WRITING MATHEMATICAL PROBLEMS

Many students experience a great stress and frustration when presented with mathematical problems which have negative personal and social consequences. As we all know learning has everything to do with attitude. You cant make anyone learn!! The question is what is hard when it comes to Mathematics? When will students stop failing Mathematics? I and the team at African Maths Initiative have been working hard to create a culture in which challenging learning is the norm, and mathematical understanding and positive attitude toward mathematics are the goals. Personally I would love to seeing progression through the grade levels. This week I have been writing a number of online mathematical problems for Kenyan based curriculum to help students assess themselves on several topics. What I do is to select a topic, identify the objectives and come up with the problems which meets its objectives. Once I have the problems, I reorder them beginning from the easiest to the hardest. Finally I begin working for solutions to provide multiple choices and detailed explanation for every correct answer. The reason for giving an explanation is that it will help students understand how to solve a problem, identify the strategies used and organize their thoughts. This has not been an easy task at all but, the spirit to instill love for mathematics with beautiful grades has always been the driving force. If students solve these individually, in class or in groups, wouldn't these experience boost their confidence level? I want them to be confident. This will foster enthusiasm and support Mathematical learning at any particular time which in turn will build a future for Mathematics.

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