Math is a cumulative subject, meaning one needs to remember the concepts of previous grades and lessons to move ahead. It does not have many one-off topics, and most of it ties back to the topics already studied in the earlier years. Hence, it is vital to get the fundamentals right; otherwise, one could be lagging behind their peers in no time. Students are sometimes timid or unsure or could not muster up the courage to ask doubts immediately in the class itself, but they must do so after the class hours or at private tuitions. Doubts left unresolved could be a significant hurdle in the learning process and must be addressed as soon as possible.
Many students find math daunting and uninspiring. They become unmotivated and soon give up on it. This change towards the subject is dangerous because math is an essential life skill and goes way beyond textbooks. If a student cannot understand a concept or has doubts, they should never be afraid to ask them. Discussing the doubts with their peers might help, and if needed, they could seek a tutor. Once they have a private tutor, the student realizes that he/she would help to move forward, and the student could ask all their doubts without any hesitation. It is also the tutor's responsibility to make the student comfortable enough in the classroom to ask doubts without feeling embarrassed.
To move ahead in the learning process, a student must get all the doubts resolved from the tutor. Unclear doubts can come back haunting during exams or may lead to unnecessary stress in students, which is something nobody likes to happen. So all the students should always be encouraged to get their doubts resolved immediately.
Here are a few handy tips on how to get math doubts cleared effectively through a tutor:
Sounds obvious, right? You won't believe how many students fail to practice this. If a student has problems understanding a concept or is getting stuck on some topic, he must communicate this to his tutor. However great a tutor might be, he/she is not a magician who would know what is inside the student's mind unless he/she speaks about it.
Define & communicate your learning pace
In line with communication, the tutor must also be aware of the teaching pace, whether it is meeting the understanding level of the student. While this practice might not be possible in a classroom, it is a must for private tuitions/private tutor. Considering a private tutor, before the classes, a perfect tutor will discuss with the student regarding their problem areas and devise a strategy so that the student learns the subject with interest instead of creating an aversion towards the subject. Private tuitions would still follow a personalized learning plan to help the students resolve their specific problems and progress on their learning path.
Identify the problem areas
It is not uncommon for students to get stuck at a math problem and then skip it to move on to the next question. While that might be a good practice in an examination, it won't do a student any good in the long run. The best practice would be to note down the problems with doubts or concepts where more clarity is needed. If a student gets doubt in a similar type of sums or questions under the same topic, an experienced tutor would be able to identify the learning gap and help the student to improve.
Maintain a list of Doubts
Maintaining a copy for noting the doubts is always a good practice. All the doubts in one place will help the students to keep track of their flaws. It will also help a tutor address these problems more effectively. Writing down doubts with a checkmark beside them gives a sense of achievement and improves confidence in the student.
Create a Distraction-Free environment
I think it is probably safe to say that mathematics is the subject that requires a student's most attention. If there are distractions and the student's mind is elsewhere, it is easy to lose focus. In such a case, even simple problems might seem difficult. One of the best practice is listening to music while learning. Music in the background acts as an aid to learning. Apart from music, the right environment is essential for concentrating on math. The tutor might be able to suggest a few changes to the study environment too. A suitable study environment might be the key to solving math problems like trigonometric equations!
Start the class with questions
Asking doubts about the topics from previous sessions should be the first practice a student does in every class. While the teacher may have a different classroom policy, this should be followed by a private tutor as often as possible. It is the duty of both the student and the tutor to revise the concepts discussed previously, before moving on to the next topic.
Schedule Error Review session
A tutor would be able to help in identifying the root cause of the mistake made in a test or an assessment. After every examination or assessment, a session to be made with the tutor to review the errors. To err is human and completely normal, but it is essential to know why the error has occurred. If a student can identify the reason behind it, then he/she can rectify it on their own. Mistakes often occur when students are caught up in complex problems because their bases are weak or when they have a learning gap. The right tutor will help the student identify the same and help the students study maths effectively.
Do not let feelings like stupidity or embarrassment come in the way of your learning. Blast away all the questions you have. Most teachers would be glad to answer them and will appreciate your sincerity. You are helping yourself by asking questions. Sometimes even other students in the class might have the same problems but were feeling embarrassed to ask; when you take the first step, it would also encourage them to come forward. Stay curious and never stop asking questions until you are happy with the answer.
Respect the tutor
In the majority of cases, the tutor is older, wiser and better informed than the students. Even if this is not the case, students should retain a certain level of dignity and respect for the tutor. A student-teacher relationship is sacred, and borders are always bound by it. Of course, a student and a teacher can be friends, but there will always be a sense of gratitude to someone who is teaching you something. A teacher who feels respected will invariably be more interested in helping the students get more proficient.
Practice, practice, and more practice!
It is not a secret tip but often ignored. In contrast to many other subjects, math is a subject that cannot be read from a textbook one night before the exam. It requires plenty of 'doing'. That is how problem areas are identified and resolved. Understanding the concept is one thing, but solving the many related problems is a whole other game. Students should ask their tutors to make them practice a variety of questions as much as possible.
Review class notes with a private tutor
Students are encouraged to make comprehensive notes in class. Students who fall behind in the classroom they try to choose a private tutor at home. If they find it difficult to understand a concept and cannot get individual attention in class, they should highlight the issues and discuss them with their private tutor. Taking notes will help them recall problematic areas. A written report would also help them to recognize the difference in approach between the two tutors.
Today there are hundreds of platforms assisting in mathematics. Cuemath is an excellent choice for people who seek personal attention. All Cuemath teachers follow the philosophical system of teaching the 'why behind what' to their students with their live doubt solving classes. It not only helps them build strong mathematical foundations, it also accelerates their growth. Visit their website to know more about the tools they use to help students stay ahead of their peers.
Math can be tricky if not approached the right way. Questions which remain unresolved could lead to massive confusion in other topics. Students should make full utilization of available resources to dispel any doubts they may have. Parents should encourage them to do this. Every time a student is underperforming, instead of criticizing him or her, parents should sit down with the students and their tutors to find a solution to the problem.
All kids are born natural doers, and the right tutor can help them recognize their true potential!