By Vic Odarve

  Do students want a participative kind of lecture in a classroom? Yes, and it is more entertaining in Mathematics! Lectures in mathematics are usually done by presenting problems or exercises. Just by having an illustrative example that catches the students’ attention, all eyes will be on the board and draw their wandering minds to focus on the new lesson for the day. The mind will be put in focus just like a parabola; the focal point will be on the lesson.

Madonna University, Elele  Campus,Riverstate, Nigeria, Africa

Madonna University, Elele Campus,Riverstate, Nigeria, Africa

It puts the students’ engagement to the lesson at high concentration level. This modified traditional teaching method works well if the teacher knows very well the subject matter. Then how to transfer them to the minds of the students in the easiest way is another thing. There are teachers gifted with wisdom and skills to capture one’s mind and power to facilitate understanding. Geniuses are born but skills can be developed. Thus, this method can be developed and implemented in our classroom!

Following are basically the steps on how this method works;

1.    Make an illustrative example of the topics. Usually in mathematics, an exercise or a problem illustrating the discussed principles or theorem can be an example. Make an example or problem that requires the necessary ingredients of the subject matter and its working solution needs deep analyses.

2.     2. Step by step solution. Slowly explain the details clearly on how to solve the problems in a step by step manner. It must be step by step. Step by step discussions must be accompanied along with the reasons and significance. The step must be the prerequisite to the next process. Just like algorithms. Just like climbing a ladder. No shortcut! Complete your discussion until the final answer is done. Remember that we have to number every step! Remember that students learn more by observing how we do the process and imitate it later.

 3.  Entertain questions to further the knowledge if something along your discussion students does not understand. Just like open forum. All are free to ask questions.

4.     4.  Highlight the critical steps that must be taken with attention. Your experience will tell you which of the processes the students most likely find difficulty. Review them.

 5.      5.Test if they can do it by themselves. Go to your favorite and brightest student. Let him come and discuss the steps written on the board. Add more explanation to emphasize the significance of the step. If you think no more hitches along his discussion go to the next step.

 6.      6. Final step.  Make another example and let all the students involve in doing the step by step solution. It is now their turn. Remind them to follow the pattern by following the steps. Start on the students sitting in the first row. That is, first student sitting in a row will be the one to go to the board and work on step 1 of the solution. Then the next one sitting on the same row will be the next to go to the board and do the next step. The process of going to the board and continue the next step by next student is repeated until the final steps are completed or the final answer is achieved. Each student will do each different step in succession! Teacher is now reduced to a mere facilitator. The ball is now rolling to the students. They must do their share.

A two hour period in a course can complete 2 or more topics with the same procedure. In a class of 30-40 students, all can participate by going to the board and do one step each until a problem is completely solved.

It is worth seeing to see students with all the eyes on the board and ears to the teacher. It is because everybody waits his turn to go to the board and write something for the solution or step. All can participate! No student is left behind. Once the teacher is skilled on this system, he can get the attention of the students and add more tricks to make the activity challenging. The class is under his spell when the time of the day is done. Students as well as the teacher are satisfied.

This way teacher and students are doing like a teamwork. It is entertaining and challenging and a learning engaging activity! Students feel the importance of being there by having accomplishment. Perhaps the introduction of this method may result to their lifetime pleasure. We do not know that some students are touched. That is by participation! It is learning by doing… encountering new approach in an exciting ways! A whole new world!

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