If you are wondering how to explain shapes and spheres to kids easily, you are in the right place. There are many effective, non-conventional ways to teach anything to kids, and the easiest method is to try and play with their imagination; especially with concepts like the sphere. If you are wondering how to explain this concept in a lucid and effective way, the following tips and strategies are going to be immensely beneficial.
As an educator, you can inspire students to find solutions to even the most complex of maths problems very confidently and in the most creative ways possible. Depending on how it is introduced and taught, maths can become one of the most fun and entertaining subjects for students.
Let’s check out some easy, fun and effective ways to teach the concept of the sphere to students.
- Have a definite objective:
When you start explaining any concept to a kid, it is very important to start with a clearly defined objective in mind. Seek for yourself answers to questions like: What am I expecting from my student/kid? How can I use my own learning experiences to make education more engaging for the kid? What will be the outcome of this teaching session? When you know the goal, it is easier to achieve it. Clearly defined goals lead to clearly defined results. So, defining an objective will help you stay on track and not lose your vision while explaining a concept; a meandering instruction can be distracting for kids.
As an educator, your goal is to educate and empower kids to find solutions to complex problems easily.
- Start small and explain the basics:
Oftentimes, kids have no prior knowledge of the subject being taught. So, when a concept like the sphere is being introduced, it is important to start slow and give them a basic idea of what a sphere is and what it looks like.
Students have different levels of learning and grasping skills, and each student is very different from the other. It is very important to maintain a pace that each and every student can keep up with. When a concept like the sphere is being taught, if all the characteristics, formulas and details are shared at once, it can overwhelm students and consequently make them despise the subject altogether.
So, it is always recommended to start small and clearly explain the basics to begin with.
- Have a consistent pace of teaching:
The biggest hurdle one faces while teaching something, especially with concepts like the sphere, is a distraction. If kids are distracted when you are trying to teach, then no matter how efficient you are, it won’t make any difference. Maintaining a consistent pace in introducing the concept and sharing some fun facts about the shape, its significance etc. will keep the kids engaged and alert to whatever is being taught. If, as a tutor, you lose your focus and start discussing other unimportant sub-topics, then chances are you will lose the kids’ attention. It will then be difficult to bring them back to focus all over again. So, to avoid that, make sure you maintain a consistent pace of teaching with a clear idea of what point comes next and transition smoothly.
- Use pictures, infographics and more:
There are many students who absolutely hate maths as a subject and especially concepts like the sphere, for the simple reason that it is taught in a boring and monotonous way. If you can successfully replace the standard pen, pencil and board with pictures, infographics and other props you will be surprised with the level of enthusiasm kids will show to learn.
- Be creative:
Since the sphere is a ball-shaped, three-dimensional object, it would be a great idea to urge kids to draw the shape themselves, and then compare it with other shapes like triangles and squares. Combining playing and learning is a great way to keep kids engaged in the process of learning while also simultaneously having fun with it. And, the more relaxed kids are when they are learning, the higher is the chance of them retaining whatever they have learnt.
- Create puzzles to engage with kids:
Words can be used to teach theories and the definition of a sphere, but for teaching facts and formulas of shapes create puzzles with different questions like: Is the earth sphere-shaped? Can you name one naturally occurring sphere shape? Is this _____ a characteristic of the sphere? And so on. Kids are highly inquisitive and, when allowed to, they will rise to the occasion and answer these questions like a pro.
Though it may seem like a daunting and time-consuming task as a parent or tutor to create puzzles, the end results will be worth it, and the kids will be incredibly thankful to you in the long run.
Thus, introducing puzzles is one of the most engaging ways to teach spheres and other shapes and even difficult mathematical equations.
- Turn the tables:
Yes, you heard that right. When kids are asked to explain what a sphere is and what is the meaning and importance of a sphere, they are forced to engage. Explaining a concept requires more attention and engagement than merely sitting and listening to someone. Kids, when asked to explain something, should be assured that it is not intended to quiz or challenge them. They should be encouraged to see it as a step to fire up their imagination and curiosity.
Ask questions and motivate the kids when they are trying to explain the sphere and different facts and formulas concerning the shape. This will inspire them to trust themselves and improve their confidence, which will also help them remember whatever is being taught in the long run.
- Use technology:
That technology has infiltrated our lives is no secret, and the chances of kids learning through the use of technology are higher with each passing day. There are many fun math games for kids, which are available online. Using these platforms is very beneficial for those kids who are already spending a lot of time on their gadgets.
Various studies backed by statistics have recommended maths-based games to promote the ability of kids to learn and develop their cognitive ability.
Games promote creativity and alertness in kids, which in turn develop mind-body connections in them.
- Practice patience:
An educator is supposed to bridge the gap between students who can easily understand and grasp difficult concepts and those who cannot. So, inevitably, they will have to practice patience while slow learners are catching up. If possible, switch the teaching methods and try to explain the sphere in a different way. You can ask them where they need assistance specifically without making them realise they are lagging behind.
To keep a student’s spirits high is the fundamental motive of any educator, and practicing patience is the best way to provide a safe and inspiring learning environment to kids.
- Be lighthearted and have fun:
For those who find maths intimidating, the subject in itself creates a sense of fear and panic. The last thing a student wants is a strict and overwhelming educator/tutor.
Being lighthearted and playful in teaching the concepts of maths, be it shapes like spheres or other topics like algebra, will help reduce the levels of anxiety among students and make it easier for them to learn.
Sharing real-life examples and stories that create a sense of resonance among students will prove immensely beneficial for kids.
- Inculcate a sense of confidence:
It is always the kids with high levels of self-confidence who understand concepts easily and quickly. A lack of self-confidence creates fears and doubts and is not conducive for students.
As an educator, you can inculcate confidence in kids by being open-minded, friendly, communicating authentically and being alert and present to each student’s requirements. When one is trying to explain concepts like the sphere and details such as the volume of the sphere, its surface area, and dimensions, it is very important to remember the student’s mindset. If the student has a growth mindset (which can be easily created in a friendly environment), then your job as an educator is half done.
So, make sure that kids feel comfortable and are at ease, and they will be open and receptive to the concepts of maths.
Follow the above-mentioned tips and strategies to educate kids on complex concepts of geometry like spheres, and stay optimistic about your teaching ability. These tips and tricks are helpful not just for teaching the sphere but also with other concepts in maths. Remember to be fully prepared and know more about the concepts before you start teaching.
If you try any of the above-mentioned tips and like these simple but effective strategies, please share your feedback in the comments below! We would love to hear from you.
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