Some Children Require Help to Connect Concepts
Children can learn math very well if it is presented in a way
that makes sense. Math is largely based on logical concepts, and
is meant to progress step by step. Sometimes a student will be
absent, or will move in from a district where thy have not learned
the same material.
Students that come into a situation where they do not have a
foundation of skills or where they have missed key elements can
find themselves very confused. The concepts that students need
to understand and comprehend, if missing, can prevent a student
from learning other concepts that are based on the missing material.
Teachers can assist the student and help tie elements together at such times,
helping the student to make associations and connections between
different math concepts.
As a teacher, the student will need help in making things make
sense and relate to each other, especially in math. Practical
examples of the ways that concepts affect each other can be a
big help to assist the student in understanding and comprehension.
Finding ways to associate math to everyday activities and daily
life is a great way to help students understand.
To create your own strategies in teaching math, ask yourself
some questions:
What approach to concepts will do the most to provide student
encouragement and support?
What can we do as teachers to support and encourage skill development
in each student?
In what ways can we show support and give encouragement in
alternative placements?
Making mathematics accessible and understandable is vital for
each of students. In our technological society Math is essential
in future career and school opportunities. Having a basic level
of mastery and competency is needed to do many life activities,
to take advances course in school, to qualify for some job options,
or even to gain entrance to college or university.
Some basic strategies a teacher can use for effective Math learning
include:
Help your students to write numbers in a neat manner.
Most mistakes made in math can often be traced to writing numbers
in a messy fashion. Some experts estimate that as much as twenty
five percent of math errors perhaps can be traced to messy number
writing.
One good way to make sure this happens it to provide graph paper
as scratch paper, and grade on how neatly they show their work.
As a student learns and gets neater, then using graph paper is
no longer needed.
Focus Effort to ensure students grasp Math Concepts
If you don't make sure kids understand the concepts as you go,
math becomes just another mental game, doing drills by rote.
One good way is to have things that can be moved and manipulated
to work out concepts. For subtraction, you can have objects arranged
or available and have students take items away from the group.
Then have students relate about how many items or objects are
left.
Explain the method and process to solve Word Problems
Model for your children to examine and read word problems more
than one time. Math has a specific method of expression, and to
solve and learn how to solve math problems, you have to follow
the methods. Some children will benefit from drawing a diagram
or a picture to show what has happened in the word problem. Consider
an alternative to a specific word problem, such as replacing large
numbers with small numbers. Once a child can understand HOW to
solve a word problem, and then often they can solve other similar
problems with ease.
Make sure help is available Immediately
Math is a topic or subject where each step or process is always
based on the concepts learned just previous. For example if you
are having a problem with simple addition, it will be difficult
to teach simple subtraction.
One way is to make sure there is a backup help source. An alternative
is to have a teacher resource in another room at the same grade,
or with a parent, tutor or other adult that can help the student
if they get stuck. If your school has a homework hotline or resource
center then these can be a source of assistance also.
Encourage them to use Mental Math
A way to solve math problems is by doing it mentally, or "in
ones head". Children who learn this method in a basic way are
more likely to be able to apply this with more complex problems.
One method is when you assist children in a math problem, look
for opportunities to prompt them to do it mentally without writing
it down. It's not good for all applications, but it is something
that can help master other concepts.
Also focus on when its good to use mental math, and when its
not.
Do not forget to teach the Basics
Teach the basics, but encourage them to master these concepts
by working to do the basics swiftly. If a child can answer basic
facts in less than five seconds (three seconds is considered the
benchmark) then they have mastered that concept.
Flashcards and repeated drills are perhaps the best approach
for this concept.
Help them to lay out their Math Homework
Performing homework in math allows skills learned in class to
be repeated and reinforced.
Show them to start every problem by looking at similar problems,
using the worksheet or examining the textbook. Suggest that they
take a sample problem and do it again, and pay attention to each
step.
Then have them do the assignment, using the examples as a guide.
Teach Children the Vocabulary involved in Math
If a student learns the vocabulary involved in Mathematics,
then they can learn and progress in using and understanding math.
If the basic terms are understood and mastered then they can progress
on in Mathematics.
Teach Children to Always do a little more than is required
A great deal of practice is needed to master any math concept.
Practice, practice, practice. And if students see doing a bit
more than asked as a regular thing, they will gain skills and
move forward faster.
These are just a few of the mastery strategies that you can use
to teach math effectively. As you progress as a teacher you will
undoubtedly come up with ones of your own.
