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Old 10-27-2010, 12:27 PM
 
15,308 posts, read 16,874,788 times
Reputation: 15029

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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentstrider View Post
I wouldn't say I was necessarily bad at it, but I tended to excel from basic arithmetic on up to intermediate algebra due to:
-slow-talking teachers.
-the use of notes/or study aides(ie., formula examples being placed at the top of the tests)
-multiple-choice tests
-and of course, small class sizes.

However, I last passed intermediate algebra in '06 and then continued again with college algebra in '08-onward.
This time around, the instructors are quicker, the class-sizes larger, and almost no study aides were there to help me NOT mix formulas up and destroy an entire problem on the test.
I've studied via repeating textbook formulas and questions, but the knowledge never seems to stay in my head come test-time.
There are tutors there, but being students themselves, I'm uncertain of whether they're able to relay the information just as good as a normal instructor.

Say what you will about multiple-choice, but I actually retain quite a bit of knowledge from those.

As for wanting to know higher math, I'm leaning towards a science/engineering heavy degree that could be used towards something I'm actually interested in.
That and my trucking-career seems to have been stopped dead in its tracks for the past 3 years.
You seem to have done most *plug in - answer out* math. Unfortunately, that is not going to help you as you get further along.

You need to understand *why* you are using this formula to to this thing.

I would definitely suggest utilizing the tutors. While not all will be good, some will actually be better than the instructor at conveying the knowledge you need. Someone who struggled in the same way you did, but learned enough to tutor may actually help you a lot. Or, alternatively, someone like my son who has always been a *math genius* but also has a good knack for explaining things can help.

Good luck!

Dorothy
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:31 AM
 
25,165 posts, read 47,350,122 times
Reputation: 6945
Let the math lovers pick their path. Let the people with other aptitudes nurture their aptitudes.
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Old 10-31-2010, 12:34 AM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,374 posts, read 4,562,841 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by nana053 View Post
You seem to have done most *plug in - answer out* math. Unfortunately, that is not going to help you as you get further along.

You need to understand *why* you are using this formula to to this thing.

I would definitely suggest utilizing the tutors. While not all will be good, some will actually be better than the instructor at conveying the knowledge you need. Someone who struggled in the same way you did, but learned enough to tutor may actually help you a lot. Or, alternatively, someone like my son who has always been a *math genius* but also has a good knack for explaining things can help.

Good luck!

Dorothy
I guess it would also help if the classes were a little longer in length and the tutors that I encountered weren't so interested in "getting a potential date" first.

Anywho, my truck-driving career appears to be on the upswing again, but nonetheless I'll definitely keep the hard math on the to-do list.
Who cares if I'm old by the time I get all the pre-calc and actual calc classes done, just an easier career to switch to when it's time to "hang up the keys" .
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Old 10-31-2010, 01:51 AM
 
1,719 posts, read 3,627,428 times
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I dunno...I think mathematics is one of those things that you either get or you don't. I always found it incredibly simple because as long as you followed the steps shown to you, it was not possible to be wrong. I went from algebra to calculus and never had a problem. But, I realize that others do not have a similar acumen toward such things.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. It is up to us to utilize our strengths and slog through our weaknesses. Our weaknesses are incredibly annoying to deal with, but with persistence they can be dealt with.
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Old 11-01-2010, 12:48 AM
 
Location: Clovis Strong, NM
3,374 posts, read 4,562,841 times
Reputation: 1953
Quote:
Originally Posted by iwonderwhy2124 View Post
I dunno...I think mathematics is one of those things that you either get or you don't. I always found it incredibly simple because as long as you followed the steps shown to you, it was not possible to be wrong. I went from algebra to calculus and never had a problem. But, I realize that others do not have a similar acumen toward such things.

We all have our strengths and weaknesses. It is up to us to utilize our strengths and slog through our weaknesses. Our weaknesses are incredibly annoying to deal with, but with persistence they can be dealt with.
"Getting or not getting" seems to be taken quite seriously over at the CC I've been going to for the past eight year.
I slowly retook-failed-passed all the math courses to get to college algebra.
Currently, this is my 3rd time taking the course.
I've essentially been told by counseling that I've got one more chance to get it right before I'm prohibited from taking the course at this college again.

Whatever happened to patience and being persistent?
Seems like it's a nicer way of saying "find someplace else to be slow."
Seems like this fast-paced style isn't going anywhere but in your face.

Rant done.
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Old 11-15-2011, 11:45 PM
 
409 posts, read 330,345 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeha View Post
Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of American students have trouble with math? Why do students in other countries like Singapore, Hong Kong, etc seem to be geniuses at math?

What can I do to enhance my math capabilities?
Having learnt the foundations of Math outside America, allow me to share my views.

Math, in America, has a negative connotation of being tough and boring. Therefore, Most of the young students either stay clear or take it hesitatingly. They do just enough to somehow pass without truly learning it.
I, on the other hand, was introduced to Math very differently. I was told that Math is the language of nature and that nerds rule the world. Clearly, my incentives to learn Math was much better.

Further, learning Math requires time and patience. Time to learn the concepts, to memorize the formulas and to solve a variety of problems. And when you inevitably get stuck, patience to take a break, research for help and come back to the problem.
Unfortunately, our instant-gratification world doesn't sit well with time and patience.

So, here are my suggests:

1. Wipe out the idea that you at horrible at Math because the truth is that you are not. You simply didn't approach it correctly in your previous attempts and therefore had a hard time. I know you brain tells you that I am giving you a pep talk. Tell your brain to be quite (Brains actually are masters of deception but that's for a different thread ).

2. Visit Khan Academy
and click on the "watch" tab. Start from a level you feel comfortable. Start from lesson 1 if you have to and work your way up. Make sure you take the test from the "practice" tab at the end of every lesson. You will like the lessons, the instructor is truly impressive, easily one of the best Math teacher I have had.

3. Be consistent. Whether you decide to do 1 or 5 lessons per day, try to do them everyday. Consistency is the key not the rush to finish the lessons.

4. If it gets boring or excessive, take as long of a break you need (hours, days, weeks ...) to refresh yourself but come back to it.

5. Do it for a few months and you will see that you are far closer to being a genius than you are today.

Good luck and you can do it.
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Old 11-16-2011, 05:09 AM
 
Location: Whoville....
25,393 posts, read 29,747,102 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by heeha View Post
Is there anyone else on here horrible at math?

Since I was a young kid, I have always struggled with math. For some odd reason, I was never my strong point and I just never really understood it, especially Algebra and Geometry.

Even though I am horrible at math, I wish I could be good at it someday. I know some of you may tell me to just pick up a book and work a few problems or get a tutor but I don't think that is the solution.

Here are some of the reasons why I may be horrible at math:
Math learning disability (Dyscalcula)-I have never been diagnosed with one, but how do you know for certain if you have one?
School system/math textbooks do not teach math in a way for all students to understand.
I am not employed in a job that uses a great deal of complex math on a daily basis.

Is it just me or does it seem like a lot of American students have trouble with math? Why do students in other countries like Singapore,Hong Kong, etc seem to be geniuses at math?

What can I do to enhance my math capabilities?
Do logic problems and mathematical puzzles. Start with the standard logic problems you'll fine in a Dell pencil puzzles and word games book and do Sodoku puzzles. Work your way up to something like the "more or less" puzzles. The people I know who struggle with math, for whatever reason, seem to approach it as something you memorize when it's not. It's something you need to understand to be good at it. Puzzles help you hone logic skills you'll need for math.
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Old 11-16-2011, 06:28 AM
 
488 posts, read 439,497 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tamarind View Post
Good advice from Dorothy and Dusty.

I was very much like you. I remember struggling with math from 4th grade. I even volunteered myself to go to summer school for math at that time (which was a total waste of time, it was horrendous). This continued all through high school. It wasn't until college that I began to have a different view of it.

The first was a general math class where I finally learned how to prove the Pythagorean theorem. I then realized that much of my math education failed to teach me the "why" of math. It was rote learning but I needed understanding. My second breakthrough was reading Liping Ma's "Knowing and Teaching Elementary Mathematics" which showed the difference in the ways Chinese and American teachers teach math. I strongly recommend you read it.
That's how it was for me, as well. I struggled with math in high school because I just didn't understand the mechanics and logic behind everything. We did not do proofs in my classes. It began to make sense in college. With the right education and the hard work I did pretty decent - much better than I did in high school!
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Old 11-20-2011, 08:50 AM
 
11,909 posts, read 14,390,999 times
Reputation: 7541
Practice, my boy, practice.
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Old 11-20-2011, 09:15 AM
 
Location: Las Flores, Orange County, CA
26,346 posts, read 80,845,359 times
Reputation: 17413
You'd be surprised how many people (and we're talking more than 95%) will get this simple math problem wrong:

482(9+3) = ?

A) 2
B) 288
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