This response often results when students face some new topic – often beyond numbers – that students can’t handle on auto pilot. Instead of working through the problem, they crash and burn.

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The Solution:

I’m going to tell you a story. Bear with me for a minute. You did maths from Grade 1 to 6. You’re cool. No major dramas. Then something happens. A new topic, perhaps. Or a new teacher and a new topic. You don’t get it. You sit there looking confused. And then you do this. You say ‘I can’t do maths’( See post here) or ‘It’s too hard’.

In my maths teacher days terror topics were:

Long division

Algebra

Dividing Fractions

Geometry (because so few students listen to what the teacher is saying.)

Trigonometry (Lot of, you know, things to learn. Equations and stuff.)

So you stop doing maths. You retire at the age of, maybe, 13 years.

If you hit the MATHS WALL, here’s what you have to do. Back up a bit. Do some warm up maths on the topic. It’s out there.

eg. The Kahn Academy. I’m not saying it is easy. (See THE MATHS SPEECH here) I’m telling you it is doable. Practise.

Maths is always TOO HARD when you give up. But when you try amazing things can happen.

Besides, if a raccoon can do it.

Here is an exercise that you didn’t think you could do. But it is entirley doable by Middle School students with patience.

Most students who said “I can’t do maths’ when I was teaching, didn’t do maths. They talked, penned a tattoo on their arm. Or scribbled in the text book. Today they read texts or play games on their phones under table or fall asleep.

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The Solution:

There is no point arguing. Students must ‘see’ they can do maths.

Do something that grabs their attention, something counterintuitive. Here is one of the BEST revision projects ever for middle school maths students. Remember, the best way to learn something is to teach it.

Students doing repetitive text book exercises without using maths to solve REAL WORLD problems.

The Solution:

You are going to use this maths NOW…………………..

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How much blood can YOU lose and survive?

………….METRIC UNITS

Remember the best calculator to use is the WEB 2.0 Calculator as it shows the worked equation as you go.

CAREERS: It’s not only health workers who need to understand these calculations, but also creatives running health campaigns online, on TV, radio and in magazines.

TOPICS: Decimals, %, algebra, vol, weight units (METRIC)