Thursday, May 17, 2012

Cool Math

Math is one of the most misunderstood subjects in the world. When you try to teach a child to learn math, they would get a puzzled look, as they are trying to process of how numbers work and how problems add up. My daughter, when she started learning math, she would have a hard time trying to visualize how math problems add up or take away. It took a lot of time and hard work just to get her to understand how math works. My wife and I came up with a plan to have our daughter set some goals and once she accomplished those goals, then she would get rewarded for her efforts. But we did not leave her by herself to accomplish this feat alone. We had to be there every step of the way, encouragement and giving praises to her for a job well done. Just before the end of the school year, her third grade class just started doing division problems, and the look on her face just said it all. Her usual complaints of, "I can't do this," or "this is too hard," once again was heard throughout the house.

Last week, I started practicing division problems with her, but she would not ask questions of about certain problems, all she would do is put her head on the table and start complaining. It took me a little bit to come up with a solution to help her understand of how division works. Then about 20 minutes later, as I can recall, she started to do some of the practice problems the way that I showed her, then, she caught on. The way that I showed her is that you take the first number in the problem, let's say 20 and it's divided by 4 equals to what number. Put it in multiplication form like this 4 x? = 20, and then she realized how easy division is. It takes a lot of patience and understanding of what a child is going through and putting it in a way that they can understand it.

Math has always been a passion for me, even as a little kid. It wasn't until that I got to college and enrolled in pre-calculus, then, the problems started arising. I was so filled with pride that I can do math in my head with ease that I started to forget the basic principles of algebra. I struggled for most of the semester and then came the most difficult decision of all, I withdrew from the course. After another attempt at the class, I had the same problem again. It wasn't until later that I developed a plan that will help me succeed in my math courses.

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