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Mathematics (Mr Abel)

Mathematics and sciences are interesting subjects. However, for some of the students, these subjects can be daunting as they can get very complex and technical really quickly, as the student gets older.

At the same time, many parents are worried about their child’s progress in learning and often thought to themselves: “How could I help my child improve in their academics?”

Throughout the years of teaching students, I have come to notice that different students have different types of learning behavior with which they approach learning.

Since there are different types of learning behavior, students might not be able to keep up with the contents taught in the school where 1 teacher conducts a lesson with a class of 20 - 30 students.

Therefore, it is best for the parents to understand their child’s learning style and hence adjust their learning behavior in order to achieve your child’s maximum potential in learning.

Some of the learning styles are listed below:

(1) Reflective learning style
Reflective learners often require time to understand and process what they have experienced earlier.

These learners tend to:
  1. Think and process the available information first before acting on it
  2. Seem to be less active in class as they process their ideas independently.
  3. Generally slower starts compared to other learners but able to achieve the same results at the end.

(1.1) Common traits of reflective learners
  1. Tends to suggest that they require more time to think about something.
  2. Likes to relate new knowledge from previously learned knowledge.
    (a) (E.g. Fraction is an extension of the previously learned topic of division)
  3. Tends to over-think or over analyze repeatably.
(1.2) Parent’s role in helping the child
  1. Encourage the child to ask more questions and applications about the topic taught to them.
  2. Show the child the bigger picture before diving into the details quickly.
  3. Review the skills and content that were taught to the child at the end of a topic/chapter before starting on the next one.
  4. Establish a meaningful relationship between chapters.
    (a) E.g. Explaining how fractions can be related to division and how skills and techniques learned in division can be applied to fractions.
  5. Encourage your child to write summaries using their own words and method in order to reflect on the lesson.
    (a) Can be in a form of a drawing or mind-map.
(2) Intuitive learning style
Intuitive learners understand knowledge in a way of understanding how things actually work and the relationship between each matter.
These learners tend to:
  1. Focus on ideas, possibilities, abstract information and make use of intuition to make connections between them.
  2. Dislikes the idea of memorizing facts and information.
  3. Likes to explore various theories and comfortable with ambiguity.
  4. Able to grasp new concepts quickly compared to other learners.
(2.1) Common traits of intuitive learners
  1. Dislikes topics that require memorization or repetitions.
    (a) Prefer topics that discover possibilities and have a meaningful relationship with one another.
  2. Tends to insist on creating something new and not follow the status quo.
  3. Prefers to complete assignments assigned to them quickly.
    (a) Tends to make careless mistakes.
(2.2) Parent’s role in helping the child
  1. Help to segregate your child’s work into different sessions and allow breaks in between sessions.
    (a) (E.g. 1 hour can be separated into 2 x 30min sessions which consist of 25 min of studying and 5 min breaks)
  2. Explain theories together with practical application and examples.
    (a) For example, how fractions must have the same denominator in order to add them together.
  3. Help the child identify their careless mistakes and how steps can be taken to prevent them from making the same mistakes again.
  4. Replace memory intensive topics with interesting acronyms or create a meaningful relationship between each theory.
    (a) For E.g. “Please Send Cats, Monkeys And Crazy Zebras In Thick, Large, Heavy Crates, Silver, and Gold”.
    i. This statement is popular for students to remember the metal reactivity series in chemistry where the first letter of each word corresponds to each element. (Potassium, Sodium, Calcium, Magnesium, Aluminum, Carbon, Zinc, Iron, Tin, Lead, Hydrogen, Copper, Silver, and Gold)
(3) Sequential Learning Style
Sequential learners tend to achieve their learning potential when they can understand or relate to the steps and logic behind the theories taught to them.
These learners tend to:
  1. Complete tasks assigned to them in a logical order of sequence. (Single step at a time.)
  2. Needs to understand the entire “picture” of the problem before being able to solve the problem.
(3.1) Common traits of sequential learners
  1. Tends to dwell on the details of the problem instead of solving them.
  2. Unable to proceed or understand without filling in the “gaps” in the knowledge required to move to their next step.
  3. Prefers to work alone due to the need to complete tasks in a logical manner that is unique to them.
(3.2) Parent’s role in helping the child
  1. Break down the problems into segments and apply a sequential and systematic approach to solve the problem.
  2. Break down the content into smaller chunks and and show how the smaller chunks can come together to form a bigger picture.
    (a) If possible, relate new knowledge to prior knowledge learned previously by showing how the new knowledge can be built up from prior knowledge.
  3. Encourage the child to write and organize their notes in their own words according to their preferred sequence or point forms.
  4. Encourage the child to ask more questions in order to fill in the “gaps” that they have with regards to the problem or content.
(4) Global learning style
Global learners understand theories and ideas best when they already experienced the entire “picture”
These learners tend to:
  1. See the entire picture and details at the same time.
  2. Attempts to understand and preserve information by attempting the idea out.
  3. Carry out their thoughts in a non-sequential manner.
(4.1) Common traits of global learners
  1. Prefers to learn the general idea first before looking at the details in the topic.
  2. Likes to make concepts and create information in attempts to understand the entire picture.
  3. Attempts to solve complex problems using their own unique and novel way after understanding the entire picture.
  4. Prefers to actively involve themselves with information that is interesting or related to their lives.
(4.2) Parent’s role in helping the child
  1. Explaining the outline of the content before diving into the details and formula.
    (a) Quickly go through the entire chapter before studying each of the section.
  2. Play hands-on activities, projects and games related to the content.
    (a) Take note to explain the end goal of the activity before attempting the activity.
  3. Organize small study groups together with your child.
  4. Encourage your child to be patient when starting to learn a new topic or content.
6 June 2018
4:00 PM

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