When it comes to giving your child the help he/she needs to be successful in math, some parents have no idea where to start. Most parents haven’t stepped foot inside a math classroom in years, and can become easily overwhelmed not only by trying to teach their child the complex problems, but by simply being able to remember how to do it themselves!
There are a few helpful tricks parents can use to help their students understand math concepts better. Using acronyms, silly reminders and rhymes can be fun and useful ways to jog a student’s memory and give them the information they need to do well on a test.
An acronym is an invented series of letters, where each letter helps the student remember a key word or concept. For example, when solving complex problems involving parentheses, addition, subtraction, exponents, multiplication and division, the acronym PEMDAS can help students remember to solve the equation in this order:
When it comes to graphing, many students have a hard time remembering whether to plot their point on the horizontal axis first or the vertical axis. Remind them that first they had to “crawl” (use the horizontal axis) before they could stand upright (use the vertical axis)
When working with the metric system, help students remember the order of measurement by using the silly phrase:
King Henry Died By Drinking Chocolate Milk!
K = kilo
H = hecta
D = deca
B = base
D = deci
C = centi
M = milli
When helping students with word problems, get them in the habit of jotting down the letters S.T.A.R. somewhere on their test. This will help them remember to
S- Search for keywords
T-Translate the words into an equation or picture
A-Answer the problem
R-Review your answer
Another useful word that students can use to remember how to solve a problem is CUBES
C-Circle the numbers
U-Underline the question
B-Box the keywords
E-Eliminate the extra information
S-Solve the problem
These tips and tricks can be a great jumping off point for you to help your child make up his or her own acronyms, rhymes or silly explanations. If the child can relate to the trick, they will be more likely to remember it and recall it on test day.