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» The Geek Culture Forums   » Techno-Talking   » Math-a-holics and Code Junkies   » Fill in the blank: "I ____ math!" (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Fill in the blank: "I ____ math!"
maia
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 12:28      Profile for maia     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
For me, it is "love". Love, love, love. But I recently began teaching high school math, and for many of my students it is "HATE" with a capital T. As a student, I always learned math quite easily. I didn't always make the best grades because I was bored and didn't do my work. However, I don't remember struggling with any subject matter until I got to college, and still I majored in math and did fine. Of course there are all sorts of research based teaching strategies to help struggling students. But one thing that I think about a lot is how do I personally relate? From my perspective of learning new things relatively easily, and enjoying challenges, how do get through to a student who has struggled in math for 9 years just to keep his head above water? Who has failed every standardized test, and has given up hope? I have not given up on them, and I believe they can succeed. I am willing to do everything I can. But, if they don't even try or believe in themselves, then they will not learn.

Any ideas or perspectives on this?

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 10 posted June 24, 2007 13:13      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First of all, welcome back, maia, time no see you!
For me is LOVE or <3 or [hearts] if you preffer.
I know most teenagers seem to hate 'em but I'm almost sure to blame elementary teachers, because they care little of their students development and aren't aware of some minimal but crucial difficulties students face.

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stevenback7
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 13:24      Profile for stevenback7   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hey,

As a current high school student I know many people who "Hate" math as well. I personally like the subject because its less memorization and more figuring things out.

The best thing I think teachers can do to help someone struggling in math is to give them the opertunity to seak help but not take time out of the regular lesson to help an individual. If a couple of students don't understand a concept then the concept should be touched upon again in class because there are probably more kids who don't get it.

But the best thing I think is to make yourself available after class (lunch time, during your spare, after school) for a student to be able to aproach you for help.

If the student doesn't want to improve his mark, if he is happy failing, and if he doesn't want your help then just let them be.

At my High school there is a math teacher who allows students to come to him any time. Usually during my morning computer science class there is someone who pops in to ask him a math question. And during lunch there is always someone who he is helping in his class. Now the students who ask for help they usually start doing better and have a decent mark by the end of the year. While the students who refuse to ask for help will keep struggling and have a bad mark at the end.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 13:38      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
hate it when foreigners eschew the proper english word maths, and choose instead to use no 's', making the filthy word:
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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 13:49      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
hate it when foreigners eschew the proper english word maths, and choose instead to use no 's', making the filthy word:

Math is the shortened form of the word Mathmatics. We just got rid of the second half of the word. I don't see why y'all remomoved the "matic" and left the s.

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Richard Wolf VI
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 14:32      Profile for Richard Wolf VI   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ashitaka:
quote:
Originally posted by littlefish:
hate it when foreigners eschew the proper english word maths, and choose instead to use no 's', making the filthy word:

Math is the shortened form of the word Mathmatics. We just got rid of the second half of the word. I don't see why y'all remomoved the "matic" and left the s.
Well it's the British duty to keep the integrity of the English lexicon, note I referred to Maths as "them". It's a plural.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 14:34      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In the interest of World Peace, why don't we just say "sums" ? [Smile]

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 14:47      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
maia, good to see you back around these parts! [Smile] [Smile]

BTW, I wonder if many people realize just how cool math teachers are? They [math majors going into MAT programs] were some of the coolest, smartest girls I knew in my college/uni days. [Smile] Sadly, most of them shyed away from programming...what's up with that?! Still, I was quite smitten with one math major who was in a sort of TA-review session of mine for programming...she really got it, but wasn't always sure about some details - still, she would throw things back at me, and was whip smart. :swoon: (Shame that never went anywhere.)

Fill in the blank on this one: I ____ programming!

For me, it's love...for many math people, it seems to be hate. Go figure.

I /like/ math, but I concede that I'm nowhere near as strong at it as I could be, or as the aforementioned girls are/were.

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GrumpySteen

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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 14:59      Profile for GrumpySteen     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
littlefish wrote:
hate it when foreigners eschew the proper english word maths, and choose instead to use no 's', making the filthy word:

That statement could be taken more seriously if it weren't missing a pronoun at tbe beginning and finished with an ending punctuation mark instead of a colon.

Back on the topic, love is my answer.

Unfortunately, there is no single way that will work to get through to students who hate a subject and are doing badly at it. What will work will depend on why they have trouble with the subject.

One student may be doing badly because they missed a few critical lessons that resulted in a snowball effect. An apparently identical student could, on the other hand, be suffering from dyslexia. Each can be helped, but the approach for each will be completely different.

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littlefish
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 15:05      Profile for littlefish   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:

That statement could be taken more seriously if it weren't missing a pronoun at tbe beginning and finished with an ending punctuation mark instead of a colon.

Or, it might be construed as the most apt response to the challenge of filling in the blank posed in the thread title.
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ScholasticSpastic
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 15:28      Profile for ScholasticSpastic     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I _require_ math(s). I _am learning to love_ math(s). I earned my lowest grades to date in Statistics and Calculus, so we're waiting for Calc II to decide whether I can afford to give my heart the the subject. I don't want another B.

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"As in repeating a well-known song, so in instincts, one action follows another by a sort of rhythm; if a person be interrupted in a song, or in repeating anything by rote, he is generally forced to go back to recover the habitual train of thought..." (Darwin, The Origin of Species)

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CommanderShroom
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 17:14      Profile for CommanderShroom     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Hi maia!

quote:
Originally posted by Steen:
What will work will depend on why they have trouble with the subject.

One student may be doing badly because they missed a few critical lessons that resulted in a snowball effect. An apparently identical student could, on the other hand, be suffering from dyslexia. Each can be helped, but the approach for each will be completely different.

Like Steen said, each case is different.

One thing I have noticed with my own kids is that early rote has been removed from education. Which I don't believe is a good idea at all. For a lot of the kids I have dealt with, my own, from the school district work, and my son's friends, they are missing certain foundation knowledge and when the subject matter begins to require them to think in a less straightforward manner and in more abstract ways, they begin to lose their way.

How can kids gain a grasp on algebra, or geometry with only a brief glossing on what 8x8 is? And if rudimentary math is a challenge, how can you enjoy the more advanced items?

I had asked about this a few years back, and at least in California, I was informed they were not allowed to learn by rote. Mind you I am very far removed from what I learned in school, but I can recite my multiplication tables by heart almost 25 years after I was required to learn them.

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Lost1soul
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Icon 1 posted June 24, 2007 19:24      Profile for Lost1soul     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
unlike many here, I really don't like math. Actually, it was probably my most hated subject besides gym class. Anyway, one thing I found is that I got into it more if it relates to something real. I found I got bored with math easily because it didn't have much to do with real life. The math that I did kind of get into was the stuff that had to do with things I knew about. For example, we traced the routes of postman (which was kind of fun.....if not frustrating). That's my advice.
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 04:48      Profile for Callipygous     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I have a standard issue male brain, which stays depressingly logical unless overruled by sleep deprivation, extreme hunger, industrial quantities of drugs, or the slightest whim of my penis. So I enjoyed maths, until I got up to impossible numbers. I just couldn't understand how you could have a branch of mathematics based on what would happen if there was a square root of minus one. I suppose that is the point that separates real mathematicians from the rest of us. Up to that point however I enjoyed maths.

Maia nice to see you back.

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TSG
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 06:03      Profile for TSG     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Love love love <3

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 08:39      Profile for business attire     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I am done with math.

I never have to take another math class as long as I live. [Smile]

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Ugh, MightyClub
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 13:09      Profile for Ugh, MightyClub     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
In high school I loved math. Then the U of Rochester's match department went and ruined it.

maia, my best advice would be to make math fun. My favorite high school math teacher had a knack for this. Sometimes it had absolutely nothing to do with math. Why did that chalk eraser imprint suddenly appear on the PA speaker's grill? Because he threw the eraser at it when the speaker started buzzing during 1st period that day, of course. When his chalk broke he would try to juggle the falling piece like a hackey sack. He got a round of applause one class for booting a remnant into a cup on a shelf.

Other times it had plenty to do with math, even if just reinforcing a concept we learned years ago. "And you all remember how to divide fractions, right? You just flip 'em < insert spontaneous cartwheel here > and multiply". Or his goofy story about two guys who argued over whether you could fly a rocket through the sun, or if the best you could do was to brush the edge. They hopped into their rockets, and the guy who just brushed the edge of the sun came back as a tan gent. The other guy burned up going through the sun, so the tan gent says "see, can't."

Point being, don't try to preach about how much you'll need math even if you're a doctor. Teens don't buy that. Just make them enjoy coming to (and paying attention in) your class every day and work from there.

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Ugh!

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Ashitaka

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 13:24      Profile for Ashitaka     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Ugh, MightyClub:
In high school I loved math. Then the U of Rochester's match department went and ruined it.

maia, my best advice would be to make math fun. My favorite high school math teacher had a knack for this. Sometimes it had absolutely nothing to do with math. Why did that chalk eraser imprint suddenly appear on the PA speaker's grill? Because he threw the eraser at it when the speaker started buzzing during 1st period that day, of course. When his chalk broke he would try to juggle the falling piece like a hackey sack. He got a round of applause one class for booting a remnant into a cup on a shelf.

Other times it had plenty to do with math, even if just reinforcing a concept we learned years ago. "And you all remember how to divide fractions, right? You just flip 'em < insert spontaneous cartwheel here > and multiply". Or his goofy story about two guys who argued over whether you could fly a rocket through the sun, or if the best you could do was to brush the edge. They hopped into their rockets, and the guy who just brushed the edge of the sun came back as a tan gent. The other guy burned up going through the sun, so the tan gent says "see, can't."

Point being, don't try to preach about how much you'll need math even if you're a doctor. Teens don't buy that. Just make them enjoy coming to (and paying attention in) your class every day and work from there.

It is always said, when speaking of educators, on how the good ones always made learning fun or interesting. This is all well and good, but at some point children need to be taught how to learn things that are not fun and interesting. If a student doesn't learn this, at some point there will be an insurmountable impass.

So I will play devils advocate and suggest that you drill, with logic and repition, math into these students' heads until they hate you. [Wink]

After all, unless you become a math teacher, you will never use most of what you learn in math class. It is the reasoning ability that you gain from learning math that is so important in life.

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Xanthine

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 14:54      Profile for Xanthine     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I used to fear math. Now I respect, appreciate, and use math. It was my experience at the UR that got me over my fear of math, mainly because I was left with a choice: get over it or give up. My main regret is listening to my father and NOT taking a fourth math class.

quote:
Originally posted by Callipygous:
So I enjoyed maths, until I got up to impossible numbers. I just couldn't understand how you could have a branch of mathematics based on what would happen if there was a square root of minus one. I suppose that is

Complex numbers are more than just mathematical oddities. For instance, without this unwieldly beast my job wouldn't be possible. Not that I actually do these calculations myself - that's what the G5s and the Linux cluster are for - but I still need to have some understanding of the math so I can set up the right experiments, process the data properly, and give the computers the proper instructions.

That said, complex numbers drove me batty too.

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spungo
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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 14:55      Profile for spungo     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
math=teh sex

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 15:36      Profile for Sxeptomaniac   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I was always pretty good at math, but had a number of teachers who did an excellent job of making it utterly boring. I rather like it now that I don't have to do it too often.

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dragonman97

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 17:33      Profile for dragonman97   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
∀L: regular ∃n∈ℕ:∀z∈L |z|≥n: ∃uvw∈∑*: [z=uvw ∧ |uv|≤=n ∧ |v|≥1 ∧ ∀i∈ℕ:uvⁱw∈L]

...

*walks away and sighs*

/me lets Metasquares run with it if he's adequately bored. [Wink]

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Icon 1 posted June 25, 2007 18:18      Profile for Just_Jess_B   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
First of all, we don't say sheeps or mooses. And considering that people can get slapped in the "Chevy Chase" in Britain, I say . . . not as anal-retentive about English as the French are about their language, so unclench and drop the quid from yer bum already.

Algebra and the anal retentive nature of breaking it down to get the final answer just makes me all tingly. Yeah, tingly. Deal.

So, to fill in the blank:

I spent my life finding myself irresistably sexually attracted to men who dig complex math!

I married WinterSolstice, who used to bugger with hypercube algorithms for fun and has not only the paperwork on how to calculate a Z-score but researched on the internet (and printed and learned) how to use a slide rule.

Hurr, math(s) is/are so sexy. [blush]

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nerdwithnofriends
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Icon 1 posted June 26, 2007 09:02      Profile for nerdwithnofriends     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
I like math, and I can't wait to learn more. Supposedly I'm "done" with normal calculus, but I have yet to take a real Differential Equations course. I love the concepts behind calculus- integration especially. I've never had a hard time with complex numbers or extra dimensions (knock on wood); I was programming before I learned most of the hardcore math I know, so I always took a programatical approach to it (I was always surprised by the number of people who didn't understand functions and sums) and seem to have come out just fine. Besides, one /does/ see complex numbers IRL, if one is an electrical engineer.

One of my pet projects has a lot to do with graphics, so matrices and linear algebra are another area that I am very interested in.

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Icon 1 posted June 27, 2007 12:55      Profile for Doco   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post   Reply With Quote 
Gotta add my _Love_ to the list. Both math and programming, but both are based on me being a male just like Calli described.

In college I did Calc I..IV, Diffie-Q, Prob & Stats, etc. etc. etc. The imaginary numbers were kind of weird, but in the EE classes I learned to just plug and chug with them and didn't worry too much about the metaphysical aspects of an impossible number.

Now years later I wish I had actually learned something in the prob and stats class. I had a brilliant professor that just couldn't teach anything. I aced the class but didn't learn a thing. <sigh> Now, I would love to have a better understanding about the material when I want to understand failures that occur rarely and just what they "mean".

Right now - I'm just happy to see my 13yo daughter loving math as well. At least so far...... it is depressing to see how many people - teachers especially - seem to push kids and girls in particular away from "hard" subjects like math and science.

Pop Quiz - who knows this one:
e^(i&sdot&Pi) + 1 = ????
[evil]

Edit - sorry, "&Pi" doesn't look much like pi in my browser - but it is supposed to - trust me on this one ok.

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