Easy and Practical Tips to Help Your Children With Their Math Homework

It doesn’t matter what level of school your child is currently enrolled in, it’s always a good idea to get them thinking about math. The reality is that if they want to go on to further education and a great career, a solid background in math is going to be absolutely crucial. You can help them get there by really taking the time to help them with their math homework. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius to pull this off, as they are likely to already have some sort of grasp of what they are doing in class. Here are a few tips that you can use to help tutor your child with their math homework:

  1. Teach the basics first – you have to be able to walk before you can run, so make sure that your child understands the basics of math, as this will help them when they progress to more complex subjects. Flash cards are a great way to achieve this goal.
  2. Neat numbers – mathematical equations can be confusing enough without making them impossible to read. Try to make sure that your child writes down numbers and equations neatly, as this often makes them a little easier to see and understand.
  3. Master before moving on – make sure that your child fully grasps the problem they are working on before moving on to the next math problem.
  4. Get interactive – having your face stuck in a text book can be more than a little dull, so try to make learning fun by using object around the house that can be used to help solve math problems.
  5. Ask for a little more – ask your child to answer a few extra questions when they are doing their homework assignments. Going that extra mile will help ensure that they really do understand the mathematical concepts they are being taught.
  6. Test them regularly – when you are out and about with your child, pose them some questions to see how quickly they answer. For example, if you are grocery shopping and see a price has been marked down, ask them to quickly tell you how much the difference is between the old price and the new.
  7. Make time to study – try to get in the habit of studying at the same time every day, making sure it is at a time when you have no other commitments and can commit all the time to your child.
  8. Maintain a steady pace – don’t try to rush your child ahead, even if you are sure they are ready to move to the next level. Maintain a steady pace and always take time to recap what they have already learned.
  9. Keep at it – if your child is having a particularly difficult time with a particular concept, stick with it until they finally get it.
  10. Encourage – always be sure to praise your child for a job well done. Math can be tough for a young mind, so encourage them every step of the way.

If you have tried to really get involved with your child’s math homework, but still find that they are struggling, it might be time to consider a math tutor. You might just be surprised at how affordable math tutoring is, and you may be even more surprised at the great results your child will be able to achieve.

Tips to Help Your Child Understand Trigonometry

Trigonometric concepts were first used by Greek and Indian astronomers. Its applications can be found all through geometric concepts. Trigonometry has an intricate relationship with infinite series, complex numbers, logarithms and calculus.

Knowledge of Trigonometry is useful in many fields like navigation, land survey, measuring heights and distances, oceanography and architecture. Having ground knowledge in the subject is good for the future academic and career prospects of students.

Trigonometry has basic functions like cosine, sine, tangent, cosecant, secant and cotangent. Learning all these six functions without fault is the way to do success in doing Trigonometry.

Making a child understand Trigonometry is not a difficult task if one follows certain tips as follows.

1. Helping the child understand triangles with life examples: There are many objects that contain right-angled triangles and non right ones in the world. Showing the child a church spire or dome and asking the child to understand what a triangle is the easiest way to make a child understand the fundamentals of Trigonometry.

2. Brushing up Algebra and Geometry skills: Before starting Trigonometry, students should be confident of their basic skills in Algebra and Geometry to cope with the first classes in the subject. A student has to concentrate on algebraic manipulation and geometric properties like circle, interior and exterior angles of polygon and types of triangles like equilateral, isosceles and scalene. Algebraic manipulation is a basic mathematical skill required for entering any branch of Math. A basic knowledge of Geometry is equally important for understanding the basics of Trigonometry.

3. A good knowledge of right-angled triangles: To understand Trigonometry better, a student should start with right-angled triangles and understand their three sides (hypotenuse and the two legs of the triangle). The essential aspect of it is that hypotenuse is the biggest side of the right triangle.

4. Knowing the basic ratios: Sine, cosine and tangent are the mantra of Trigonometry. These three functions are the base of Trigonometry. Making a child understand these ratios with perfect comprehension helps the child move on to difficult topics with ease. The sine of an angle is the ratio of the length of the side opposite to the length of the hypotenuse. The cosine of an angle is the ratio of the length of the side next to the length of hypotenuse. The tangent is the ratio of the sine of the angle to the cosine of the angle.

5. Understanding non right triangles: Knowing sine rules and cosine rules helps a student do non- right triangles without difficulty. As such, children learn other three ratios (cosecant, secant and cotangent). Next, they have to move on measure angles in radians and then solving Trigonometry equations and thus their understanding Trigonometry becomes complete and perfect.

Practice plays a major role in understanding Trigonometry functions. Rote memorization of formulas does not lead to success in learning Trigonometry. Basic understanding of right triangles and non right triangles in the context of life situations helps students do Trigonometry without hassle.

With the online interactive learning methods available for understanding Trigonometry, it is not a hard task to learn the subject. If it is all the more threatening, students could access Trigonometry online tutoring services and understand the subject without hassle.

3 Fundamental Tips To Overcome GED Math Test Anxiety

Most test-takers think that the GED math test, in itself, is difficult. But that mainly comes from their fear of the subject. If you think that the GED math test is daunting, then it will be. So the first step in conquering your GED math test anxiety is to fight your own demons.

The thing with the GED math test is that other than talent, you need hard work and determination to go beyond it. Math is basically not scary, but what gets in the way your passing the GED math test is your fear of the subject. Math anxiety happens when you’re so scared that it hampers your thought processes. You then feel hopeless, uncertain and you lose your self-confidence, possibly causing you to fail. It’s a battle of the mind, so to speak, that’s why you have to harness your mental powers to be able to beat GED math test anxiety. Here are 3 fundamental tips.

  • Believe that you have prepared well for the test. You ought to have backed it up with sufficient action, but you have to believe that your preparation for the math test is enough. You should have accorded ample effort for quality preparation for the test, such as by enrolling in a review center, other than studying an online course. A reliable review center will be able to provide you with GED math study guides and practice sheets that have helped many test takers as well.
  • Don’t wallow in self-pity. One problem that puts a dent on your confidence when taking math tests is that you might have gotten low scores in the subject for many years in school. This kind of fear is learned, and can be a predominant cause of anxiety. Whenever you are experiencing anxiety, you’re focusing more on your negative thoughts and your fears, consequently defeating your performance. Remember the saying that “If others can do it, so can you”. You can pass the math test even if your grades in math were bad. Unlearn your belief that you are dumb in math. As you take practice tests, some answers you did right and some you did wrong, right? Bolster your confidence by focusing on your correct answers. This will instill your belief in your success and make you feel good about your performance in math.
  • Affirm your positive thoughts. Practice positive affirmations- short verses that you mentally or verbally repeat to help change your thoughts or feelings about something This concept was introduced by neuroscientists in the 1970’s and since then has been popular. You can change the way you think or feel about math by mentally or verbally reciting positive affirmations, ultimately helping you combat test anxiety. Some of them are:

“I’m smart and I can solve math problems”.

“I believe that my brain has enough capability to help me find solutions to math problems.”

“Math is not a difficult subject, it just needs attention and focus”.

“I am prepared and therefore I will pass the GED math test”.

Many test-takers fail in the GED math test because they were overwhelmed by fear and anxiety. The key to not committing the same mistake is to control your fears. Preparation is the antidote that will pacify your anxiety. Do your best to study for the GED math exam and believe in yourself and your capability to hurdle this particular feat.

Easy Yet Effective Tips For Quick Mental Multiplication

Solving mathematical problems will be difficult if you do not know the basic math concepts along with how it must be done. Mathematics, in general, is difficult according to most people because it involves numbers. However, experts say that there are easy ways on how to solve such problems. In fact, experts have provided a couple of tips on how to take your mathematical skills to the next level.

Mental Multiplication Tips

Multiplying by powers of 5 – Multiplying a number by 5 seems to be the easiest and luckiest math problem to solve. If you are faced with a number multiplied with another number that is a power of 5, the trick is to recognize that 5 is equal to 10/2. This is indeed very helpful. For instance, you have to solve 38 x 5. What you have to do in order to get the answer in an instant is to multiply 38 by 10 and then dividing the product by 2. Thus, 38 x 10 = 380, and 380/2 is 180.

Squaring numbers that ends in 5 – Any time you need to square a 2-digit number ending in 5, the last digit of the answer will be 25. Also, the digits before that are given by multiplying the 1st digit of the number by the number which is greater. So if you are to solve 55^2, the last number will be 25. On the other hand, the previous digits are given by 5 x 6 (that’s the first digit multiplied by the number that is one greater). Hence, 55^2 is equal to 3,025.

Multiplying many 9s – There is indeed a trick if you are to multiply any number by 9, 99, 999, or any other number that is 1 less than a power of 10. If the mathematical problem is 48 x 9, you must recognize that 48 x 9 (10-1). The distributive property of multiplication suggests that this is similar to 48 x 10 – 48. Due to the fact that it is very easy to multiply by a power of 10, looking at the problem in this way will make is much easier to solve. Therefore, 48 x 10 – 48 = 480 – 48 = 480 – 40 – 8 = 432.

These are just some of the mathematical tricks you can implement so you get the product in an instant, without needing a paper and pen. You must be reminded though that it will take practice for you to be comfortable in using them. More information mentioned here.

5 Effective Tips To Teach Math For Slow Learners

Slow learners are not any different from the normal students in their intellectual abilities except that they are too distracted and the normal teaching methods do not help them comprehend what is taught. This is why you need special teaching methods for them. When appropriate method is adopted with adequate understanding and support from parents and teachers, these slow learners can turn out to be highly successful in all aspects of life.

There are several approaches and techniques that involve individual and group teaching based on the learning ability of a child, some of which are used by programs of learning centers for such children. These centers have specially trained teachers who use specialized software tools and teaching methodologies to make math and numbers more interesting. Here are five effective tips that professionals believe can help teach math for slow learners:

  1. Practical Lessons: Even normal students do not enjoy confined space for learning and it’s a higher challenge with slow learners. One of the best ways to get math into the child’s head is to make him do little additions, subtractions or multiplications that involve people, things, flowers, fruits, and other practical things that surround him during a walk or a drive.
  2. Teaching in Small Groups or Individually: Since students with slow learning ability require special attention, teaching them alone or in small groups would let the teacher focus on the specific inability of the student. Also, leaning in a group, with peers, would increase the social abilities of the child.
  3. Customized Plan: Students love classes filled with fun and creativity. That’s why several learning programs for slow learners have customized plans to polish the specific skills that these children lack. Hence, seeking professional help and having appropriate follow ups to help at home would be a great idea to teach mathematics to these children.
  4. Sound Therapy: This has remained one of the most successful methods, which involves using sounds and tools that stimulate auditory pathways and thereby aid listening and focus. Sound therapy also helps to enhance the auditory transmission process in brain by stimulating the muscles around the ear passage and helping to regain the original power or capability.
  5. Cognitive Training: The PACE or Processing and Cognitive Enhancement training program enhances the level of perception or cognition and helps the slow learners have increased attention span and focus, which is especially helpful in learning math. It also boosts the neurological connections and offers significant growth in the student.

How does the slow learner benefit

  • Adapting all the above methods and applying the right training program offers the following benefits:
  • Improved math computation skills
  • Better sequential processing and simultaneous processing
  • Sustained attention and working memory
  • Auditory processing and discrimination, which in turn boosts comprehension and more.

Complete support and appropriate methods of teaching can help any slow learner to be a math genius. So, be patient and use these tips to see how a slow learner starts loving and enjoying mathematics.

10 Tips For Teaching Middle School Math

As a teacher for 11 years and middle-school math teaching consultant, I’ve seen a wide array of different math programs and classes. I’m sharing here the 10 best teaching tips I’ve compiled over the years.

1. Provide compelling content to study.

Years ago, a colleague I was working with said, “Maybe class can be fun, but I can’t make class compelling. I have to teach math!” It’s an assumption worth exploring.

Take Ron Berger’s middle-school math project to study levels radon in their own homes. Studying radon is boring. But Berger’s class project has got to be one of the most compelling projects in math class history. What if his students discovered dangerous levels of radon in the homes of one geographic area and published the results as they had intended? What would happen to real estate values in that area? What he found is that students were highly engaged in mapping, taking averages, looking at standard deviations- students that heretofore didn’t care one bit about radon or the other concepts.

So what’s the trick? The trick is that there isn’t one. You can’t trick students into finding something compelling if it isn’t. Take a little bit of time to develop a few topics of study throughout the year that you find compelling- the Economy, the Presidential Campaigns, the Human Body, etc. Find an authentic way to present your result- the paper, the web, a magazine. Keep the project small, authentic and do-able.

Students of teachers that do take this kind of time have better outcomes on state tests than students of teachers who only stick to the text. Almost any social studies context provides a backdrop for learning that adds depth.

Even teachers who hold a math “topics” class only once a month see real benefits, so you don’t have to abandon your regular class. And, you’ll find that students are more engaged when regular class is held.

If you want to go really deep and have solid administrator support, look into the school reform movement of Expeditionary Learning Schools who have an excellent approach to thematic teaching.

2. Don’t use extraneous rewards such as candy, purchase points, stickers, etc.

There is nothing more certain than seeing the culture of a math class decline over a period of years when a teacher bribes them. The intent of the teacher, of course, is good. A teacher cares about his or her students and wants the very best for them. “I don’t care how they learn math,” one teacher said to me. “I just want them to learn it so that they are prepared.” The teacher cared enough to purchase candy out of her own pocket, but the real message to students is this: the “positive reinforcement” of candy means “math isn’t worth doing on its own.” The research is clear on the matter too, and shows us that extrinsic, non-relevant rewards hurt learning.

Even if the effects aren’t immediate, over time so called “positive reinforcements” like these mentioned above erode an otherwise high-quality math program. As a teacher, you are much better off trying to create inherently compelling curriculum than buying candy.

3. Build a culture where students teach each other.

For many teachers, one student helping another is called cheating. But I actually found that the better middle-school math programs all encouraged students to team together at certain times throughout the week. The activities were usually graded as complete or not-complete, and when tied to meaningful tasks, such as building a survey together and collecting original data, student comprehension was greater than on individual tasks.

Building the kind of culture that works for student pairs or groups takes years and lots of practice. But before you give up and decide it doesn’t work, determine if you are following tips #1 and #2 first.

4. Give less, but more meaningful work, including homework.

The Trends in International Mathematics and Science Study labels the curriculum in the United States as “a mile wide and an inch deep.” Their review of math texts in middle-school found that some were almost 700 pages long. With heavy pressure to teach to the standards, as a teacher you might be tempted to skip and jump to many topics throughout the text. Don’t. It achieves little learning.

Choose the most important pieces before the beginning of the year, and keep it simple. Teach the concepts you do teach with depth.

The national advisory counsel formed from the study recommended “put first things first” and suggested that indeed, less is more. Take the time to cull the curriculum to a manageable size for your students, and present them with only that. If you have to “cover” standards, find out what standards and document when you indeed teach them in class. You’ll find that teaching with depth often reaches to a broad array of standards.

It’s helpful to know what’s driving the breadth. As the national study panel concurs, publishers are trying to meet demands of hundreds of different districts by including everything that any school might want. And while publishers have been attempting custom publishing, it is just as difficult to create a math curriculum for a small district as a large one. Thus, the challenges of book publishing lead to a single, uniformly created overarching textbook. Often this is a very large text or an entire series.

In the classroom, teachers and students become overwhelmed and unable to handle the scope or breadth of learning in this form. As teachers, we have to recognize that predominantly negative emotions surround math in middle-school, and that anything we can reduce those emotions will go a long way toward gains in learning learning. Placing a 500 page text in front of a 7th grade student is unlikely to help, so use it sparingly and build little, home-made notebooks for daily use.

5. Model thinking, not solutions or answers.

Don’t show a student how to solve something. Instead “think aloud”. For example, you might have a whiteboard with a problem up, and start by saying, “o.k., I notice that the 4 numbers I am to sum are all in the thousands category, and that the first is near 3,000, the second near 5,000, and the third… I am confused about…” Model exactly what you thinking including confusion, emotions, skills, strategies and more.

When you do this, also let your students know how mathematicians think. One piece of research that is helpful to know is that mathematicians spend a long time thinking about how to set up a problem, a little bit of time doing the problem, and a long time “looking back” by asking the question, “Does this make sense?’ Model that for your students, by putting up a complex problem on the board and spending time not just jumping into a solution, but just talking about what strategies you might use to solve the problem.

6. Provide feedback that is immediate, relevant to the task, non-comparative, and leads the way to next steps.

Many teachers believe that grading is a form of feedback. It isn’t. Grading, when done well, can be a form of assessment of learning, but the distinction should be clear. Grades are not an effective tool as assessment for learning. Grades are the end of the road, when you assess what has been learned, but they should not be intended to inform a student where to go next.

Take, for example, three groups of students who received different kinds of “feedback” on math papers they had “turned in.” The first group received only narrative feedback (no score) informing them where and how they made mistakes. The second group received a grade (or score) and narrative feedback. The third group received just a grade. Not surprisingly, the students who received narrative feedback improved when re-tested. Those who had received only a grade did not have the information to improve, and performed the same when re-tested. But here is the surprising part. There was no difference between “grade-only” group and the group that received the grade and narrative feedback. Why? The students who received both a grade and narrative feedback completely ignored the written suggestions and only looked at the score. “I got a blah, blah, blah… what did you get?”

Because we live in a world where grades and formalized assessments are so important, work with the system by differentiating assessment for learning and assessment of learning.

When you are grading, one guide is to reference Rick Stiggins strategies of assessment for learning. That way, when you are conducting an assessment of learning (i.e. grading), you’ll notice that you are momentarily stepping out of the role of improving a student’s learning and won’t have the conflict of trying to do two things at once.

7. Change mimeographed sheets to problems you and your students personally develop.

A pervasive aspect of our culture is to give out page after page of information. In faculty meetings, business meetings and conferences, hundreds of pages of documents are handed out. It makes us look organized and prepared. It’s also a way to “cover” content. But for a middle-school math student, it also makes it hard to determine what is important. Was it the fractions part? Was it the decimals section? Was it the number line? Was it the triangle puzzle problem? Was it the cartoon?

Instead of another mimeographed page, have your student write their own story problems. Tell them to add artwork for comprehension. Give them the latitude to make them fun. Celebrate them by posting them in class. Give them 5 home-made story problems they create for homework instead of a mimeographed sheet with 30 problems, and really dive into improving them through revision.

8. Use story to teach math.

Write a story, a real story with characters and plot, and add the math problem set. Write about wizards that need to use angles for their sorcery. Write about spice trading ships on the deep seas. Write a story that lasts a whole page before even getting to the math portion. You’ve engaged the right-side, or less analytical, part of the brain and you’ll see a powerful effect of enhanced engagement.

9. Get math tutor volunteers once a week for two-months before state testing.

As a teacher or administrator, spend time during the fall months by planning for and scheduling a single day each week during the months of February and March (right before testing) to have volunteers come in to teach math in small groups. But what’s nice is that if developed correctly, these volunteers don’t need to have any special training in math.

Start with a simple plan. Each student has 10 skills they have chosen to work on during the whole class tutoring session and have written down their practice problems in class. The phone calls are made, the specific planning with an administrator is done, and volunteers come in and help the students answer the 10 questions during class with support. Schedule tutoring once every week for two months before testing and see your scores greatly improve.

10. Work with the emotions your students have for math.

10a. Ask your students how they feel about math. Use a bit of class time periodically to gain a better sense of where they are. And, just let them feel how they feel. If they like math, they like it. If they are bored, empathize. If your students can’t stand math, you will gain far more ground by seeing their perspective than trying to prove they are wrong. As a teacher this is hard because we are so accustomed to trying to “fix” the situation, and of course, our ego is tied to student emotion. If our students are bored, we feel like we aren’t doing the right thing. But the larger truth is that there is an ebb and flow in all of us for the topics we are learning. When the boredom, frustration and negativity does emerge, try understanding it. Perhaps class does feel a little boring. That’s o.k. Sometimes it will. And then slowly, over a period of years, build those compelling pieces into your classes so that you punctuate boring times with excitement and joy.

10b. Go slowly. Changing the direction of your math class is like trying to change the direction of a large ship, especially when dealing with emotions. Even once everything is place for the changes to occur, you will notice the “ship’s” momentum going in the same old direction before you sense any real shifts. This is part of the process. It took me three years to develop a coherent math program at my middle-school and even then, we occasionally slipped in to old patterns. Good luck!

20 Tips And Tricks To Teach Mathematics At The Primary Level

The primary Math education is a key determinant and I must say the very foundation of the computational and analytical abilities a student requires for a strong secondary education. It is the very base on which secondary education is built on. This is why it is mandatory that the teaching techniques and methods we employ as teachers and educators be of such rich quality that the development of a child with respect to his mathematical abilities be wholesome, practical and balanced.

Being a Math teacher is not easy. It is usually the favourite of a few and the nemesis of many. It has been observed that children mostly try to escape doing Math work. While there is a section of students who absolutely love mathematics enough to pursue a career in it, many students live in fear of it. Today we are going to give our teachers some helpful tips and tricks to make teaching math an enjoyable and interesting experience not only for the kids.

20 Tips and Tricks to Teach Mathematics at the Primary Level

  1. Ambience plays a very significant role. It is your responsibility to see that a classroom is properly ventilated with ambient light.
  2. Ensure that Mathematics class is neither before lunch break (when children concentrate more on the Tiffin than studies) nor the last period where students wait more for the bell to ring (not to mention start feeling sleepy!) Keep Math class when the children are active and fresh.
  3. Cultivate the students’ interest in Mathematics by letting them know about the power, structure and scope of the subject.
  4. Hold the students’ attentions from the get go! Introduce the topics with some fun facts, figures or interesting trivia
  5. Chalk out the lesson plan effectively keeping time and content allotment in mind
  6. Use audio and visual aids wherever possible
  7. Draw on the board if required (especially, lessons like geometry, shapes and symmetry)
  8. Call students to work on the blackboard (engagement of every child is necessary and not just a select few!)
  9. Ask for a student’s opinions and thoughts on concepts and mathematical ideas.
  10. Give them time to discuss important concepts and study the text of the chapter too before taking on the problems themselves.
  11. Teach more than one way or approach to solve a problem.
  12. Give regular homework exercises making sure that the questions are a mixed batch of easy, medium and difficult) Children should not feel hopeless. Easy problem questions evoke interest.
  13. Reward them! Whenever students perform well, be generous and offer them an incentive to continue working harder.
  14. Let children enjoy Mathematics and not fear it.
  15. Instill in them the practice to do mental math.
  16. Also, never give a lot of homework. Children are already burdened with assignments to work at home in almost all school subjects, it is thus your duty to make sure that the homework you delegate to them is fair sized or little. (This trick will inculcate in them the motivation to complete math homework first)
  17. Present challenging questions to students so as to develop their analytical and deduction abilities
  18. Keep taking regular tests to cement knowledge.
  19. Teach at a consistent pace. Do not rush with any topic. Before proceeding, be confident that the students are clear with the prior topics.
  20. Play games to create a fun filled classroom teach and learning experience.