## Tuesday, 21 April 2015

### Learning Math Through Problem Solving

We can say that regardless the appealing appearance of the formula, instead of memorizing it, it would be obviously more productive to discuss how the formula is derived, or at least why it is plausible that it is true. He or she might talk on the history of the theorem, and might need to illustrate some drawings. In addition, presenting it in a story-like manner would make math more interesting for kids. As we probably have experienced before, a good story usually makes it up for a difficult concept, because it makes math much more enjoyable.

Another fun mode of educating kids in mathematics is through online games. There are quite a big number of websites which offer interactive games that help your kid understand the concepts of mathematics while at the same time, making learning an enjoyable experience. Not only free material is available online. Sometimes, quality material can be purchased at reasonable prices, which could really make a difference. Math doesn't get any easier with all the resources available nowadays.

In today's world it is clear that not all the responsibility of math learning is on the teachers. Parents too play an important role in the development of a kidÃ½s learning process. There was one parent in California who was struggling to teach her kid about the various denominations of the dollar. Instead of just letting her daughter memorize how the coins look like and how much it is equivalent to, she set up an imaginary "toy store" wherein she tries to "buy toys" from her kid. This creativity and ingenuity did not only allow the kid to learn fast, but also made her understand the idea far better than the typical classroom scenario.

For mathematics to be entertaining, and to help you deal with math with your kids, mathematics should be presented in such a way that kids would remember the concepts and formulas easily. Creativity is the key, aside from having a full understanding of the principles behind.

A recent study by us suggests that word problems and metaphors are muddling up our numbers. In one experiment, several students were asked to solve equations based on direct instruction and metaphorical explanations. Researchers found that many of these descriptions actually led students to over-think questions and set up problems incorrectly. Much of the issues revolved around the concept of positive and negative numbers. In most cases, students avoided setting up equations using negative numbers and attempted to change the problems to only work with positive integers.

We argues that this is not a simple error on the part of the student but a "reluctance to accept negative numbers." She further explains that this "is closely linked to our desire to be able to concretise that which is abstract and understand negative numbers in terms of concepts such as debts, lifts or temperatures." However, many of these "concepts" are difficult to convey to students who lack correlative experiences.

We suggests a change in the way we explain mathematical theories. By focusing on numbers at an early age, students can better grasp the key concepts necessary to later approach word problems. The study further suggests that students recognition of symbology such as decimals or fractions develops faster than their perception of, say, a pizza pie cut in half to represent 1/2.