There’s a funny social stigma that follows mathematics. People are always willing to admit that ‘math isn’t their thing’ or that they simply are no good at it. Yet you never hear anyone confess to not being able to read or that ‘reading isn’t their thing’. Our society has, put simply, made it okay to be an underachiever in mathematics. Regardless of this social cushion, sometimes you’ve just got to do, what you’ve got to do. For those interested in retaining their math skills when on spring, summer, or winter break- here is some practical advice.
1. Familiarize yourself with your textbook.
Just because the weather outside is frightful doesn’t mean your math text isn’t delightful. Well, it isn’t… Still, it’s a good idea to read over coming chapters and maybe revisit early ones. The best way to memorize formulas and mathematical rules is to frequent their guidelines. Read up on a new chapter every other day in preparation and the eventual learning process in class will be much easier.
2. Put away the calculator.
One of the pitfalls we often find ourselves trapped in is the reliance on a calculator in our everyday lives. If you’re price comparing at a store or going over your budget, why not try to get by with only your wits? If you’re decidedly terrible at math, it’s unwise to try to balance your budget with your fingers and toes. By putting aside the calculator and utilizing your mind, you freshen your cerebral math processes through reoccurring practice.
3. Flash Cards.
While some of us decide far too early that we are too old for flash cards, many would benefit from their continued use. The main motivation for utilizing flash cards is the fact that they impact our mental processes on a visual level. Those that learn visually are given a contextual advantage through the use of mathematical flash cards. It can be as simple as multiplication tables or as complex as geometric formulas.
4. Take a virtual math course.
For those determined to retain their math skills, an internet guide or virtual course can do wonders. Download a sessions with quadratic equations, multiplication of fractions, or whatever math topic you’ve been struggling with. The attentive nature of a virtual guide can be exactly what you need as an independent student.
5. Play a math game.
Games, be it board or digital, can be a great learning tool. Want to start off simple with the basics? Try Donkey Kong Jr Math for the Nintendo. The gameplay is fun and engaging and the lessons are easy to swallow. Looking for something a little more advanced? Look no further than Big Brain Academy for the Nintendo Wii. BBA Wii’s forte is in problem solving and logical thought processing. Go another step further and the Brain Age series for Nintendo DS could be just what you’re looking for! Train your brain in minutes a day during winter, summer, or spring break!
MCHS Student Handbook
Mastering Essential Math Skills In 20 Minutes A Day– By Richard Fisher