©2009 Ezy Math Tutoring | All Rights Reserved

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Copyright © 2012 by Ezy Math Tutoring Pty Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without written permission from the publisher. Although every precaution has been taken in the preparation of this book, the publishers and authors assume no responsibility for errors or omissions. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

©2009 Ezy Math Tutoring | All Rights Reserved

www.ezymathtutoring.com.au

Learning Strategies Mathematics is often the most challenging subject for students. Much of the trouble comes from the fact that mathematics is about logical thinking, not memorizing rules or remembering formulas. It requires a different style of thinking than other subjects. The students who seem to be “naturally” good at math just happen to adopt the correct strategies of thinking that math requires – often they don’t even realise it. We have isolated several key learning strategies used by successful maths students and have made icons to represent them. These icons are distributed throughout the book in order to remind students to adopt these necessary learning strategies:

Talk Aloud Many students sit and try to do a problem in complete silence inside their heads. They think that solutions just pop into the heads of ‘smart’ people. You absolutely must learn to talk aloud and listen to yourself, literally to talk yourself through a problem. Successful students do this without realising. It helps to structure your thoughts while helping your tutor understand the way you think. BackChecking This means that you will be doing every step of the question twice, as you work your way through the question to ensure no silly mistakes. For example with this question: 3 × 2 − 5 × 7 you would do “3 times 2 is 5 ... let me check – no 3 × 2 is 6 ... minus 5 times 7 is minus 35 ... let me check ... minus 5 × 7 is minus 35. Initially, this may seem timeconsuming, but once it is automatic, a great deal of time and marks will be saved. Avoid Cosmetic Surgery Do not write over old answers since this often results in repeated mistakes or actually erasing the correct answer. When you make mistakes just put one line through the mistake rather than scribbling it out. This helps reduce silly mistakes and makes your work look cleaner and easier to backcheck.

Pen to Paper It is always wise to write things down as you work your way through a problem, in order to keep track of good ideas and to see concepts on paper instead of in your head. This makes it easier to work out the next step in the problem. Harder maths problems cannot be solved in your head alone – put your ideas on paper as soon as you have them – always!

Transfer Skills This strategy is more advanced. It is the skill of making up a simpler question and then transferring those ideas to a more complex question with which you are having difficulty. For example if you can’t remember how to do long addition because you can’t recall exactly how to carry the one: to calculate that also involve carrying the one: ଽ This skill is particularly useful when you can’t remember a basic arithmetic or algebraic rule, most of the time you should be able to work it out by creating a simpler version of the question. then you may want to try adding numbers which you do know how ାହ ା ହ଼଼ଽ ସହ଼

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Format Skills These are the skills that keep a question together as an organized whole in terms of your working out on paper. An example of this is using the “=” sign correctly to keep a question lined up properly. In numerical calculations format skills help you to align the numbers correctly. This skill is important...