Rushing Through Math Homework
With math problems, students need to have a good understanding of the directions. But children with executive function issues may not take the time to really look at the assignment or think about what they are supposed to do. Instead, they tend to just dive right in. They may rush through the work, which can lead to errors.
Having Trouble Applying New Math Rules
Learning new things involves shifting gears as the activity changes. That takes flexible thinking skills. It also requires that children stop and reflect before they respond. But some children with executive function issues may fixate on what they already know. As a result, they have trouble stepping back and seeing that they may need a new strategy to complete a problem.
Giving Automatic Answers to Math Problems
Some children with executive function issues respond to problems based on habit. Instead of looking at each situation as different, they give an automatic response. When it comes to math, they may get stuck on approaching equations in a certain way. And that can lead them to ignore crucial pieces of information.
Getting Lost in the Middle of Complex Math Problems
Children rely on working memory to keep up with complex math problems. They have to hold on to information—like a formula, an answer from a previous step, or the steps of the problem itself—so they can use it later to complete the problem. But children with poor working memory skills can get lost in the problem.
Not Catching Mistakes
Children have to use self-monitoring to keep track of how they’re doing as they go. Some children with executive function issues have trouble stepping back and reflecting on their work. They may not realise their answer doesn’t make sense and that they should go back to see where they went wrong, or get help.