Maths is often cited as one of the most disliked subjects, especially for visual learners who can find it an incredibly frustrating and challenging experience. But there is no reason why Maths cannot be enjoyed by everyone.
Being a visual learner should not be a disadvantage, in fact, their creativity can be a real asset when it comes to problem solving!
But what are the best ways to engage visual learners?
Here are some tips to help make Maths fun for everyone.
- Understand what does not work
Before trying out new learning techniques, make sure to know which ones to avoid. Visual learners are adept at big-picture thinking and can come up with creative solutions to difficult problems, so be mindful not to enforce more ‘traditional’ techniques onto them. Constant worksheets and pages of sums are unlikely to be very effective and may even have a detrimental effect on the child’s perception of Maths in the future.
The same principle applies if you are thinking about employing outside help, make sure you find the right tutor that fits with the learning style of the pupil, as this will inevitably maximise engagement.
- A picture’s worth a thousand words
Visual aids are the most important tools for a visual learner. Being able to summarise a concept with a single picture is likely to be way more effective than a written description.
Additionally, visual aids give you a chance to play around with interesting colours and characters to really make sure the experience is as fun as possible. Next time you are looking to teach a difficult problem, try making a chart or diagram out of it because seeing an idea is sometimes more powerful than reading about one.
- Make it colourful
If you cannot make an image, introduce some colour instead. In Maths, having to work through pages of numbers and symbols is almost unavoidable, but you can still make it appealing to visual based learners. Colour coding is a great way of breaking down and differentiating information. You can use different coloured highlighters to go over the most important or the most difficult to remember concepts. Likewise, coloured pens are particularly useful during the early stages of learning, when teaching fundamentals such as addition and subtraction; using colours to differentiate between the symbols can be an effective way of communicating ideas.
Interaction is a great method of engagement, especially for visual learners. Combining visual aids like flashcards or whiteboards with quick-fire interactive games will prove to be a big hit. On that note, activities that involve manoeuvrable 3D objects like blocks, sweets, fake money, lego etc. can also be extremely effective in helping learners see and understand mathematical problems from start to finish.