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3 Simple ways of how Kids can improve Math grades !!

One of the best subjects out there to study in the world is the subject of Math. Just kidding !! Some of the earliest nightmare some of us had ion our school days were caused by Math alone. Admit it no matter how much you claim Math to be your favorite subject, you have definitely sat with your head resting under a chin, or probably even scratched your head for no apparent reason just by staring at a confusing math problem.

So why is that we get so restless right when we open your math textbooks or try out a sum. If you were about to say that, its because you're weak at the subject,” hold it right there. You aren’t weak at anything. It's about time you learned a few secrets of how you should really face a scary axe-wielding math sum. 

And who knows after following some of these proven tips, you just might start scoring higher grades than your last math test. Take a look !!

Not the genes: Learning mathematics takes practice !!

A new research from the Norwegian University showed that for an individual to really excel at math, the person has to practice all the different kinds of mathematics there is.

It is simply about liking the subject of math, a person should literally try practicing math often to be good at it. Moreover being particularly good at a certain kind of math isn’t simply enough. To really be good at it, you’ll have to go as far as practicing all the kind so if math that you can get your hands on. 

The study !!

Researchers carried out a test involving 70 Norwegian students fifth graders, aged 10.5 years on average. 9 types of math tasks were tested ranging from normal addition and subtraction, both orally and in writing, to oral multiplication and understanding the clock and the calendar. 

The results showed that -

  • There was very little correlation between being simultaneously good at all nine different math skills.
  • Basic math wasn’t really a problem for the student. However, upto 20% of the Norwegian boys in school had problems with reading.
  • Some of the kids had a hard time with algebra, a field in mathematics where most of the secondary students face problems 
  • Also, children who weren’t that good at other kinds of math were for some reason good at geometry.

Point to note: It was observed that when an individual practiced something often and became good at it, it was due to the fact that different kinds of practice activated different neural connections.

Researchers pointed out a similar situation by taking the example of a football player in the field. The player who practices hitting the goal from 25 yards with a perfectly placed shot will become exactly good at this technique alone. But the player may not be necessarily good at tackling the ball from the opponent or even reading the game.

The research was carried out by professor Hermmunndur Sigmundssonat the Department of Psychology, Professor Remco C.J.Polmand at Victoria University, Melbourne Australia and Ph.D. candidate Harvard Loras at the Faculty of Health Education and Social Work, Sor Trondelag University College, Trondheim.

Math learned best when kids move!!

A study showed that children are more likely to improve at math when the instruction engages their own bodies. 

The 2014 Danish School Reform emphasized physical activity during the primary and lower secondary education years as part of the academic instruction as well. Researchers from the Department of Nutrition, Exercise, and Sports have investigated their effect of different types of primary school mathematics instruction. 

The study !!

Researchers conducted a 6-week study by bringing in 165 Danish first-grade students, divided among 3 schools and began a 6-week study.

  • The 1st group used the whole body during mathematics education. The students took up the classes while being seated on classroom floors. The children then participated in problem-solving skills by making a triangle or shaping numerals with their bodies or playing number games among the kids when the test was about addition or subtraction problems.
  • The 2nd group of students was sedentary and worked on math by using their fine motor skills. The children either worked independently or in small groups using Lego bricks in a classroom setting. They used bricks for arithmetic problems or built models for solving geometry problems.
  • A 3rd group acted as a control group and engaged in the usual routine of following regular mathematics instructions and were assisted only through regular stationary objects like pencils, papers, rulers etc.

Math skills improved when they used the whole body !!

Results from the study showed the following improvements in children - 

  • Children learned more when they moved and used their whole body to learn.
  • Just like how physical activity was proven to improve learning outcomes, lower intensity activities were just as effective or even more effective as long as the movement was integrated into the topic at hand.
  • After just 6 weeks of the study, all the children improved their scores in a standardized fifty question national test.
  • Children whose instruction include the whole body activity performed the best with an improved increase of 7.6 % in their performance. 

Differentiated instruction was crucial!!

When the children were grouped according to the pAt re-math study performance, the following results were observed -

  • Children with average and above average performance benefited most upon using the entire body throughout the learning process. 
  • However, children who weren’t very good at math prior to the study received no particular benefit from the alternative instructional forms.

Researchers concluded by saying that the new school reform focused mostly on the incorporation of physical activity during the school day, with the aim of improving the motivation, well being and the learning ability of all children. However its the individual understanding that really matters the most. 

At the end of the day, the overall outcome would be concluded by showing higher positive results made by the children who were already well proficient in advance. While the second group of children who weren’t able to grasp as fast as their peers may be left behind, which is why it is important that schools should make sure that each child has gained from the experience.

The study was carried out by Professor Jacob Wienecke of the University of Copenhagen’s Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports and a group of researchers.

 Math done with a good posture leads to better grades !!

A new research has found that a simple change in one’s posture alone could lead to both improvement and higher scores when performing a mathematical problem. 

Researchers conducted a study where 125 college students were tested to see how well they could perform a simple math sum which involved subtracting 7 from 843 sequentially for 15 seconds. They were told to sit down either slumped over or to sit up straight with their shoulders back and relaxed. 

The results showed that 56 % of the students reported finding it much easier to perform the math in an upright position. 

Why does it matter?

The slumped over position shuts the students down in such a way that their brains do not work that well. Furthermore, this leads to them not being able to think clearly. 

According to one researcher, slumping over was a defensive position that could trigger old negative memories in the body and the brain. Now while some of the students didn’t report any kind of great benefit from the better posture, they did find that doing math while slumped over was a bit more difficult than usual.  

A good posture can help in other fields too !!

The research findings have also proven that maintaining a good body position can also help individuals prepare for many different types of performance under stress and not just math tests alone. Athletes, musicians and even public speakers may benefit a lot by simply improving their body posture prior to and even during their performance. 

One of the researchers put it down simply by saying that it was about using an empowered position that would help a person to optimize their focus.

The research was carried out Professor of Health  Education, Erik Peper and Associate Professor of Health Education Richard Harvey and Lauren Mason.