IMP4 Farrell

Ivy Leung March 5, 2008 Iota Envision School Graduation Portfolio Math Reflection

Over the four years at Envision Schools’ City Arts & Technology High School, I have learned math from books called Interactive Mathematics Program (IMP) and different math teachers at each grade level. In these IMP books I have learned how to better understand and take away from the word problems that I have been struggling with throughout elementary and middle school. During elementary and middle school, I struggled with word problems because I never understood the words, just the numbers. But slowly I practiced with the word problems given to me in homework assignments. When I entered high school, learning from IMP books helped me practice with word problems and helped me understand and take away from what the words say into numbers. The teachers devoted a lot of time to help me when I was struggling with math and they took me every step of the way. I believe that you cannot just “do” math, you have to have the patience in learning and figuring out math. Everyone learns math at a different level and those at a lower level need to have the patience to learn and figure out math even though they are struggling with it. Those at a higher level still need patience because even at a higher level, there is a lot of math to learn. Math is a continuous subject throughout life because there is a lot to learn. I was never at a high math level even though I tried so hard. I was a student who always needed more time in learning math and I was not really that patient. I had to learn to be patient to figure out math. I had to spend extra time to catch up or extra time to figure out the math. I can say that since I have been at CAT, I have developed patience

IMP4 Farrell

Ivy Leung March 5, 2008 Iota Envision School Graduation Portfolio Math Reflection

and more interest in math because the teachers are really there to help you and they spent so much time in explaining the math concepts to me over and over again when I was struggling. Math is no longer a boring subject to me, but one of the more interesting subjects that I can learn continuously because there is so much to learn. I believe that math is an adventure with numbers. You can say an adventure is like going on a scavenger hunt to reach a prize at the end. Though, there are so many obstacles and challenges on the way, I am ready to try and overcome everything that stands in my way. Well, math is just like that kind of adventure. In each problem, whether it’s a word problem or an equation problem, long or short, every step of the way to find the answer, you’ll have challenges or obstacles in your way, such as applying wrong math concepts to messing up on the calculations. I cannot say that I have never messed up while I do my math because I always mess up. There is a probability of eight out of ten chances I will mess up. I am not a careful person and I have to double-check my work all the time to see if I did it accurately and correctly. To me, math is an adventure and I like adventures a lot. I like the feeling that you go through so many obstacles and challenges just to reach the point where you receive a prize for doing so. In math, to succeed and get the answer in each problem, I have to solve it by going through its own obstacles and challenges, every step, in order to solve the problem. For example, in my junior year with the IMP3 books, we had a unit called Greenbacks or Greenspace and we had to do a lot of matrices work. And I confess that I had a lot of difficulties with it because I didn’t really know how matrices work. I

IMP4 Farrell

Ivy Leung March 5, 2008 Iota Envision School Graduation Portfolio Math Reflection

devoted more time in the unit to figure out and understand how to do matrices. Each problem I did, I had to setup the equation and learn how to add them and multiply them. I struggled a lot with the unit and that was an adventure itself. It taught me how to do the matrices and the result was that I knew what the answers were, and that I had done the problems accurately and correctly. I believe everything you do relates to math. Whether it’ll be counting, adding, subtracting, cashiering, money management, physics, and many more. Over the whole course of life, I believe, that everything is related to math because if math was not invented, I don’t think there would be money, sales, jobs, etc. For example, money is a part of math and you will need to learn how to manage money to buy, and sell things. Last year towards the end of the year, Ms. Farrell taught us about financing. We didn’t spend much time on it, but I learned how much everything costs and with the job you have, you might not be able to pay off all the things you want and can only afford the minimal things. It was very helpful to learn about it that time because there is so much to pay, but there is not a lot of money to spend on the things you want. It taught me that I would need to know how to manage money very well. I believe being taught in math depends on the interest of the teacher teaching it and how you apply it. Not all the teachers devote a lot of time to their student to teach math and not all the teachers teach well in math. They may have a teaching degree to teach a specific subject, such as math, but they are not always interested or like children. In order

IMP4 Farrell

Ivy Leung March 5, 2008 Iota Envision School Graduation Portfolio Math Reflection

to be taught well in math, the teacher will need to be interested in the math to teach students and really devote time in the students in order for them to succeed in math. Since elementary school, my teachers taught me well in math and were interested in helping me when I was struggling. I wasn’t the brightest of my math class or in any subject for that matter. I was really struggling in math. Math was always difficult for me, but my teachers are always there to help me, except for when I was in middle school. It does not seem like some of my math teachers really want to help me. I have been in many math classes and truly I can say that during elementary and high school is when I really notice that my teachers really do want to help me and devoted a lot of time into helping me get on track with math. This year in math class we learned about combinations and permutations and I was struggling with it and I can see that Ms. Farrell has spent a lot of time to explain to me how “nCr” and “nPr” worked. I can see that she is the math teacher who really wants to teach and really wants to help her students succeed. Over the course of my four years at City Arts & Technology High School learning from the teachers and the IMP books, I can say that my struggle in word problem is not so deep anymore and I have learned a lot on how to take words out of the word problems and forming equations for it. I have learned a lot and I have learned that I will need a lot of patience and time in future math classes, like I have done in my four years of high school.

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