3 Concepts or Habits my students find difficult
1.I have found that students often struggle with persistence. There seems to be a tendency to want to give up when they find a concept or problem to be of a high difficulty level. I approach this habit using examples from history and through positive affirmation and encouragement. This is one of the most important skills for middle school students to develop.
Mathematically my 6th graders have struggled with creating variable equations from word problems. I begin by helping them turn lower level problems into variable expressions, but with the more complex problems at a 6th grade level they seem to struggle when there are a high number of steps to a given problem.
A third idea that students struggle with that correlates to both math and habits is the idea of simplification. Mathematically this is simplifying expressions be combining like terms. In terms of habits, students need to realize that focusing on the simple elements of a concept are key to understanding a larger or more complex problem. Without a strong base in the building blocks of a topic, it is difficult to grasp the larger construct. I think sometimes students get caught up wanting to get to that larger idea before they are ready to do so.