How to be Successful In Mathematics
Math is a complicated subject. Students struggle with it, parents don’t feel comfortable helping with homework, and teachers find it impossible to “re-teach” every year. It is for these reasons that I feel having a good foundation in math is imperative. Students that have a great foundation feel confident and are not afraid of tackling a problem until they figure it out.
What do students need to know to have a good foundation?
Well, I think the most basic concepts they need to master are the concepts learned in pre-algebra. Most parents would be shocked to hear that students begin to learn these concepts as early as second grade.
Some are those concepts include properly using the order of operations; being able to add, subtract, multiply and divide negative numbers, fractions and decimals; and working problems with more than one variable. I encounter students “freezing” all the time when they encounter fractions, negative numbers, and variables. If they had more confidence in these concepts, they would feel comfortable trying a more complicated problem without hesitation.
My recommendation for mastering these concepts is practice, practice, practice. Identify where you are weak and do as many problems as you can to work those concepts. It is amazing how working the same kind of problem over and over again can drive a concept home.
Where can you find extra problems??
Many students don’t realize that most textbooks supply extra problems in the back of their textbook. Also, there is a mixed review at the end of each chapter that combines all of the concepts of that chapter in one place. Feel free to go back to previous chapter and work problems for a review. The index is also a great tool to help you find extra problems.