MLC Math: What Students Need to Succeed

Students raising hands in classroom

MLC Math: What Students Need to Succeed

MLC Math: What Students Need to Succeed

For many students, math is a particularly difficult subject. Between formulas, equations, and word problems, math encompasses a myriad processes that require a variety of skills. And if students are weak in those skills than math, very quickly, becomes a struggle.

But what does it take to succeed in math, and how can your child build those skills?

We interviewed our Director of MEK Learning Circles, Ms. Binal Patel, to get her insights on improving math skills, boosting confidence, and the MEK process that leads to success.

Read on to find out more!

What are MEK Learning Circles?

Our MEK Learning Circles (MLC) Program are small group courses for students in grades 4 through 8 that focus on building essential reading, writing, and math skills through engaging lessons, rigorous curriculum, and teacher support.

MLC is broken into three tiers: 

MLC-Standard – For students who are currently performing at grade level but wish to master topics in their core subjects.

MLC-Enriched – For students who need extra support in building their study, communication, and classroom skills.

MLC-Advanced – For students who have taken our Problem Solving Math and Critical Reading courses and are looking to apply their knowledge and prepare for high school admissions tests.

The goal of our MLC instructors is to provide the foundational skills that set students up for success in the classroom and beyond, while instilling a lifelong love of learning.

Click here for a more in depth look at our MLC Programs!

What is the difference between MLC Operations and Number Sense and MLC Problem Solving Math?

Patel: MLC Operations and Number Sense (ONS) focuses on teaching students the relationships between numbers. Instructors show students how to look at a problem and identify how to use the numbers in the problem to come up with an answer that makes sense. The objectives of the ONS curriculum are also designed to teach students estimating skills when working with larger numbers, computational accuracy skills, and setting up calculations. 

MLC Problem Solving Math (PSM) requires critical thinking and comprehension skills on top of number sense. In order to succeed in PSM classes, students must first be comfortable with numbers. 

That’s why we also work on time management skills in ONS through time restricted classwork experiences. This type of practice helps students build confidence with numbers and grade-level math topics, so they are prepared for PSM.

How does a student get placed in PSM versus ONS?

Patel: Course placement is based on how students score on our MEK Learning Circles Evaluation Test. If we see a gap in their foundation from previous grades we recommend ONS before PSM. 

Do MLC ONS and MLC PSM help prepare students for High School Admissions Prep?

Patel: Yes, these programs provide students with the foundational math skills for BCA and High School Admissions Prep. If they have completed ONS and PSM 7 with MEK, they have the foundation skills needed for BCA Prep and Exam Prep 8 and can apply their skills and experience solving ratios and fractions to more challenging problems.

Standardized tests are predominantly word problem based. PSM helps students prepare for the tests by teaching students how to solve the types of word problems they will see on the SSAT, ISEE, HSPT, or BCA/BT admissions exams. 

When going over word problems, students break down the problem word by word and change the words into numerical expressions to understand it. They build logical reasoning skills and can predict what the next step of solving the problem will be.

How are students inspired to stay motivated on their MLC journey?

Patel: Students who pay attention in the 90-minute MLC lectures and practice their class skills for 90 minutes outside of class are set. They see what they’re doing at MEK is applicable to what they’re learning at school and that MEK helps them get good scores, so motivation comes from seeing progress. Plus, the small group nature of MLC classes makes it so that students must participate in class.

How does MEK help middle school students build confidence in math?

Patel: At MEK, we give students a variety of opportunities to apply their skills through in-class assignments, quizzes, and homework. And our instructors give immediate feedback on student work. Students also have access to practice problems on our Canvas platform that they can use during independent study sessions outside of class. When students see progress in their skills, they build confidence.

Next Steps

Our MEK Learning Circles provide your child with the essential math skills that exceed simply acing their courses. These are skills that lay the foundation for future success in high school, college, and beyond.

If you’re looking to help your child build strong study habits and math skills, check out our MEK Learning Circles!

Our MLC program meets your child at their current academic level in order to guide them toward mastery of key concepts in their current classes.

The first step is to take either our free,  virtual MEK Learning Circles Evaluation Test. You’ll receive our detailed score report, a free consultation with the Director of MLC, Ms. Binal Patel, and a personalized plan to help your child meet their goals.

Contact us today to get started!

Robyn Neilsen

Robyn Neilsen is a Content Writer for MEK Review. She was a dedicated English teacher in the New Jersey public school system for 13 years and is passionate about sharing resources, content, and tips for students and parents.


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