Are you looking for strategies to help students who have trouble understanding abstract math ideas? If so, keep reading.
1. Select a peer to give concrete examples associated with each math problem (e.g., 9 minus 7 becomes 9 apples minus 7 apples) and assist the student in solving the math problems.
2. Assess the appropriateness of having the student learning abstract ideas at this time (i.e., Is it too complicated for the student?).
3. Get the student to be a peer tutor and teach a concept they have learned to another student. This can serve as reinforcement for the student.
4. Get the student to draw images to illustrate math problems.
5. Get the student to play games with colored chips with values designated for each color to learn the concept of one, tens, etc.
6. Get the student to practice the idea of regrouping by “borrowing” and “carrying” from manipulatives arranged in columns set up like math problems.
7. Get the student to use “sets” of objects from their surroundings to practice addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division problems.
8. Get the student to use concrete manipulatives in real-life situations (e.g., use measuring cups to prepare a recipe, use money to purchase things from the store).
9. Present abstract math ideas with concrete examples (e.g., use a liquid and measuring cups with ounces indicated to present liquid measurement).
10. Make sure all the student’s math problems have concrete examples associated with them (e.g., 9 minus 7 becomes 9 apples minus 7 apples, etc.).
11. Make sure the student has mastery of math ideas at each level before introducing a new skill level.
12. Do not require the student to learn more information than they are capable of learning at any time.
13. Teach the student why they are learning a math concept. Give the student concrete examples and chances for them to apply those ideas in real-life situations.
14. Utilize abstract ideas to describe concrete objects in their surroundings (e.g., bigger, smaller, square, triangle, etc.).
15. Make it pleasant and positive for the student to ask questions about things they do not understand. Praise the student by assisting the student, congratulating, etc.
16. Consider using Alexa for the Math Classroom.
17. Try gamifying your math lessons.
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