Tag Archives: Improving Math

Sunday Morning Shout Out

It’s that point of summer.  When we are down to the last week(s), I get the compelling need to make the most of the time left.  It’s a need to fulfill the summer bucket list, but also to make sure we have taken enough time this summer to work on sustaining academic skills.  In taking stock, I believe we need to amp up our efforts with math.  I feel that the girls have done well with digging into some good summer books. I feel that our son has mostly been read to in ample fashion.  Math- we could be a better friend to and partake in more activities.

In turning my focus to math, I have Googled different math sites for some summer assistance.  One site that I am liking is kidsnumbers.com.  It is broken down by age and such skills that run from addition and telling time to doing algebra and geometry.  My girls will clock, (but not too many hours to get in the way of summertime fun) some time at this site to brush up on skills before school starts.  At this site, there are lessons, explanations, and instructional videos. It is made by graduates from Stanford, Harvard, and Berkeley.  You can create an account to keep track of your progress.  Did I mention it is totally free?  Now I know I sound like a paid spokeswoman, but honestly this seems like a great product that your children will enjoy and that will give you peace of mind.  It’s a good way to remind kids that math is fun, just like summer.  It is reassurance that come time for school, your children will not be left in the dust.

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The Ultimate Guide To Being Good At Math

A recent study found that while natural ability does help some students to grasp mathematic concepts faster, it only gets you through the first three grades. What that means is that everyone can be good at math. The good news is that, no matter how much you may struggle with math, if you are patient and determined, you can get great grades.

Imagine not dreading your math homework, imagine feeling confident about your upcoming exams. If you have always struggled to do well in math, then this is your guide to improving your math grades.


It’s All In The Attitude

In a study by Patricia Linehan for Purdue University, she found that people have two attitudes to learning. One in which they believe that studying and effort will improve their abilities and one in which they believe that they either can or can’t do something and no amount of practice will help.  This unfortunate attitude is called entity orientation.

When we have an entity orientation attitude towards math, we believe that we will never be good at math, no matter how much we practice or how hard we work.  When you have this attitude towards math, you will find it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy as you aren’t motivated to try.

Studies have found that anyone who practices math with a positive attitude will see an improvement.  Since natural talent plays such a small part when it comes to math, it means that a change in attitude is the first step to success.

Ask yourself what your attitude is and work at changing it.  You can improve, and you will improve if you work hard and persevere.


How Are Your Building Blocks?

Math is a subject that requires strong foundations. If there are gaps in your knowledge from previous grades, you will find it increasingly difficult to grasp more developed concepts. You may need help with the building blocks of your knowledge.

The best thing to do here is to get a tutor.  A math tutor will be able to examine your knowledge base and identify the gaps which are causing you to fall behind in class.  Once you have filled in the gaps, you will be amazed at how much more sense new concepts make to you.  You will find it easier to understand math and won’t have trouble keeping up with the class.

You only need a tutor to help build a solid foundation for you and get you up to speed so that you are at the same level as the rest of your class, then you should be able to keep up on your own.  However, to gain an additional edge on math you might just want to keep getting guidance from your tutor.


Practice Makes Perfect

Once you have your building blocks in place, the key to math success is practice. You should set aside some time every day to work on your math problems. Try working for twenty minutes and then taking a five minute break. Studies show that twenty minutes is a small enough increment to not seem too daunting a task, but its long enough to work through a couple of sums.

Some other aspects to consider as you attempt to improve your math are:

  • Interacting with your teacher
  • Utilize assistance at school
  • Talk to your friends and form study groups
  • Relate math to your life and realize how much it actually does come into play on a daily basis.  Math actually is something you’ll use in your life!

Note: Adapted from a post originally published 2/18/2014 on the Tutor Doctor Corp. blog

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Ways to Improve High School Math

Math is a subject that evokes strong emotions from most high school students. While some love math, others really hate it and it causes them anxiety and frustration. Math can be a very intimidating subject but it’s necessary for so many career paths that most students have no choice.

Math teacher Janet McAlister; “Most students miss out on baseline building blocks. This happens early on in their school careers. Since math builds on previous knowledge, missing building blocks can cause problems for years to come. When students have a bad attitude towards math, it can make it more and more intimidating… they just get freaked out!”

If your student is struggling with math, it may take some time to get them to accept help or to overcome problems, but it’s well worth the investment. Having a positive attitude towards math will reduce their anxiety levels and help them to excel both now and in the future.

Building confidence
Most students will do better at math if their confidence improves. When they change their internal dialogue from “I’m not good at math” to “Math is easy!” they are able to work through problems and solve them. You can help to build confidence by reassuring students of their capabilities. Praise any improvements in their math scores and be sure to remind them of how capable and smart they are.

Provide incentives
Offering incentives and rewards for improvements in math grades can make a big difference. Most students respond well to positive reinforcement, so give it a try!

Get your daily dose
Try to do math every day. Get your student to work out the tip on restaurant bills, or help you to balance your bank accounts. Get them to draw up budgets for the home, do the math on building projects or help younger siblings with their math homework. Going back to the basics will help them to build confidence. Get them to explain their math homework to you or tutor younger students at their school. When you have to explain something to someone else, you often end up understanding it better yourself. This will help to fill in any gaps in the foundations and revise earlier math techniques that will help them with the more complex math they have to face in high school.

Get a tutor
Tutors are specialists in helping students go back to their foundations and fill in the gaps. Tutors will work at a pace that suits your student and help them with homework and exam preparation. Getting a tutor means that your student gets the one-on-one attention they need to overcome their math hurdles. The tutor can also help identify what building blocks are missing or weak. With this knowledge the tutor can help the student fill their gaps.
Having a negative attitude towards math makes for an anxious school year filled with dread. Math exams become a nightmare to prepare for and poor grades can negatively affect other classes and grade point averages. Help your student to change their attitude towards math and you’ll help revolutionize their high school experience.
Note: This post is adapted from a Tutor Doctor HQ posting dated Sept 14, 2012 titled ‘How to be Good at Math

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