In yeshiva and cheder, the rabbi makes Jewish topics interesting by telling stories of Jewish sages who, in turn, used parables to teach Judaism. Math teachers should relate stories of the great mathematicians. For example, Carl F. Gauss, when he was a young boy, was able to quickly add up all the numbers from 1 to 100, understanding the principle of an arithmetic progression. An excellent book of stories of mathematicians is "The World of Mathematics," by James R. Newman.
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from the article: Why there's nothing to fear about math