Activities to Help a Student Struggling in Math

Math is probably one of the subjects that students get scared of. It is true, math can be difficult, but the anxiety associated with math seems to be universal. But it is important for the tutor to recognize that students fear math, and to help them overcome this anxiety as much as possible. But it is necessary to teach math skills along with dealing with the problem of a student’s math anxiety.

Regardless of what grade level the student is in, it is important to get a fair assessment of his math skill or ability. This is where tutoring should begin. In math, you need first to learn the basics before going into more complex items, for example, learn simple fractions first then how to reduce or simplify fractions.

Another skill often neglected but is vital in improving math skills is to align problems properly. This visual element in math will help the student solve math problems without using calculators. Writing down fractions in an orderly alignment on paper can help your student simplify fractions more easily. When it comes to addition and multiplication, the proper alignment of numbers is crucial. It takes a small amount of discipline to line up numbers in their proper columns, but it helps a great deal in addition and multiplication.
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If you follow these basic activities, you will be able to help your student improve his math skills greatly.
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Try using a blank sheet of white paper in your math tutorials instead of lined paper. Lines can sometimes become a cause of distraction because it can take away the student’s eyes from the numbers to the lines. You need to remove anything that can make your student lose his entire focus on the numbers on the paper.

It has also been found helpful to use colored pens to indicate the step-by-step process involved in many math solutions. Use a different colored pen for every step that the process takes, using a colored pen for one step, and another for another step. The student will learn to adjust his pace guided by the color changes.

Let the student repeat the process after you’ve demonstrated it. It is important to let him use the same colored markers for every step in order for his mind to retain the process better. It is important for the student to learn the step-by-step process slowly by repeating it several times.

Lastly, it is important to focus on one skill at a time, do simple interest loans and GPA one day, and fractions on another day. Gaining confidence in his ability to solve math problems will definitely help him improve his math skills in due time.