Ho Math Chess Research and Articles > 3 reasons why students can’t do math well

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1 Apr 2008

3 reasons why students can’t do math well
Frank Ho
BC certified math teacher
Founder of Ho Math and Chess Learning Centre, Vancouver, BC, Canada
I was curious to find out why a child who is already grade 5 but could not do basic multiplication well despite how I explained to him in concepts.  I was equally at a loss to try to find out why a grade 10 student who could only “see” how a problem can be done after I explained three times or write the solutions step by step and also allowed him to stop me at every step whenever it was necessary. In this case, I know the grade-10 student never 100% understood the math instruction in his day school because he could not stop his teacher’s instructions just for him on every computation step. For example, When factoring (x square – y square), the student just could not see how this problem can be done when the problem changes to (x + 1)square – (y+1)square.
After I did my own observations and thinking, I found out these problems have lots to do their math training while they were young other than their ability deficiency in basic math. They lack of training in the following areas:
1.    Pattern: They have some difficulty in seeing patterns.
2.    Visualization: They have difficulty to see the relationship between columns or rows or table to table or from numbers to graphics and vice versa.
3.    Abstract: They seem to have difficulty to grasp abstract idea. Any problem requires students to do a conversion using abstract idea then they seem to run into problems.
To take care of these above-mentioned problems, Ho Math and Chess has created a series of workbooks to train children in the areas of patterns, symbols, and relationship using visualization.
The way we do it is to use our patent applied Geometry Chess Symbols and have created a series of one-of-its-kind workbooks such as iq puzzles, Frankho chess mazes, iq mathematical chess puzzles, word problems, and math contests to strongly increase their brainpower in number intelligence.
More information how to improve children’s math ability can be found at www.mathandchess.com.   

Frank Ho