The Five Fundamentals for Teaching Math
Teaching math to students can be a forbidding task simply because math is different in so many ways to all other subjects. Grasping these fundamentals will greatly aid in ensuring students’ mastery of this subject.
Teaching Math Fundamentals #1: Math is cumulative- One of the greatest differences is that math builds on itself. It is a subject that requires knowledge from previous sessions, much like the dreaded all-encompassing final exams that many of us have faced in our university career. In history, one can get by not knowing what happened in Ancient Greece if the class is on Modern Day Japan. Perhaps it will diminish one’s overall appreciation of the given time period, but it is not usually critical.
To cite a basic example of how this is not the case in math: You cannot do long division without knowing multiplication and subtraction (unless you cheat and use a calculator).
A friend of mine (a computer scientist now no less!) once recounted to me how poorly he performed in Geometry when he was going through grade school. He failed to properly grasp concepts learned in the earlier grades which led to failure in Algebra, and you can’t do certain types of Geometry without a good understanding of Algebra. It’s a vicious circle. When you teach math to kids, make absolutely sure they grasp a foundational concept before they move on to something more complicated.
Teaching Math Fundamentals #2: Be organized-This principle applies in many ways. For the earlier levels, make sure that columns are organized neatly so that you aren’t accidentally multiplying the hundreds place by the thousands place when you intended to multiply the tens place by the thousands place. This concept is especially important when it comes to long-division. Once we get to Algebra, make sure that Z’s are crossed as well as 7’s. Otherwise a Z can easily turn into a 2 and a 7 into a 1.
Teaching Math Fundamentals #3: Break things down and make a list- Regarding word problems or multi-step equations; it is very helpful to simply list all the known information. If we are calculating the area of a trapezoid 1/2(a+b) * h, we can list that Side A = 8 cm, Side B = 4 cm, and the Height = 12 cm. If we want to know if a discount of 25% on a $24 product or a discount of 50% on a $38 product is preferable, we can solve the different equations individually, noting the individual results and finally comparing the two.
Teaching Math Fundamentals #4: Make sure it’s accurate- Unlike in the Liberal Arts and even some of the Sciences, Math is a very right-or-wrong based subject. There is very little room for argumentation or rationalizing. 4+4=8 and never 10. In this day and age, much of our learning is based on justifying responses and encouraging multiple points of view. This is beneficial since it enhances creativity and allows for exploration of new ideas, but this type of thinking needs to be heavily redirected when it comes to math. For instance, one can argue that receiving no credit when one submits 180 as a final answer to a problem whose correct solution is 200 might seem a bit unjust, seeing as how 180 is off by just 10%. But in math, being off by just 10% can have calamitous consequences. Getting the angle off by 10% of a support beam on a bridge can mean the deaths of thousands. It’s important for a teacher to train his/her students to check their work at every step along the way.
Teaching Math Fundamentals #5: Use manipulatives and drawings- Manipulatives are just tools that allow you to transform abstract concepts into concrete objects that your student can touch and hold. This can involve stacking Lego pieces in tens to illustrate the 10’s column of a long-addition problem to placing square tiles next to each other to illustrate area. For visual and tactile learners, these manipulatives are very helpful. In a similar vein, drawings can be used to bring life to word problems. They are particularly useful in fractions. Drawing fractions of a pizza will allow your student to avoid saying that 1/2 + 1/2 = 2/4.
In sum, although math may be considered a difficult subject to tutor, it need not induce fear. Following the Five Teaching Math Fundamentals above will bring about positive results in your students' education.
Build Student Self Confidence With an Online Private Math Tutor
How to Find the Inverse of a Function
Does Your Child Need Help with Math?
5 Ways to Become a Better Math Student
6 Characteristics to Look For in a Math Tutor
30 Trusty Tips: Learn Math Skills to Improve Grades in School
5 Ways to Boost Confidence in Math
4 Ways to Succeed With Story Problems
7 Steps NOW For Your Child To Get Good Math Grades Next School Year
Five Steps To Lift Your Child's Math Grades to A's
Math Anxiety Tips
Online Help with Geometry
Five Steps On How To Improve Your Child's Math Grades To A's
Eliminate Learning Loss with Fun Summer Math Activities
Tips for Parents: Helping Kids with Math Homework
Teaching Students Trigonometric Radians: Degrees to Radians and Back
Help with Math Equations: Using Letters in Math?
Tips, Tricks and Strategies: Help Solving Word Problems
Three Easy Ways to Help With Elementary Math
6 Word Problem Solving Strategies to Help Reduce Math Anxiety
Five Steps to Improve Mathematics Problem Solving Skills
Calvary Tutoring Services: Learn with an Online Mathematics Tutor
How to Easily and Simply Use Rules in Mathematics
Understanding the Ti 84 Solve Function
Six Strategies to Tackle Challenging Math Word Problems
Solve Compound Interest Problems using the Ti 84 Calculator
Algebra 1 Homework Help for Your Child
Learning about Fractions: Why Johnny (Jenny) Can't Do Fractions
Five Guaranteed Ways to Get an A in Math
Six Tips for Using a Graphing Calculator
Solving Real World Math Problems Using Rate, Time, and Distance
How to Use One Easy Addition Model to Solve a Billion Different Word Problems
One Easy Addition Model for a Billion Word Problems: Classification Problems
Solve Word Problems with One Easy Addition Model: Chunking Problems
One Easy Addition Model for a Billion Word Problems: Comparison Problems
One Easy Addition Model for a Billion Word Problems: Change Problems
Never Too Young: How to Teach Algebra to Kids
Three Steps to Improve Math Grades
Math is Beautiful
Shattering Five Math Fear Myths
Learning Fractions is a Piece of Cake!
Math Tutor Help: Understanding YX OIC 2EZ
The Basics of Inductive vs. Deductive Reasoning
How to Achieve Successful Homework Completion by Overcoming Math Fear
Math Fear: Overcoming Test Anxiety
Calculator Use Tips: Four Reasons for Students to Use Calculators
Five Magical Strategies for Increasing Math Confidence
Teaching Number Sense to Your Children is Easy with Number Counting
Counting Change: A Fun and Useful Way to Improve Math Skills!
PEMDAS Problems: Easily Simplify Equations Using PEMDAS
Math from the Positive Side: Live Online Tutoring
Overcoming Anti-Math Bias
Correct Math Operations: Putting the Cart before the Horse
7 Advantages of Choosing Online Math Tutoring for Your Student
Math for Slow Learners
How to Multiply Faster Than a Calculator
Four Steps to Follow When Solving Math Word Problems
Online Tutoring in Mathematics: Get Your Child Excited About Math
6 Word Problem Strategies to Help Reduce Math Anxiety
Simple Strategies That Can Help Your Child Become a Math Superstar
You Can Have the Michael Jordan of Online Math Tutors
The ABC’s of Learning X, Y and Z in Algebra
Effective Math Problem Solving Strategies
4 Fun Ways to Learn Multiplications Facts
Why Math is Important for Every Child to Learn
How to Improve Math Skills for Kids
8 Ways to Be Better at Math
How to Solve Math Word Problems: Tips for Reducing Word Problem Stress
Students Click Here
Free Report How To Start An Online Tutoring Business
Blueprint For Online Tutoring Success eBook
How To Start An Online Tutoring Business MP3 interview
Free Online Tutor Forum
Tutor and Grow Rich ebook
Free A+ Parenting Video Series & Handouts
Online Tutoring Service
Free Online Tutoring Demonstration
A+ Parenting DVD Collection
Discipline & Parenting Techniques
Health, Nutrition and Fitness
Learning Styles and Techniques
Managing an Online Tutoring Business
Motivating Your Child or Student
Online Tutoring Business Opportunities
Online Tutoring Defined
Test Preparation & Study Skills
Work From Home