When working with my math students, I find that they get intimidated very quickly by lots of words or lots of numbers. Also if it has a radical, they shut down very quickly. I try to help them by having them write down everything they already know about
the problem. When they realize how much information they already have, the problems don't seem as daunting to them. They can more easily start to plug in the numbers in the problem and are able to find the answers. Also, we do several of the same type of
problem, so they start to feel more comfortable with it. I will give them worked examples and extra practice problems to take home with them for independent working if they want more practice.