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November 29th, 2018, 05:54 PM   #1
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Math Class Problems

Hi,

I'm a freshman who is taking Algebra 2, Geometry and Trig all this year. We are doing Geometry right now. The problem is that I failed the last 3 tests and I am freaking out. I don't want to drop the class but if I continue like this I will be forced to drop it. Please help!! I need help with tips on writing proofs and how to make myself more efficient at math and also tips that have helped you before taking tests. Thank You so much for all your help !!
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November 30th, 2018, 03:39 AM   #2
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Has any geometry textbook been suggested?
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December 1st, 2018, 07:30 PM   #3
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Ya, but the problems that he gives are much more advanced than the book. He doesn't teach either and if you know could you please suggest me any math books that I could use. We use Big Ideas Math: Geometry in school.
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December 2nd, 2018, 10:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcake24342434 View Post
Ya, but the problems that he gives are much more advanced than the book.
He doesn't teach either and if you know could you please suggest me any
math books that I could use.
WHO is "he"? Your teacher? Why does he "not teach"? Too lazy?
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December 2nd, 2018, 11:26 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cupcake24342434 View Post
. . . the problems that he gives are much more advanced than the book.
Can you post an example of such a problem that you now know how to do, but found tough initially, and explain what made it seem difficult?
Thanks from topsquark
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December 6th, 2018, 08:42 PM   #6
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"He" is my teacher.
By "not teaching" I mean that he doesn't explain the problems or what he expects from us. He is lazy, but it is really stupid because he gives us problems that he doesn't even know the answer, and if he doesn't understand a problem or doesn't know the answer to he searches it up on the internet. If you ask him how he got to that answer his response is that "Oh. . . I searched it up on the internet?!?!"

Thx for taking your time to reply to my message!!
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December 9th, 2018, 06:13 AM   #7
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Geometry proofs are all pretty elementary. If it is column proofs of just more complex geometry problems, you need to know not just how to solve the problem, but with what theorems/postulates, justifying at each step. (It takes no real proof skills at the high school level to prove something, you're lacking the actual geometry skills most likely.) This can seem silly and unnatural at first, like, for example, do I have to justify that x = x by the Reflective Property? (No, you do not.) If you're not well versed in the theorems covered thus far, then get to it. Make flash cards if you have to, stuff you learn early in the year plays a part later in the year for geometry. When I was in geometry, I would say a theorem out loud before I completed the step on paper. I am not going to list all the theorems of geometry in a standard high school text, but in general know the properties of equality, properties of congruence, Pythagorean theorem, vertical angles theorem, polygon angle sum theorem (still my favorite from geo, especially the proof), and your pretty golden.

In geometry, you are also given the opportunity to either memorize a step without understanding it or take the long but logical way (much easier to justify in a proof) and because you can reason your way through it no need for memorizing. For example, you can memorize special triangles (I don't know them, and I didn't in geo either) or you can solve using trig functions easily. Another example is finding the perimeter/area of a polygon through formulas for its apex, which make me want to burn my paper then the teacher (I remember the sensation clearly), when you can just very carefully and slowly reason through things again with trigonometry. A third example and hopefully having had Algebra I you might get help from this one. A triangle has an area of (1/2) times base times height. That is what you're told, but how do you know that? You can visually prove it by cutting a rectangle into 2 triangles through its diagonal. 1 of those 2 triangles makes up half the area of the rectangle so find the area of the rectangle (b*h) and divide by 2. No matter how good the teacher is, curriculum in all of math, not just geometry, has huge deficiencies that your expected to just pick up, better you learn now then in college when grades do not matter like at all.

The only other reason you could be having trouble with proofs is either you fail at knowing basic logic (biconditionals are very important in geo and even show up from time to time in calculus, look at them in your textbook), or your teacher is having you do college level proofs too. In that case a nice introduction here:

The examples use number theory but these apply to all of math and oh boy it takes practice. Those are still tame proof techniques compared to upper undergrad and beyond! This channel also has many more videos on these four methods.

If column proofs using given theorems does not cut it and these four methods don't cut it, then you got serious beef to be had with this teacher, this most likely is not the case. If you have to do paragraph or flow proofs through they are just rearranged column proofs which following the same order.

Oh and stop blaming things on your teacher. You have access to the internet, be an autodidact and teach yourself, then thank him for forcing you to learn how to learn by yourself. That is taking responsibility for YOUR OWN education. I only say this so arrogantly because I DID in fact teach myself geometry and not as a freshman but as an 8th grader. It can be frustrating. (whispers to self *burn in hell orthocenter... burn to a crisp*) but now I am a better math student then I ever could be listening to every word my teacher says, expecting them to not be lazy or wrong lol. I am glad you took the initiative to ask the internet through. Have a Good Day

The mark of a good mathematician is being able to spend 25 minutes on a problem without ripping your hair out and past that even just till the problem is solved. As you get older, problems take longer and longer. Algebra I problems are basically instant, Algebra II takes max 2 minutes, Pre-Calculus again takes 2 mins, calc can take up to 10 per a problem and on a professional level problems can take entire life times of multiple people Andrew Wiles took almost a decade to do ONE PROOF of a very special problem, Fermat's last CONJECTURE (commonly and mistakenly called theorem) until Andrew proved it and now it is Wiles's Theorem. Think about that and be grateful you're only doing simple geometry. One day you will either give up on math or explore its beauty without the help of a teacher who babies you through each problem.

Last edited by skipjack; December 12th, 2018 at 09:01 PM.
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December 12th, 2018, 09:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
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If you have to do paragraph or flow proofs through they are just rearranged column proofs which following the same order.
Did you type some words you didn't intend in that sentence? It doesn't quite make sense.
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December 13th, 2018, 02:09 PM   #9
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I know it sucks to hear this, but this is the perfect time for you to realise that all your education is now on your own shoulders. It is possible that your teacher is lousy, but at the end of the day it’s up to you to help yourself. Trying going back to the things you do understand in the coursework and progress from there.

As suggested, it could be more beneficial for you to post some of the questions you are struggling with as members here could offer technical advice as well as some general tips (if you ask for them).
Thanks from Denis, topsquark and SDK
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