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Tips for struggling math student

If a student is struggling, it indicates that they don’t yet have mastery of the concept. If you’ve noticed your student struggling with the Lesson Practice Pages, here are some suggestions: 

  • Ask your student to teach you the steps of the problem using the Build, Write, Say method. If they are struggling to teach you the steps, then pause and model the steps for them with other problems. At times students may need to observe you working through an entire worksheet before feeling comfortable and confident.
  • Reteach the lesson. Walk through the steps of the sample problems Mr. Demme demonstrates in the videos that are in the Instruction Manual. Your student may also benefit from watching the video with you. 
  • Ask questions. Engage your student by asking questions like “Can you walk me through how you tried to solve the problem?” or “Is there a different way you could have solved this?”
  • Use the additional resources. In your Instruction Manual, you may find additional games or activities to help reinforce the lesson concept.

Your student should complete a sufficient amount of the Lesson Practice worksheets to gain proficiency with the new concept and to show mastery using the Build, Write, Say Method before moving on to the Systematic Review pages and then Lesson Test.

What should we do if my student is struggling with the problems on the Lesson Test or Unit Test?

Students should not attempt the lesson test until they have shown proficiency with the lesson concept. The primary purpose of the test is to confirm that they have mastered each concept before moving on.

  • Ask your students to teach you the incorrect problem(s) using the Build, Write Say method. This might give you some insight into whether the student made a careless mistake or if they do not understand the concept.
  • Provide extra practice. Generate additional practice worksheets using the Worksheet Generator in the Digital Toolbox. 

The unit tests and final tests take the information your student has learned so far in the level and confirm their mastery of that material. If your student struggles on the Unit Tests or Final Exam, you will need to determine which concept the student is struggling with so that you can review that particular lesson concept.

Because concepts build upon one another, your student should have a solid foundation before moving on to new concepts. If your student is struggling with complex concepts, they may be missing a solid foundation in their math fact mastery. If you feel that your student is struggling due to gaps in foundational fact mastery, you may need additional focused practice on math facts or consider using one of Math-U-See’s interventions: Accelerated Individualized Mastery (AIM)

My student just guesses the answers. What should I do to keep them engaged?

Math-U-See has been designed to engage students with lessons they can see, hear, and touch!  One of the best ways to keep students interested is to use the manipulatives and the Build, Write, Say method of teaching that Mr. Demme models in the instructional videos. 

While the pages in the books are black and white, the manipulatives are the focal point of the lessons and bring color! To add color to the Student Workbook, you can use colored pencils that correspond to the block colors on the worksheets. 

Related Articles and Blog Posts

How to Build Math Confidence in Your Struggling Student
The Secret to Why Your Student Struggles in Math
Math-U-See Test
Math-U-See Mastery

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