Pure mathematics is, in its way, the poetry of logical ideas. – Albert Einstein
Why is Mathematics so difficult for some children? Dear teachers, sometimes it is not obvious to us if we don’t really observe the children in the classroom. The students struggling in Mathematics need to be identified in order for you to counter the problems and find solutions to help the students in learning. Mathematics is important in a student’s life. There are certain signs that teachers need to be alert to identify the students that are struggling with Mathematics.
1- Problem With Mental Maths
Students will have a problem with mental math. Mental math is the ability of a student to do Mathematics in their head efficiently without the need to write any operations to solve questions. Why mental math is important? Students that cannot answer simple Mathematics questions with speed and without using any tools will affect the students’ capability to learn more complex concept in the future.
Mental math is not only practiced in the classroom but also beyond the four walls of the classroom, in the students’ daily lives. For example, a student could benefit from mental math which allows him/her to calculate what he/she can buy with the weekly allowance.
How to improve students’ mental health? By using hands-on tools, for instance, counting sticks, macaroni or counters! Teachers, that is why when you are choosing a Mathematics program for your students, the hands-on kit must be the number one criterion that you should look for.
2- Mathematics Grades Are Lower Than Other Subjects
The second sign that teachers need to be alert to identify which students are struggling with Mathematics is the Mathematics grades are lower than other subjects’. However, give the students some time and monitor their grades. If there is no improvement, that is a red flag!
If the grades are constant for 3 tests, the student is struggling, and it is time for you to be a Super Teacher that gives a lot of exercises and extra classes for the students. Ask the parents to assist you, so extra exercises at home.
Do not focus on writing exercises, do some hands-on activities that are enjoyable, or your student might not be interested to study Mathematics. Then, only let them practice in their workbooks after they have grasped the concept.
3- Struggling With Mathematical Concepts
Students are struggling with mathematical concepts such as more, less, bigger than or smaller than? Beware, teachers! This is one of the signs that your students are struggling with Mathematics. Unable to do comparisons will lead the students to have difficulty in comparing numbers and their values, for instance, students can determine which one is bigger between 5 and 10 because the students cannot understand the Mathematics concept. Not only they are struggling to understand mathematical concepts, but they also will have a hard time memorizing and remembering the mathematical concepts taught to them in the classroom. That is the fourth sign! They will tend to forget all this information which contributes to the second sign.
4- Anxiety When Learning Mathematics
Next, one of the signs is the students will have anxiety when learning Mathematics. For some of the students, hearing “Mathematics” word could also trigger anxiety which is a no-no! Teachers need to do something. Do you know what you can do? Make Mathematics lesson more fun than before, come up with exciting Mathematics activities. Use colours, stickers, animal pictures or whatever you have in the classroom. If you have fun, that means your students are having fun, too!
5- Can’t Tell The Time
Try telling your students (especially the 5 years old and above) to tell the time. Can they do it? At least tell you the number pointed or showed in the analog or digital clock that you have around. If the students can’t tell the time, that is one of the signs that your students are struggling with Mathematics. Cannot tell the time means the ability for the students to recognize numbers is not there. This will cause the students to have difficulties in solving any Mathematics questions or problems. That is why there is a lot of Mathematics program always prioritize the ability of the students to know numbers by using tools to eliminate this problem.
6- They Hate Mathematics!
They hate Mathematics! Yes, because they are struggling in learning Mathematics and young students do not like to struggle as that will make them feel sad and difficult to do something. Students do not like to be in that position. Turn Mathematics into games and you will see these students come around and will become interested in Mathematics because they will enjoy themselves with games, tools or hands-on kit! If it is all about write, write, write and read, read, read, the students will feel demotivated and hate Mathematics forever. We would not want that, do we?
7- Do Not Surpass The Mathematics Milestones
In learning Mathematics, there are milestones that the students need to achieve even at a kindergarten level. The milestones of Mathematics are number sense, measurement, shapes and geometry, patterning and probability. If any of the students do not surpass these Mathematics milestones as their other friends do on allocated time, this is the last sign need to be observed. Mathematics program has been constructed in this way even though there are different methods to ensure students pass these milestones. Unable to pass any of the milestones will cause students to have difficulty moving on to the next milestones.
So, that’s it! All the above are the 8 signs that I can share with you to identify the students that are struggling with Mathematics. If you have no time and no ideas about how to turn Mathematics into fun and exciting games, the Euler Math program is the perfect Mathematics program for you! All the hands-on kits, workbooks, songs, and activities will make the students jump happily when they know it is time for Mathematics class!