One of the most annoying phrases made in the history of mankind is Math is Fun. Even Einstein in his high school years may agree that with us, since he admits to not doing so well during his early years.
But does your performance in math really make it fun or boring? Do grades determine how much fun you’re having?
I personally am horrible at the popular games, Fortnite and Among Us. I may not make Rank 1 or show a 500 IQ as an imposter, but I have A LOT of fun.
So let’s look at 5 Reasons Why Math is Fun:
5) Math is Fun… When There are No Consequences for Being Wrong.
Yeah, I know this typically isn’t the case, right? Most people reading right now probably are in school or know someone in school who gets a grade affected by the number of problems they get wrong.
Getting problems incorrect builds fear and causes the student to either study harder or give up easier. Aside from lower grades, there are deeper consequences from getting failing grades: punishments, lower college choice, not graduating, being made fun of, etc.
However, when you study on your own beyond homework, where is the consequence for your incorrect answer? You can brush yourself off and try again. You can compete against yourself.
Finding websites that gamify math is also good with studying without the negative consequence for getting something wrong.
Kahoot.com is one of the most popular websites that gamifies math and makes if fun. It’s a trivia-style game that can be played with a lot of people! It’s free and takes away the consequence of getting a wrong answer aside from maybe not making first place!
What’s better is that most teachers are instructed to NOT grade Kahoot games for anything other than participation!
KhanAcademy.com gives 4 questions per topic and offers hints and videos if you’re confused. Plus you can retake the assignment multiple times.
Blooket is like a Kahoot game with less trivia and more “game” using math problems as a way to collect energy to progress through. There are single and multiplayer games.
Showing my age here, I started life off with Number Munchers, an old computer game that reminds me of PAC-Man.
4) Math is Fun… Because It Makes Me Think!
Math makes you think. Ain’t that the truth! What subject in school makes you think more than math?
No seriously! History is awesome but it’s mainly memory based. English is cool, as long as you can recall literary plot points, vocabulary, etc. Science is memorizing the 206 bones, skeletal system, nervous system, types of potential energy, stuff like that!
Memory memory memory! Math is somewhat memory based too, but you use your memory to face different problems.
Sure you discover that the solution to 2x + 3 = 7 is 2, but you don’t memorize that solution. You memorize possibly the steps to find the solution to the next problem.
Math is active. It builds. It’s alive yet constant. It’s flexible yet solid. Around every corner is a new problem where you can use your skills to find the answer!
These days, formulas are typically given to you on tests, making math even less about memory and more about finding the answer to problems.
Math is application. Finding the answer feels better than just recalling a vocabulary word or knowing the scientific name for a frog. They are important, yes, but is it as fun as actively working to find an answer? Is there the same level of joy when the answer is found? I rest my case.
3) Math is Fun… Because It Makes the World Go ‘Round!
You want to argue with me, but let me just say one word…
Yes, cake. The perfect measurement of ingredients makes a deliciously mean cake. Cutting all ingredients in half makes half the servings of an equally delicious cake.
Bridges that don’t fall when you drive over them are cool. You know why they don’t fall? Math.
Babies being born healthy due to tracking milestones and due dates? Math.
Video game production and engineering? Math. The game has no bugs? Math.
Terms for the president, Congress, rulers, leaders, board members, history, all that Jazz? Math!
You can find patterns in stocks and investing. You can calculate compound and simple interest. You can see that doubling a penny for 30 days would yield more than a million dollars!
Using math in real life is fun because it yields yummy cakes, prosperous cash, or even a prediction of weight loss. You read that right! Click here to read about how math can predict your weight loss!
2) Math is Fun... Because Math is the Future!
I know we talked about money, but if you choose to make math your career path, there’s little you won’t be successful in. And NO, you don’t need to be good at math to head down a path of success in math.
When I decided to become a math teacher, I wasn’t an expert in math. I had a 20 in Math in my ACT and a C in AP Calculus. I didn’t even pass my AP exam!
Yeah, pretty pathetic, right?
Well, Right… but oh so wrong!
Because Math isn’t something you do because you’re good at it. Math is something you do to become better. In college, I learned more math and struggled along the way. Sometimes I passed with an A. Other times I passed with a D. On occasions I retook classes and did better.
As a first-year teacher, sometimes I knew what I was teaching. Other times I spent hours relearning the material just to give quality instruction.
I am an expert in math because I struggled and fought with it. I chose to make math my future, because I would always have a job as a math teacher. What I got is so much more.
With math, I can budget and see a clear path to becoming wealthy. I can make music. I can shoot a basketball with success. I struggle all the time with math. I reign it in. I tame it. I make it mine, for my use in everything.
Math is the future. With phone development, algorithms, surgical advancements, smart devices, cars, technology, we all fight and struggle with math, and if you choose math, you will find a success and fulfillment you won’t find in many other professions.
1) Math is Fun… Because it Grows You!
Have you ever believed you could do anything? No, this isn’t some My Little Pony world I want to convince you we live in.
What you go through is what you believe you can do. If I can balance 3 feet off the ground, then I can balance 1 or even 2 feet off the ground. Heck, I might even try to balance 4 or 5 feet off the ground just to see if I could go beyond my limit.
Now take that example of balancing to make the assumption, if I can balance 5 feet off the ground, then by logic, I can jump from a 5 foot ledge without injury if I land right.
If I can jump from a 5 foot ledge and still be okay, then maybe I can learn to skateboard and balance. And if I can skateboard, then maybe I can snowboard.
So, because you can balance 3 feet off the ground, you can snowboard. It would be more proper to say that you’re willing to learn how to snowboard…
Now, let’s get into math:
If you can solve a system of equations word problem, then in logic, you can recognize that word problem as a real-world issue.
Perhaps there are easier real world problems in life you can solve that are less complex than that math problem.
Fixing a car with a fuse issue is as easy as buying a $3 fuse and pulling the damaged fuse from the fuse box. Surely that’s easier than doing a systems of equations problem, yet we spend $80 for a mechanic to fix a $3 problem.
Eczema? Yeah you can spend money going to a dermatologist, or you can keep your skin covered, limit water contact, keep it moisturized with non-perfumed lotion and watch as your skin heals in a few weeks.
With math, you become someone who questions the norms in life to see if you can solve the problems yourself.
Your smart phone is your formula sheet. All you need is the confidence that comes from past math success to apply to the problems you face.
You literally can view the world differently and seize it. Your happiness won’t be determined by the situations you’re in but rather the journey of finding the solution.
The world is one big math problem with steps we know how to do and steps we don’t know how to do. All we need is the nerve to struggle through whether we get it right or wrong.
That’s why Math is Fun.