It’s no news that many elementary students are struggling with understanding math concepts. The reason is not that math is a monstrous subject, but that most of the teaching and learning strategies used are not interactive. As a result, new teaching ideas like tutoring are becoming popular in helping a child learning math. With the advancement in technology, tutoring has become easy and accessible online through math tutoring apps.
With a reliable and effective math tutor, you can be assured of significant improvement in your kid’s math performance. Parents should ensure that kids are receiving interactive maths lessons for studying to be effective. So, below are some imperative strategies for elementary math tutoring.
Personalized online learning math
Working in a mixed-ability can be challenging to meet the needs of every student at the same time. Some may be slow-paced and need help to grasp new concepts, while others are ahead of their peers from day one. One of the solutions is finding an effective math tutor. The tutor will understand your child’s interests, weaknesses, strengths, and abilities and create a personalized math schedule that fits them.
Personalized learning ensures that each student gets a learning plan based on what they know and are able to learn. Learners cooperate with their tutors to create effective short-term and long-term goals. It is also essential to find a trained elementary math tutor who has enough inclusion training. Finally, personalized learning helps reduce the stigma of special education.
Math tutoring goes beyond the traditional learning method in a classroom with a blackboard and textbooks. In recent days, with technological advancements, blackboards have turned into smart boards, textbooks into tablets, and classrooms into virtual classrooms. Technology has allowed educators to abandon traditional habits and embrace a more interconnected and technology-oriented education.
Technology makes it possible to conduct online math learning where kids can learn math live from their tutors without physically meeting them. Math apps and websites have made it easy to access learning materials and tools. Students can also enroll in the best online math courses as supplementary activities to class work. Math games are available online, and kids can enjoy their screen time as they grasp some math concepts.
How to help kids with math? The answer is interactive learning. It is a teaching strategy that aims at getting students actively engaged in the learning process by grasping their attention. Interactive learning is the opposite of passive learning where students only listen to lectures without asking questions or making suggestions. Tutors should incorporate interactive learning and allow students to participate actively in conversations.
Tutors can incorporate interactive learning through simple strategies:
- Flipped classrooms. This method gives students pre-learning exposure before the class. Tutors can record videos and send them to learners for review before the lesson.
- Team-based learning. An elementary math tutor divides the class into groups based on the kids’ abilities to work on different math concepts and present their work before the class. This approach helps create a collaborative learning environment.
- Peer instructions. A tutor lectures for a short time, allowing students to ask questions and discuss the taught concepts for deeper understanding.
- Enhanced lectures. This is an activity where tutors use tools to frequently poll their classes, receive immediate feedback, and quickly evaluate and modify lessons to give learners more time to understand complicated material. (1)
Conceptual learning is a tutoring technique to teach math through concepts rather than just ask students to memorize facts, methods, and formulas. It aims at bringing math to life and helping students understand the “why” behind a math concept. Most students learn the concepts and carry them over to solve problems without understanding them. Thus, a student will have an idea of how to solve a particular problem but will not be able to solve it.
For example, when it comes to multiplication, many tutors require their students to memorize the multiplication tables. If a student gets a question about the volume, they cannot solve the problem since they do not know which numbers to multiply even though they have memorized the multiplication table. The kids’ effort to memorize will go to waste, and their performance will go. Helping your child with mathematics involves ensuring they understand the math concept rather than memorize it. (2)
An elementary math tutor should understand that the best way to ignite your learners’ interests is by telling them a real-life story related to the math concept. This approach helps learners understand how different concepts are used to solve real-life problems. This goal is achievable using visuals like blocks, pictures, sticks, and physical objects to bring ideas to life. When solving questions in a test, students can relate the issue to a real-life problem and solve it easily.
For example, “Ann had ten oranges, she gave two to Mark, and three were rotten, so she threw them away. How many oranges were Ann left with?” Instead of using the theoretical strategy, you can buy real oranges to help learners visualize the idea. Thus, you will allow learners to develop their critical thinking, creative, and visual skills. Real-world applications involve applying hands-on teaching ideas to help kids touch and feel what they are learning.
Sitting down to take notes from a chalkboard while growing up in a technological environment may not be beneficial for elementary students. Hence, tutors should be aware of such advancements and use them to benefit kids in class. Whether at home or in school, interactive learning should be a priority when it comes to teaching kids because it is the only way to better understand the material and ensure knowledge retention.
No matter which strategy a tutor decides to use, it should ensure the learners understand the concepts and improve their math performance. And please remember that math plays a critical role in a country’s development and each learner’s career prospects.
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