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Math Reflection

# Math Reflection

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07/27/2014

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Grad. Portfolio Sheryl SooFarrell/IMP4 Mu Bloc
Math Reflection
I’ve come to realize that math is fun even if it’s not my best subject. I can alwaysenjoy doing math, but it’s hard for me to enjoy other subjects the same way. When I was akid I used to enjoy the feeling of the pencil in my hand, being pressed and flattened by thepaper as I drew numbers and symbols in my math class. I still do today, and it seems likeespecially in high school, many people don’t use pencils anymore, but pens, even for mathclass sometimes. Every subject requires a pen or pencil, but math just seems to prefer apencil. This is not the only reason why I enjoy math so much. In subjects such as English,you learn a rule, for example, you add “s” to make things plural, but there are some wordsthat adding an “s” just doesn’t suffice. For the word “church” you must add an extra “e”before the “s” so that it would
sound
better. These things don’t exist in math. Math is fullof “rules” that don’t have exceptions. Things such as the Pythagorean Theorem willalways work for right triangles. There will never be a right triangle where a^2 + b^2 doesnot = c^2. This is what I like about math. Math is a subject that I think would never
let me down
; it has no contradictions. It’s something that’s reliable and useful.I’ve learned that without math, life would be a cycle of events without reason. If Iever wonder why when I pick a straw randomly without looking, I usually get a greenstraw, I would use math to explain that it’s because there are more green straws than otherstraws, therefore the probability of me getting a green straw is higher. If I didn’t know

Grad. Portfolio Sheryl SooFarrell/IMP4 Mu Blocabout probability, I would just be picking straws, getting the green ones each time, andnever knowing why I always get green. Math can be used to relate to any explanation.Especially after learning math at CAT, with the IMP program, I realized that I can use alot of different math to solve real life scenarios. If I tell a friend about my recent Mathhomework, based on the scenario where a student dives from a Ferris wheel, my friendwould probably look at me weird and wonder what kind of math I’m learning becausethey’re unfamiliar with math that solves real life scenarios such as this. She may not think that I’m learning as much, but I’m learning something that can take me somewhereoutside of school.I believe that people shouldn’t say that math is their worst subject if it’s onlybecause they can’t solve math problems. I hear this really often from people younger andolder than me. The most common thing I would hear would be “Yeah, I’m bad at math”when they realize that they are 5 seconds slower than another person in finding theanswer to a simple addition problem. This disappoints me, especially because, they doknow how to add, but they judge their skills by how fast they add. I don’t think speed isthe main thing in math. The main thing should be accuracy. If my friend and I weresolving a math problem in class, and he finishes before me, I would definitely feeldiscouraged because I realize that I am slower in the solving process, but when I get myanswer and know that it is the correct answer, I would feel achieved because I have
solved
the problem my friend solved. This makes me believe that as long as I was able to solve

Grad. Portfolio Sheryl SooFarrell/IMP4 Mu Blocthe same problem as someone else, I am not considered worse or better than that personin math.I used to think that after I do multiple math problems, I will do better in math, butI’ve learned that practicing math problems won’t help you achieve in math unless youhave the willingness to be able to do more. Back when I was in middle school, my mathteacher would assign us around 40 to 60 math problems that deal with what we learnedthat day. If we learned factoring, we would have factoring problems assigned to us forhomework that night. After doing those 40 or 60 factoring problems, I didn’t gain anymore knowledge about factoring besides the fact that after 10 or so problems, I began tocome up with my own way of solving the problems because I don’t know how to factorwhen there are multiple variables or numbers in the equation. It was a frustrating mathclass where what I learned in class was not enhanced by doing more problems thatgradually got harder where I couldn’t solve them anymore with the little knowledge I had.I believe that math isn’t about memorization, but about being able to understandsomething well enough to be able to paraphrase it like a sentence. It’s easy to memorize12x4=48 but math is about understanding that 12+12+12+12=48 that’s why 12x4=48. If you only memorize the multiplication table, you won’t be able to do anything past the12x12=144 limit. That’s what I’ve learned in 3
rd
grade when I had to memorize themultiplication table. When there was an oral test and I was given the problem 13x3 Ididn’t know the answer because I did not
memorize
what 13x3 equals to. After this