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Motivation is key for students

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Posted: Wednesday, October 2, 2013 4:00 am

Do you believe you're not good at math? Various studies suggest that with motivation and good teaching strategies, anyone can succeed in math. In fact, studies have shown that students who are motivated to do well actually learn faster than students with higher IQs who are less motivated. It doesn't matter if you are at grade level, ahead, or a grade level behind. The right motivation and tools will help you succeed. Just accept your starting point and move forward with the right attitude.

It's important to develop a sense of ability in a child early on, especially when it comes to mathematics. If your child does not have a strong foundation by the time they enter high school you can expect a lot of stress and anxiety (for everyone).

Forcing kids to hit the books every night however, won't necessarily result in superb math skills. Students have to want to learn—this is where the challenge lies. Parents need to find ways to motivate their children without adding pressure. Setting goals and rewarding their success is a good starting point. As they work and achieve their objectives, their confidence will grow and math will no longer be perceived as intimidating. It also may be more helpful for parents and teachers to show how math ties to real life—for instance, understanding that four $3 slices of pizza cost $12 rather than just memorizing times tables.

Below are two examples of math questions and solutions:

2nd/3rd grade question: Wendy buys 6 apples. If each apple costs 99 cents, how much does Wendy spend in total?

Answer: $5.94

Solution: 99 cents is one cent less than a dollar. To find the total for 6 apples, add one dollar for each apple and then subtract one cent for each apple. $6.00 minus 6 cents is $5.94.

4th/5th grade question: Tommy is packing away comic books in boxes. He has a total of 256 comic books and 6 boxes. He keeps his 4 favorites and then packs the rest. If he puts an equal amount in each box, how many comic books does he put in each box.

Answer: 42 comic books per box

Solution: First, we find out how many comic books Tommy is packing away. Since he is keeping 4, subtract 4 from the total. 256 - 4 = 252. He puts an equal amount in each box, so divide the total by the number of boxes to see how many go in each. 252 ÷ 6 = 42 comic books per box.

Mathnasium is a franchise with over 330 locations and over 35 years of experience. We teach math in a way that makes sense to kids. Children don't really hate math, what they hate is being confused, intimidated and embarrassed by math.

Learn more about Mathnasium at or call 520-407-MATH (6284)

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