Helping Students Follow Directions in Math
Continuing on the theme of areas where children struggle in math and how to help, one of the areas of weakness is in the ability to follow directions in math. Reading directions and listening to verbal directions are key in being successful in solving math problems. Depending on what the directions are, students may be asked to round to a certain decimal point, to include units in their answer, or have the expectation that a student must show their work to earn credit for a problem. Following directions in math can also be key in solving word problems and children must have the ability to break down the various parts of the problem.
Key steps that you can follow with your child while they are doing there math assignments would be to have them read the directions, then think about what they have to do based on the directions keeping in mind the order and the various steps required. If they don’t understand a direction you should teach them to ask the teacher while they are in school or to ask you while they are at home. This way, any simple misunderstanding can be solved before they may complete a problem or assignment incorrectly. It also helps them identify solutions and will provide knowledge for solving similar problems on their own in the future.
Study Zone has activities that kids can either read or be read in order to learn how to follow written and verbal directions. Examples include write the word “bug” on a sheet of paper, then write the word “lady” in front of it, then draw a picture of the word you made.” Fun ways to practice following directions could include performing a science experiment or completing a worksheet. For more math specific directions, you can just simply work with them on their homework to ensure they read what is expected of them and follow those directions to complete the assignment.