M.L. Jaiswal and The Kings and Queens of Geometry

I have been teaching mathematics for over 15 years now. Teaching students from 1st Standard all the way till 8th, I realised that most students find mathematics to be a boring and painful subject. Well, and you cannot really blame them. What is there to love about maths? English classes have stories. Science classes come with experiments and outdoor trips. But in mathematics, all you get are some random shapes and the same 10 digits.

The fault is ours. Instead of allowing students to explore patterns and see mathematics in all things around them, we give them a worksheet of repetitive sums. We have succeeded in taking the joy out of the subject. Sometimes, we even take the sense out of it. For example, our textbooks teach Pythagoras Theorem in Class 7 but Square Root in Class 8. No wonder our students are uninterested and confused.

But in life, you cannot afford to ignore Mathematics. So I try to make my students more comfortable with the subject by bringing the beauty, the logic, and the fun within mathematics into my lessons.

When I teach π, I don’t just write 3.142 on the board. Instead, we head out to the school field. One student stands at one end of a 1 metre rope while another pulls it straight and runs in a circle around him. The class then lays another rope around the circumference and measures it. The same experiment is repeated with ropes of multiple lengths. With a chart of recorded information and a calculator, the class figures out the relation between the diameter and the circumference is relatively constant. Once they discover something themselves, they remember it. And once a concept is understood, they start to see it at play all around us: from the moon’s orbit around the earth to the boundary lines of cricket stadiums. Exercises like this make the subject real for them.

(Image used for representative purpose only)

Things are a bit different when teaching younger children. With their minds always wandering, it is difficult to hold their attention with theories. Stories work much better. For example, I do not spend time explaining what every item in a geometry box does. They will forget. Instead, I turn the box into a Kingdom where Compass, the one-legged King lives with his strict wife, Queen Ruler and their two children, Prince Eraser and Princess Pencil, who are always fighting. Whenever the Princess creates something beautiful, the Prince destroys it. One day, the King and Queen decides that enough is enough and that from then on, whenever the Princess drew something they would always be by her side. The King would hold his daughter’s hand and they would make the most perfect circles. And the Queen would help her with every other shape. This way, my students remember to use the pencil and ruler together when they draw their shapes, because if they don’t, the prince will attack again!

Story about M.L. Jaiswal from Kalchuri Vidya Mandir, Bilaspur, Chattisgarh
Written by Rishav Rakshit
We are grateful to Government of Chhattisgarh for connecting us to Humans of Indian Schools

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Savita Thakur

Innovative……..

Kaushalendra Bhardwaj

Easy way , clear concept .

Chitra Chaudhary

What a creative way of capturing the attention and interest of students!
Very well encapsulated story.

swapan bose

Beter

dileshwar dhankar

Good

nandkumar painkra

Very good

ONKAR PRASAD

great thought

kunti netam

good

Dilip kumar

Good

Dilip kumar sahu

yes

Anjordas Ghosh

Yes

shyamcharan Koma

Yes

GangaRam Markam

Yes

narayan sinha

So nice sir

Mrs.Tahira Bano

So great

komal

Yes

roopsingh kashyap

Yes

BHIMO RAM BHASKAR

Yes

Alim Ahmad

Yes

Jiteshwar dansena

Too good

srishtee shukla

We need mathematics in every step

Vikas kumar koree

So great

asha ujjaini

So nice,

Shrawan Kumar Yadav

Congratulations

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24 Comments