Naif Bennabi November 18, 2020 Math Worksheets
For many middle-school children, math is a real challenge. It is at this age that the concepts begin to get more abstract, and work goes beyond "concrete" ideas like adding and subtracting. It's no surprise that at this age, math can become something the student avoids, or begins to dislike. Parents, too, can start to see math as the enemy. Teachers may even tell parents that their child "struggles with concepts," a nice way of saying "your kid doesn't get it." But is this the case? Does a middle-school child struggling with math simply not understand the concepts? Often the answer to this question is a resounding "no!"
As a middle-school math teacher, I have seen many students who do understand abstract concepts, and even enjoy learning about things like Pi and the Pythagorean Theorem, but who appear to be unable to do so due to a weak grasp of math fundamentals. In other words, they never memorized their multiplication tables! Many times I have seen a student do poorly due to a weakness in basic math facts they should have learned in third grade.
These students have weak immediacy. This means that compared to other students, they are slow to come up with the right answers to basic math problems like 6 x 8, or 35 divided by 7. While other kids have the answer stored in their memory, these kids do not. This causes big problems when they try to work through the more complex problems they encounter in junior high math.
It does not matter how capable these students are when it comes to abstract concepts -- if they have weak immediacy, it will appear that they are weaker than they really are. So is it too late for these students? Absolutely not! The place to start is with remediation, with drills in those basic math skills that they somehow never picked up. WARNING! Your child (or student) will not like this! It involves a bit of grinding, and the work will seem to them too "baby" -- they will probably not want it spread around that they are back to working their multiplication tables. But is what they need! Free math worksheets are available on the internet, and it is these kind of repetitive drills that can help build the student's math immediacy.
It is a long road, and this is not an easy and fast solution. But with patience and dedication, it can pay off -- I have seen this work myself. Remember -- your math student may be perfectly capable of grasping difficult concepts. It may just be case of weak immediacy. And that, thank goodness, may be fixable.
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