Practice improves the performance of athletes and musicians as well as readers and mathematicians. But it has a greater effect when those who practice:
Have well-defined goals. Students must have a mental picture of what they’re trying to accomplish. Then students can measure progress against this mental standard.
Concentrate fully on one specific improvement at a time.
Set realistic levels of difficulty. The practice should stretch and tax the limits of a child’s abilities—or it won’t make her better. But if it’s too difficult, it can be discouraging.
Know when to stop. Too much practice can lead to burnout. When students can no longer muster the concentration that practice requires—they should stop.
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