reading the problem and understanding the vocabulary
not understanding what they are supposed to do
fractions, word problems, sign errors,
It really depends on the level, though
factoring, thinking abstractly, understanding what they are doing
Not showing their work
From my own experience, I didn't like math very much because it is a very abstract subject.
How can I learn something that is hard to relate to the physical world? When I can't relate it, I get bored of it and then I just do the math to pass the class and not understand the math.
Can you find something in the real world that relates y=x^2 as a parabola?
I have always found math fairly easy. but I think and visualize numbers and problems very unconventionally to the way 95% of society is taught. All minds do not respond the same to conventional techniques. It is lot to do with finding a method that works for the specific individual,which they generally have to discover themselves, and it will, as they say,,"SIMPLY CLICK". To teach this is not as easy as it sounds, but some people will find their technique and with practice will wonder why everything was so hard before. Find a method that works for the individual.
Dealing with abstracts. That was alway my problem. Give me real world and I can solve it, but as the crow flies, not using a pattern or formula, that's too abstract.
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