Tag Archives: maths tuition centre
It Takes 66 Days to Form a Habit
During the long summer break, I decided to drink a glass of water first thing in the morning whether I need it or not. And since I have been doing this daily for the last 2 months, it has become a part of my routine. In fact if I forget, then I feel as if something is missing; it bugs me.
Experts say that on average it takes 66 days to form a habit, if the new habit/behaviour is repeated every day. The length of time depends on the habit, the person and how consistent the person is. Also, if it takes longer to form a habit, then it will be stronger.
The same rules apply when forming learning habits in children (and adults). Some of the learning habits that we encourage our literacy students to adopt are:

to plan a piece of written work before writing it

to check their work for mistakes

to remember to start sentences with capital letters and end with full stops

to remember to use quotes correctly and to explain them. This is called the PQE technique in English (point quote explain)

to underline keywords in exam questions

to read every day

to brainstorm words and ideas for used in a story
And some of the learning habits we teach our numeracy students are:

to show working out when doing a maths question

to touch every single object when counting

to write out the formula they are going to use

to search for patterns in maths calculations

to set out calculations in the correct way
These learning habits cannot always be acquired in the classroom because there isn’t enough opportunity for repetition. Planning is taught, but maybe only for a week and then the school teacher would move onto a new topic. To create a habit you need to repeat the behaviour in the same situation. It is important that something about the setting where you perform the behaviour is consistent so that it can cue the behaviour. Eventually the behaviour will becomes automatic and then the child can apply it in other situations. So a child may punctuate correctly at Kip McGrath, but not necessarily remember to do so at school. This would happen once the behaviour has become automatic and the child does so without thinking.
So be patient with children, when they are trying to learn a new skill. New habits do not stop the old habits from existing; they just have to become stronger influences on behaviour.
Good habits formed at youth make all the difference ………………………Aristotle
When Private Tuition Is Not Enough
I did an assessment on a year 12 pupil yesterday (age 17), who will be sitting her GCSE Maths in 9 teaching week’s time. She wanted to get a C grade, but when I tested her, she was working at a low E grade.
She was also retaking her GCSE and got an F the first time round. That meant that she had only improved by 1 grade since starting her course 7 months ago and that’s with approximately 4 hours of maths per week at college. So it’s not difficult to do the numbers here. It’s plain and simple that 9 weeks of tuition (an 80 minute session per week) is not going to get her that C! In fact it would be nothing short of a miracle if she did. And that’s exactly what I told her.
From all my years of teaching experience, I have learnt that to pass maths you need to

Learn the different methods of working out maths problems

Memorise formulas

Practice using these methods and formulas

Go over past exam questions