Tag: Math Problems

Help With Solving Word Problems

Word problems can be a source of frustration and anxiety for many students. So I was looking for an article to see if there was any goos advice on this topic and I found the article below on Article Directory .com.

It offers some good ideas and should prove helpful as your student takes on learning math and solving word problems.

Six Word Problem-solving Strategies To Help Reduce Math Anxiety

 

 

Many students fear and despise the mathematics story problems (word problems) they encounter in their classes. Math anxiety is a real life experience and is usually made worse by the thought of having to solve a story problem.

The truth is, life itself is made up of a long series of story problems and those whose solution requires the use of our math skills are not difficult once a few simple strategies are learned.

Story problems usually contain key words or phrases that tell what operation(s) need to be performed with the numbers. Learn to look for these word clues:

ADDITION: add (to), sum, plus, more than, increased by

SUBTRACTION: subtract (from), difference, minus, less than, decreased by, how many more?

MULTIPLICATION: multiply, product, times, twice, three (four, five, etc.) times, percent

DIVISION: divide, quotient, share equally

When attempting to solve one of these problems, if the appropriate operation to be used is not obvious – just try something. If the wrong method is selected, one will at least learn what does not work – after all, if something isn’t tried, nothing will be learned.

Here is a basic procedure to follow:

Read the problem carefully – find out what is being asked for. Don’t try to understand the whole problem the first time through – just determine what the main question is.
Go back and re-read the problem to see what information has been given that will be helpful in answering the main question.
Find any word clues that will help determine what operations are needed.
Perform the required operations.
Finally, mentally check the answer to see if it makes sense and is reasonable. Be especially aware of the units (ft., in., lb., oz., gallons, etc.) and be sure the answer is expressed in the correct units.

The following six proven strategies will be helpful in solving story problems:

Draw a Figure or Diagram: This is the basic strategy to use when help is needed to visualize what is wanted in a problem – a sure-fire way to clear out any mental fog that exists. Labeling the figure with all the known information will keep everything straight and avoid getting lost in the words.

Put Data in a Table – Look for Patterns: A table is a great method for organizing information and once the information is in the table, it is a lot easier to find a pattern in the data.

Cut and Try Method: This method involves taking a guess at the answer and checking it against the desired answer and then adjusting the first guess (and any subsequent guesses) to get closer to the desired result.
An example of this method is used in zeroing an artillery piece on its target. An observer gives his best estimate of the target coordinates, a round is fired, the location of the hit is observed and the coordinates adjusted accordingly. The process is repeated until a hit is registered on the target.

Solve a Simpler Problem: Using a simpler version of a problem can be helpful in suggesting a problem solving approach.

A well-known example of this method involves deciding how many fence posts are needed for a fence of given length if the posts are to be spaced at 10 foot intervals. Draw a diagram of a fence with two or three posts, observe the pattern and apply it to the longer fence in the problem.

Work Backward: Solving problems by working backward is exactly what we do when solving linear equations.

For example: the equation 9x – 13 = 32 means that 13 subtracted from the product of x multiplied by 9 results in 32. So we reverse those operations to find x. Add 13 to each side of the equation and then divide both sides by 9.

Dimensional Analysis: Dimensional Analysis is one of the most useful methods for solving story problems. The great thing about specifying the units of the measurements (besides clarifying what we are talking about) is that they act just like numbers in arithmetic operations. All we do to solve a problem is put the units in the right order to produce the correct units for the answer.

For example: If a car traveled 395 kilometers in 210 minutes, what was the average mph?
Put the units in order so that cancellations will result in the desired combination:
Km/min x mi/km x min/hr = mi/hr

Next, plug in the given information and carry out the arithmetic operations.
395 km/210 min x 0.621 mi/km x 60 min/hr = 70 mi/hr or 70 mph

In summary, if students afflicted with “math phobia” will take a deep breath and approach the story problems with calmness and the following tools, life will take on a new beauty and serenity:

Read the problem carefully
Look for the operations key words
Pick a logical strategy to find the solution;

Draw a figure or diagram and label known parts
Put data in a table and look for patterns
Cut and try (take a few guesses and refine)
Solve a simpler problem
Work backward
Use dimensional analysis

Review your answer to see if it is reasonable.

Don’t forget to be neat and logical and have some fun – story problems are just a puzzle to solve.

By: Robert Leatherwood, PhD

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

 

  So what do you think? Did you find this article useful? Are you ready to go out and tackle some word problems?  🙂

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Does Your Child Need A Math Tutor?

I read the following article and thought you might be interested in checking it out. It’s a quick and dirty list of things to look for to help you recognize that your child may need a math tutor. read them over and see if any of them apply to your child/children. 

10 Signs That Your Child Needs A Math Tutor For Math Practice

You spend several hours every week to help your child with math problems, you try to motivate him, you have spoken to his teacher about his math homework but the result is still the same- poor math grades. Sounds familiar?
Don’t be in denial when your child’s math scores are not satisfactory and when he can’t stop getting distracted while working on his math homework problems. There are signs everywhere; you just need to be vigilant and take an appropriate action.
Look for these warning signs:
1) Poor grade in the report card (obviously a giveaway).
2) He spends 2-3 hours on his math homework every night.
3) His motivation level is very low and the very thought of going to school makes
him sad.
4) He works hard at home, but still gets Cs and Ds.
5) He has developed a nonchalant attitude toward school-related activities.
6) He does much better in other subjects such as science or reading.
7) His teacher complains regarding missed homework or declining grades.
8) He avoids conversations with you regarding math homework completion or
other school work when asked and starts acting out.
9) He complains that he has no friends at school.
10) He comes up with excuses to stay out of school, especially on math test or
homework due days.

By: Surabhi Mittal

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

 

Surabhi Mittal works with the academic department of ClickandClimb.com that provides one-on-one online math tutoring to children in grades 3-12. She can be reached at surabhi@clickandclimb.com. To learn more about online math tutoring or to get a 2-week free trial, please visit www.clickandclimb.com/

I know this isn’t a comprehensive list, but it is a good starting point. And these things are sure signs that you should look into getting your child some tutoring help.

Oh, and did I mention that we here at Cherry Hill Mathnasium have a great track record when it comes to tutoring children and helping them improve their outlook as well as grades when it comes to math?  Ha Ha

Hope you have a wonderful day!

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Kids Can Learn Math With Fun

What does it take to get a child’s interest?

It has been my experience that having some fun while presenting a challenge seems to pique a child’s interest!

I read this article on the subject of helping a child to learn math which I wanted to share with you.

Getting Kids Interested In Math Is About Fun And Games

When students complain about math homework with comments like, “I hate it!” “It’s too hard,” “I can’t!” It usually means that the child has math anxiety that keeps the negative attitude going due to frustration with the subject matter.

But don’t worry; there’s a way that parents can help their students learn to like math through fun and games. Action games with plenty of cool characters will make math homework and learning complicated formulas fun. Games will also allow better recall of what he/she learned because game characters will be remembered along with the concept illustrated. Puzzles are great for cognitive and memory instruction. They come in many different themes for just about every type of mathematical problem and type. Using a theme, such as rockets, space, animals, and cartoon characters, will let the student learn through relationships between the theme and math problems.

Math trivia will not only help the student learn math concepts but also learn amazing, little known facts. The search results are in…and the best news is brain teasers are beneficial for the mind. Look upon a brain puzzler as a mind gymnasium, by extending and examining the brain, learning ability greatly increases. The more you practice, the more adept you will become. Brain teasers are not merely mindless child’s period of play. They are significant informative instruments to direct your child through the basic principles of math. Kids study better once they can have more fun from the instruction.

Several kinds of brain teases for every kind of learner are available. Irrespective of what grade your youngster is, there are all different types of teasers with varied stages of difficulty to aid in stimulating their mind and help the studying method. Children love to have fun. Therefore, why not allow them to experience merriment with some cool interactional mathematics games? There’s nothing improper with stimulating play and discovery simultaneously.

Play solitarily or with other people; and for a greater challenge they could role play with the computer. Interactive mathematics games are self-paced and they allow for prompt feedback. Zero waiting time to get an exam paper marked to check how good they recognize a math theory. Likewise, you can apply comparable worksheets and solution keys for further exercise. These games are absolutely habit-forming due to having your child desiring to practice on the computer to practice additional math problems.

Apply them within your whole family to do and go over all kinds of mathematics skills they will remember. “By giving a child a three-dimensional interactive learning game, you are incorporating the primary levels of learning: tactile, visual, auditory, and neurological,” says Kathleen Halloran, a retired educator of 34 years.

By: FastSubmitArticles.com

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

John Ashley is a mathematical educator who developed the mathematickle line of educational math games and books to help children have more fun with mathematics.

So now you know how to get your child interested in learning math!

What do you think?

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Does A Math Tutor Really Help?

In order to help some students learn math more easily, it’s a good idea to hire a math tutor. Here’s a nice article which explains why a student might need a math tutor and the benefits of having one.

When And How A Math Tutor Can Really Make A Difference

If you’re having trouble understanding pre-algebra, calculus, or anything in between, you could greatly benefit from a math tutor. For those who need to study up for a high school exam, the GRE, or just a simple college course quiz, a math tutor can substantially increase your leverage in understanding the logic behind an array of problems. There are tons of live, online tutors that are available for immediate pay. Others might be available in your local community or even University or school. Many who freelance offer their services online who will charge per-hour for various forms of assistance.

Those who advertise their services online can help you with immediate assistance if they charge for an instant chat program or Skype call, for example. For less immediate needs, some may simply ask for an email to be sent once a payment via PayPal is sent. Others will grant you access to message boards that operate round the clock so that you can ask a multitude of users available for questions. This may be one route to take, but there are also many free website s and message boards that you can visit, though answers to your questions and math problems may not be as speedy or even correct.

A math tutor may be accessible directly from your high school, college, university, or other educational institution. Asking the administration of your school or learning facility is the best to go about finding out if there are available resources for your math needs. On large university campuses, many bulletin boards dawn print out ads from students who specialize in various subject areas. If you can find one of these and do a quick search, perhaps finding a fellow student for help may be the best bet. Prices are likely to be low and you would be helping a statistically poor college student!

Because your educational career is of the utmost importance, finding math help is essential. This will help you gain leverage in future courses while helping pass the ones that are required. It may also come in handy once graduated, as extensive tutoring can truly open the eyes of those seeking help, revealing to them a new perspective on the subjects at hand. If you need some numerical assistance, you can easily find some help with a little research and perseverance.

Your education is nothing to toy around with, so it is important to not be afraid to seek and ask for help. This is particularly true with math, the #1 ranked response by college level students as the most difficult subjects to grasp both in high school and undergraduate. No matter which grade or educational level you may be at, if you need math assistance, it is important to seek this help out. With the right help, these problems can cease to exist, making your future endeavors stress free and easier to grasp.

By: aayana

Article Directory: http://www.articledashboard.com

Looking for a Middletown NJ math tutor to help you or your child grasp this essential subject? Visit us today at www.1on1tutorsnj.com to learn more about how we can help.

Here at Cherry Hill Mathnasium we offer a great math tutoring program. Please stop by at our website or give us a call at 1-(856) 874-0050.

 

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Rapid Mathematics Fun!

More Mathematics fun for us! Please check out this article by Kyle Taylor:

Kids’ Mathematics – How To Make It Fun 30 Minutes A Day

 

In this article, we are going to give you tips on how to make math fun for your kids. You can take the information and use it to increase your child’s math skills 30 minutes a day. Although most of the games are 30 minutes, you may find yourself doing it for an hour. Kids love to have fun and we’re going to give them what they are looking for.

Rapid Kids’ Mathematics

 

Kids interested in mathematics will love Rapid Math because it requires competition, speed, and accuracy. This game helps students become masters of basic math fundamentals such as multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction. Kids of all ages can participate in Rapid Math.

A minimum of four players are needed (one answering questions/one providing flashcards). Each player has one partner which will use math equations on their flash cards to answer math problems. There should be 100 flashcards per team.

The whole deck must be completed before the game ends. For instance, the child must understand and answer an equation no matter how many times it appears in the deck. Every time he or she gives an incorrect answer, the flashcard is placed back in the deck for the remainder of the game.

Why is Rapid Math a great way to teach your kids mathematics?

Parents can use Rapid Math as a game to encourage their child’s to seek knowledge. For instance, adding small prizes such as extra television time, recess, or a fun day at the park would make a child want to learn more to earn the prizes. The psychological and emotional impact of a job well-done keeps kids coming back to earn more.

Rapid Math can be an essential tool to ensure your child remains sharp in all areas of math. Parents can adjust the levels of difficulty from basic math to algebra; start your child’s academic future in the right direction by participating in Rapid Math to make learning fun. Other games are available for Grades K-6, but Rapid Math is the most effective in developing kids’ aptitudes for higher learning skills.

 

By: Kyle Taylor     Article Directory 

Kyle Taylor is the owner of www.tutorhelp.info

So what is your opinion of the Rapid Math game? Have any of you tried it?

I would love to hear from you!

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Physical Activity And Math Games

Physical Math Games for Children.

More and more educators are taking a new approach to teaching math, promoting not only computing skills but physical fitness as well!

Introducing physical activity into math games adds fun for the students. They not only reinforce the math they are learning but also get playtime and improve physical well being.

To introduce a game to your math students, write rules for the game using clear language that your students will understand. Written rules can help you remember the game from year to year and also help students remember how to play it. Make sure that your rules tell the students what to do in each step of the game and that they also state the objective of the game. By providing rules you are able to circumvent arguments between students about how the game is played. In addition, students are able to practice reading for information while they read the game’s rules.

If you’re using children’s literature as an inspiration for your game, read the book to the class before introducing the game. This hooks students, introduces them to the concept and generates excitement.

Here’s an idea: Explain the ancient race of horse-drawn chariots. Replicate the Olympic games by giving each student a straw and a cotton ball. Each team member competes by blowing the cotton ball from a starting point to a finish line. Have the students time each other using a stopwatch. Allow individual team winners to compete for the gold. Challenge the students to convert the race times from minutes to seconds or to total each team’s race times for a team prize.

Math is a subject that often requires repeated practice. Because motivating students to practice math problems can be a challenge, using math games in the classroom will help to keep them interested.

Math can get repetitive and monotonous for a typical elementary school student. Keeping your students engaged is critical to their learning.

Change it up. Play some online math games too.

Did you know that Monster Online provides opportunities for students to play free interactive math games through a knowledgebox link. Players can enjoy games such as, “Baseball Geometry,” to freshen up identifying and selecting skills concerning angles. Students can practice addition, multiplication and finding coordinates on a grid, with “Cowboy Math.” Simple addition and subtraction games can be found in “Big Count Bayou” while animal counting games or fraction conversions are found in the “Fraction Cafe.” Other online sources that provide free interactive math games are Sheppard Software, Fun Brain and CoolMath4Kids.

Hope this helps you.

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Who Likes Math?

Sometimes you just have to ask the question! But make sure you’re ready for the answer.  😉

The Role of Mathematics: -“Do you like math?”

 

Do a random survey among grade schoolers with the question “Do you like math?” or “Is math fun?” and the probability of you getting more nos than yeses is high. For a reason or two (most times, more than two), a lot of people (kids and adults alike) dislike mathematics. If we are to conduct another survey on things people wish they can avoid, skipping math courses in school will surely give the matters of dying young and ending up broke tough runs for the top spot. I’m sure most of you can identify as much as I do.

Unrealized by many, mathematical skills are necessary to fully hone the potentials of our minds. On the most basic level of analysis, mathematics sharpen our *critical thinking skills. Concepts like postulates, axioms, and integrals are designed to challenge the functional structures of our minds to solve analytical problems, from the simplest to the most complex ones. Mind draining as it is, mathematical concepts and theories test our mental abilities in terms of logic and sound judgment. Being subjected to excruciating math problems helps us realize the immeasurable horizon of our powerful mind. The rationale of the complexities involved in utilizing the ideal and most appropriate problem solving strategy to arrive at the right answer, or at least, the one closest to it, extend beyond the completion of educational requirements. The end goal of requiring us all to learn math is to make each and one of us a better human being.

On the more practical level of analyzing its importance, having sound mathematical skills makes us a better entity in the many dimensions of our social existence. During pre-school and elementary years, the simple skills of addition and subtraction trained us to gradually gain independence from our parents. It trained our minds to handle the simplest problems we encountered from our day-to-day interaction in the society. It equipped us with the necessary mental kit for a smooth integration and subsequent adaptation to social activities that mostly, if not all, involved computing and quantifying, like buying a candy or a chocolate. At the latter stage of our lives, mathematical skills gain more importance. As we grow old, we face more difficult problems that are both personal and social in context. As such, the need to make sound judgments is more amplified. We cannot all the time be emotion-based in making decisions. Actually, most situations we face in our adulthood years require logical and objective ways of dealing. Where else can we get that competent training for logical thinking and critical analysis but through the math courses we have undergone through the years.

But we have to make something very clear here. We need not be like the great masters, Rene Descartes and Isaac Newton to attain that level of confidence in objectivity and logical soundness in decision making. We can be competently rational enough through comprehension of the basic concepts of mathematics. We need not come up with new paradigms of mathematical systems to ascertain our logical powers, though it certainly will be a great feat if you can. We just have to attain a good level of comfort and aptitude in handling various math problems and constantly practice the skills we are already equipped with.

In www.free-ed.net, a number of math courses are available for interested parties. Each free online course covers a certain area. These may be areas in arithmetic and pre-Algebra (number and operations, whole numbers, fractions, signed numbers, and linear equation), algebra (mostly on appreciation and linear equations), trigonometry, and calculus. The sequence of topics in the trigonometry course gradually progresses in a very student-friendly pace, enabling students to better understand the very tricky dynamics of triangles and angles. A lot dreads calculus, but the course outline in www.free-ed.net allows students to determine their own pace of studying at their own convenience.

Every free online course comes with a decent number of exercises and training materials to make sure students attain formidable mastery of practical mathematics. These free online courses are best for young professionals who want to stand out in the highly technological work environment and for the fresh college graduates wanting to have an edge over their contemporaries. The math courses in www.free-ed.net aim to develop average to above-average mathematical skills among students who are interested in taking any of the courses.

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If these ideas are implemented, then maybe more students and adults will say that they like math?!?
 


 

 

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Word Problems Are Fun!

You may recall getting very nervous when your teacher said “OK class, today we’re going to do some word problems to help you learn math.” I use to break out into a cold sweat! But it doesn’t need to be thaat way for you or your children. Check out this article written by Joe Pagano. Perhaps your view of word problems will change!

In Mathematics, Word Problems Can Be Fun
By Joe Pagano

One of the biggest hurdles your youngster has to overcome in school is the terrible bugaboo which is a math word problem. During my many years of private instruction, the one complaint I have heard all too many times is that of the inability to conquer the word problem. Yet word problems can be tackled successfully. This article outlines how.

Word problems are more difficult that “regular” math problems because the solution requires one to first determine what has to be done and then how to do it. Thus a word problem, unlike the solution of an equation such as x + 3 = 4, and then asking for the value of x, requires one to determine what equations can be extracted from the words, and then how to solve those specific equations.

Another difficulty lies in a student’s inability to read at a level necessary to make sense out of the words that make up the problem. Poor readers will generally make poor word problem solvers. This is why I teach students critical reading skills, among which are techniques such as “anticipatory reading” and other active reading competencies. Such methods not only give students a tremendous boost in their mathematical abilities but cross over into other disciplines requiring reading, such as social studies and English.

In order to better understand these strategies, we will look at a specific word problem at the pre-algebra/algebra level, and then see how to implement such techniques. The problem we shall discuss is on the topic of systems of equations in algebra.

Word Problem Example: Five hockey sticks and three hockey pucks cost $23. Five hockey sticks and one hockey puck cost $20. How much do two pucks cost?

Word Problem Strategies:

First Pass: This is the stage at which we just read the problem to get a “feel” for what is going on within. During this stage, we are not trying to solve the actual problem but just get an overall sense of what the problem deals with.

Second Pass: This is the stage when we re-read the problem, paying careful attention to the situation at hand, what the problem deals with, who the main players are, and so forth. During this stage, we start to mull over some problem solving strategies and start to plan our attack.

Third Pass: This is the brainstorming stage. At this point we clearly determine what the nature of the problem is, what we know, and what we are asked to do. This is when we start to convert words to numbers and equations and quantify everything within the problem.

Fourth Pass: This is the stage at which we begin to solve the problem using the information we gathered in the third pass. At this stage, we also double check our brainstorming phase to insure that we took the right approach.

Fifth Pass: This is the final stage at which we check the solution obtained in the fourth pass for consistency.

Let us go through these stages with the problem at hand. During the first pass, we read the problem and see that it has something to do with hockey sticks and hockey pucks and the price of two pucks. Note we have been thrown a curve ball here in that we are asked to state the price of two pucks not one. Keep this in mind for the end of the problem.

Now during the second pass, we notice that indeed we are dealing with the sport of hockey, that we are limited to the two pieces of equipment, pucks and sticks, and that we are given the prices for certain combinations of the two, and that we are asked specifically for the price of two pucks.

At the third pass, we start to create the initial mathematics. We have that 5 sticks and 3 pucks cost $23. We also know that 5 sticks and 1 puck cost $20. At this point, we should even take a guess at some numbers that might work just to make sure we have a good feel for the problem. For example, you may guess that a stick might be $4 and a puck $1. Then 5 sticks and 3 pucks would cost $23 so this seems like a good choice. However, those values do not satisfy the second condition, that of 5 sticks and 1 puck costing $20. Remember the final values have to satisfy both conditions in order to be the correct ones. But at least we are in the ballpark with our initial guess.

In our fourth pass, we choose letters to represent our items in the problem, and we then put our equations together. Since we are dealing with pucks and sticks, a good choice of letters would be S for stick and P for puck. Gee. Really? Okay, so now we have the following two equations:

5S + 3P = $23
5S + 1P = $20

Now you see that you are looking at a simple system of linear equations. You can solve by using the method of elimination. Thus if we subtract equation 2 from equation 1, we end up with 2P = $3, or by simple division, that P = $1.50. If we plug this value for P back into either equation 1, we get that S = $3.70. Now going back to what was asked for, the price of two pucks, we have 2x$1.50 = $3.00.

At the fifth pass, we should ask ourselves if our answer is reasonable. It seems that the cost of the stick should be more than that of the puck, even if the price of the stick seems a bit inexpensive. If we plug these values for S and P into equation 2, we get a check and thus we can feel comfortable that our solution is correct.

By using this simple step strategy, your children can confidently conquer word problems. No matter whether the problem involves hockey pucks and sticks, or giraffes and elephants, or whether the solution involves systems of equations or mixed rate problems. Reading critically, solving actively, and applying this five step process will insure impressive success in the oft regarded ghoulish realm of word problems. Goblins beware!

Joe is a prolific writer of self-help and educational material and is the creator and author of over a dozen books and ebooks which have been read throughout the world. He is a former teacher of high school and college mathematics and has recently returned as a professor of mathematics at a local community college in New Jersey.

Joe propagates his Wiz Kid Teaching Philosophy through his writings and lectures and loves to turn “math-haters” into “math-lovers.” See his website http://www.mathbyjoe.com for more information and for testimonials, and try out one of his ebooks here http://www.mathbyjoe.com/page/page/2924777.htm to achieve better grades in math.

Joe breaks down the process very well – eh? So simple that a child could do it!  (Well after a little coaching. 🙂 ) 

By the way, I found this article at ezinearticles .com. They have some very interesting reading on many different and varied topics.

Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving if you live here in the USA!

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