Developing Mathematics Learning Skills Essay

905 words - 4 pages

Mathematics is a subject that many people fear and complain is too difficult to learn. The truth, however, is everyone is capable of learning mathematics, even complicated mathematics. They simply need to know the proper method of learning. Mathematics is different from other subjects. It is more than rote memorization. Developing learning skills is vital to learning mathematics. Study skills specific to the subject are required, as is developing problem solving skills and learning to properly deal with learning stresses.
Learning Mathematics
Mathematics Study Skills The first step in learning mathematics is to look over the materials provided, usually a textbook. Locate the glossary. The glossary will have the definition of mathematical terms used in the text. If the text does not have a glossary, locate the index. The index can be used to find the page that contains the definition of a mathematical term. Also, review the table of contents. If the textbook contains a section about ways to successfully use the textbook or a section containing tips for mathematics success review those before diving into the textbook. Before doing any work have supplies ready. Pencil, paper, highlighters, calculator (if required), and class notes all need to be within reach. Read the lesson slowly. Math lessons are not the daily newspaper to be skimmed over, but must be read thoroughly to gain understanding. Review the class notes. Write down mathematical terms used in the lesson and their meaning. Write down the steps used in the lesson. Do practice questions in the textbook and check the level of understanding. Use the highlighter to highlight areas that you are having difficulties with. Review the highlighted areas and ask the instructor for help with those areas to gain understanding Mathematics is not learned through memorization, but through doing. Do practice problems until you are comfortable with the process and all terms involved.
Mathematics problem solving skills Whether the problem is a word problem or not the same questions need to be asked of every problem. What are the given facts? What needs to be done? What steps are taken to find the answer? Is the answer reasonable? Knowing mathematical terms is necessary to understand what needs to be done and what steps need to be taken to find the answer. Work the problem in an orderly way. If the answer does not seem reasonable, recheck the work looking for errors. Simple errors such as adding or subtracting incorrectly are common and will produce an incorrect answer.

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