If you don't want to hear about numbers, algebraic equations or geometry, rest assured - maths is so much more interesting than that.
With the rise of the internet, there are many new stress-free routes to taking private maths lessons.
Whichever path you choose will help you get to grips with the basic skills.
The many paths to becoming a mathematician intersect, complement and enrich each other to give us an enlightening explanation of the world through mathematics!
When children start to study basic maths, it is important to not rely solely on textbooks to approach the subject from different angles. The historical, artistic, and fun sides to mathematics are all related to our children's daily lives. In fact, there are many examples of Maths in daily life that can provide excellent examples for those studying maths.
By allowing children to view maths as a fundamental part of their lives, we put them in the driving seat of their own academic success and give them the motivation to build their own study skills.
Learning About the History of Maths
Maths has been around for as long as humans have walked the earth. Our interest in maths is shown through our desire to count, measure and evaluate, and is as evident in prehistoric findings as in modern-day life.
Basic addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and fractions are math skills we use every day, not to mention tell time on a digital clock or an analogue one.
You don't find the practical application of maths in an average textbook because we use our number sense without thinking to solve problems using counting, estimation and comparing among other things.
There is a strong link between math and science, and this means that maths lays the foundations for understanding.
The history and evolution of maths are what brings it to life. The subject is often looked at as a way of explaining our surroundings through algebra, trigonometry, probability and calculus, but mathematics has its own rich history which can tell us more about the curiosity of the human race. So let's take a closer look now at Maths in daily life.
Use of Mathematics in the World of Art
Mathematics isn't just for the academically inclined.
Anyone who has made a paper aeroplane will have practised the mathematical art of origami - maths tricks really are everywhere!
Studying the work of painters such as Vasarely, Mondrian and Kandinsky can be a starting point for budding mathematicians since their work is inspired by mathematical concepts including geometry, symmetry and parallelism.
Maths shows its true beauty through the art it inspires which demonstrates that it is so much more than a rigid framework - it is a source of creativity.
Learning Maths with Games
Math games offer a new teaching method for those looking to enthuse children about the subject:
- Fun maths games encourage curiosity
- They teach children how to organise their thoughts
- They offer a different approach to difficult math problems through playful media such as maths puzzles
- Maths games promote the use of trial and error to come to a solution, meaning the child has the opportunity to change their tactics
- The child has plenty of time to work out where they went wrong - something they don't always have in class
Maths games are usually based on logic and deductive reasoning. Easy Sudoku puzzles can be used from a young age to help children get to grips with logical patterns.
One teacher even started using lego to teach maths in her classroom.
By using mathematical games to teach children about trial and error and how to overcome any obstacles they face, we are setting them up to succeed not only in their academic careers but in later life.
Learning through play also has other advantages to proving that maths is fun including teaching children about following rules, respecting others and succeeding without cheating!
More and more children are playing online maths games which are not only fun but act as a revision of the topics they cover in class.
Just changing the medium from paper to screen can turn homework into interactive maths games from Primary Standard 1 Maths help to SPM or even Pre-University maths revision.
Maths in the Real World
For grown-ups, it's easy to rhyme off the application of maths problem-solving in day-to-day life. Thanks to a good knowledge of maths, we can make sense of statistics, understand the content of scientific articles and take something away from the infographics we see in the newspapers.
For the little ones, the age-old question of "but what is it for?" is a sign of curiosity and therefore an opportunity to introduce them to the wonderful world of maths.
Everyday maths in real life is used for:
- Doing your taxes
- Building and creating
- Resolving any problems involving a series of variables
- Working out the price of an hour of supplemental maths tuition
- Calculating percentages
- Measuring distance and journeys
- Working out value for money
- Calculating weekly, monthly, and annual income
- Finding the best deals
- Working out interest versus capital on a purchase
- Working out probabilities in games
- Working out proportions
- Negotiating using numbers
Maths is a part of every aspect of our lives from our mobile phones to dishing up a meal.
When it comes to pop culture, maths is even at the heart of the hit TV series Numb3rs which had over 11 million viewers in the US alone.
Mathematics is used in criminal investigations, which is not just thrilling for viewers of crime drama but also helps to catch the real-life baddies!
Using Maths for Work
Here are a few examples of jobs that involve math which you could end up in with the right qualifications:
- Insurance agencies: Insurers use maths to create policies that suit the needs of their clientele. To achieve this, they use statistics and databases - topics covered in school maths.
- Banking: From communication to security measures to investing, everything about banking involves numbers as bankers evaluate financial risk and stock data. Finance also plays a big role in engineering and business since traders need to be able to evaluate their deals.
- Consulting: In this profession, mathematicians rely on statistics when measuring TV audiences for advertisers and advising large corporations on optimising their services.
- Aeronautical engineering: Specialist mathematicians of all disciplines use their skills to make modern-day transport more reliable and better for the environment.
- Aerospatial engineering: Learning about the origin of the universe by exploring space would simply be impossible without maths.
- Energy sector: Working in the energy sector is based on research and development, and those who are a part of it do all they can to ensure they save the most energy possible. With the current worries of climate change, this sector needs more help than ever to reduce pollution and increase reliance on renewable energy sources.
- Logistics and planning: Mathematicians are recruited to optimise output and therefore reduce costs.
- Education: By becoming an educator, you can share your knowledge of a subject you are passionate about. Mentors play an incredibly important role in society, so why not become a tutor? Whether you're a certified teacher or an undergrad, becoming a math tutor means that you could provide invaluable help to an individual learner or to a small group, giving tailored help to those who need it. If you are interested in the prospect of providing math tutoring services, check out Superprof.com.my. Online tutoring companies such as Superprof allow people to find the best tutors to suit their needs and provide one on one tutoring either in person by tutoring online.
Should You Take Further Level Mathematics for Your A-Levels?
Having looked at how Maths is practical in our everyday life, especially in the paragraphs above which deals with work, you might be wondering if one Mathematic subject is enough for your Pre-University level should you want to choose a career in Mathematics.
If you are considering to venture into the engineering, actuary and certain computing sectors, it is advisable that you take Further Mathematics as an additional subject for your A-Level.
Further Mathematics for Cambridge International AS & A Level consists of 4 papers. Students will also be given an A-Level formula sheet with a list of chosen formulas during the examination.
- Paper 1 ( Further Pure Mathematics 1)
1.1 Roots of polynomial equations
1.2 Rational functions and graphs
1.3 Summation of series
1.5 Polar coordinates
1.7 Proof by induction
- Paper 2 (Further Pure Mathematics 2)
2.1 Hyperbolic functions
2.5 Complex numbers
2.6 Differential equations
- Paper 3 (Further Mechanics)
3.1 Motion of a projectile
3.2 Equilibrium of a rigid body
3.3 Circular motion
3.4 Hooke’s law
3.5 Linear motion under a variable force
- Paper 4 (Further Probability and Statistics)
4.1 Continuous random variables
4.2 Inference using normal and t-distributions
4.3 χ2 -test
4.4 Non-parametric tests
4.5 Probability generating functions
Feeling a bit overwhelmed as you read about the topics? Do not worry as you can always reach out to a Math tutor that specialises in Further Mathematics at Superprof.
Inspiring TED-Talks You Should Check Out About Maths
Youtube is an amazing platform where you can access various videos of different subjects, including Mathematics. Apart from browsing videos to learn the theoretical aspects of Mathematics, why not watch some videos that can offer you insights and encouragement to be more motivated to learn Mathematics?
Here are some Math-related videos you can check out.
TED TALK #1: Mathematics is the sense you never knew you had by Eddie Woo
Hailed as Australia's most famous Mathematics teacher, Eddie Woo delivered a passionate and vivid talk on how Mathematics is a sense that ALL OF US can refine with time and the right guidance.
He shared about his experience of viewing Maths as torture before he discovered Maths as a sense of recognizing patterns, relationships and logical connections.
By observing our surroundings, we can see how Maths is embedded in our everyday life, from plants, river deltas, and even to our blood vessels. He argues that Maths itself is not a problem, but it allows us to form new ways to see problems.
When we develop new ways to look at Maths related problems, we will then be able to solve them by combining insights and imagination. This talk will leave you inspired to persevere in this Mathematics learning adventure.
TED TALK #2: How you can be good at math, and other surprising facts about learning by Jo Boaler
Most of the time, we hear people claiming that they are not a Math person. But is this really the case? Jo Bahler argues that when it comes to learning Maths and being good at Maths, it eventually boils down to the state of our mind.
Brain scientists have proven that individuals with a growth mindset can learn any level of math more effectively as compared to those with a fixed mindset. That being said, students with a growth mindset are not afraid to make mistakes when they are learning Mathematics in the classroom.
They are more likely to be receptive to questions and doubts that arise when they approach a new Math related problem. At the end of the talk, Boaler concludes that a growth mindset is essential when learning Maths because it determines our beliefs about our ability in the subject, which in turn will influence how we feel about the subject.
TED TALK #3: Five Principles of Extraordinary Math Teaching by Dan Finkel
How do we produce students who enjoy and excel at Maths? Well, Math teachers and even parents certainly play a huge role in this. If you are a Math tutor or a parent, you can refer to the below tips to ensure the teaching of Math is effectively done during the lessons.
Tip 1: Start with a question.
Instead of diving into doing the steps, begin the lesson by initiating conversations. Hear what the student/ your child has to say about your question. For instance, if you are doing a worksheet about different colours and shapes that is related to probability. You can pose a starting question such as what is the relationship between the colours and the shapes in this question.
Tip 2: Student/ Your child needs time to struggle.
Most of the time, your student/ child may not be able to give you a direct or swift reply. That is perfectly fine. In fact, this is an important process for every learner when it comes to Mathematics.
Do not rush them to give you an answer in less than 30 seconds as this process allows them to be more tenacious and courageous as they attempt Maths related problems with different difficulty levels later.
Tip 3: You are not the answer key.
Your role as a tutor or parent is not to spoonfeed them with answers. Remember that it is a journey that both of you are taking together. Parents, it is okay if you do not know/ have the right answer. You can encourage your child to find out the right answer together with you.
Not knowing is not failure, it is the first step of understanding.
Tip 4: Say yes to your student/ child's idea.
At times, your student or child may have some unconventional insights about a Math related topic. He or she might want to try out a new approach to solve the problem.
While it could be right or wrong in the beginning, be positive about their ideas and allow them to participate in debates and discussions. The classic example of agreeing to disagree can also be applied when you are learning Maths.
It is better to discover their mistakes through a productive discussion rather than be given a straightforward denial and wrong answer by their tutor from the start.
Tip 5: Make play a part of the experience.
Albert Einstein famously said that play is the highest form of research. Hence, it is super important to associate the learning of Maths with fun and excitement.
This can be done through cultivating an environment and setting that encourages Math related games and activities. This enriching and enjoyable experience could take place anywhere and anytime, it could be in the classroom or at home. In the long run, this could help to nurture Mathematical instincts and allow your students to flourish when they are learning Maths.
TED TALK #4: Math isn't hard, it's a language by Randy Palisoc
In this thought-provoking TED video, Randy Palisoc introduced a new point of view when learning Mathematics. He challenged the audience to look at Maths as a language instead of a technical and dull subject.
Just as language makes us human, Maths can be transformed into a "human-friendly" subject. After all, Maths has been used as a way of communicating with one other when it comes to measurement as well as domestic and international trade across various cultures for a very long time.
He used a very simple analogy to explain how the approach of learning language is also applicable in learning Maths, especially among young kids.
Establishing Fact 1: 1 pencil + 1 pencil = 2 pencils
Establishing Fact 2: 3 apples + 2 apples = 5 pencils
Question to 5 year old kid: 2 billion + 4 billion = ?
A normal 5-year-old may not understand the true meaning of billion, but if he or she follows the established fact and notice the recurring pattern earlier, they are most likely to arrive at the right answer of 6 billion.
Similarly, if we ask the same kid: 1/3 +1/3 =?
The same kid will be able to answer the question correctly: 2/3 without having to know the concepts of numerator and denominator.
Note: If you are a tutor teaching a Year 1 student, you can try this concept for their Year 1 Maths worksheet exercise. You'll be surprised by the end result!
The same concept applies when you are teaching multiplication. 7x3 is 7 times 3. If you do not memorise the answer, which is 21, you have to write down the number 7 seven times in order to get the number. It is as simple as repeated addition. To save time, that's the reason we memorise multiplication tables.
When students can see the language in these figures when they begin to learn Maths, they will not be overwhelmed by the increasing complexity of numbers as they advance further.
How To Find or Become a Maths Tutor?
If you're as passionate as we are about maths, why not become a private tutor? Maths tutoring is invaluable to those who need a helping hand developing their academic skills or preparing to sit their SPM, IGCSE, STPM or A-Level papers.
You can become an in-home or online maths tutor with websites such as Superprof, which all clients to find an online maths tutor that suits their needs.
The market for private tuition is booming and you can be a part of it! Provide one to one support on an hourly basis as often as you like: tutoring jobs let you benefit from a flexible schedule - so you're in control. Join a tutoring business or set your own rates and manage your own timetable.
And if you're thinking you need to find a maths tutor, fear not! There are plenty of ways you can find a tutor online or in your local area.
You can be sure that your Math tutor can prepare a suitable learning plan for you according to your education level and ability. For instance, if you are an IGCSE student and you prefer tutorial lessons, you can request for your Math tutor to solely teach and grade your practice exercise with IGCSE past year papers and work on intensive topical revisions.
We recommend using websites like Superprof, which can find you a home tutor for face-to-face lessons near you, or try online math sessions.
A tutor can offer a different approach to learning strategies than a school teacher, and children usually need this individualised approach to perfect their learning skills and improve their self-esteem.
Academic tutoring is especially useful for children with specific learning difficulties or disabilities (SpLDs) such as dyslexia or ADHD who may feel overlooked in the education system, as the maths tutor focuses on their strengths and weaknesses to find the right solution for the tutee.
Maths has a rich background which no one notices at first glance, but teaching and learning the subject is as important in our high-tech 21st-century society as it ever was. Sure, maths can get pretty complicated, but it's a lot more interesting when you look beyond the blackboard. This is one of the many reasons you should consider learning maths with a tutor with Superprof today!
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