Dec 5, 2018 in Tutoring

Do you struggle with Maths? Well let’s make it Visual!

How I found that using visual representations, simple language and small successful steps transforms children's understanding and attitudes towards Maths.

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“I get it now. That’s easy!”

The ‘light bulb’ moment for Toby: a 13 year old boy, who had been really struggling with the concept of dividing fractions.

I have spent over 20 years, teaching and tutoring students who struggle with Maths, don’t think that they are any good at Maths and understandably hate Maths. Like Toby they didn’t get the concepts and so couldn’t develop the skills.

So how to help them get it? The answer I found was to help them to see the concepts and to develop their visual understanding so that they could successfully meet mathematical challenges.

I taught the children key mathematical concepts using ‘concrete’ materials, such as multi-link cubes and a simple vocabulary. In a supportive environment, the children became good at using these tools. Consequently, they went on to further developing their skills in a pictorial form. Ultimately, they were able to work confidently and with good understanding in abstract mathematical forms.

It was quite a revelation to see the rapid transformation from unhappy, unsuccessful children to confident, happy, successful learners.

For Toby, I broke down the complex understanding of dividing fractions right down to the simple concepts of fractions as equal parts of a whole block and division as making groups. Toby then was able to integrate these 2 concepts together and to divide fractions using pictorial representations. Soon he was able to divide fractions in the symbolic mode and explain the underlying concepts.

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