Maximize Your Study Environment
The end of the school year is coming and with the nice weather it is even more important to stay focused and finish the year strong. Your study environment, if a good one, can help you get better results in less time. Try different study environments and see which one works the best for you. Generally, I recommend finding a well lit, quiet, undistracted place, where you have enough room to spread your study materials out in front of you. Ideally, you want a place where you can be uninterrupted. Consider hiding that cell phone for an hour or two, or put it on silent and only check it every hour(not every minute :)
When I was in college, I would seek out the most remote and quietest places to study. There were individual study rooms in the graduate library somewhere near the top floor where you could close the door behind you and hear a pin drop. Literally, I could hear my heart beating. Then there was the law library where you had to stake out your spot early in the evening and not dare move less you lose your spot and then close it down at 2 am. But when finals rolled around, every study room, library, coffee shop, nook and cranny of that university was filled with students studying. One semester found me making the rounds to my usual study spots and after finding one after another filled to capacity, I stumbled upon a particular library that had study space available! It was the smallest library on the campus...so small it was housed inside of another building. It focused on a particular subject area exclusively. Can you guess which one? The math library! Ha! It was filled with PhD dissertations, and other obscure math books. There was hardly a person there. So, in a pinch, that little math library saw me and my books there on occasion. Maybe some of that math in there even rubbed off a little on me, who knows?
So, stay focused and study well! Summer will be here soon enough and you can take it easy then.
(Image courtesy of photostock at FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
NUMBERs, CONFIDENCE, & "Mathemagic"
One thing that I notice is that when students get good at doing mental math(math calculations in their mind as opposed to on their calculator or on paper) they really light up with a sense of confidence and accomplishment. This fuels a positive cycle that propels students to convince themselves that they are indeed good at math and to enjoy getting even better at it. It all starts with knowing your basic multiplication tables, then understanding a bit about the distributive property, and it goes on from there. Take a look at the video below it truly is amazing! You don't have to be as good as this guy but learning a few mental math tricks can go a long way to helping you with almost every math problem you do, making it quicker, and more fun.
Should you get a private tutor for your child or take them to the local Mathnasium, Kumon, or Sylvan? That depends on a number of factors:
What grade is your child in?
If your son or daughter is in 6th or 7th grade or lower I will often recommend this route to parents. These centers really give students the fundamentals they need to be successful at math as they progress to the higher grades. Students become comfortable with all their multiplication tables, fractions, decimals, develop an overall good number-sense, and more.
Are general math skills needed or help with what your child is working on in their class today?
Often these math learning centers have their own math curriculum that a student progresses through step by step at their own pace. But, if what your child needs at the moment is help with what is happening yesterday, today, and tomorrow in their class then private tutoring is often a better option.
Group sessions or individual one-to-one attention?
If your child is easily distracted or very much confused or challenged currently in their class then 1 on 1 tutoring could be more effective.
All of these are worth considering when deciding which is the best fit for your child and they both have their good points.
Helping students succeed in math for over 15 years. Individualized attention makes the difference!