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Learning Outside the Classroom

Authored By: 
Linli Chin, Math Teacher

Learning can take place anytime, anywhere. Most of our learning in math occurs while we are at school, but a student’s ability to grasp and concretely understand the concepts can differ significantly from one child to the next. While some students are able to fully comprehend the given concepts with a short explanation coupled with an example, others may require further assistance in order for them to fully master the concept.

While the teaching that takes place in class tries to accommodate all students, when your child is struggling to keep up, what are some available resources to help them? A tutor can be helpful if your child needs personalized attention and is struggling in the class, but that can be quite costly. There are plenty of other options available online, some free and some for a small fee, that can support the learning done in class should they require minimal additional support. Here are some of the websites that are helpful to both parents and students in order to improve students’ ability to master the math at their level.

For detailed explanations and examples along with practice problems, Khan Academy (khanacademy.com) is a great resource that has the founder, Sal Khan, explaining the concepts clearly and concisely. His approach is an intuitive learning style that some students might find easier to understand.

A similar website which was recommended by a parent is Better Explained (betterexplained.com). The founder, Kalid Azad, specializes in teaching the way he would have liked to have learned. The strategy he uses to teach or learn a new concept is ADEPT Method, which stands for:

The information presented comes with videos, notes and some pretty interesting examples used to convey the concepts.

Beyond the explanation, to practice these concepts until they are truly understood, the website IXL.com has great resources that are Common Core aligned to help students practice various problems through repetition. WolframAlpha (WolfamAlpha.com) is another wonderful tool that students and parents can use when they are trying to work out  math problems that require multiple steps. On WolframAlpha, you are able to input an equation or problem and it will show the solution along with a detailed step-by-step explanation.

These websites are available online, as well as on mobile versions for the iPad, or even Apple or Android smartphones. These sites can help students at all levels, not just for those who are trailing behind, but also for students who are more advanced and would like to supplement the current material learned in their classes. No matter what level or grade, there are an abundance of resources available outside of the classroom that can support a student’s in-class performance that can be used anytime, anywhere!

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