These are some classroom tips that I have found work for students to make the world of books and studies easier. Some are just good sense, some are ideas born of experience. They work at any level - middle school right on through college.
They are written with a bit of a math perspective, but they are valid in any situation. Here they are.
Ask A Lot Of Questions
I know it can feel a little embarrassing, because asking a question means admitting that you don’t understand something. But don’t be embarrassed. Chances are that most of the class doesn’t understand either, and someone is secretly thanking you for asking the question so they didn’t have to. If you have been paying attention and trying, then it is not your fault — it’s the teacher's for not explaining clearly enough. Ask your question and keep asking until you get it. You’ll be glad you did.
Don’t Fall Behind In Class!
In math, the lessons build on top of one another, so that if you sleep through September, you might be in real trouble comes October… Try to be disciplined about doing your math homework, and pay attention in class. If you make a habit of these things, the class will seem generally easier.
Get A “Study Buddy”
Find someone in the class who cares as much about doing well in the class as you do. Make a habit of getting together to do your homework, or talking about the homework on the phone. Math can seem much less scary when you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, when you and a friend are working together to solve problems, it can be kind of fun.
Use Available Tutoring
Don’t wait until you are falling way behind or getting failing grades to come in for tutoring. Find help at the first sign of trouble. Get a tutor (me, maybe?). Or contact a friend with math smarts when you are having trouble with your homework. Don’t be afraid to take advantage of any available help.
Prepare For Tests
Make sure that you know what will be on each test, and practice those kinds of problems. Studying for a math test is really just practice, practice, practice. Prepare for the tests with your “study buddy.” Get a good night’s sleep before each test, too.
Many people suffer from “math anxiety,” where just thinking about math gets them feeling underconfident and nervous. This makes them put off studying and homework until it is too late. Don’t let the math scare you, or make you feel bad. Math can be a bit tough to learn, but anyone can do it.
About this Page
I have had a rewarding and complete classroom career teaching and coaching mathematics.
Variable Thinking is my way of sharing some of my ideas, tips, and savvy about education and student success with you.
I hope find the comments and articles interesting and useful to both you and your student.