Tips for Educators

Your Guide To Online Math Tutoring & 5 Handy Tips

  • Mar 22, 2022
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 Your Guide To Online Math Tutoring & 5 Handy Tips

Online tutoring is the perfect solution to learning math because it helps students break problems down, step-by-step, much more effectively. What’s more, each student can learn at their own pace. They can also revisit the problem-solving steps later on because everything stays saved online (class recordings, learning material and so on). 

In a regular classroom setting, the teacher has a limit on the number of students they can attend to. It also limits how many students can be called upon to demonstrate their problem-solving. However, these problems are mitigated with the online tutoring set-up, where every student can have the opportunity to explain the steps involved in getting to a particular answer. 

While learning online, students tend to feel more comfortable, considering that they do not have the feeling of someone constantly looking over their shoulder. This creates a setting where they feel less judged for volunteering to explain how they got certain answers, whether wrong or right. Here are a five pointers to keep in mind during online math tutoring  - 

1. Assessment

Always have an open conversation with a new student before or during their first session with you. Students can come into sessions with past experiences and preconceived notions. So, it does help to clear the air. Having a structured conversation, clarifying the schedule, and talking about the usual flow of classes can help your students understand what to expect from your classes. In addition, you can also use these initial conversations to find out whether they are thrilled about the subject, the hurdles they are facing, the learning style they like, etc. 

2. Use Software Like Google Jamboard

Maths is a subject where students learn by doing. So, it is very important to involve them in problem-solving. But calling every student up to the class blackboard, and having them solve math problems is difficult because of time restraints. This is where online tutoring can be really helpful. Online tutors often use Google Jamboard, which works like a collaborative online whiteboard. It is free software that is available to every Google account user and is available on the suite of apps, along with other free software such as Google Docs, Google Slides, etc. Tutors can write down the math problems on Jamboard and students can counter with a response in real-time. This can help the student be more engaged in class, as they are also able to participate in solving problems. 

3. Participation Certificate

Ask students to explain how they arrived at a particular answer and don’t give any input until they’re done speaking.  If the answer is wrong, don’t lose your cool. Sit down with the student and patiently explain how to arrive at the right answer. This shows students that it’s okay to make mistakes, which will in turn encourage them to participate more. It also cultivates a positive attitude towards the subject. 

4. Take Enough Breaks

When you’ve got hundreds of multiplication tables and mathematical formulas to learn, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all the information. This is why it is important for tutors to give students a couple of breaks every now and then.

Breaks can be a great way to do something fun and unconnected to math. This helps students relax and refresh their minds. Ideally, sessions shouldn’t stretch beyond 25 minutes. According to the Pomodoro technique, each session should be 25 minutes long with a 5-minute break in between. This is one approach that works very effectively with math students.

5. Colours are Your Friend

While learning maths, students often get confused by the sheer volume of numbers and digits in front of them. This is where colours come in. 

By assigning different meanings to different colours, students are able to navigate the questions and activities better. If they make any mistakes in their problem-solving steps, just mark it with a different colour, so that they can quickly identify where they went wrong. 

Maths can be an intimidating subject for some and a thrill for others! If your students are struggling to learn key mathematical concepts, then just add a little bit of fun to your sessions. Following the above tips will help you ace the tutoring game in no time.

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