Mathematics is a subject that is perceived as difficult all around the world. It is also the subject that is most sought after for tuition classes. At Walnut we want to help our students be proficient in this subject. 

Studying Mathematics can be done by regular studying in a systematic way and by following some steps which are outlined below.

Once students get the hang of these methods, then tuition (from an outside source or even from parents) is not really necessary. 

Here is the way the Maths program is designed at Walnut School. 

  1. A concept is taught in class.
  2. There are some questions that the teacher shows how to solve in class. 
  3. The teacher then assigns a problem for the students to solve. That question is discussed and students are given a peek at the solution. Then the solution is hidden. Students then start solving the problem.
  4. While the students are solving, the teacher walks around and observes what the students are doing (This is possible because of the learning system (and no school bags scattered on the floor), the teacher does not have to write anything on the board or stay stuck there). 
  5. At the end of the allotted time, the solution is again shown and the students can tally their answer. The teacher focuses again on the places where students are getting stuck (as that observation was just done)
  6. Some more problems are done this way. The first one takes longer. The next ones progressively need less time as students get the hang of it. As we have split the students into groups as per their speed and aptitude (differential teaching), the problems assigned in the class are chosen accordingly to have an appropriate challenge level. 
  7. As the period comes to an end, the teacher assigns some problems to the students as homework

Then, the next step is to be handled at home for regular studying, as well as preparing for exams by the students. 

Let us take a look at how to do homework. The steps below are for students to follow, not parents. 🙂

  1. Log in to the WalSh app to view and download the presentations made.
  2. Go through what the teacher did in the class. The theory and the classwork problems too. That is an excellent quick revision and will refresh your memory to get you ready to do your homework. All this will take about 5 minutes.
  3. Then, start doing the homework problems. Do each one. 
    1. If you get stuck, try three times before giving up.
    2. Then put your paper aside and go take a look at the solution on the presentation. Go through it, understand it.
    3. Then turn the screen away or cover it so that you do not see it and start solving the problem. You should be able to do it now. If you still can’t, you need to go through the lesson explanation again and pay attention in class. But make sure you get this because if you don’t understand today’s work, tomorrow’s will be harder to understand and the day after will be even worse. That is how mathematics is. So make sure you get today’s things on track. Then tomorrow will be chill for you too. Once your brain gets used to thinking like this, math will be your easiest-to-score subject, we promise!
    4. You know how many times you looked at the solutions for a hint. Note that down and over the weekend for each time you looked at the solutions, solve three problems from that lesson as a penalty. That makes you stronger in the concepts, faster and more accurate in your calculations and helps you revise something that you were a little weak in a few days ago. Your math will get stronger and stronger by being disciplined and consistent. 
  4. Don’t cheat and just copy the answers from the presentations. If you do that, you will not be able to do it in the Try-a-test and then will have to keep on taking retests. Spend a little time on the first few questions, but use your brain and do it yourself, honestly. 

Over to the parents! 🙂

As you can see – this enables self study and spaced repetition – both practices have excellent results in the long run too. The students have to be sincere in their homework. If they are, that itself becomes studying. They have full access to the whole lecture given by the teacher and can pull it up at will. There is no need for an additional human to sit and tutor them again (be it a parent tutor or an outside professional). This also goes much much faster than any tuition (once the students get the hang of it). We encourage our parents to take full advantage of the Walnut Learning System, which provides everything to the students (and parents).

Make sure you are making this happen :

  1. On weekends, the students can do their own penalty questions or generally try one or two from each worksheet exercise to revise. There are lots of problems on the sheets (which can be accessed from the WalSh App).
  2. About half an hour on each day or one hour on any one of the two days is enough at middle school level (Std 5, 6, 7) and more at high school level (std 8 onwards). Set calendar entries, if you have a busy schedule 🙂.
  3. The questions on the worksheets are also marked as easy, medium, hard – so it’s easy to figure out which ones to tackle first. The step by step solutions are all given in the presentations too.
  4. If the students finish all the problems (WOW!) then do the same questions again after a few days. It’s not like students remember all the solutions / answers. It’s solving practice that they need. 
  5. Also try the Walmiki quizzes. Those are great for quick revision and require even lesser physical effort (but quite a lot of thinking). Of your 60 minutes of math on the weekends for example, 10 – 15 minutes can be Walmiki quizzes. Do as many questions as you can! If you run out of questions, let us know. We will be THRILLED to add in more for you! 
  6. Be PATIENT! If your child throws a tantrum, if your child finds it hard, if your child has to try many times, it’s OKAY! You have to hang in there and help your child develop a mindset to work through this by being calm. 
  7. If you find that the child is struggling just too much and it’s not getting better at all (after say 5 tries) day after day, there could be a deeper problem (lower class fundamentals are weak or it could be something else). Do reach out to us and we can observe and share the classroom observations too. That can help delve deeper and decide next steps to help the child ahead.

If you haven’t already, do go through the math workout. You can listen to it at 1.5x. Explains how the progression happens to make math a not-so-tough subject. 

Also, parents need to beware of the students asking you to “teach” because they have not “understood”.

  1. If this happens on the same day that the lesson is taught and they have attended school, then sit with the student and make them run the presentation which has the explanation and read it out to you step by step. At each step ask them to write it themselves and then point out to you what exactly they did not understand. The thing is, doing it this way actually reinforces it amazingly. And if the child has genuinely not understood, this will make it rock solid. And also, for coming to you, make them do ten extra penalty problems that day itself. You can ask them to do easy ones and keep the solutions access away while they are done. 
  2. If they did not attend school that day, then you can read it out to them and then have them do step A mentioned above. 
  3. As you keep sticking to these habits you are teaching the child to be self reliant. As they do it a few times, they will be able to do this on their own. So invest a little time now and the kids will soon develop excellent study habits. As you look at our presentations you will see that they are the best teachers 🙂
  4. If they say the above reason after they have done badly in a test – it’s just an excuse to cover up. Just like the school is giving them penalties of retest, maybe you can add some of your own too. 

If kids understand that they have to take certain things seriously and there are consequences otherwise, what more do we really want for their character building, right?

Making students strong in their academic pursuits is one of our important goals – Tough outside, smart inside. Do help us develop good habits, strength of character and a resilient mindset in our students!