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Module 2.5 C

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Develop an understanding of the various problems students face with math. Use various strategies to help students improve their math skills.

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Lack of self-management skills. Lack of strategy. Failure to follow and understand directions. Poor understanding of instructor expectations.

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Inability to understand and accept criticism from the instructor. Poor understanding of, or inability to use, the resources available to them. Poor understanding of basic math principles or procedures. Poor understanding of when and where to apply key concepts.

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Unfamiliar with the various symbols and their proper usage. Unfamiliar with math language and terminology. Improper use of textbooks and solutions manuals. Unfamiliar with how to properly read a math textbook. Impatience and frustration. Unfamiliar with calculator functions Poor note taking skills.

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Help students create a reference chart of the various symbols and their meanings. Listen to ideas and answer questions. Ask questions to help students clarify and focus their thoughts. Ask questions to help tutees understand the material.

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Concentrate on terminology, especially familiar words. Help students create a “glossary” of terms and formulas for later reference. Remember to use only the definitions from the book and avoid interpretation. This way, we know that the student is studying the right information.

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Discuss the material with the tutee. Work with the students to help them identify and correct errors in their work. Demonstrate techniques students can use to do their own work. Show students how to brainstorm and organize their thoughts by asking themselves questions.

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Give students honest, but supportive feedback about their work, pointing out strengths and weaknesses. Show students how to get the most of their textbooks and introduce students to other resources including websites, student solution manuals, and handouts. Make comments on your Progress Reports. Starting point for next session. Focus sessions on basic concepts or procedures the student needs to build on later.

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Encourage students to take responsibility for their own work. Help students find and correct errors. Do not do the student’s work for them.

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Note Taking Skills Math note-taking is different from other classes Special formats Remember to use BOTH English and Math language. Students will not be able to remember or use ideas that they do not understand.

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Shaping: Successively rewarding closer approximations to the correct behavior. Example: A student is working on this homework problem -(3y-21)/(-6)=0 Their first attempt looks something like this… -3y-21/-6=0 -3y/-6=21.5y=21 Y=42 What went wrong? How do we fix it?

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First, let’s take a look at how they do with a basic equation X+3=5 If they can figure this one out, then try adding a coefficient bigger than one. 3x+4=19 Once they have the hang of that, throw in the negatives. 2x-17=1 Next, we come to the dreaded division! (5x+3)/7=4

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We keep taking the student closer and closer to the original problem in small steps so that they can finally apply what they know to the original problem. (5x-12)/2=16 It may seem like a long way to go to get to the answer, but your tutees will learn a lot more from this method than from you telling them how to do the problem. Strengthens fundamental skills at all levels of math. Gives tutees a sense of accomplishment, thus boosting self-confidence.

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Find a partner. One of you is the math tutor and the other is the tutee. Try to help the tutee work through the problem given to you by your instructor using Socratic Method and any of the other strategies presented to you during your training. What works? What doesn’t? Does this surprise you? Now trade and try a new problem!

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As a group, review the problems given to you by your instructor. How are these problems similar? How are they different? What problems would you expect tutees to have if they encountered these questions in a homework assignment or on an exam? How can you help prevent these problems?

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Part of the reason students struggle in math classes is language Math is not English! DO NOT skip “unimportant words” Words like by, of, is, for, and, with Important meanings in math but often skipped over when reading

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Inferences are BAD When learning to read, we learn to “read between the lines” Add our own experiences to the story to make it meaningful Math is just the facts, only what is given in the problem is relevant

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