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How to Help a Student Improve his Math Skills Math has gained the reputation as being that subject in school that students are most afraid of. But there is no need to fear math, because math can be learned with patient study. But it is important for the tutor to recognize that students fear math, and to help them overcome this anxiety as much as possible. Tutoring must go on despite the students anxieties, you just need to help him through it while learning new math skills. The first thing you should do is to assess the student’s math ability. It is important to begin your tutorial in a place he already knows, that’s why you need to begin at his skill level. 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. Another skill often neglected but is vital in improving math skills is to align problems properly. This is part of the visual aspect of solving math problems. Your student will not need a calculator to simplify fractions is he can write them down in correct alignment on paper. When it comes to addition and multiplication, the proper alignment of numbers is crucial. Lining up numbers in their correct columns makes it a lot easier to solve addition and multiplication.
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If you follow these basic activities, you will be able to help your student improve his math skills greatly.
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Try using a blank sheet of white paper in your math tutorials instead of lined paper. Lined paper has been found to cause some distractions on the student’s eye focus, because he sees the lines instead of just numbers. Anything that can be a cause of distraction should be removed or minimized to help the student concentrate on pure numbers. It has also been found helpful to use colored pens to indicate the step-by-step process involved in many math solutions. Marking different steps with different colored markers in solving problems helps the student master the step-by-step process that many solutions are done with. He can pause at every step of the solution when he changes pen color, and his mind learns to adjust. It is important for you to allow the student to repeat the whole process after every demonstration. It is important to let him use the same colored markers for every step in order for his mind to retain the process better. Guide you student slowly through the step-by-step process, asking him to repeat the process several times. There’s no need to rush, learning one simple math skill at a time, whether it’s computing simple interest loans or weighted grades, it will improve his general ability. It also give him a good confidence boost, which is crucial in his learning.