Improving Weak Topics for PSLE: Teacher Insights Series
This is the most common question that is being asked by parents during Parent-Teacher Meeting. Most students will have a weakness in some tested components of a subject. Find out what our educators, Mr Ee And Mr Ng, have to advise regarding this most concerned question among the parents.
Question 9: My child is not good at a particular section in a subject. What can I do to help him score better in this section?
Mr. Nicholas Ee
Again, I stress the importance of accurately identifying the learning gaps and work habits.
Parents should not hesitate to seek help from class teachers or tutors should both the child and them come to an agreement that the learning gap cannot be overcome by them alone.
The child’s subject teachers should be consulted on this matter as well. Do pay close attention to the manner in which they approach their daily work.
Any sign of negativity and frustration should not be brushed aside repeatedly and should be looked into at the earliest opportunity.
Mr. Ng Yeo Heng
It will be good to ask the subject teachers during Parent-Teacher Meeting what the weaknesses are for your child in the different subjects.
Ask for advice on how you can help your child to tackle the problems in the different components.
Based on my years of teaching, the components that students are usually weaker in are the open-ended questions for Science, the structured problem sum questions for Math, paper 1 (writing composition), cloze passage and open-ended comprehension section for EL.
For Science, students usually have the problems of applying the right keywords in the questions, getting all the required Scientific points and explaining them correctly.
The child needs to learn how to apply key concepts onto specific scenario and have some answering techniques in tackling explanatory types of questions.
For more details, please refer to the following articles
When it comes to structured answers (3-marks to 5-marks problem sums) in Math, use a structured approached such as the STAR approach to “dissect” a question.
Analyse the question and try to identify any contextual clues that tell you that a certain strategy can be applied.
Try to practise on strategy questions of the same type so that your child can identify the contextual clues and apply the right strategy quickly.
You will notice that strategy questions of the same type usually have certain patterns of phrasing.
In Math, sometimes it is good to revise on concepts/strategies than according to topics.
For more details, please read the following article
Your child has to clear his doubts and close the learning gaps whenever possible. Many a time, the skills and concepts learnt are in progressive order, especially for Math. If the foundations are not laid well, it might affect the next level of learning. In schools, students are usually taught how to tackle different sections of a paper with an approach. As far as possible, keep to it.
About the Author
Prof Ollie is a guru of PSLE revision strategies specialising in the Leitner System and aims to help primary 6 students from all walks of life to excel in their PSLE. Despite being a professor, he wears his graduation hat wherever he goes. When not working on OwlSmart, Prof Ollie flies around Pulau Ubin to lose weight and catch up with the resident hornbills.