Throughout my mathematical education I came across a very common problem. Essentially what happens is that a student will fail to properly learn a certain concept and will fall behind. Each year that the student is in math classes he or she will fall further and further behind the rest of the class until, eventually, the gap between students is so wide that the student has too stop taking classes altogether. My question is: what can be done to stop this problem? How can a student be brought up to the correct grade level without making the rest of the class go through remedial course work as well? Assume that the school in question has very limited resources. (i.e. no special remedial classes or in- class assistants)

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    $\begingroup$ I am in a standards-based grading environment. I created a class website with tutorial videos and extra practice sets. Students would then be able to apply for a reassessment by doing many different things (for example: do a ton of extra practice problems and show all work or fully explain the mistakes they made on quizzes and show a correct solution). If the application looks pretty solid (the student is only making minor arithmetic mistakes), then we set up a time for them to come in and prove their understand on that concept. I can then change their grade to reflect their knowledge. $\endgroup$ May 29, 2016 at 1:41
  • $\begingroup$ "How can a student be brought up to the correct grade level without making the rest of the class go through remedial course work as well?" Have the weak student go through remedial course work alone. This can be done outside regular class hours, either at home or during the student's free time in school. $\endgroup$
    – JRN
    May 29, 2016 at 5:33
  • $\begingroup$ The solution is to abolish courses and curricula. But humankind is not yet so advanced. We're still primitive troglodytes in that regard. $\qquad$ $\endgroup$ Jul 22, 2016 at 4:58

1 Answer 1


something you can do is make fun and motivating papers of the theory. This could be, for example on one A4 paper . Good clear explanations with lots of color and some clear examples develop step by step. It takes a lot of your time, but it's something that you can use every year. What you can also do is scan your empty exercise papers and write tips. The students can then use your tips and this can help him solve the exercises in the class. For example, at an exercise on number theory where there is an ‘ – ‘ before the fracture "watch out for the minus before the fracture and add ( ) !!!!" are small but helpfull things that can make a big difference . When studying the student can read the tips again and again the theory is refreshed each time.

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    $\begingroup$ And if you have a student who is gifted at math and well able and willing to explain . Put them next to each other . This does not work every time, but I've already had that gifted students help the other students . At the exercises always helps and sometimes they can explain the theory in a better way in their own language . Does not always work , but it is something you can try !!!! $\endgroup$
    – E. claes
    May 29, 2016 at 9:13

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