Are you looking for ways to teach students to work math problems from left to right instead of right to left? If so, keep reading.
1. Give the student practice solving math problems on the computer, which will automatically solve problems right to left.
2. Place the student’s math problems on graph paper or vertically lined paper to align columns. Include a reminder to begin each problem at the right.
3. Acknowledge quality work (e.g., display the student’s work, congratulate the student, etc.).
4. Minimize the amount of information on a page (e.g., fewer math problems, less print, etc.) if it is visually distracting for the student.
5. Minimize the emphasis on competition. Competitive learning activities may cause the student to hurry and make mistakes in math problems.
6. Praise proper right-to-left problem-solving through the use of math games.
7. Praise the student for doing math problems from right to left: (a) give the student a concrete reward (e.g., privileges such as leading the line, handing out learning materials, 10 minutes of free time, etc.) or (b) give the student an informal reward (e.g., praise, handshake, smile, etc.).
8. Make the student work each math problem using a bookmark/strip of paper to cover all columns except the one on the right. Move the marker to the left as they move from the ones column to the tens columns to the hundreds column, etc.
9. Make the student solve math problems by place value (e.g., begin with the ones column, then the tens column, hundreds column, etc.).
10. Write the place value above each math problem to remind the student to begin with the ones column to solve the problems.
11. Converse with the student to explain (a) what they are doing wrong (e.g., working math problems from left to right) and (b) what they must be doing (e.g., working math problems from right to left).
12. Utilize a marker to highlight the ones column to show the student where to begin to work math problems.
13. Utilize large colored arrows to indicate where the student begins to work math problems (e.g., right to left).
14. Complete the first problems for the student as they watch to give a demonstration and an example.
15. Consider using Alexa for the Math Classroom.
16. Try gamifying your math lessons.
17. Consider using one of the apps and tools from our many math app lists:
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