I get asked all the time, “How do I close math gaps?”
The answer is you’ve got to work on it a little at a time. Although we’re in that period of time between the end of the holiday festivities and the start of the New Year, this is the perfect time to start.
“Seriously Nicole, you make your kiddo do math over the holiday break?”
Well…yes…sorta…but just a little. We’re going to do a few short drills each day to keep math fresh (because you know, starting from scratch after the holiday is gonna be a disaster. It will be like my son forgot everything we learned all year long.) So I’m going to figure out where the gaps are and start to close them.
“Nicole…but I need a break too. What if I don’t want to do this during the holiday break?”
That’s fine. Start it in January. But if your kiddo is showing signs of math gaps, now is the time to catch it BEFORE it becomes a real problem.
2. For each incorrect problem, I’m writing down the concept the problem was testing. Another way to do this is to look at the little number that’s written in parentheses under the mixed practice problem number. That tells you the lesson it came from. Here are the topics I found we need to work on:
4. First, I head over to One-Minute Tutorials. I search for the topic in the search bar or I read through the table of contents. Once I find the topic, I have him watch the 60-90 second tutorial (yes, it’s that quick). He will see me explain the topic and then do an example. If you don’t have a premium account, you could go back to the actual lesson and have them rewatch the video.
5. Now I head over to Mastery Bank. I search for the same topic. I type in how many problems I need. For Simplifying Fractions, I’m going to pull up 7 problems today. (After all, It is winter break and I’m not a scrooge.) If you don’t have a premium account, you could create some problems yourself or Google a math worksheet on the topic.
6. I’m thinking these 7 problems might take him 30 minutes. I know he can handle that. Tomorrow I’ll pull up 5 problems and add on the mixed numbers.
Again, if you don’t want to do this over break, start back this way in January. Close math gaps now. It’s okay to get off the train tracks for a week and handle gaps before they become a bigger issue. This will empower your student and give them the skills they need to feel good at math.
Hope you are enjoying the peace (and chaos) this time of year brings.
Nicole the Math Lady