19 Ways to Teach Students to Understand Abstract Math Ideas
Are you looking for ways to teach students to understand abstract math ideas? If so, keep reading.
1. Teach the learner ideas such as “square” and “cube” separately. It may be confusing to introduce both ideas at the same time.
2. Present abstract symbols and terms after the learner has worked with concrete manipulatives and learned the concept (e.g., ounce, oz.; cup, c.; pint, pt.).
3. Use physical objects to teach math ideas (e.g., give the learner a yardstick when referring to a yard, etc.).
4. Give repeated physical demonstrations of abstract ideas (e.g., find things far away and near the learner, a tiny box in a large room, etc.).
5. Give the learner clock stamps to use when practicing the concept of telling time.
6. Give the learner apps that uses graphics associated with math problems.
7. Utilize a scale, ruler, measuring cups, etc., to teach math ideas using measurement.
8. Complete the first problem or two with the learner explaining how to associate concrete examples with each issue (e.g., 9 minus 7 becomes 9 apples minus 7 apples).
10. Teach shapes using ordinary objects in their surroundings (e.g., round clocks, rectangular desks, square tiles on the floor, etc.).
11. Teach the learner abstract ideas (e.g., dimensionality, size, space, shape, etc.) one at a time before pairing the ideas.
13. Utilize concrete examples when teaching abstract ideas (e.g., objects to express more than, less than; rulers and yardsticks to express height, width, etc.).
14. Get the learner to follow a recipe to make a treat for the class using measuring cups, teaspoons, etc.
15. Utilize the following steps when introducing an abstract concept: • concrete—cups and liquid, • practice—use cups to solve problems, • abstract—word problems with cups, • practice—prepare a recipe, • review, • test.
16. Give the learner money stamps to solve money problems (e.g., penny, nickel, dime, etc.).
17. Consider using Alexa for the Math Classroom.
18. Try gamifying your math lessons.
19. Consider using one of the apps and tools from our many math app lists: