6 Easy Ways to Teach Math to Reluctant Mathletes

“When am I ever gonna use this?”

Math teachers around the world are all too familiar with that question. And it’s especially tough when you’re trying to drill math concepts into the brains of kids who are sure they’re going to be pet sitters or deejays or screenwriters or other professions that don’t require mad math skills.

Don’t sweat it. We’re here with a few tips to help you bring those kids to Mathland.

6 Easy Ways to Teach Math to Reluctant Mathletes 

1. Relate the concepts to books they love.

This one’s easy—and kind of hilarious. Never again will students wonder what mathematical negations have to do with Edward and Bella.

2. Ease them in with word problems.

Word problems are sneaky suckers. They trick students into thinking it’s more about reading than math, and then—ka-blam!—students are doing complex math concepts before they realize it.

3. Use videos to explain concepts.

We’ve got hundreds of videos to get you started. And if your students are into it, you can even have them make their own Shmoop-style video. Which leads us to…

4. Get hands-on with the material.

What better way to explain scale factor than by having students actually go out and make, say, a giant tube of toothpaste?

5. Make it interdisciplinary.

Team up with your school’s history teacher to have students calculate the probability that the next president will be over 6 feet tall or that voter registration will increase in any given year.

6. Use Shmoop’s Math Common Core Teaching Guides.

Shmoop’s Common Core-based Math Teaching Guides will arm you with assignments and handouts that’ll make teaching math positively alge-breezy. Inside each guide, you’ll find quizzes, activity ideas, and more—all written by experts and designed to save you time.


Happy teaching, and save us some pi.

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