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Math Strategies

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Are you seeking ways to ace math in middle school? Learn about the top math strategies in this article.

Contrary to what you might think, the answer to better grades in middle school math is not endlessly practicing math problems! Below, we explain the twenty top math strategies.

For a moment, I want you to stop thinking about tests, memorizing information, and working through endless workbooks.

7th Grade Common Core Math: Daily Practice Workbook Part I: Multiple Choice
This book is your comprehensive workbook for 7th Grade Common Core Math. By practicing and mastering this entire workbook, your child will become very familiar and comfortable with the state math exam and common core standards. This 7th Grade Common Core Math Workbook (Multiple Choice) includes: 20 Weeks of Daily Multiple Choice Weekly Assessments State Aligned Common Core Curriculum End of Year Assessment This book has the following topics covered: Week 1 - Rational numbers Week 2 - Multiply/divide rational numbers, fractions and solve real-world word problems Week 3 - Add, subtract, factor and expand algebraic expressions Week 4 - Rewriting expressions Week 5 - Real-world word problems Week 6 - Writing your own equations and inequalities Week 7 - Unit rates, ratios, proportions Week 8 - Percents (simple interest, tax, discount, markups) Week 9 - Statistics Week 10 - Comparing and understanding data sets Week 11 - Measures of center and measures of variability Week 12 - Probability Week 13 - Probability (continued) Week 14 - Probability: Compound events Week 15 - Scale models and diagrams Week 16 - Triangles and angles Week 17 - Geometry: Slicing three-dimensional figures Week 18 - Area and circumference of a circle Week 19 - Supplementary, complementary, adjacent angles Week 20 - Volume and surface area End of Year Assessment For practice with Free Response questions, be sure to check out Part II of our workbook titled: 7th Grade Common Core Math: Daily Practice Workbook - Part II: Free Response | 1000+ Practice Questions and Video Explanations Each question is labeled with the specific common core standard so both parents and teachers can use this workbook for their student(s). This workbook takes the Common Core State Standards and divides them up among 20 weeks. By working on these problems on a daily basis, students will be able to (1) find any deficiencies in their understanding and/or practice of math and (2) have small successes each day that will build competence and confidence in their abilities.
8th Grade Common Core Math: Daily Practice Workbook
This book is your comprehensive workbook for 8th Grade Math. By practicing and mastering this entire workbook, your child will become very familiar and comfortable with the state math exam and common core standards. This 8th Grade Common Core Math Daily Practice Workbook includes: 20 Weeks of Daily Math Practice Weekly Assessments State Aligned Common Core Curriculum 600+ Minutes of  Video Explanations End of Year Assessment This book has the following topics covered: Week 1 – Rational & Irrational Numbers Week 2 – Approximating Rational & Irrational Numbers Week 3 – Properties of Exponents Week 4 – Square Roots & Cube Roots Week 5 – Scientific Notation Week 6 – Slope, Distance, and Coordinate graphs Week 7 – Working with Linear Equations Week 8 – Functions, Inputs, Outputs and Analysis of graphs Week 9 – Functions continued Week 10 – Linear vs. Nonlinear Functions  Week 11- Rotations, Reflections, and Translations Week 12 – Types of Transformations Week 13 – Understanding angle rules when parallel lines are cut by a transversal Week 14 – Pythagorean Theorem Week 15 – Finding distance using Pythagorean Theorem Week 16 – Finding volume for cones, cylinders, and spheres. Week 17 – Scatter Plots Week 18 – Best Fit of Line Week 19 – Understanding equations of a linear model Week 20 – Table, Charts and Analyzing Data End of Year Assessment Each question is labeled with the specific common core standard so both parents and teachers can use this workbook for their student(s). This workbook takes the Common Core State Standards and divides them up among 20 weeks. By working on these problems on a daily basis, students will be able to (1) find any deficiencies in their understanding and/or practice of math and (2) have small successes each day that will build competence and confidence in their abilities. Interested in 8th grade ELA? Click here.  

The best strategy to become a math magician in middle school is to develop an interest in math by working to understand its concepts and why they are important to learn.

Cultivating a true interest in math and working through practice problems or workbooks makes it less of a chore and allows you to build a strong mathematical foundation.

By following these strategies, students can conquer their weaknesses and truly become a math magician!


1. Power of the Written Sum

It may sound basic, but writing out your work is an essential part of becoming a great mathemetician. On paper, you can break down complicated questions into logical pieces and steps. Listing out written sums and steps cuts down careless errors and improves test grades and scores. Being able to write a step-by-step solution of a sum will inherently increase your understanding of it. Avoid guesswork and try not to solve problems in your head. Try to answer your math puzzle the long way to achieve partial credit for all steps, even if the final answer is wrong!


2. Focus on What Stumps You

This may seem counterintuitive, but as a student, you must focus on the questions that leave you stumped. If you answered a question wrong, took too long to find the solution, or were unsure of how you solved it, circle it! The questions that leave you befuddled require the most review. Target your weaknesses by focusing on these sums and use a growth mindset approach to learn from challenges.


3. Practice and More Practice!

The old maxim is true: practice makes perfect. Math practice can indeed be rewarding in the long run. You can use old math textbooks or standardized tests for practice. Asking for help from test-takers from previous years also garners tricks and tips for tests.


4. Rewind and Refresh

Some students struggle with math concepts when they come back from summer breaks or enter a new semester. The previous year’s math concepts almost become a blur.

By using workbooks from the grade below and reviewing them at the start of the new school year, you can refresh your brain.

Middle school math needs perfecting in summer breaks as well! You can scour the resources at the library or check out websites such as ArgoPrep to keep your skills sharp for the new school year.


5. Be Diligent and Don’t Get Nervous

Work carefully during your math practice in middle school. Hastily scrambling to finish problems can spur careless errors. Timed assignments need constant diligence. While working, you need to remain calm.

When you finally take your test, write down the formulas you’ve memorized on your sheet. That way, you don’t need to worry about forgetting a formula during the test.

Keeping anxieties in check during tests and telling yourself that they have lower stakes can also benefit your performance.


6. Try Mnemonics and Games

All math learners are unique.

When it comes to solving math riddles, interactive games and online learning can help stimulate the brain. For example, middle schoolers can watch engaging math videos on YouTube and use rhymes and songs to memorize formulas.

Games can build math cognitive skills such as numerical fluency and sequential processing. Classic math mnemonics can also help embed math concepts.


7. Teaching is Often the Best Form of Learning

If you want to understand a concept thoroughly, you need to teach it to someone else first!

Answering questions like, “Why did you do that?” and, “How did you know that?” will often force you to walk through a concept again and add depth to your knowledge. Math is fun when you develop the important skill of articulating your thoughts about complex problems.


8. Focus on Understanding the Underlying Concepts

You can memorize the formulas or rules for solving complex math problems, but not understanding why those rules work can affect your performance negatively.

If you focus on underlying concepts behind what you’re doing, you can absorb new information more readily and help improve your math skills immensely.


9. Mix Strategies for Word Problems

For students struggling with word problems in middle school, it is crucial to practice more than what your teacher assigns. You can begin with simplified problems of the same nature and move up with the level of difficulty as you find solutions.

You could also read these problems out loud or even draw them out. Hearing math word problems and visualizing them can help you improve your understanding.


10. Use Math in Real Time Scenarios

Understanding how and
can help you muster the motivation to learn it and apply yourself each time you face a challenge.

Try to think of real-world examples where you might need math, and consider what concepts you would use in those situations.


11. Study Online

One of the most fool-proof math strategies for success is the use of online study options. ArgoPrep offers an award-winning K-8 Math & ELA online learning program where you can watch detailed video lessons, take practice quizzes, print beautifully designed worksheets, and more! ArgoPrep’s annual plan includes two free workbooks shipped directly to your home and costs $10 dollars a month.


12. Adopt Discovery-Based Learning Math Strategies

As a student, you should expose yourself to experiential learning. Explore contextual situations in math solving. Apply solutions in a step-by-step manner and discover newer approaches to solving age-old problems with math. You can also seek help from teachers and fellow students when applying new strategies to situational problems.


13. Never Miss Class

Math classes are integral to your math learning. Missing a class or several classes can quickly set you back when your teacher introduces a new topic. Students easily become frustrated when they have to play catch-up, so if it’s possible, try to not miss classes.

Sickness is an entirely different story! Stay home and get some rest. When you feel better, be sure to ask your classmates or teachers to help you practice what you missed.


14. Find a Friend to be your Study Partner

We all have reasons for legitimate absences. Finding a
who would take copious notes when you are unavailable may help you solve your math blues!

Building a cooperative relationship is necessary to thrive in math classes. It’s a good idea to build a study group that practices tests and solves questions together.


15. Teachers are your Best Friend

Middle school math teachers play an important role in a student’s life. Let your teacher know that you are interested in building bonds with him or her. You should welcome the opportunity to learn and clarify by asking questions and completing all homework.

Don’t feel nervous about participating in class activities or taking the lead. Asking questions shows that you are paying attention.

Parents should also introduce themselves via email to the teachers–although it’s best not to email your child’s teacher every day asking for an update!


16. Analyze and Understand every Mistake

It’s true what they say: you learn from your mistakes. If you are making mistakes, that’s a good thing! The important part about making mistakes is learning from them.

When you answer questions incorrectly, don’t brush it off. Take some time to analyze why you picked the wrong choice and how you should find the right answer. Learning from your mistakes is the best way to improve your scores dramatically.

Not sure about how to get to the correct answer? Ask your guardian or teacher. In certain cases, it can be helpful to write a paragraph of reflection about why you made errors in the first place.


17. Seek Help Always

If you realize that a math problem is getting out of hand, seek help quickly. Teachers are receptive to requests and want help students who need assistance with math solving. Straighten out the mistakes before they snowball into deeper learning discrepancies.


18. Ask Questions

Questions are the vehicle with which you learn.

If you have a question to ask, don’t hesitate thinking that it’s not worth asking. Asking questions and solving math problems go hand in hand. The more questions you ask, the easier math gets. A good teacher always respects questions. Math problems are best solved collectively.


19. Algebra and Arithmetic

Learning to hone skills in algebra and arithmetic is crucial to becoming an excellent middle school math student. Students must master skills like solving equations, slope and simplification of radicals in late middle and high school. Having the basics of math helps you become a math magician later in life!


20. Understand your Calculator

A calculator is not just for plugging in numbers. Calculators are amazing tools, and you should understand the full potential of what they offer. Spend some time playing around with your calculator and watching tutorials that discuss their many capabilities.


Math Strategies Conclusion

No matter what college or career you choose to consider later in life, performing well in middle school math sets you up for future success. Middle school math skills can help you become an engaging student with reasoning capacities in geometry, arithmetic, and much more! Implement these strategies and become a math magician!

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