Do your Kids need help in Math or Science?

Posted by CaptainKirk 2 years, 8 months ago to Education
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Everyone, I am putting this out there to share it with others. It was part of another post I made, and I realized that it needs to be shared.

Purpose: To help those kids (grade school through University) with Math/Science classes. Leveraging Preparation and Repetition.

Please have them START their school year with this approach. It works even better if they are not already behind.

The usual situation is:
Schools go easy on kids in the first month, and kids are barely listening, but it is so easy, they get by. This sets their effort expectation. Anything above that is like NOOoooo!
Most kids start having real trouble around Oct/November and they are lost. They actually need to go BACK and redo all of the homework from the previous sections.
And this is hard because they are falling further behind. WEEKENDS are times to catch back up. But the point is DON'T Fall behind.

Selling Point:
Sell it to your children as: Do this now, keep your weekends later! Also, imagine getting 3-5 TIMES the value from every lecture the teacher gives. Now you don't have to re-read this stuff when it is NOT making sense 3-5 times at home, when you are struggling and no one can help you. Also, it will help you be less bored in class, because you will be FOLLOWING and LEADING (guessing) where the teacher is going next. And right or wrong, you will learn more. You will have better questions. And to be honest. You should got to EVERY Class Prepared, and COMPLETELY READ UP on the subject so you can actually participate. Since 90% of the kids don't, you are going to be in the top 10% That easily!

This also pushes your confidence higher, which helps you work faster. Think about the last time you did any work, you and NO IDEA you were doing it right. Did you FLY through it or SUFFER through it? Yeah, you suffered through it.

Okay, here is the basic setup. The goals of this process are:
A) Be Prepared for Every Lecture, and have questions ready
Just writing the questions you have and giving them a chance to be answered is the best approach (active listening).
Just have a list of new words will tell you brain to fill in the definition situationally (like when you get a new car, then suddenly notice them everywhere)
B) Work through the Examples BEFORE the teacher does. I taught. I used the examples as problems for the tests to reward the students who did them (with slight changes).
Most tests come from Examples and Homework, with changes. That's it. So do them.
This also helps you with Classification/Recognition. (Oh, this is going to use Pythagorean... Or Binomial Factorization or the Quadratic Equation)
C) Repetition... There is no better way to learn a skill than through repetition! Math/Science are skills based.
D) Acknowledgement. Knowing you have done this much work. Knowing you identified what you did not know, etc.
E) Preparation for Review (after the next block)..

1) Pre-read the section before the teacher covers the material
2) Make a list of every new word as you come across it (DO NOT lookup definitions, the list is enough)
3) Work out EVERY Example on paper. Writing the EXAMPLE for your self, step by step, organized and clean
4) Waste paper. Do not cram things on one piece. One page=One Example
5) Before Class, SCAN the list of "new words" and say each of them to yourself (like buying a new car = seeing it more)
Also, scan the examples.
6) Follow along with the teacher. YOU will get 3-5 TIMES the value out of that lecture, and stop falling behind.
7) Do EVERY homework problem on a BLANK piece of paper. Write the TYPE of problem on the top of the page. Write the problem itself (this is key for Recognition/Classification). Then write the answer, step by step. Write any insights. START on a fresh page if you screw up. Check the answer...
8) Put this away. And do something else, other homework, take a 30 minute break
9) Do your homework again. This time to turn in, or for your workbook. Do every problem again. Hopefully without peeking at your previous work.
=> At this point, review the next section, make a fresh list of new words, and work the examples for what the teacher will cover tomorrow.

After about 2 weeks of this, you will start seeing a difference. But stick with it, don't get lazy.

Now, to study for your tests:
1) review all the sheets with just the new words. You should define every word from memory, circle those you don't have "nailed', go back and nail them down.
2) take YOUR copy of all your homework (1 problem per page), Cover most of the page. Slowly slide down the cover, reading the problem type, then the problem.
Now solve it in your head. Slowly reveal the answer. If you did not "nail it", mark it for deeper review.
If you were totally lost, mark it to study (if you have time) [Sometimes it's not worth the time to learn 1 thing that may be 1 problem on a test!]
Go through ALL of your homework this way.
3) Larger Tests usually just mean going back further. And you are using Repetition.
4) Collect the things you did not "nail" and the other things. Devise a plan. Review

Taking the test:
Read each problem. Knowing how to classify each problem, ONLY do the problem if it is going to be fast/easy. Otherwise skip it.
If the problem is hard sounding, circle it, skip it
If the problem is Foreign/Impossible sounding, draw a square around the problem, and skip it.

Your goal is to raise your confidence with each problem you do as quickly as you can. If after doing a problem, you think you might have made a mistake,
I usually UNDERLINE those problem numbers. To remind me to review them again.

Then, after your first pass through the test, the cobwebs are gone, you should be in the groove. Do the circled problems. After you are done with those,
scan the Squared ones. Usually you will realize what they are about, and do them.

Finally, just double check any underlined problems if you have time before turning the test in. NEVER turn the test in early unless you can verify you nailed every question you answered,
and you tried every question you did not.

At first, this will seem like more work. But it is actually LESS work. You get more out of the lectures. You have an ENTIRE COPY of all the work you have done for the semester, even if you teacher keeps your homework you turn in. And you have pages of new vocabulary you learned along the way. You are doing your work as you go... Not under stress for an upcoming test.

Now, I developed this technique after I left High School, where I did not do that great, but never really studied. I hit college and almost flunked out!
I never learned how to study. It took me 1yr to build this set of techniques. I used them to graduate with High Honors from Michigan State, from the college of Engineering.
I used them to tutor many kids in College, and after... Many kids from my daughters classes who needed help. And others as the word spread. I only had 3 kids who did not
drastically improve. All 3 had one thing in common. They either NEVER started doing the work. Or the never kept doing the work. ONE student did great, and fell back on her
old habits. I met with her, and she immediately got back into the groove and never stopped!
I truly hope this helps EVERYONE who needs it!
Comment if it does.
Ask questions if you have any!

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