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Why Multitasking in Math is Essential - The Younger the Better

Feb 14, 2017

As students move up grade levels, the abundance of math skills becomes broader and more intertwined. Suddenly, students who were historically successful when skills were taught in isolation, become confused or frustrated because they are being asked to call upon many parts of math simultaneously.

Take for instance our Mathlete here. He is working on Order of Operations, a fifth grade and higher skill as it becomes increasingly complex with brackets, cubes, etc.  To answer these problems, he needed to know and abide by the order of the operations. It isn't just left to right, it is left to right in a specific order. The squares were throwing him. He totally forgot the 4 squared isn't 4x2, it is 4x4, so we needed to sketch why that works so he could apply it to future exponents he encountered. He got stumped when reducing larger fractions so we worked on Greatest Common Factors to streamline what was turning into a six step calculation into a two step calculation.

At Mathnasium of Redwood City, we know this student knows all these individual concepts in isolation, it is when he was thrown into the "jumbo question" multitasking situation that it became more challenging. The pressure kicks in and sometimes kids freeze. We are here to build confidence and show how math confidence grows one step at a time. The younger they can multitask the better! You and I both know math never gets easier and progress and understanding is directly dependent on prerequisite skills.

If your student sounds like our friend here, give us a call!  We serve three types of students: Those looking to Catch Up, Keep Up or Get Ahead. We call these kids "Keep Up" Kids - they are successful in the subject but that little something extra is all it takes to snap it all together! A secondary exposure to classroom material presented at their pace with their questions answered is the only missing piece to the puzzle. We provide homework support on the more challenging questions as they typically can answer most on their own. We help prep them for the upcoming tests and quizzes so they can take it from C to B or B to A.