algebra, we learn that the graph of $y=(\sqrt x)^2$ is only in the first quadrant. We know this is the correct graph for the equation. This is because we know $y=x$ and $x \ge 0$. However,...
0
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1answer
183 views

Future in mathematics

My sibling is done with high school and has always scored A in Maths and am not in position to advise her on the future in line of her niche. She's not yet in university and she's in her vacation but ...
9
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3answers
222 views

How to motivate students to do proofs?

I am finding it difficult to motivate students on why they should how to prove mathematical results. They learn them just to pass examinations but show no real interest or enthusiasm for this. How can ...
13
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6answers
2k views

Interesting Math Posters

Our undergraduate university department is looking to spruce up our rooms and hallways a bit and has been thinking about finding mathematical posters to put in various spots; hoping possibly to entice ...
1
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2answers
282 views

Designing a Good Question on Kinematics: Test and Develop

So I was asked in an interview to design two questions for UK Physics A Level students studying the suvat equations, that is, equations of motion with a constant acceleration. The first needs to '...
17
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6answers
2k views

Motivating the study of matrices

In Brazil's curriculum students are taught matrices in high school. Here, however, there is no linear algebra or pre-calculus, therefore matrices end up being just tables with lots of "arbitrary" ...
7
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4answers
306 views

How to deal with students who object to me teaching material that won't be in the exam?

I sometimes encounter students who ask questions like 'Why are we learning this if it won't be on the exam?' If there is time to spare I like to teach interesting applications or natural extensions of ...
7
votes
7answers
619 views

List of realistic extremum problems

I am a student who would like to become a teacher, so I am currently following courses in education. One of the things I learned, is that students like authentic, realistic problems. However, much of ...
4
votes
1answer
94 views

Making modular arithmetic interesting for school kids

This is a pattern even school kids could discover (when gently pointed to). I never did conciously, and cannot remember to have been pointed to explicitly, neither at school nor later: $$\color{red}{\...
3
votes
3answers
215 views

Math Anxiety get in the way of my Graduate School, I want to continue PhD

Probably it's just another advice-seeking CS student about math.. Well. I have math anxiety. Im a CS student, back then in undergrad I deal with code everyday, as long as my program work smoothly, i'm ...
19
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4answers
662 views

How to help motivate math when tutoring low level algebra (High school)

I was tutoring a student today and we were doing basic factoring of quadratics and expanding terms like $(x+2)(x+5)$. Now he ended up being able to do this by the end of our 2 and a half hour session, ...
13
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2answers
687 views

What are some activities/projects I can assign to calculus students from bio/chem/physics majors to specifically motivate their interest?

(This question was proposed during the area51 phase.) It's common for chemistry/biology/physics majors to be required to take certain calculus courses. At my school, chem/bio students must take up ...
4
votes
1answer
134 views

Encouraging students to learn probability

Background: I’m not exactly a Math educator, but I’m currently a TA of an elementary algebra course aiming at students of age 14-15. I found that a lot of people have misconception about probability ...
12
votes
4answers
295 views

Teaching new stats students confidence intervals, hypothesis testing, and other general techniques for inference

I have instructed for community colleges and adjuncted for major universities for just over fifteen years now. In all my time doing this job, I've found that the worst manifestation of so-called "...
6
votes
0answers
233 views

Links between mathematical folklore and educational success

I would like to ask if, in the research field of mathematical education, some work has been done to investigate the relationship between 1) and 2): 1) mathematical education and student motivation ...
51
votes
13answers
8k views

How to get past the “mystique” of Maths

This question is primarily discussing maths education for adult learners, on courses teaching engineering mathematics at an undergraduate level. These students generally never set out specifically to ...
7
votes
4answers
417 views

Examples of Research Level Math Discoveries Done by Undergraduate Students

A good way for motivating young students in undergraduate level is telling them that you can do great works! Question. What are good examples of research level mathematical discoveries done by ...
3
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2answers
135 views

Project with transformation geometry

I am working on a unit plan dealing with tranformation geometry level secondary education. Students do enjoy creating those visual transformation but I am trying to figure out what could be a nice ...
34
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4answers
945 views

How can I help a student who has a “wrong” kind of enthusiasm?

Alice (not real name) is a student in one of my Math 100 (calculus) classes. It's a course offered by my college as a dual credit course at a high school, so the whole class is about 17/18 years old, ...
15
votes
13answers
2k views

Mnemonics for some properties in mathematics

I am looking for various mnemonics which help students to remember some important properties or theorems. Very often students confuse signs or relations such as $\leq$ and $\geq$ in some expressions. ...
4
votes
2answers
114 views

Make a matrix algebra course (1st university year) more “project-based”

Among other courses, I'm teaching a (basic) matrix algebra course for 1st year university students (they are studying Economics, and the cursus leads them to management, finance, or econometrics in ...
7
votes
6answers
221 views

Neat topics or problems to include in a probability class

I'd like to get suggestions for neat topics or problems to include in an undergraduate, upper division Introduction to Probability class. Many people have taught probability for many years and I'm ...
15
votes
5answers
2k views

Overload of Calculus homework assignments

I am a new calculus teacher in a high school for gifted students. I am the youngest teacher, I am not in my home country, and this country particularly values age and experience, so I have little room ...
30
votes
13answers
2k views

Examples why university education is important for future high school teachers

At my university, the students in math are mixed up (1/3-1/2 are bachelor/master students, the rest are future high school teachers). A problem arising very often is the discussion dramatically ...
31
votes
3answers
1k views

Teaching undergraduates who expect a high-school-like learning environment

tl;dr: Some students expect to be told "what's on the test", to memorize and then move on. What can be done to change how they learn while teaching them what to learn? Context: Introductory, ...
8
votes
2answers
170 views

Problem based learning (PBL) for pupils with educational difficulties

I taught IT in an engineering school during three years in problem based learning (PBL) only. Now I teach maths to pupils between 10 and 15 years old who have a lot of educational difficulties. I'm ...
22
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13answers
3k views

What books are like Knuth's Surreal Numbers?

I'm looking to find more examples of books which bridge the gap between "story" and "mathematics" using narrative and all those other wonderful features we might find in Harry Potter or some other ...
9
votes
6answers
868 views

What are the reasons for “math fear”?

I perceive that among the general population the belief that mathematics is some sort of highly intellectual esoteric subject is still quite prevalent. After studying math proper I've discovered that ...
19
votes
5answers
363 views

Should I tell my students that math is hard for me?

I have read and heard from some other instructors that they attempt to encourage students who find math hard by saying "math is hard for me too, in fact it's hard for everyone!" I have tried this a ...
10
votes
5answers
305 views

Drumming up interest in journal-problem-solving and competition prep

I teach at a small liberal-arts college and advise our Math Club. In past years, I have talked a few students into taking the Putnam Exam. I've found that I pretty much have to "coerce" them into ...
9
votes
4answers
446 views

How can I implement the principles of deliberate practise in my mathematical studies?

I have been reading a lot of books about deliberate practise recently like Angela Duckworth's "Grit", "Talent is Overrated" - Colvin and "Peak" - Ericsson and Pool. I want to apply these principles. ...
11
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2answers
886 views

How early to start “abstract” math education, or, How to prevent smart kids from never getting exposed to math?

Everybody who is in graduate mathematics had a moment where they realized that mathematics was "their thing", and they decided to dedicate their academic career to it. I don't know of many people who ...
13
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7answers
1k views

Interacting with high school teachers (US)

I am a parent of a HS freshman who is taking precalc/trig now. His teacher is pretty much useless; my son has to come to me or my wife (let's just say that each of us has about 100+ college and ...
27
votes
6answers
2k views

How to encourage women to study mathematics?

What are different ways we can get women to study mathematics? In my own experience, the higher the math class, the less women in the class. Most women tend to go on the math education track and do ...
5
votes
0answers
82 views

Should I pursue math or physics as a career? [closed]

If I studied laplace transforms, fourier analysis, multivariable calculus, differential equations, partial differential equations by 9th grade, does that mean I have talent for math or for physics. ...
12
votes
8answers
2k views

What is gratifying in being a mathematics teacher?

I think the title says it all, but in case it does not: Is being a math teacher gratifying? If yes, what is gratifying in being a math teacher? (If not, why...) Does the feeling lasts, or perhaps ...
8
votes
2answers
124 views

How to retain the key points of an exercise?

I'm a student majoring in maths. The sole reason I chose mathematics is that I like mathematics. I'm sure I do not belong to that "gifted" category. I haven't participated in maths competitions either....
9
votes
6answers
411 views

Motivation in School

I live in Brazil and here we have some problems with teaching mathematics in High School. In some point of the students' life (I think it happens in the 5th grade), they start "hating mathematics" ...
7
votes
2answers
212 views

How to catch students from different subjects' interest to math?

I have just started to teach Calculus to freshmans and sophomores who study non-mathematical subjects, e.g., international relations, psychology. They have to take few mathematics classes -including ...
12
votes
4answers
379 views

Explaining subjects whose justification requires demanding technical content

This is my first question and I hope it's appropriate. Often in the process of teaching a subject I start with examples of a phenomenon, exhibiting similar properties between the examples and ...
7
votes
3answers
158 views

Younger student worried about upcoming mathematics

I have just turned 18 and am in calculus BC (calc 1 & calc 2). I most certainly grasp and understand the concepts of calc 1 however every once in a while a I seem to struggle with the calc 2 work. ...
2
votes
0answers
81 views

Finding the correct mathmatics based on application as opposed to the other way around?

I just tried to pitch a Math Recommendations site, and it was shot down because it is too broad and that Stack Exchange sites operate on a separation of concerns principle; which makes sense to me but ...
25
votes
7answers
1k views

How to solve the problem of Wolfram Alpha?

I teach to predominantly non-majors in college algebra, precalculus, and calculus. How can one possibly incentivize or rationalize assigning practice problems outside of class when this software is ...