How to Get Better at Math

Change your attitude!

Great message!

Did you watch the whole thing? Sound like any math teachers you know? Keep trying? Do it again? Did you check your notes? Have you tried to break the bigger problem into smaller problems?

If you regularly answer no to these questions, you may unwittingly be avoiding something called tolerable frustration. Tolerable frustration is a good thing. That’s when authentic learning occurs. When students give up prior to this, no new distinctions are forged in the mind.

With all the new research that supports cognitive neuroplasticity and the brain’s malleability, why are so many off-loading the blame for their shortcomings on other factors? Two words. Cognitive. Dissonance.

When reality comes into conflict with our beliefs, we often can’t reconcile that our beliefs may indeed be wrong. As a result, we change our attitudes in order to feel better about the dissonance. Math is stupid anyway. When will I ever need Algebra? My teacher doesn’t like me. And so on. These often-heard phrases alleviate the conflict between the facts and our beliefs.

Don’t be afraid to exercise your brain. It’s like a muscle. It loves strenuous activity. And if you don’t use it, you lose it. Like our muscles, the brain will atrophy with non-use. So the next time you’re faced with a challenging task, adopt the attitude of: I am learning more. (My muscles are growing.)

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On Do-overs

Don’t attempt a do-over until you have done a “re-learn.” Along with enhancing learning, the do-over is designed to help boost a previously low grade. When you re-take an exam without studying the stuff you messed up the first time, do you know what happens? Exactly nothing!

The mere act of re-taking an exam does not automatically improve your achievement. Learning what you missed does.

3 Reasons Math Students Struggle

This is my first post of the year, so it should be pretty insightful, right? Not really. Just the same old advice.

If things aren’t going your way, try to be reflective. Professor Cornwall says we must continually explicate the obvious for adolescents, so here I go again. The three reason students struggle in math are…

Hello again!

Welcome to the new Planet Numeracy™ website/blog. This undertaking has been a long time in coming. I hope that readers — and soon listeners — will learn something from the interaction.

New Stuff

Like I said, Planet Numeracy™ has undergone some changes. And with those changes has come a new look. This year, I am also in the process of adding a podcast. I hope to interview guests once the show is rolling. Colleagues, former students, athletes, etc.

Although I’m struggling with a name, the podcast is set to debut Tuesday, September 5, 2017. I hope to focus on the art of teaching and learning. Maybe that a good show name — The Art of Teaching or The Art of Learning.

Educational professionals — especially newbies — will appreciate the classroom hacks I share . I also anticipate many students enjoying an “insiders” viewpoint when teachers discuss hot topics. And there will be many classroom hacks for students as well.

What are the latest must have iPhone apps? How can you maximize smart phones in the classroom? How to post video YouTube? And much much more.

I’ll talk about all things educational along with special focus on the importance of student-life balance for academic performance. Students are busier than they have even been, so this balance has never been more needed.

And perhaps the most important key to success? Learning that balance of work, play, and rest.

Old Stuff

I still have free online flipped course content for ACE Statistics class. I have also curated a substantial amount of video content for ACE Calculus. Algebra 2 and Pre-algebra are undergoing creation by will serve as document repositories the way Algebra 1 did for me, and I will expand those as times allows. These courses are sometimes years in the making depending on my schedule.

I am also working on some evergreen content for YouTube as well as for premium courses that will be offered to the general public for a premium.

In case you’re wondering, all the previous content (i.e., blog posts) has been made private. Members may still have access, but new content is all that will be visible to the public beginning with this post.