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Math and Learning
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math and learning

Esl 91

Annie Wu                                             

Essay2 draft3

The relationship between mathematics and learning

            Each of us learns how to do things in life from school.  Sometimes we learn things from our experiences with different situations or from other people. Most people

believe that school is the most important. There we learn to develop our skills by taking many subjects. Every subject is related to another. So our experience in one subject can help us to do better in another subject. Because mathematics is logical, it helps us to learn English by organizing our ideas and thoughts. In learning both of them, we also need to learn step by step.

             Mathematics is a hard subject and it also very complicated. How people’s brains work in order to learn to do math relates to English. According to the article “The Mathematical Brain” scientists found out how the brain works for learning math and other subjects. For example, the scientist Stanislas Dehaene said that “human have the inborn ability to convert two numbers in our minds which forms an image and it helps us to solve the questions much faster.” It means people are able to remember numbers into our brain and we use techniques to make it easier and faster for ourselves.  Our brain has a number structure for people who are learning mathematics. When humans learn mathematics, we learned by a “number line”? People memorize numbers by a pattern and it also makes it easier for us to learn. In learning math and other subjects, we use the left side of our brain. Especially in doing math our brains are much activated.

Some people have a problem with brain lesions. It makes hard for them to learn math and other subjects. In the article “the approximate man” had a problem with his brain. He could tell the difference between two numbers, but he couldn’t read, add and multiply. He suffered from a lesion or the left side of the brain. The scientist said that to understand the meaning of numbers and know how to do calculations were two different processes in our brain.  It means that our brain has a structure, and each part of our brain does different jobs.

             People learn things by patterns. In terms of learning math people use a “number line” to remember numbers. When the mental number line gets extended, we get more experience and knowledge. For example, when a child goes to school, he learns more numbers and calculations. He will be able to do the complex questions. In order to learn math, we have to learn the basic things first. For example, we learn to remember the numbers and understand their meaning. Second, we will learn how to calculate the numbers. Third, we will get a result from the question that we did. In learning other subjects, such as English, we do the same processes. First at all, we learn many words and we have to understand their meaning. The more vocabulary we learn, the easier it is for us to write and read. Second, we have to learn grammar. Grammar is very difficult to remember. We have to practice every day. For example, we have to read more books and do more exercises in grammar. So in term of doing math well, it helps us to organize the ideas to learn English.

            What is the relationship between learning math and English? According to the article “Learning and Mathematic” it said that “in general bilingualism, positive correlations have been found between math and verbal abilities, although some researchers raise the question whether these result from a dependence of mathematics on language, or because both involve general intellectual skills. In any case, the nature of the relation between the two remains uncertain.” Collins, Brown and Newman, suggest that talking about math enhances the understanding of math. It was easier for students who are strong verbal abilities to understand mathematics. They would be improved by working together with a partner to solve problems. This means that students, who are doing well in math, they may have highly skill in language. The ideas of learning help them to understand the questions. For example, the sentence “There are twice as many students as desks.” was often expressed as D=2S rather that S=2D. In this kind of question, it is very easy to get confused. It is testing our ability to understand the language. Also if students work with a partner, it will be very helpful. When students discuss questions together, they can help each other in solving the problems.

            In working with pairs, we learn from each other. According to “Learning and Mathematics” students worked together to solve the problems in math; the teacher would give each of them different questions. They had responsibility to find with different ways to solve the question. They would compare and discuss their answers with each other. When someone got stuck with the question, their partners would look over their answers and find out the mistakes. In learning English, it is also better to work with a partner. We discuss our options with each other and we share our answers. It can help us to develop more ideas about the questions.

             Learning math is related to learning English. According to “Learning and Mathematics” to develop a skill in math, it is very important to make a plan before doing it. It means before we do math, we have to think about the processes in order to solve the question. We have to do it step by step. We also have to watch carefully about the steps that we did.  In order to improve our math skills, we should practice every different question every day. When we practice different questions a lot, we will have more experience in doing it. A lot of questions in math are similar. So in learning a math skill, we learn to organize, plan and record things. It helps us with English. In writing an essay, we have to make plans, organize and record. First, we have to plan the essay. For example, we have to think about the main idea that we are going to explain in the essay.  Some people make outline for the essay. Second, we have to organize the ideas, and make connections between every paragraph. We also have to make sure the examples supported our ideas. Finally, we have to review, which is to recognize the mistakes that we note in the essay. It can help us to do better in the next essay. We have to practice it every day. For example, we have to read more books, papers and newspaper.  Those can help us to improve our English. So learning math is related to learning English.

            In my experience learning math and English are very similar. Learning math is just like learning a language; they influence each other. When I was in first grade of elementary school, I had a hard time in learning math. Because I wasn’t good at math, I spent a lot of time with it. When I learned math, I learned the basics first. I learned to understand the numbers. After that I learned calculations. I didn’t do it well. For example, when I learned to do calculations, I made a lot of mistakes. I had problems adding two numbers. I knew how to add some easy numbers, but when the numbers got bigger, then I would get confused. For example, in the question 27+13=X, my answer would be 30. Because I always forgot to add ten to the next number, I got the wrong answer. My first grade teacher told me that I had to watch every step carefully. I had to do it step by step. My teacher said that I needed to practice more in adding two numbers. She said when I did it a lot of times, and then I would get used to it.  Right now I use this as a skill to help me to do better in the math classes.

 My experience of learning English was very similar to learning math. When I learned English, I learned the vocabulary first. I had to understand the meaning of the words. I also had to remember the spelling. In order to build up my vocabulary, I had to read and write each word many times. The first time I wrote an essay, I had a lot of grammar, vocabulary and sentence structure mistakes.  My teacher told me to read more books. She said that I have to remember every grammar form. For example, we should know how to use past tense, present tense and future tense. Sometimes I did some exercises from the grammar books. If I got the wrong answer, I would think about it and try to remember it.

            Learning math is very important. If we are doing well in math, it helps us to do better in other subjects. The skills we learn in math are related to every subject.  It helps us to develop ideas and thoughts. Even though mathematics is logical subject, we human beings have the ability to handle it.



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