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August 22nd, 2011, 05:53 PM   #1
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How to learn math

I'm currently 15 years old and I suck at math. For the longest time I was passed along and now recently I've been told that I'm in Algebra 1 when I should be moving on to Algebra 2. Maybe it's the teachers or the schools but math is just not clicking for me. I want to learn and love math. I truly do but I'm not sure how or where to go. I can't afford an expensive tutor, so here I am online. I also have ADD which causes issues in studying math and I've been told constantly I suck at math because I'm a girl. I think math is beautiful and I want to fall in love with it but I'm just not getting it. It seems like every school year I learn and barely master the material and then I just forget it. Any help or suggestions in falling in love with math and finally getting it? Thanks
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August 22nd, 2011, 06:05 PM   #2
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Re: How to learn math

To get better at math requires time and effort, and the desire to get better. You have the desire it sounds like, so until we have the technology to upload skills to the human mind, you will have to do the work. It's quite a bit like learning to play a musical instrument. Only through picking up the instrument and playing it will you actually get better at playing it. You can read all about the history of the instrument, techniques, etc., but you will never get better at expressing yourself with the instrument unless you repetitively practice.

As you are doing your homework, if you get stuck, post your problems//questions/concerns here and there are many helpful people here who will be glad to guide you.

Welcome to the forum too!
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August 22nd, 2011, 06:48 PM   #3
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Re: How to learn math

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkFL
To get better at math requires time and effort, and the desire to get better. You have the desire it sounds like, so until we have the technology to upload skills to the human mind, you will have to do the work. It's quite a bit like learning to play a musical instrument. Only through picking up the instrument and playing it will you actually get better at playing it. You can read all about the history of the instrument, techniques, etc., but you will never get better at expressing yourself with the instrument unless you repetitively practice.

As you are doing your homework, if you get stuck, post your problems//questions/concerns here and there are many helpful people here who will be glad to guide you.

Welcome to the forum too!
Thanks for the warm welcome . Do you suggest any books, sites, methods and etc to use to get better at math?
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August 22nd, 2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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Re: How to learn math

book: your textbook

sites: right here (maybe I'm biased, but for learning math, you will do well here asking questions)

methods: As a minimum, do the assigned problems. If you do the assigned problems, and you still feel lost, re-read the text leading up to the problems, as many times as you need to get the mechanics of the techniques. If you understand the derivation of the formulas, and the motivation for solving such problems, the homework will mean much more to you. Study with others from your class (study group), preferably with at least one of those who really seem to be getting it. Right before a lecture on new material, read your textbook on the topic, the lecture will make more sense if you have an idea of what's being discussed. Also, any questions you have can be asked on the spot, and your teacher will appreciate that you are prepared.

The bottom line is, math is a great deal of work...but it is well worth it, and increases your understanding of so many things.
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August 22nd, 2011, 07:48 PM   #5
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Re: How to learn math

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkFL
methods: As a minimum, do the assigned problems. If you do the assigned problems, and you still feel lost, re-read the text leading up to the problems, as many times as you need to get the mechanics of the techniques. If you understand the derivation of the formulas, and the motivation for solving such problems, the homework will mean much more to you. Study with others from your class (study group), preferably with at least one of those who really seem to be getting it. Right before a lecture on new material, read your textbook on the topic, the lecture will make more sense if you have an idea of what's being discussed. Also, any questions you have can be asked on the spot, and your teacher will appreciate that you are prepared.
Here's the technique I would use as an undergrad. First, read the assigned problems and try to solve them. Next, when you realize that you don't even understand the notation, flip back through the text until you find the definitions; read those then go back to the problems. Read the problems, skipping the ones you can't do. When you realize that you've skipped all 5 of the problems that you're read, sigh and go back to actually read the chapter. finally, do the problems.

It's entirely possible that there is a better approach.
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August 22nd, 2011, 08:33 PM   #6
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Re: How to learn math

I think that "passing you along" thing didn't exactly help. Somehow they seem to think they're doing kids a favor by doing that. I'll blame that on society.

You definitely have the desire, which yes is a key element. Plus the things already mentioned (like practice). I'm going to add that as you do things, try to stop and think about what it means and why you're doing it. That is, try to make sense out of it instead of having it be some abstract thing that you are just memorizing. Schools these days tend to teach memorization, and I've seen some odd methods taught that might get you to the right answer but don't make a lot of sense. Also, try drawing it. My mind works in visuals so I try to see everything. Even if you can't make a lovely picture, make a line or box or something where you can see a relationship between things. (Like how they use apples to teach little kids addition and subtraction.)

In addition to just getting help here with homework or questions, if something is simply not making "sense" come ask for an explanation. The more you understand the underlying concept, the better you'll get stuff, the better you'll remember it, and the better you'll apply it to something new. And also try to relate things you learn back to things you learned in your last couple of lessons or even something from prior years. A lot of things build on other things and it's easier if you see the relationship and not see everything as always being "new." You use a lot of old stuff when learning new stuff.

If you aren't comfortable with what you learned up until now, go back and review that.

One place I do have bookmarked is this http://www.math.com/students/practice.html. I don't know how good it is, but it does have some practice problems covering all sorts of subjects. I'm sure there's a million of these places out there and you could google like "algebra practice problems" or something.
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April 30th, 2012, 04:10 AM   #7
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Re: How to learn math

The only way by which you can learn it is daily practice.Maths is the only subject which needs maximum practice.If you can't afford tutor ,you can take help of online tutoring.
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May 2nd, 2012, 02:41 PM   #8
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Re: How to learn math

Quote:
Originally Posted by suresh123
Maths is the only subject which needs maximum practice.
Really??
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May 3rd, 2012, 05:10 AM   #9
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Re: How to learn math

Quote:
Originally Posted by suresh123
The only way by which you can learn it is daily practice.Maths is the only subject which needs maximum practice.If you can't afford tutor ,you can take help of online tutoring.
Sorry, but i disagree, to learn math(in my case) ,you need:
interest in math
learn 'what is math'
have to agree with its basic axioms (i.e x=x)
have to think abstract
have to see beyond what you see (sounds good!!! LOL )
minimum practice
Optional : post your problem in this forum

Online tutoring is a good point, it may help you to learn basics.
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May 3rd, 2012, 02:35 PM   #10
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Re: How to learn math

Quote:
Originally Posted by rainbowdash
I also have ADD which causes issues in studying math and I've been told constantly I suck at math because I'm a girl.
Don't believe about this ADD thing, but do believe that you are a girl.

Quote:
I think math is beautiful
Love is blind.
Quote:
It seems like every school year I learn and barely master the material and then I just forget it.
Don't bother to master it, first learn it at your level where you can understand. When you do well at the level, it will take care of itself.
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