1. Understand the basics
The first step to scoring well in mathematics is understanding the basics. It’s not enough to simply memorize the steps of long division, or to be able to add and subtract fractions and decimals. Students need to know how to solve word problems, too.
2. Know the types of problems
Another important skill is being able to recognize and solve the various kinds of math problems. For example, the difference between a multiplication problem and a division problem is key to solving the first. A student who is able to recognize these differences can approach problems more effectively and make better use of strategies.
3. Master the fundamentals
Knowing the basic arithmetic operations is also important. But students must know the meanings of the symbols in mathematical equations, too. They need to know what a “plus sign” means, and how to convert from fractions to decimals and vice versa.
4. Understand how numbers work together
Numbers aren’t just the individual digits that are written on a page or in a textbook. They are relationships among each other. Understanding this relationship helps students see patterns and how numbers fit together.
5. Get to the heart of the matter
Understanding the underlying concepts behind mathematics is also crucial. For example, students must understand the concept of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and how those concepts are applied to problems. Students should also understand why the number line is organized the way it is, and why certain numbers are grouped in certain ways.
6. Know how to solve problems
Solving math problems involves more than just memorizing the right steps. It requires thinking through the problem, using strategies, and then making decisions based on your understanding of the steps. For example, students should be able to use strategies such as factoring and simplifying to solve problems, and they should be able to recognize the types of questions that require different approaches.
7. Build skills
Finally, students must develop the ability to apply and transfer skills. For example, students need to be able to understand how to use strategies, to solve problems, and to think about how they can improve their learning.
How can you help to tackle the climate crisis?
Wondering how you can be a part of the fight against global warming? Reduce your own carbon footprint by taking a few easy steps: Make conserving energy a part of your daily routine and your decisions as a consumer. When you shop for new appliances like refrigerators, washers, and dryers, look for products with the government’s ENERGY STAR® label; they meet a higher standard for energy efficiency than the minimum federal requirements. When you buy a car, look for one with the highest gas mileage and lowest emissions. You can also reduce your emissions by taking public transportation or carpooling when possible.
You don’t have to go it alone, either. Movements across the country are showing how climate action can build community, be led by those on the front lines of its impacts, and create a future that’s equitable and just for all.