Month: October 2010

Learn Mathematical Shapes – Can You Beat This?

One of the skills we need to learn beginning at a very young age is recognizing mathematical shapes. You know –  triangles, squares, octagons and more.

So I found a game that I thought I’d offer as my Mathematical Halloween Treat for you which will help you recognize and utilize different shapes!

Interested? I hope so! So click on the link below and see if you can beat my score !

(Here’s a picture of one of my higher scores.)

Learn Math Shapes

Can You Beat This?

Click here to give the game a try!

Hope you enjoy and have a happy and safe Halloween!

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Learning Math Through Encouragement

Don’t you just love it when you get a pat on the back or an “atta-boy/girl”? If you’re like most people, you do!  So it makes sense then that your child also likes to receive compliments and affirmations of a job well done. This in turn can spur them on to doing better in all aspects of their life.

This article I found at GoArticles.com will help you with learning how to encourage your young learners and also help them to learn math more easily!  Enjoy.

How to Encourage Your Child’s Natural Learning Abilities   
by Eugenio McCarthy

Here are some ways you can encourage your child to work hard and be a curious and active learner:

* Praise and celebrate your child’s efforts and accomplishments. Focus on how much she wanted to do a good job and how hard she worked. Praise your child for trying hard and sticking with it. The effort is even more important than the final grade. Praise and celebrate every child in your family all year long–not just when report cards come out. Display your child’s papers and artwork on the refrigerator. Tell your child how wonderful her work is.

* Read often to your child and encourage your child to read. Your child is never too young for you to read aloud to him. Your child is never too old to listen to you read aloud. The more your child reads, the better prepared he will be to handle harder and harder schoolwork as he moves up the grades.

* Be interested in all the questions that your child asks. Try to answer or talk about those questions, even if you feel busy or tired. Whenever you can, take the time to help your child find the answers to questions–by looking in books, by asking an “expert,” by figuring it out.

* Take trips to the public library. Make friends with the librarians. Ask the librarian to help you find the best and most interesting books for your child.

* Plan family outings to museums, zoos, parks, and historical places. Going somewhere interesting doesn’t have to cost a lot of money. A trip to an interesting place gives adults and children of different ages lots to talk about, read about, and tell others about. Do projects around the home together. Carpentry, cooking, sewing, gardening, fixing things, painting, and arts and crafts all offer opportunities to learn. Your child gets to use her own ideas and learn new skills. “I made it!” and “I fixed it!” are exciting statements for a child to make.

* Limit the amount of TV your child watches. The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that parents limit their children’s TV viewing to one to two hours of good shows a day. The AAP also recommends that families take advantage of interesting programs offered on video. Often you can borrow excellent videos from the public library for free.

* Be curious and show an interest in learning yourself. If you don’t know how to spell a word, let your child see you look it up in the dictionary. If you have always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or piano, start taking lessons when your child begins music lessons.

* Talk with your children about news events, politics, and topics your child may be studying at school. Encourage your child to voice his opinions. Children who participate in mealtime or family conversations with parents are more likely to be successful in talking with teachers and other adults.

* Encourage your child to make handmade gifts and cards. Your child might write poems to thank your relatives for presents, or to wish them a happy birthday. Drawings are good gifts, too. Grandma will enjoy receiving a handmade gift from her grandchild.

* Involve your child in family decisions. Let your child help plan meals for the week. Talk about the travel time and the cost of tickets for an upcoming visit to see relatives. Help your child use her ideas and math skills to help with household tasks. She can write lists and check off jobs when they are done.

* Have high expectations for your child. Everyone can be successful in school. Give that message to your child again and again. Say, “I know that studying for that history test is hard work. I know you can do it!” Explain that when the work is hard, you have to try hard.

About the Author

To learn about hanging flowers, hubbard squash and other information, visit the Gardening Central website.

 

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Learn Math The Right Way – Crawl Walk Run

Lots of folks complain that it isn’t easy to learn math, but I found this article that may just help explain why some folks think it’s hard!

Learning Math is Difficult For Many People – Knowing Why Can Make Mathematics Easy and a Lot of Fun
by Isabel Ambrocio

Mathematics is a language, but it can not be learned the same way most languages are learned. Mathematical principles and concepts must be learned in a specific order. Much like the way we learned to walk. When we were learning to walk we found that we had to crawl first, if we went too fast and tried to stand or walk before we were ready we fell and got a boo boo. The same is true for math, except if we jump ahead of our selves or miss something along the way, we don’t fall and get a boo boo, we begin to believe that we are just no good at it.

To prove my point about the need to learn mathematical concepts and principles in a particular order, most City Colleges around America have elementary to high school level math classes that are offered to students that don’t have the required college level skills in mathematics needed to enter the college system. So the problem is real and recognized by Authoritative Institutions. Mathematical concepts need to be learned in a particular order no matter how intelligent you are. Trying to become proficient in mathematics by learning random bits and pieces will be very difficult if not impossible. Each level in mathematics requires a working knowledge of all the prior levels.

Because Mathematics is a language, you also need to immerse yourself in solving math problems to become proficient. Doing this is a lot easier these days with the aid of the Internet and calculators that do symbolic manipulation. Spending at least one to four hours a day working math problems, everyday, will develop and reinforce the skills needed to become proficient in math. Why so much time? To build, what I like to call, brain circuits.

Solving a problem requires a number of steps to be taken by the brain. Simply put, to solve “1+1=2” the brain needs to look at each character and then calculate what actions to take. If this is the first time attempting to solve this type of equation the brain has not connected up the wires or developed the circuits yet, it resorts back to circuits it has used in the past when attempting to do new things. Try writing with your other hand. Most will find it very difficult. That’s because the brain has not developed the circuits yet to perform the task. As the brain creates and hard-wires the correct circuits used to solve the mathematical problems your working on your mathematical abilities will grow, and as a side benefit, those same circuits will aid in other brain functions. But like everything in nature, the brain is very conservative.

The brain is not going to create and hook up circuits unless there is a real need for them. You need to let the brain know you mean business. The way you do this is by forcing the brain to work on math problems. The brain does not like change, so it will produce chemicals that will make this uncomfortable for you. You must fight back and continue. Soon the brain’s own need to be conservative will require it to build the circuits needed to more efficiently solve these problems. Result, you get better. And if you do things right and stick with it, the brain will become proud of these new circuits it has built and begin to produce chemicals that will make you feel real good. In the beginning it will be hard, but after a bit you’ll enjoy the brains reward. Video game developers have learned how to trigger these chemicals in the brain via their software. That’s why kids will spend hours, even days, in front of a monitor pushing buttons on a game pad.

Building circuits in the brain takes a lot of hard work and time. It took all of us years to learn to walk, talk, write, and perform many other abilities we take for granted. We learned most of these abilities when we were very young. It was called play time. It was fun, exiting and we couldn’t wait to get started. We also had many examples to draw from, people were walking, talking and doing things that helped us see how others performed these tasks we were trying to do. Not true with math. There’s the math book from school, well people with the IQ of a thousand don’t seem to have a problem with it so who am I to complain?

We learn best by example. Here’s the dilemma, there are not too many TV shows dedicated to mathematical problem solving. There are not even too many math courses dedicated to mathematical problem solving. There’s a teacher going at the speed of light spewing out concepts and principles while you try to listen and write at the same time. That’s not the best learning environment for mathematics. Thank God math is so easy or we’d be in trouble. Maybe it’s not you, you may have the makings of a brilliant mathematician, but have never been in a suitable situation to learn.

Solution, look at the answers to as many problem as possible and see how those answers were found. Use the Internet to study ahead of your class, so you’ll know whats being talked about when your instructor buzzes by at the speed of light with new concepts and principles. Remember, one missed item, principle or concept and you won’t be prepared for the next level. It’s very possible that your very good at math, it may be that the tools and road map to learn are missing.

Most problems encountered in learning upper level math come from not fully understanding elementary math. Algebra requires proficiency in elementary math, calculus requires proficiency in both elementary math and algebra. Most kids in elementary school can’t see the importance of math, so they lack the effort. Kid in high school don’t have time for math, so they do the minimum to get by. Then these young men and women, now ready to enter college, feel they are just no good at math, so they opt for other majors. Has a future Einstein been lost to this chain of events.

Take all this into account when learning math and you will find that mathematics is easy and fun. You may have to start at the beginning to find those concepts or principles you missed but you’ll find it pays off as you develop those mathematical skills with easy. But be careful, once you start discovering new things in the universe with your newly developed mathematical skills the brain chemical awards you will receive can become very addictive.

We have set up a website for inventors and people interested in how things work. At http://www.6pie.com you’ll find videos, tutorials, and information about physics, chemistry, biology, mathematics, and alternative energy. Also commonly used formulas and data. Ohm’s Law, Faraday’s Law, Maxwell’s equations and more. Knowledge is power.

So there you have it! Now you know that t’s not really hard to learn math! So go get ’em!

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Who Says Math Is Hard?

Many people will tell you that math is just too hard. They often use this as an excuse for not trying to learn math. Of course I’m of the opinion that math isn’t really hard at all!

I found someone else who thinks like I do. His name is Manjit Singh Atwal and he wrote the article below, which was published at GoArticles.com.

Math Is Not Hard

As a math tutor for 15 years, what I found in more than 80% of the students I met? They have something very common in all of them, that is, they all say, “the mathematics is very hard.” Why most of the students find mathematics a hard subject and try to avoid it?

The answer for the above question is hidden in a simple explanation. I always give an example to my students, and giving the same example in this article, the example of staircase, we use to reach the different floors of high-rise buildings. These days, all high-rise buildings are equipped with elevators, but they must have stairs to use in case of emergencies. Consider this high-rise has stairs only and no elevators, for the purpose of the article.

As you know, to reach any of the higher floors from the ground level, we can’t jump from ground to reach higher floors, or if we try we will fail and probably will hurt ourselves. You might agree that it is very hard (impossible) to jump to second floor from the ground. So, we use stairs to reach the higher floors in a building. What, if the stairs are broken? Can we still make it to our destination floor with the same ease and comfort? Think about it, and compare the math classes or grades to steps in the stircase and whole mathematics to the high-rise building.

Now, the kindergarten, first grade and second grade are like first couple of the steps of the whole staircase to the math high-rise and you can learn this level of math easily and anytime, same as you can jump enough to take yourself to second or third step of the staircase with ease. Also, if you are smart enough, you can learn the kindergarten to grade three or probably grade four math, easily. As it is very hard to reach sixth or seventh step of a staircase by jumping from the ground, exactly the same way to learn grade five or higher grade math is very hard (or impossible most often) without having the good knowledge of the kindergarten to grade three or grade four math.

Now, consider one person is jumping on the ground to reach the third floor of a building, can he make it? Never, if he is not Spiderman. For this person, to reach the third floor by jumping is impossible or very hard and he will give up after trying it for some time. But another person used the stairs to reach the same floor and found it very easy and reach there with little effort. Exactly the same way if a student has all the basic knowledge, he/she obtained in elementary grades, with him/her, then he/she is, let’s say, at fifth step already and he/she need not to jump to go to the sixth step, actually the student can do it easily by taking one step to the next level. On the other hand another student is in grade six and doesn’t know the lower grade math concepts such as, times tables, factors or number system. This student is in the same situation as the person trying to reach to third floor from ground level by jumping.

I think, its very clear now that mathematics in each grade have the same importance and it lives with us and support us always, (not like a person but like our eyes or other senses, it helps us to succeed in life). So, whichever grade you are in, start focusing yourself on math. Ask your teacher lots of questions. Keep asking until you are not clear about the concepts or topics you are working on. Each grade act as a step in the whole staircase to the mathematics high-rise building, and performing poor in math in any grade is like breaking one step in the whole staircase which will make the whole staircase risky or scary to use in the future.

So, what it takes to be smart in mathematics? My answer is, keep yourself focused on math in each and every level of your studies. Participate in the class math practice sessions. Ask your teacher lots of questions until you are not clear about any concepts taught by your teacher in the math class. Mathematics is a subject which demands lots of practice on solving the problems on paper rather than reading them only. As in case of Social Studies taking more readings make you smart, in case of math practicing lots of problems and solving them by hand makes you smart. To practice math problems math workbooks are the good source, when you learn a concept in a workbook, then in the same book you have more problems to practice on the same concept you just learned. Another good method to practice mathematical concepts is using math worksheets and you can print math worksheets free of charge from the web. One good site to print free math worksheets is www.mathfriendly.com where free elementary math worksheets can be printed.

Finally, choice is yours, you can choose the jumping method to reach your math destination or you can use right and proven path to reach your math destination. The right and proven path to math destination has the following steps:

  • Start learning math as soon as you start your kindergarten
  • Focus in your math classes, listen to your teacher
  • Ask your teacher lots of question until you are not clear about the concept, you are learning
  • Practice, practice and practice. For this you can use math worksheets or math workbooks.

If you take the proven path, one day you might say, “Math is not hard.”

About the Author

Manjit Singh born in city of Sangrur, Punjab, India. Finsihed his high school at his village school. Finished Bachelor of Science at Sikh National College Banga, Punjab, India. In education field as a tutor for more than 15 years.

 

So what do you think? Is math really hard? Post a comment and let me know YOUR thoughts!?!

 

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