I have been fortunate to have had many amazing and encouraging teachers throughout my education. However, I would like to highlight how essential my grade 1 to grade 8 teachers were in my love for learning and success in high school and University.
I often remember doing small assignments in grade school that felt unimportant such as grammar exercises or essay outlining. However, those assignments helped me build skills, discover tools, and develop methods to tackle more difficult assignments in high school.
In grade 4, I was placed in the honours math class, so I had the same teacher from grade 4 until grade 8. Mrs. Gerlach introduced us to “maintenance.” At the beginning of every class, she put questions up for us to solve that were testing topics that we had learned earlier in the year or a previous grade.
At the time, I thought it was just busy work for us while she got ready for our class. However, now I realize the importance of reviewing those concepts and ensuring that we were still comfortable with our multiplication facts, mental math, factoring, manipulating fractions, etc. Math is about building on these core concepts.
You may begin with naming and ordering fractions. However, you can then combine that knowledge with factoring to learn equivalent fractions. From there, we can use our understanding of fractions to solve proportions and probabilities. Even concepts that seem disconnected, can lay the foundation for more advanced topics.
At Mathnasium, we support our students and help them with topics they are learning in class. However, by creating a customized learning plan, we also challenge them to learn new topics and help them review foundational concepts. In addition to their learning plan, we also create activities like word problems and diagramming activities for them to visualize and work on their core math skills.