Math Homework… Tonight?
Traditional math homework often involves completing a set of similar math problems. The goal is to get the correct answer, often showing the steps performed on the way. If your child struggles with math, you know first hand the frustration they experience when faced with a page of math problems they cannot solve.
You may have struggled with math yourself, leaving both you and your child feeling helpless. The purpose of the Get It Guide Math Tutorials is to help your child develop confidence and a positive attitude that anyone CAN learn math, even when it’s not easy.
Solving a math problem can involve performing a series of steps and calculations. Students will often judge their understanding by their ability to get the correct answer. If they get a wrong answer they may think… “I don’t get it!”
This is usually not the case. There are often some steps they do understand. But they may forget a step, or get them out of sequence. Which step or calculation do they not yet understand? This is the most important part of the learning process: to figure out where their difficulty is, so that your child can go back to school the next day and pinpoint this difficulty to their teacher, rather than saying nothing, or ” I just don’t get it”.
Learning how to speak up and advocate for themselves is an important skill for your child to learn at this stage, not just for math, but also for life.
Get It Guide Math Tutorials use effective questions to deconstruct and break down a math solution into smaller simpler steps. In the classroom, teachers use similar questions to help students focus on key solving steps, and to assess students’ understanding. Your child can practice the same approach to question themselves, and to think aloud when working through a math problem. This is what effective problem solvers do.
Conversations About Learning
You can help a lot by encouraging your child to practice and develop the following study habits as they work through a Get It Guide Tutorial.
- Read aloud each effective question as it is presented in the tutorial
- Take some wait time (3 – 5 seconds) to think about how they will respond
- Think aloud as they speak/verbalize their response
- Write down/document their thinking on paper. Your child has the option of printing a worksheet activity for each tutorial.
- Reflect on their thinking by reading and comparing their work to each explanation presented in the tutorial.
- Assess their understanding by having them walk you through a solution to a problem. They’ll teach you!
Follow up with your child by having them check in with you once they’ve finished a tutorial or after having worked through a tutorial for a set time. Have them walk you through the tutorial. They teach you! Goals and indicators of success include the following:
- In response to each effective question, your child can explain their response and thinking clearly
- Your child can use appropriate mathematical vocabulary
- Your child can demonstrate a solution step
- Your child can compare, paraphrase and explain the solution examples presented in the tutorial.
Ask your child to assess where they are in their learning by having them:
- Identify the solution steps they feel confident explaining and demonstrating
- More importantly, identify the solution steps they do not yet feel confident explaining and demonstrating
- Write learning goals they’ll ask their teacher for help with