Elementary, middle and high school students throughout the Big Bend and South Georgia are moving past the mid-point of the first grading quarter. It’s a period filled with open house, parent – teacher conferences, and interim reports being sent home.
As you look back on the start of the school year, if your student’s math class has gotten off to a shaky start, don’t be discouraged. It’s not too late to make adjustments and improve your child’s math performance.
Mathnasium of St. Augustine explores four strategies and tactics that can help change the direction of a student’s math learning.
Avoid Short Cuts
If students are relying on the answer key in the back of a textbook (yes, many math books have answers in the back) or looking up answers online and then just using what they read on a website or see in a math YouTube video, it may help them get through the math homework assignment, but they are not truly learning. Often, students suffer from poor grades because they do well on the homework assignment but then struggle on math tests. While test anxiety may play into it, there is a likelihood it’s related to the student getting through the homework with outside resources (i.e. – answer keys or math websites) and as a result they don’t truly understand what they are learning and are unable to apply the concepts on tests. If a student doesn’t understand something, instead of taking short cuts, it’s beneficial to ask questions. Students who may be embarrassed about asking questions in class, can rest assured that asking questions with a math tutor at our math learning center is easy. During one-on-one instruction, the type of tutoring environment provided at Mathnasium of St. Augustine, the student is more comfortable asking for additional explanations and clarifications.
Acknowledge it’s OK to Ask for Help
Some students and parents are uncomfortable with the idea of asking for or seeking academic assistance and math tutoring. Many students at Mathnasium of St. Augustine acknowledge the main hurdle they overcame in starting their math tutoring experience was simply admitting it is OK to ask for help. They had done well in the past, and in their minds, getting math tutoring was seen as a failure or weakness on their part. In fact, admitting that you can benefit from help and then taking the appropriate steps to get that assistance is a sign of great strength in a student (and adult).
Identify Where Struggles are Rooted
Before a plan of action can be developed, it’s necessary to pinpoint what is impacting a student’s performance in math. Is the decline or slow start a sudden change vs. last year’s performance? Are certain math concepts always troublesome? Often, challenges can be traced to concepts that were introduced earlier in a child’s math education and the student was unable to achieve mastery, even if they passed the test with a good grade at the time. This is why Mathnasium of St. Augustine gives each new student a math assessment. It is likely today’s challenges can be traced back to earlier concepts that were not mastered or have been forgotten. Simply focusing on tonight’s homework and tomorrow’s test doesn’t allow a student to get to the heart of their issues for long-term success.
In the face of a lower than expected start to the school year, it’s natural for a student (and parents) to become frustrated, disappointed, or even defeated. Do not give up. An important step in improving the situation is to stay positive. Negativity can only exacerbate the situation. With hard work, and the right learning plan, you can achieve success.
While past math academic performance may not have gone as hoped, it’s never too late to improve the situation. In fact, many times students who employee techniques to improve their math learning see it carry over into improvements in other subjects as well.
More About Mathnasium of St. Augustine
The Mathnasium of St. Augustine, located in Murabella Plaza, provides math instruction and tutoring for students in elementary, middle and high school. Customized learning plans produce results for students seeking gifted and advanced math enrichment, tutoring assistance to catch up, math homework help, and test prep for the SAT and ACT.
The Mathnasium curriculum and the Mathnasium Method combine to benefit students at all levels of their math education. The development of number sense leads to a deeper understanding of mathematical concepts, improved performance, and greater confidence. This growth aids students in their classroom work, standardized tests, future education and career plans.
Schedule your free assessment today or Call (904) 295-8295