What could I give these kids who were getting tangles in the maths a straight forward method?
Use your finger to cover up what you are trying to find, which shows you what you must do to calculate it. This can be seen below.
Image from hereStudents received this alternative really well and were grateful I understood their difficulty with maths. They too in the end believed my motto of "Don't let the maths stop you from going the physics!" :)
This was subsequently used for other equations in physics like acceleration and velocity. In mathematics this can be applied to the Trigonometric Ratios.