Mathematical Thinking and How to Develop it - Navima

The subject of mathematics has always scared a significant portion of society, be it the school-going kids or the working professionals. “I hate mathematics” is a widespread line often heard among the students. However, according to leading Mathematicians, this is just a manifestation that people have experienced hardships in math. This experience may not be because of their intelligence but rather how students get exposure to the subject. This belief led to the introduction of Mathematical Thinking.

What is Mathematical Thinking?

It is a fact that most people perceive maths to be a collection of formulas that they try to memorize and make calculations. Although maths does involve measures, it is also more than that. Mathematical Thinking involves viewing maths, not as a set of rules that must be followed but instead noticing the patterns. It consists in breaking down these problems into digestible portions and then working towards solving said problem.

Maths involves incorporating logical and structural reasoning to solve theoretical math problems and contribute to real-life problem-solving.

What is the need for mathematical Thinking?

Many people restrict mathematics only to exams and the school premises. However, Mathematical Thinking has taught us that there is a lot to benefit from improving the way one view.

In a nutshell, Mathematical Thinking helps to foster problem-solving abilities in people through the use of mathematics. By nurturing the skill of Mathematical Thinking, one will attain the following benefits:

  • Improves one critical Thinking and will enhance their performance in mathematics.
  • Students increase interest in mathematics by noticing patterns and similarities between sums.
  • Better problem-solving capabilities through logical reasoning
  • Mathematical Thinking connects theoretical answers to practical problems.
  • Students learn to find more efficient ways to solve maths sums.

How can Mathematical Thinking be developed?

the following methods can nurture mathematical Thinking:-

  1. Creating Compartments: As mentioned above, the first step to solving a mathematical sum is to break it down into its constituent parts. One can focus on each compartment to understand the purpose behind each action in the aggregate. Therefore, one does not get overwhelmed by it. The same goes for real-life problems as well.
  2. Determining Skills: The next step would be to decide what skills are required to solve each compartment. In addition to this, the stage also requires one to understand if they possess the skill or not.
  3. Creating a Strategy: The next order of business is to formulate a strategy. Creating a foolproof method is a crucial aspect of solving a math problem.
  4. Alternatives: It is possible that the strategy created can be improved. Therefore, this step requires brainstorming options that could make the solution to the sum quicker or easier.
  5. Noticing Patterns: The next step is to see underlying patterns present within the solution, allowing one to create recognized similar problems that one may notice in the future.
  6. Examples: An excellent method for remembering the concept behind a sum is to recall instances. These examples can be in the form of

Mathematical Thinking in kids:

Kids are known to pick up things quickly, be it bad habits or hobbies. Their curiosity to learn can be a plus when it comes to teaching them to think mathematically. The incorporation of mathematical Thinking into solving math problems can help a student stay invested in the subject.

A student will learn to understand the reasoning behind the steps in a maths sum, which will encourage them to be inquisitive about situations in the real world beyond the walls of their classrooms. Therefore, Mathematical Thinking urges a student to learn more about their surroundings.

Some ways to make kids think mathematically are:

  • Please start the process by allocating more straightforward tasks that can help increase their confidence in their abilities and introduce them to the topic at hand.
  • Providing support to the children as they work towards completing said tasks.
  • Revise or revisit the tasks that they found challenging or the ones that they could not solve.

These small activities with school-going kids will make their thinking abilities deep and conceptual. They will visualize, learn the processes, the connections, the concepts, and not just the solutions. It exposes them to ways of thinking that will benefit them for the remainder of their schooling and their lives after that.

Given the advantages of learning online, many students have turned to web-based education platforms to understand concepts and foster the ability to think mathematically. Navima is one such platform that provides some of the best online math programs for elementary students.

This web-based learning system covers all the topics present in a typical elementary grade syllabus.

The teachers can give suitable worksheets to students, and when they complete and submit them, the Navima platform analyses where the student is making mistakes. After doing so, the platforms generate stumbling points for each student. Based on these stumbling points, the algorithm creates a tailored worksheet to fill in these learning gaps. It also benefits the teachers as they understand the student’s weak points.

This complete system makes the understanding of maths easy and fun. It motivates math learners through the gamification feature. This feature involves virtual trophies and coins for Math Practise that, in turn, encourage maths.

The specially designed tasks can positively affect how students view math problems at Navima, which improves their mathematical Thinking at the elementary level only.