Many children struggle with their focus and mechanics on math tests and assignments. However, there are a number things that can help children overcome these issues and improve their mathematical performance.
Here are five recommendations that can help your child succeed in math:
- Write big and neatly
It’s important that your child writes big and neatly when solving an equation. When your child is adding or subtracting, he/she should write the numbers largely and line them up neatly. Feel free to encourage your child to use plenty of scrap paper when solving multiple problems. These things will help prevent careless mistakes
- Read with a finger
As your child reads a question, his/her finger should follow along with the words and numbers. Using a “following finger” will help your child read more carefully and solve problems more accurately
- Read problems carefully
It’s important to read problems slowly (specifically word problems), and stop at each period. The period is a stop sign! After reading each sentence, have your child ask, “What information did I learn from that sentence?” Then, continue reading. Feel free to underline important numbers or words. Furthermore, read each question twice.
- Show work
Encourage your child to show the steps he/she took to solve a problem. Many teachers give partial credit for work shown, and it will help your child review work effectively. Make sure to draw a circle or box around the final answer. If your child uses scrap paper, make sure he/she writes the number of the problem next to the work for that problem.
- Check work
Your child should check his/her work by carefully reviewing each of the steps used to solve a problem. For example, when solving an algebra equation, your child can diligently review each step taken to arrive at the answer. Then, your child can plug the answer back into the variable to check if the equation works out. By checking work diligently, your child can avoid careless mistakes.
Though these five things may seem simple, they are extremely effective. Sometimes simple is all it takes!
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