Published at Thursday, 03 December 2020. Worksheets. By Bernadette Roy.
The answer for the above question is hidden in a simple example. I always give the example of stairs to my students, and giving the same example in this article. I compare the steps of a staircase to the concepts in mathematics. As this is very hard to reach higher floors of a building without stairs (or elevators these days), same way learn higher concepts in mathematics without learning basic concepts is very hard. People have to start from the ground, then first step, second, third and so on to reach their destination floor. Exactly the same way students have to start from Kindergarten, then grade one, grade two and three and so on to reach their math destination. Also, if some of the steps are broken in the staircase, it is still hard to reach the desired floor using those steps. Same way, if you are missing some of the basic concepts from elementary grades, math for you is still hard.
ALEKS, my personal favorite, uses artificial intelligence software to routinely assess what a student actually knows, reinforce the areas that they need extra help in, and moves them through a pie chart of skills with interactive lessons and explanations that students view along the way. Periodically, new assessments are given and the software individually redesigns the material that your student needs to learn to tailor a math course that is unique to each student. Rather than having chapter tests, students work to complete the entire pie chart. The course is complete when the student has 100% mastery, so the foundation of skills is very strong when a student completes the course. In any math program, students should also practice self-checking and use a Critique System for evaluating their personal problem areas, but with regular evaluations such as these and solid online math programs, students can significantly change the way they feel about math, as well as their skill in math. Online math is an excellent option worth considering, certainly for home-schoolers, but also for any students who want to brush up on skills over the summer.
By the time they are learning first grade math, kids should be ready to tackle things like the relationship between addition and subtraction, the concept of adding and subtracting two-digit numbers and learning to count beyond 100. Being able to compare numbers as larger, smaller or equal to each other is also important, as it provides the basis for recognizing whether or not the answer to a computation problem is the correct one. Children need to be allowed to master these and other essential math skills before being asked to move on to new ideas, but the modern classroom setting does not always allow for this. As focus on core curriculum begins to push complex ideas into lower grade levels, kids are expected to learn more at a younger age. First grade math still contains many fundamental concepts essential for understanding higher math, and therefore should not be rushed through. By letting a child try and re-try each new thing as it comes, online math games can give the extra time and practice that struggling students need to achieve success.
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