By Sherly J. Concepcion, Head Techer III, Jaen NHS

Learning Mathematics has always been a perennial problem to many

students and teachers. Where lies the problem? Maybe, the first problem is the

mindset and attitudes of the learners. Many people and many parents establish into

their children’s mind that Mathematics is a very difficult subject. That they will solve

problems, using formulas and a lot of thinking and exhaustive activities.

So the first task of the teacher is to make students aware of the joyful part of

learning Mathematics. Maybe they can encourage students by asking “Who wants to

have a happy exciting funful life? Ok, Let’s have it. Let’s welcome Mathematics in our

life. Do you have a welcome song?

The instructional or teaching-learning process always involves three main

factors: The Teacher, the learner and the process. The instructional process is

compared to the cooking process. The cook, the ingredients, and the cooking material.

The cook must be someone who knows the recipe and has a good vision of the results

of cooking or the finished product. The ingredients must be in good condition, free

from unnecessary stuff that can ruin the recipe. The cooking venue and cooking

material must be adapted to the ingredients to be cooked. The cook is the teacher.

The ingredients or recipe to prepare and cook are the students and the cooking venue

and are the teaching method, instructional materials and the assessment. process

Transposing this analogy to the teaching and learning of mathematics, the

teacher is someone who knows his subject, lessons, and desired competencies to be

taught and skills to be developed in the learners.

The learners are the ingredients, who must be ready, interested, and well-

motivated. The teacher prepares them through the laws or principles of learning which

are: the law of readiness, law of effect, law of exercise, law of primacy, law of recency

and law of freedom (Thorndike, 1932). Preparation is also effectively done through

appropriate teaching methods and strategies.

The law of readiness implies a high degree of willingness and eagerness of the

students to learn. Are the students ready in all aspects like mentally, physically and

emotionally? This is essential. Learning is a voluntary process. No good learning takes

place in a forced or undesirable condition.

The law of effect states that learning is retained and strengthened when

accompanied by pleasant or satisfying feeling. The learner will strive to continue

learning as long as the teacher makes his teaching a joyful experience. Mathematics

teachers can sing and dance their lessons! They can dance the LA Walk or any recent

steps that have good melody and rhythm while memorizing formula! Students will

always feel interested and motivated to attend class because they look forward to the

motivations, the new approaches and activities and “joyful performance of the

teachers as a singer and dancer. Some teachers even try magic.!

The law of exercise states that those funful and joyful things that are most

often repeated are the ones that are best remembered and retained. Maybe, before

and after a lesson of the day let students repeat the main point of the lesson…in a

slogan song form! Allow them to create songs that contain the concepts learned

through the day. Teachers may encourage healthy competitions.

Some Mathematics teachers let their students give their students the freedom to

explore and experiment on their own perception and notion of effectively analyzing

and solving a problem.

The law of primacy or the state of always being first, often creates a strong

impression which may be difficult to change. Let students think of Mathematics as a

primary, vital and essential subject for life. Emphasize the concept that Mathematics

is full of problems to be solved. Life is also a journey with many problems. Dealing with

a problem in Mathematics require careful and logical steps. The same principle is

applied in life. We make a choice, We are careful with our steps.

The law of recency states that things most recently learned are best

remembered. That’s why in the lesson plan, we have the review or apperception part

where learners recall and refresh what was learned before starting a new lesson.

Learning becomes effective and retentive when students can relate and they are

able to see the connection or relationship of lessons learned.

The law of intensity states that when lessons have intense or strong impact on

the learner, the more he will strive to learn. For example, many are inspired by the

stories of Lincoln who failed a hundred times in his political ventures before becoming

the US President. It took Einstein many years to analyze orbits and light years to

formulate the Law of Relativity. It took Gregor Mendel 25 years to form the Laws of

Genetics and Heredity..

The law of freedom simply states that things freely learned are best learned.

Learning is a voluntary process. There are topics or lessons that students can easily

relate to. This is one of the reasons why students are given options in senior high

school to choose freely their strands or academic track based on their academic and

nonacademic interests or inclinations. Teaching and learning Mathematics is a

challenge. In solving Math problems, we need skills like analytical, logical thinking

and problem-solving skills. Life’s problems we need the same skills. When problems

arise, we need to think and analyze. Define and identify the problem. What is the main

cause? What are the logical and sequential steps in solving? How shall the problem

be solved? This is one of the objectives of the spiral method of learning. Students are

given opportunities to learn and develop in a sequential way- from concrete to abstract

, from simple to complex concepts.

. Like Mathematics, LIFE is never without a problem. There are logical ways

to handle problem. Think. Analyze. Formulate problem-solving steps. and check the

results or the solutions. Then you form or conclude facts to become principles.

Indeed, learning Mathematics essential as life. It is not only a preparation to

life but LIFE ITSELF.