# LABORATORY METHOD: METHODS OF TEACHING MATHEMATICS

LABORATORY METHOD

Mathematics is a subject which has to be learnt by doing rather than by reading. Laboratory method or activity method leads the students to discover mathematical facts. It is based on the principal of learning by doing, learning by observation and proceeding from concrete to abstract. It is only the extension of inductive method. Students not only listen to the information, but do something practically. In this method, principles have to be discovered, generalized and established.

• This is an activity method and it leads the students to discover mathematics facts.
• Method of Learning by doing/observation.
• Activity based method
• In it we proceed from concrete to abstract.
• Extension of inductive method, Demonstration and experimental.
• Laboratory method is a procedure for stimulating the activities of the students and to encourage them to make discoveries.
• This method needs a laboratory in which equipments and other useful teaching aids related to mathematics are available.
• For example, equipments related to geometry, mensuration, mathematical model, chart, balance, various figures and shapes made up of wood or hardboards, graph paper etc

Procedure:

1. Aims of the practical: The teacher clearly states the aim of the practical work or experiment to be carried out by the students.
2. Provides material and instruments: Lab materials must be used as per the aim of the experiments. Some of the examples of laboratory materials are weighing scale, geometry box, measuring instrument, models, different types of charts and picture etc.
3. Provide clear instructions: The instructions given to the children must be very clear. Children must be able to carry out the experiment own their own by following the instructions.
4. Carry out the experiment: children can do the experiment following the instruction and using the required materials. They record all the observation, analysis and draw conclusion.
5. Draw conclusion: The students are required to draw the conclusions as per the aim of the experiment.

Most of the geometry work construction is a one kind of laboratory method. Some of the examples of laboratory activities are

• Show Pythagoras theorem practically
• Height and distance.
• Proves indentity  (a+b)2=a2+2ab+b2  through activity.
• Angle in semi-circle is always 900.
• Sum of the angles of a triangle is 1800

Merits:

• Students learn by doing and come in contact with the raw data or material object in teaching learning process.
• Develop the power of observation and reasoning.
• Develops the scientific attitude.
• Develop team work.
• Joyful and interesting.
• Student becomes independent.
• Clearly understand the subject matter

Drawback:

• It is expensive.
• Time consuming; all the topic of maths cannot be done by this method.
• Its need proper planning. It is not applicable for large class.
• Tendency of copying may develop.
• Not that much applicable in lower classes

It is lengthy and difficult method, but can prove exceedingly profitable if properly employed. A lot depends on facilities given by the school and skills of teachers.

Conclusion: It is difficult and lengthy method, but can profitable if properly done in the class. A lot depends on the facilities available in the school like separate math Laboratory, lab equipments and staff. Some of the cost of equipments can be reduced if it is improvised by school itself. All the topic cannot be covered by using this method, but it must be used , where circumstance favour.

Source: The Teaching of mathematics by KULBIR SINGH SIDHU (Sterling Publisher Pvt Ltd)