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.
The first thing you should do is to assess the student’s math ability. This is where tutoring should begin. The important thing to remember about math is that it is sequential, that is, you need to learn about fractions first before you learn to reduce fractions.
It is important for the tutor to teach the student how to appreciate alignment to improve his math skills. There is a visual element in math, and this helps a lot in problem solving without the use of a calculator. Your student will not need a calculator to simplify fractions is he can write them down in correct alignment on paper. The importance of aligning numbers properly is especially true of adding and multiplying numbers. 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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Here are some activities to use in your tutorials in order to help your student improve his math skills.
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Blank paper has been found to be more helpful for student with difficulty in math than using lined paper. It has been found that lines can distract s student’s attention from the numbers because his eyes naturally get attracted to the lines. If your student loses focus on the numbers, it makes it more difficult for him to learn his math skills and improve.
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.
After you have finished showing your student how the problem was solved, it’s time to let him do it by himself. It would be helpful for him also to use the same color changes with every step. Guide you student slowly through the step-by-step process, asking him to repeat the process 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. It also give him a good confidence boost, which is crucial in his learning.