Homework Help for Middle School Math
Math gets increasingly difficult in middle school. Students can find help for their math homework woes through resources including class notes, textbooks and help from family or friends. Read on to learn more.
Middle school students often run into trouble with their mathematics homework. Many times, this is because they have yet to form a firm understanding of math procedures. Other times, they do not understand the homework directions. While frustration is a natural response this, it's not the best way to work through difficulty.
Effective Note Taking
Writing notes for math class can be extremely helpful in middle school. This is because middle school math teachers cover a lot of material in each class period. While there are numerous ways to take notes, the Cornell method is one that is recommended by Michele A. Hernandez of Scholastic:
Before the Lecture
Students should have plenty of notebook paper ready. It is recommended that they draw a vertical line about 2 1/2' from the left margin all down the page, then label the left column 'recall' and the right one 'notes.'
During the Lecture
Students do not need to follow an outline form. It can be easier to write in simple paragraph form. Students shouldn't try to write down everything their teacher says; instead, they should try to capture all of the main ideas. With math class, students also need to write out examples of math problems. Examples used during class are often the same type of problems in the daily homework.
After the Lecture
Try to review notes immediately after school. Draw boxes around key words or phrases. Write all of the boxed words and phrases in the left hand recall section. This helps students remember the key subjects covered in each class period. Students can also put key formulas and equations in the left hand column. This will make finding pertinent information easier when trying to complete math homework.
The Cornell method, as described above, is helpful for students of all ages, but can be tailored to suit the needs of middle school students.
Keep Up With the Textbook
Students who still have difficulties completing their assignment after reading through their notes should look to their math textbook for guidance. According to the 'Middle Grades Mathematics Textbooks' section of the American Association for the Advancement of Science website, www.aaas.org, there are numerous activities that middle school students should be able to complete with their textbook. These include:
 Reading the lesson objective, its real life application, and related prior knowledge
 Working through an activity or sample problem that introduces the student to the lesson
 Thoroughly reading through a complete demonstration of mathematics skills/procedures
Most textbooks have examples of each type of question that a student will be asked to complete in the chapter homework. When a student has troubles with a particular question, it is recommended that they review the sample problems provided in the chapter to see the procedures that were used to find the solution.
Help From Friends and Family
Sometimes middle school students fail to understand the sample problems provided in their class notes and textbook. When this happens, they should consult the advice of their friends or family. Students often forget that their older siblings or parents once studied similar topics and faced similar difficulties in their middle school math classes.
While a middle schooler should never expect others to complete their homework for them, they can ask questions on how to complete a problem. Another solution is to contact a classmate for help. The classmate might be able to further explain the instructions given in class. Additionally, middle school students can compare homework answers to see if they need to rework through a problem to get the correct answer.
Additional Help
If a student consistently has problems with math, they might also want to ask their middle school math teacher for additional help outside of school. The teacher should be able to provide help or recommend a tutor to help strengthen the student's math skills.
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