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Math Success Begins With Algebra Judy Adorno, Director, Sylvan of St. Petersburg In today’s society, everyone, not just those who are mathematically inclined, must understand algebraic concepts and be able to work with technology. Changes in society and new expectations of colleges and employers have revolutionized math curriculums. Success in algebra often correlates to success in college, so it is very important for today’s students to do their best with this critical subject. Parents can sometimes feel intimidated because they lack experience with updated math teaching and technology. What practical steps can be taken to ease parental concerns and help families build confidence in this new approach to middle and high school mathematics?

What Parents Need to Know

Students who take advanced mathematics courses during high school, and begin to study algebra during middle school, are at an advantage. Traditionally, students cannot take a higher-level mathematics class

in high school until they have successfully completed Algebra 1.

can restrict a student’s college options and limit their career aspirations.

it allows students to easily absorb and retain crucial math concepts.

What Parents Can Do

Fortunately, parents can nurture and build comprehension by blending common sense and state-of-the-art technology to ensure a positive learning experience. Sylvan Learning, the leading provider of tutoring to all ages, grades and skill levels, believes, in order to make competent decisions, children must learn to analyze facts and understand complex situations.

Persuade children to take additional math classes. Many students indicate that they do not plan to take math classes beyond their school requirements. Math classes offer critical learning skills that are needed throughout life. Success in algebra correlates with success in higher education and learning reasoning skills. Taking additional math classes helps children to become logical, independent thinkers.

According to research from Ohio State University’s Center for Cognitive Science, math technology and how-to instructional videos allow students to “come to the understanding themselves using their critical thinking skills instead of relying on memorization.”

Encourage children to take algebra early in their educational careers, if they are academically ready. Students who do not take courses covering algebraic concepts early in their schooling risk missing important opportunities for growth. By the end of junior and senior years, students who have not planned ahead, have fewer options in what classes they can take and may not be able to complete prerequisite courses. This

Incorporate technology. Technology should support math instruction and students should be encouraged to use all of the modern tools at their disposal to gain an understanding of the underlying reasoning and computations used in problem-solving. Educators believe that infusing learning aids and technology during in-school math instruction and homework completion provides an advantage at test time because

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The Power of Parents

To support your child’s math learning, parents must believe that everyone can learn mathematics, and that learning math is essential to lifelong success. Experts agree that parents can encourage a positive attitude towards mathematics by boosting a child’s confidence and competence. Studies indicate that people who have experienced long-term difficulty with a subject tend to give up quicker than those who have met with success. Therefore, it is important for parents to intervene as soon as a child exhibit signs that he is struggling with a concept.

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February 2018 • 31

Gulf Coast Family - February 2018  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...

Gulf Coast Family - February 2018  

Gulf Coast Family's primary purpose is to encourage families along the Gulf Coast by providing worthwhile information that deals with family...