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I'm illiterate in math!

  1. Jan 23, 2007 #1
    I dont know why but I am awful! I always stuggled at school in math classes, so ended up skipping all of them not to be shown up because I couldn't work out simple stuff. I've made a sum up for myself: 7+9 I dont know what the answer is, to work it out I would need to count with my fingers. If i ask friends they will give me an answer within a few seconds. Is it because my brain is not wired for any kind of math or i simply didnt study hard enough to learn.

    anyways i want to improve please advice :yuck:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 23, 2007 #2
    The first thing to do when learning addition is to memorize (through flash cards, or repeatedly counting on fingers) all of the different ways to add the numbers {1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9}.

    Once you can do all of these i.e. 3+4, 7+9 etc. then there is a simple process to be able to add any two numbers. Start with memorizing (I recommend coutning on fingers rather then flash cards).

    What your friends are doing is either reciting from memory, or coiunting on their fingers more quickly then you.
  4. Jan 23, 2007 #3


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    Staff: Mentor

    What grade level are you in? Do you have trouble with reading as well, or just in math?
  5. Jan 23, 2007 #4

    Gib Z

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    Try some addition tables, do it systematically. Sort of like your times tables.

    1+2, 1+3,1+4 etc etc. After a while patterns will become easy to do.
  6. Jan 24, 2007 #5
    Ok thanks for the help :redface: I will try the suggested things out. I like to think I can read good-to very good, but my spelling is not so good and grammar awful!
  7. Jan 24, 2007 #6

    Gib Z

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    Dont worry, I have bad spelling and grammar as well :)
  8. Jan 24, 2007 #7


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    That isn't something to be proud of and/or encourage, though. :wink:
  9. Jan 25, 2007 #8
    I would suggest getting yourself a Nintendo DS and buying Brain Age. Here's a picture Brain Age's calculation game: link. The game is a lot of fun and it'll help you at the same time.
  10. Jan 25, 2007 #9
    It just asks me the answers? I need to find out how to work the answers out.
  11. Jan 25, 2007 #10


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    You don't exactly work to find out the answer to 8+6. You can if you want to I guess... but no body really does that.
  12. Jan 26, 2007 #11
    Perhaps you could try using a method where you break the numbers down into smaller ones, to make it more manageable to do mentally. What you want to develop from doing this, is either an intuitive feel for numbers (meaning you simply know the solution to a combination of numbers and operations without having to work through it), or, you develop a very strong ability to concentrate and visualize the arithmetic in your head.

    The goal is to give you the ability to perform these things very quickly, efficiently and probably most importantly, mentally (most preferably intuitively).

    To get used to working with arithmetic in your head, it might help to start with smaller numbers or break the numbers down.

    For instance:

    8+6 -- Try visualizing the number 8 in your head. Now, if you can, break the number 6 into two smaller numbers, such as 3+3.

    Try to add 3 to eight in your head (if you need to, keep a mental place of each digit you are adding and simply count).

    For instance, you know you need to add 3 to eight, so in your head, count up three places. From 8: 9, 10, 11.

    Practice this in your head until you get a feel for it. Then, add the next 3:

    12, 13, 14.

    8+6=14 -- The work you do is simply count.

    If you have to do 8+3 in your head over and over again to understand how to keep mental track of your numbers, then do that until you move on.

    After you are able to add in your head 8+3 and then +3 to get 14, try just adding 8+6.

    Start with eight and count up six places: 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

    Do you see how there are six numbers here and at the end, it equals 14? This is all addition is.

    Alternatively, you can memorize your addition tables (if there is such a thing):


    ... and so on. If you can do this, then you can always use your memorized addition as a point to start from doing harder ones, for instance:

    If you know 4+4=8 and someone asks you what does 4+3=, you can easily remember that 8-1=7.

    Hence, 4+3=7.
  13. Jan 26, 2007 #12
    Great post. Thank you. Its helped alot. I just need to practice it now. :biggrin:
  14. Jan 26, 2007 #13
    also you need to solve after memorizing the basic addition process as 9+8 to solve a large number of problems
  15. Jan 26, 2007 #14

    Gib Z

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    One you know how to add all the digits from 0-9, then adding larger numbers comes easier. eg 123 + 54, we split the numbers up into units, tens and 100's so on. We add 3 units plus 4 units, 7 units. Then 2 tens plus 5 tens, 7 tens. 1 hundred plus 0 hundreds, 1 hundred. Done :) And all we needed was adding the first ones, 0-9 :)
  16. Jan 30, 2007 #15
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