If I knew in 6th grade what I know now as an adult; I would have quit the clowning around and paid attention in class.
I would have:
ALWAYS done my homework
Participated more in class
ignored the disruptive kids
asked more questions in class
I would have been the model student. Algebra was HARD. I didn't get it, I mean really get it, until my junior year of HS and that was after I got a tutor. Honestly, I was too busy being cool with my friends.
Man if I knew then....phew....I would be a phenom now..
Also, now that I think about it....I didn't understand why we kept solving for "X", then asking "Y". Who was "X" and why was "X" so important...
Let's face it "most" people really do not understand the language of Math and this is why you often hear people say, "I don't like math" or "I was never really good at math". Mathematics is a language of and unto itself. If you understand the language, then you understand the content. If you understand the content, then the processes become a piece of cake to learn and employ.
So, here's why I say be consistent. When learning a new language, you need to practice it on an ongoing and consistent basis in order to really grasp it. It's not something you can put down and pick up when you like. It is something that you must use all the time. The language and process of math are the same way. I've found, after so many years of teaching and tutoring, that many students do not have a strong sense of numbers. They see numbers as foreign bodies floating aimlessly in space, completely unconnected to their everyday world.
I try to build a students' sense of...