How to Help Your Student Navigate Elements
What we aim to achieve in the MEGSSS program is for each student to gain an understanding of some rather high- level mathematical concepts, some typically taught at the college level. This requires some of the same discipline that a college-level student needs to independently study an advanced topic. So not only will the student be learning higher level mathematics, but s/he will also be learning a discipline of independent study required to understand any challenging topic. Achieving this independent learning style may be particularly new and difficult for a middle-school student. This is where you as a parent can help. Even if you discover that the mathematics in MEGSSS is beyond your own knowledge or available time commitment, we can understand that. The student is often proud to discover that they are learning what their parents have not. But more important is that you can guide your growing scholar to learn independently by teaching organizational skills and help them develop a work discipline.
- Ask questions in class. Many smart kids are reluctant to ask questions because they think it makes them seem “dumb”. This is a skill that all smart people learn to employ in order to improve their learning. It is best to learn it now and practice it forever.
- Keep notes in class by writing them in a notebook. The rule is, if the teacher is writing on the board then the student should be writing it in their notebook.
- Attempt enough of the homework problems assigned to assure understanding.
- Check all answers on the MEGSSS website for this course.
- Go over all wrong answers and restudy the problem. If students do not understand a concept, they should reread through the appropriate pages in the book, try different problems, then check those answers on the website.
- If students still do not understand a specific question or problem, write down a question to ask the teacher at the beginning of the next class.
- First year students should take advantage of tutoring/homework help from 6:20 to 6:50 following the three MEGSSS classes.
- Follow up with your child each week. You can ask to see the classroom notes. You can give them hints to help them organize their notes. Giving titles to note sections and using full pages for a topic will help them find what they need.
- You might ask for the completed homework assignments. Then go with the student to the web-site to check the answers.
- If answers are incorrect, have them go back to the book.
- If that does not work, help them form and have them write the questions they need to ask and bring up in class.
Parents, your initial level of involvement is up to you. The ideal level of involvement we hope will become “none”.
Review quizzes or practice tests or problems are part of every Megsss course. These are meant to approximate the form and volume of the upcoming test. The grade your student will receive is based almost entirely on a final test given near Thanksgiving. There will also be review in the classes prior to the test day. Most of the practice tests have solutions posted on the on-line MEGSSS web site in order that students can check their answers. The students should be able to find out what they do not know based on their incorrect answers to the review. This will point out the topics that require further study.