Help for 6th Grader Failing Math
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QUESTION: My grandson failed math in sixth grade and has a failing grade thus far in seventh grade. He hasn’t mastered multiplication, and his addition and subtraction skills are poor. He’s simply been passed along. I’m trying to work on helping him learn basic math facts. What else can I do?
ANSWER: The best thing that you can do right now is to see that your grandson gets the help he obviously needs. The individual responsible for this child, whether you or a parent, must immediately contact the school to see that help in math begins at once. It would be a good idea to meet immediately with this teacher. Find out why an intervention or testing for a learning disability hasn’t been done.
If you do not receive a helpful response from the teacher, contact a counselor or the principal. This child’s skills sound so weak that an individual tutor or math learning center may be needed. Nothing but serious problems in math are going to occur in the future without considerable help. How will this child ever be able to handle math in high school to fulfill graduation requirements?
You can supply some help. To work on addition and subtraction, use manipulatives such as counters or coins, so he can actually see problems. If he’s strong enough to work on multiplication, try this technique: For a problem like 3 x 4, have him draw three parallel vertical lines and cross them with four parallel horizontal lines and then count the intersections (12) to get the answer. You will also find it helpful to search our website for math under the elementary level, as you will find a variety of suggestions about ways to teach basic math facts, starting with addition.
Do not consider your grandchild’s math skills strong in any area until he can solve basic addition, subtraction, and multiplication facts in three seconds or less.