Math a four letter word considered as terror and horrifying

for most of the students. Sometimes

because of this word stress and anxiety is caused among the students, a feeling of tension, apprehension, or

fear that interferes and affects their performance in this particular subject.

Why is this four letter word a horror story for students? The answer to this

question is that math is always considered to be a right or wrong subject and

getting right is paramount. The subject is victim as it is often taught with

restricted ways to solve a particular problem and any other approaches would be

wrong, even if students got the right answer. When learning, understanding the

concepts should be vital, but with a right/wrong approach to teach this particular

subject, students are encouraged not to try, not to experiment, not to find algorithms that work for them, and because of this their critical

thinking skills are badly affected which hinders them in providing proper

justifications and reason for the particular approach towards problem solving.

“Teachers

benefit children most when they encourage them to

share their thinking process and justify their answers out loud or in writing

as they perform math operations. … With less of an emphasis on right or wrong

and more of an emphasis on process, teachers can help alleviate students’

anxiety about math”.(Furner,

Joseph M., Berman, Barbara T., “Math anxiety: Overcoming a major obstacle

to the improvement of student math performance”, Childhood

Education, Spring 2003)

The

fear towards this subject is because of some emblematic approach followed by

the teachers and that is:

·

a problem related to a

topic is introduced

·

a solution technique

is introduced in form of series of lectures

·

number of practice problems are repeated until mastery

is achieved

This emblematic approach needs to be replaced by making learning

and knowledge as student’s creation; however rote learning and a conventional

approach (right/ wrong) to teaching math serves as external to the student. Focusing on the concepts rather than the

correct answer should be approach when teaching this subject. Students should be allowed to work on their own and discuss

their solutions; along with the approach towards solution before the answer is

given.

Research

says that the anxiety towards the subject lowers if :

·

Accommodating for

different learning styles.

Math

lessons should be flexible and can be altered according to the

needs and learning styles of students.

New concepts can be taught through different activities such as, small skit or

act, hands on activities, interactive

group work, visual aids or information technology

·

Relaxation in testing environments

Relating math with everyday

live.

Students are always inquisitive about what they study and why

they study they try to relate each and every detail of their studies with the

use of it in everyday life or relation of it to everyday life issues and

problems. Children learn best when math is taught in a

way that is relevant to their everyday lives.

·

Letting students evaluate

by putting in their own input.

Students should be given a free hand to explore different

approaches towards the solution of the particular problem rather than by

restricting them to follow what is taught. Different strategies and approaches

will help them to derive the formulas according to their own needs. This will

help them to develop confidence in learning new concepts.

·

Discourage passive learning and encourage

active learning.

To learn mathematics in depth, students should

be engaged in exploring, conjecturing, and thinking, as well as in rote

learning of rules and procedures. Instead of rote learning of formulas manipulatives

should be introduced where they are able to evaluate or evolve their own

formula and strategy.

·

Visualization has also been used effectively to

help reduce math anxiety.

It is observed that

what ever we see we remember it for long . Math is a subject in which students

needs to remember many steps and procedure required towards the correct

approach . visualization can be a help to a greater extent. Digital tools support visualization.

Role of digital tools in mathematics

Nowadays Children are

obsessed with gadgets and technologies. They are getting access to many new

things with just a click. They enjoy experimenting , exploring, and thinking . These are all the things which we require

for detail study of this particular subject and this is the reason technology

can be very well connected to mathematics. Digital

tools support visualization of mathematical concepts in various ways of

expressions, and as such may foster versatile thinking, especially when these

representations are dynamically linked. At the upper secondary education, these

tools can be used for exploring and discovering mathematical correlations and

for modeling real complex phenomena.

In mathematics education, content-specific technologies

include computer algebra systems; dynamic geometry environments; interactive

applets; handheld computation, data collection, and analysis devices; and

computer-based applications. These technologies support students in exploring

and identifying mathematical concepts and relationships. Findings from a number

of studies have shown that the strategic use of technological tools can support

both the learning of mathematical procedures and skills as well as the

development of advanced mathematical proficiencies, such as problem solving,

reasoning, and justifying . The use

of all these possibilities foster processes that cannot be developed so well in

absence of technology,These technologies increase students’ access to

information, ideas, and interactions that can support and enhance sense making,

which is central to the process of taking ownership of knowledge.

Geogebra is one of

such software which joins geometry , algebra and calculus. It is a software

which dynamically and interactively connects to geometry system. You can do

constructions with points , vectors, segments, lines, polygons and conic

sections as well as functions while changing them dynamically. This software has

the ability to deal with variables for numbers, vectors and points functions

and graphs.

Use of Geogebra in secondary mathematics

GeoGebra is a Dynamic

Mathematics Software (DMS) for teaching and learning mathematics from middle

school through college level. It is as easy to use as Dynamic Geometry Software

(DGS) but also provides basic features of Computer Algebra Systems (CAS) to

bridge some gaps between geometry, algebra and calculus. GeoGebra is open

source software under the GNU General Public License and freely available at

www.geogebra.org. There, you can either download installers for multiple

platforms or launch the software directly from the Internet using GeoGebra Web

Start. It is also available as an applet.