Each subject area is different and the basic skills needed to be successful in each area are often applied differently. The ability to do math is not the same as being able to read, yet both are essential life skills. The following are ways to help students apply math skills appropriately.
- Make sure that the student has read through the textbook lesson and tried the examples. The examples should be understood fully before the problems are tackled. Have the student explain aloud the method used to achieve the answer in the example.
- The answers should be used only to check if completed calculations are correct, not to set a target answer for calculations. It is just as important to master the correct method as it is to have the correct answer.
- Ask the student to explain orally what they are doing step by step. This will reinforce what they are doing correctly and allow you to hear where they are getting into trouble.
- Make sure that all written calculations are shown. These can be reviewed later to judge whether an error in calculation or method occurred.
- Refer to past math homework, class notes and previous tests. Math is a subject that builds on concepts. It is difficult to learn new concepts when the previous lessons were not understood completely.
- Relate math skills that are presented to real-life situations. This will reinforce the concepts presented.