Teaching math to slow learners

Written by erin schreiner Google
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Math may prove challenging for slow learners. Because harder math concepts build on simpler ones, it's vital that students develop an understanding of math principles for future academic success. To successfully teach math to slow learners, you need to dedicate substantial time to instruction, use more hands-on methods, and incorporate extensive practice.

Skill level:


  1. 1

    Teach in small groups. While whole-group instruction eliminates repetition, it is often not entirely effective when teaching slow learners. Assign a separate assignment to the rest of the class. By instructing small groups, you can more effectively respond to students' needs.

  2. 2

    Provide numerous examples--a minimum of five-- of each math problem. Encourage students to participate in their solutions. Slow learners often require repetition. Work through the process together.

  3. 3

    Allow students to work with partners to complete classwork. By pairing up students, you can potentially avoid the frustration that commonly befalls slow learners. Working together, students can help each other overcome confusion and reach the correct answers.

  4. 4

    Assign homework nightly. When it comes to slow learners, the more practice the better. While your homework assignments do not need to be lengthy, they should be handed out on a daily basis to ensure students have adequate opportunity to practice.

  5. 5

    Provide application opportunities whenever possible. Show your students that the math concepts they are learning have real-life applications, potentially increasing their interest levels. Use newspapers to figure out sports-score averages, determine the distances between cities or calculate the amount of time between movie showings.

  6. 6

    Assess students to ensure their understanding of key concepts before moving on. Pushing forward when students are still struggling is a futile exercise. Re-teach until their understanding is complete.

  7. 7

    Constantly reference previously taught related concepts. By relating newly taught information to concepts already mastered, you are demonstrating the interconnectivity of math. Demonstrate how they are building on simple concepts to learn more complex ones.

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