MATHEMATICS MADE EASY: TIPS FOR ACING THE SUBJECT

by Richard Otojahi

Hello! Boys and girls, this article on MATHEMATICS MADE EASY will enable you do the following:

  • Your apparent dislike and fear of mathematics will be turned into love for and engagement with mathematics.
  • Your anxiety, struggle and beliefs about mathematics will be translated into fun with mathematics and a functional approach to acing the subject.
  • Your knowledge and skill gaps in mathematics will be levelled up and enriched with essential toolkits for making the most of best subjects in the school curriculum.
  • You will be transformed into a twenty first century solution provider searching for mathematics problems to resolve.

THE MULTIPLE FORMS AND FACES OF MATHEMATICS:

As water, a universal substance, exists in the three states of matter – solid (ice); liquid (water) and gas (steam or vapor). So also mathematics as a universal body of knowledge exists in multiple formats.

The learning of mathematics comes with the following emotions:

  • Anxiety.
  • Struggle.
  • Fear.
  • Phobias.
  • Dislike or hatred.
  • Joy or love.

Students with math anxiety don’t simply dislike math—for them, math causes debilitating feelings of fear and failure that hurt their ability to perform. The pressure and lack of confidence these students feel when faced with math causes their brain to freeze and forget even the things they do know.

THE SUBJECT, MATHEMATICS

  • What is it all about?
  • Why do most students dislike and hate mathematics?
  • Why do majority of students fail in mathematics test or examination?
  • How useful are the knowledge, attitude and skills acquired in the learning of mathematics?
  • How can one learn mathematics on his own?
  • How can one improve on his grades in mathematics?

 Mathematics:

  • As a subject is compulsory.
  • As a building block is foundational.
  • As a tool is essential.
  • As a language is universal.
  • As a gateway is prerequisite.
  • As a body of knowledge is challenging.
  • As a vehicle is translatory.

Your perception (what and how you think) about the subject and your active participation in the learning process will determine which emotion is dominant or latent.

THE BASIC BUILDING BLOCKS OF MATHEMATICS

The foundation of mathematics thinking and learning is made up of the following five elements:

  1. Numbers.
  2. Letters.
  3. Signs.
  4. Symbols.
  5. Shapes.

The combination of these basic building blocks in various proportions gives birth to the broad topics in general mathematics.

THE BROAD TOPICS IN GENERAL MATHEMATICS

  1. Number and numeration.
  2. Algebraic processes.
  3. Mensuration.
  4. Plane Geometry.
  5. Coordinate geometry of straight lines.
  6. Trigonometry.
  7. Introductory calculus.
  8. Statistics and probability.
  9. Vectors and transformation.

CRITICAL QUESTIONS BEGGING FOR SINCERE ANSWERS

  • What is mathematics all about?
  • What are the basic building blocks of mathematics as a subject?
  • Why do many students hate mathematics?
  • Does mathematics really need to be made compulsory as a subject?
  • What are the importance and uses of mathematics in real life?
  • Can I really improve on my mathematics scores?
  • how can I learn mathematics?
  • Can every student excel in mathematics?
  • Is it true that mathematics is everywhere?
  • What are the different forms and faces of mathematics?
  • How can I improve my test/exam score in mathematics?
  • Is it true that some people have math brain?
  • What kind of mindset can help me to overcome my anxiety, fear and phobia for mathematics?
  • Do others struggle with mathematics the way I do?
  • Is it true that math is fun and can be used for recreation and inspiration?
  • With what I know now, what should be my resolution about mathematics?
  • How far can I go in life without mathematics?
  • Are there truth and lies about math?
  • I hate word problems, what about you?
  • Why are we always finding x and attempting to figure y in every math class?
  • Why are most of our mathematics teachers too serious?
  • Does making mistakes have anything to do with getting better in mathematics?
  • Is there any relationship between math and the sciences, math and language, math and games?
  • How did the formulas we used in mathematics come about?
  • Who invented mathematics?
  • Can you please tell us a little about mathematics?
  • Does mathematics have anything to do with computing, coding, robotics and artificial intelligence?
  • Are there apps that can be used to explore and engage students in mathematics?
  • I have heard about math tricks and shortcuts. What are they all about?
  • Do we have different types of mathematics like Egyptian math, Arabian math, Indian math and/maybe Nigerian mathematics?
  • Who were the pioneers of mathematical thinking?
  • Do we have anything like mathematical museum?
  • Can virtual realities be used to explore mathematical concepts?
  • Is there any big deal if I fail in math as a subject?
  • Everybody around me hates mathematics, what should I do?
  • What are the broad topics in the junior and senior secondary school?
  • Is mathematics all about getting the correct/right answers?
  • All I want in life is to make cool money, does mathematics have anything to do with it?
  • Is it true that mathematics has been the forerunner of civilization?
  • Are there times that mathematics doesn’t make sense?
  • Is math still evolving or all there is to be known had been discovered?
  • What is further about mathematics?
  • Why is Further mathematics not counted as a subject for obtaining admission in higher institutions?
  • Why do some school make further mathematics compulsory at ss1 and sometimes for ss2 students?
  • What do I stand to gain by offering further mathematics as a subject in secondary school?

Reasons Why Mathematics is Important

  1. Daily Lives:

From the time we get up in the morning to the time we sleep we use math. For example, when we get up we calculate the time we have left to get to school or work, we calculate the estimated time to travel. We use math to calculate the amount of money used to pay for the goods and services consumed. Our life is surrounded by numbers

  1. Time Management:

Math helps us understand time, about seconds, minutes hours, days month and so on. It helps us understand the value of time and how time is to be used wisely. Time plays a very important role in every individual’s life and it is very important to manage it well.

  1. Budgeting Money:

Math is not just important in calculating but it is also printed in money, the worth of money is estimated by the unit of the number printed on the currency. To survive in this world money is important and correct calculation of money is also very important.

  1. Exercise of the Brain:

Mathematics is not just an important subject but a very good exercise for the brain. It stimulates the brain into responding things quicker and making the mind sharp, playing with numbers is one of the basic skills of the intelligent minds.

  1. Problem-Solving Skills:

Math not only stimulates the brain but also helps in solving problems. It provides a platform to understand the intensity of the problem and the various ways of solving the problems. Remember, the saying goes math may not teach us how to add love or subtract hate, but it gives us the hope that every problem has a solution.

  1. Fun and informative:

Math is a fun and informative subject. It is one subject where we can get the correct answer with different methods e.g. 2+2= 4, 1+3= 4. It helps a person understand various ways of solving a problem.

  1. Important Key Skill for Work:

Any job requires math skills, there is a calculation in every aspect of work. A research shows that employers generally employ candidates with math skills, as they believe that math helps in problem-solving and increases the ability to handle every problem with smartness. Therefore, to be able to acquire a good job position in the market, math skill is very important. Math helps us to evaluate

 WHY SO MANY STUDENTS STRUGGLE WITH MATH

  • IT’S DIFFICULT TO RELATE TO.

Math is a very abstract subject. For students, learning usually happens best when they can relate it to real life. As math becomes more advanced and challenging, that can be difficult to do. As a result, many students find themselves needing to work harder and practice longer to understand more abstract math concepts.

  • THERE’S ONLY RIGHT AND WRONG.

Unlike a lot of other subjects, there is no room for error when it comes to math. You either understands what you’re doing, or not. Because of this, math can quickly become a frustrating and stressful experience for students.

  • IT BUILDS ON ITSELF.

Math is a cumulative subject—everything builds on what came before. You needs to know the basics before you can move on to new topics. If you starts to fall behind in one area, it can be very difficult to make sense of advanced concepts you learn without that foundational knowledge.

  • STUDENTS EXPECT MATH TO BE DIFFICULT.

This is a classic case of the self-fulfilling prophecy: students expect it to be difficult, so it is. When students go in expecting math to be difficult, they are quicker to give up when they don’t understand something. A negative mindset like this can quickly turn into a cycle of low confidence, less motivation, and poor performance.

  • PUTTING MEMORIZATION AHEAD OF UNDERSTANDING.

For many students, math is a subject where they simply memorize concepts and formulas without really understanding them. This may work for a while, but as students progress and encounter more difficult problems, many find that they don’t know how to solve them because they don’t have the problem-solving skills they need to tackle new problems.

  • IT HAS A REPUTATION OF BEING “BORING.”

Math has a reputation of being an unpopular mix of difficult and boring. Many students just aren’t excited to learn about math. And when students aren’t excited, they tend to do the bare minimum before moving on to something they’d rather be doing, which isn’t going to help set them up for success in math class.

  • IT REQUIRES A LOT OF PRACTICE.

Math isn’t something that students automatically “get”—it takes time and practice to understand math. Since many students don’t enjoy math, getting them to sit down and practice can be a struggle. Without that practice, students can have a hard time keeping up with what they’re learning because they still don’t have a handle on the basics.

  • STUDENTS MOVE ON BEFORE THEY’RE READY

In many classes, a “C” means you have a satisfactory understanding of the material. And that’s usually enough for you to move on to the next unit or grade level. In math, a “C” means that you are missing fundamental building blocks for success in the future (remember: math is cumulative!). Because math builds on itself, that “C” means that the next unit or class is going to be even harder until you have a grasp on previous topics.

  • Mastering math can take a lot of effort, but with the proper skills and ongoing practice, it doesn’t have to be difficult

Tips to Learn Math Fast and Better:

  1. Keep practicing:

Math is the only subject which can be solved by continuous practice. It is not that easy to understand math but if a person is determined about solving the sums then math is a subject which can be solved within a fraction of seconds.

There is a famous saying that practice makes a man perfect. And if you keeps practicing something, there is nothing which can stop you from achieving your dream. Similarly, when it comes to math it is simple, you need to keep practicing the solution for the problems.

  1. Identify your mistakes:

Sometimes while working out a math problem, there will be a possibility that a person may not get the answer for the question. That may be because of their small mistakes. If a person wants to get rid of the feeling that math is a tough subject, then he / she needs to keep an eye on their own mistakes. At some point in time while working out a math problem, a person may fall on bad at some of the methods and to overcome that bad fall, he/she need to rectify their errors and mistakes so that there won’t be any kind of repeating such mistakes.

  1. Understand the concept of problems:

Most of the time you fail a math problem because they don’t understand the concept of the question. If a person understood the question wrong then obviously they are going to receive the answer wrong as well. Therefore, to solve a math problem a person needs to understand its question first

  1. Ask from other to clear doubts:

It is explained earlier, that math is a problem which can be solved by practicing it regularly, Similarly, while practicing such problem if a person receives doubts about the solution, then it would be better if that person ask from other to clear their doubts.

Asking the worked out solution from a teacher or someone who understand the question better will clear all doubts and make solving a math problem easy.

  1. Concentration:

Concentration is something which is necessarily important while studying any subject and especially when it is a tricky math problem. Concentration is required while understanding the mathematical problem, it helps to identify the actual problem hidden inside the problem. Therefore, it is advisable that the person solving the problem needs to be attentive while understanding problem to be able to solve the problem as soon as possible.

  1. Create helpful activities:

In schools the kids are advised to create a chart of all the mathematical methods and formulas and place it in their room where it can be visible So that they keep looking at the chart and understand how to actually solve the problem because when it comes to the mathematical problem, it is better if a person identifies the root of the problem unless just the solution.

Therefore, making creative activities will be helpful for all those people who thinks that math is a difficult subject.

  1. Indulging creative ideas:

When it comes to mathematical issues, a person needs to maintain a calm approach while solving some mathematical questions. To make that happen a person should start involving some creative ideas to make mathematics fun. Therefore, indulging some creative ideas will help one solve mathematical problems in a better manner.

For example, if a person finds difficulty in solving mathematical problems, then they can make use of practical elements to understand the problem better so that they can get the answer.

In conclusion,

The relationship between math subjects and students is a kind of love-hate relationship. While there are students who love this subject, on the other side there are few who hate it. There are also instances where students’ hate towards math has changed to love as and when they try and learn it.

Math undoubtedly is the base of several developing technologies that are being evolved. And will be used in almost every sector. Follow the tips mentioned in this webinar which will definitely help you to learn math fast and score good grades in mathematics. Remember one needs to have time and patience to fall in love with mathematics and master this math subject.

Finally, if you desire to achieve excellent grades in mathematics, you must:

Practice and more practice is the key

Study in a distraction-free environment

Review the problems and errors

Create a Mathematical Dictionary

Get to the core of the subject

Connect math with real world problems

Understand the problem and try to solve it instead of leaving it

ACHIEVING EXCELLENT GRADES IN MATHEMATICS: There are five levels of grades in mathematics tests or examination.

  1. FAIL: F9.
  2. PASS: D7 or E8.
  3. SUCCEED: C4 or C5 or C6.
  4. EXCEL: B2 or B3.
  5. EXCEED EXPECTATIONS: A1.

What should be your resolve now that you know the relevance and significance of mathematics in learning and in real life.

Codes for activating good grades in math.

  • what you know, teach others
  • what you don’t know, ask from others
  • what you have mastered, practice over and over again
  • whenever you are to sit for a test / exam, know the style, structure and time allocated for the text/exam.
  • Whenever you make mistakes, learn from the mistakes

Do you know that:

YOU CAN EXCEL IF YOU REALLY WANT BUT you must try, try and try, you will succeed at last.

I WILL APPRECIATE IF YOU CAN JOIN ME IN DECLARING

I LOVE MATHEMATICS

I NEED MATHEMATICS

And I MUST PASS MATHEMATICS WITH DISTINCTION

I am looking forward to sharing in your testimony……. Go and Conquer

SUCCESS ALL THE WAY

Richard Otojahi is:

  • A mathematician and a teacher of mathematics.
  • He is a coach, consultant and coordinator of mathematics affairs.
  • he is a certified and licensed teacher in Nigeria.
  • he’s a certified Cambridge IGCSE educator.
  • a certified Microsoft innovative educator.
  • a youth leader and a lover of youths, he has strong passion in helping youths succeed and excel in mathematics and life in general.

 

 

 

 

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