Effective teaching is largely reliant on the teacher’s ability to capture the genuine interest of the students for the material to be taught. This naturally rests on the planning that the teacher exerts in preparation for the lesson. Perhaps the single most important aspect of any lesson is the beginning of the lesson where the teacher must motivate the students for the ensuing lesson. This can be done in many ways and is also largely measure a function of the teacher’s personality and voice. Studies have shown that what a teacher says accounts for 7% of the effectiveness package, the tone of the teacher’s voice and the enthusiasm accounts for 38%, and the “body language” accounts for 55%. Teachers should be entertaining, without ever losing control of the lesson, and yet not be completely scripted to prevent accommodation to the quirks of any class. Yet even the finest style of presentation – an important part of any teaching performance – can only offer a portion of the overall effectiveness. The content of what is said is paramount! This then leads us into the theme of the book, namely, the techniques that can be used to motivate students in the first few minutes of almost any lesson in mathematics. This could be the most difficult part of a lesson to plan. It requires a modicum of creativity and yet it pays back by enabling a successful lesson. It is a very worthwhile investment of time.
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