Sometimes I think my students are so good giving a blank and utterly confused face that they must practice it at home. This week we are having our first chapter test and so I instructed them to open their agendas and write “study for math chapter test”. It’s like I was speaking another language. The confused faces set in and everyone began asking what it means to study. Yikes!
As educated adults we take for granted that someone along the way had to teach us how to study, especially how to study for a math test. But we must remember that we do this year after year. Each August (or September if you’re lucky!) a brand new batch of students walk into our classroom and our job is support their growth as learners and mathematicians. Our job is to take those deer caught in headlight looks on their faces and help them turn them into looks of intrigue, creativity, and problem solving. In addition to teaching our students the math curriculum we need to teach them how to study and how to prepare for tests, projects, presentations.
Take the time to review ways of studying – whether it’s doing practice problems, completing a study guides, reviewing notes, flashcards, tutoring, math games with friends or classmates, or whatever you like to promote in your classroom! Then make sure you take the time to practice these study skills in the classroom. This gives you the chance to watch how your students study and give out some helpful tips, because if your students are anything like mine, they definitely need some direction and coaching. Taking the time to be explicit and walk your students through a typical math study session will definitely pay off in the end!