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.