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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Location
    washington state
    Posts
    10,140

    Default Math geeks, where you at?

    I am doing a math review (or in some cases math quick learn), I am into algebra right now.

    I have a great set of books (Life of Fred) but for some reason I just can not get a grasp on the word problems? It's not the equations, just picking out the info and [this is the part that is hardest!] putting it in the equation properly.

    I do not speak math well. Obviously.

    Anyone know any hints, tips, great websites, etc? Or, just want to commiserate?
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, TX
    Posts
    6,035

    Default

    I'm not familiar with the Life of Fred books, but I love math and tutoring math. Can you post something more specific?

    One thing that can help is to write down each piece of info, the goal of the question, and the concept required. And draw pictures! Word problems present an organizational challenge. If you can make the problem visual with each piece of data labeled, it's often easier to then create the equations required.
    Jer 29: 11-13



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Location
    washington state
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    10,140

    Default

    So I'm disorganized!

    I am going to try the pics. I am getting ready to review a little in a few minutes. It's hard when other stuff is more interesting, like graphing. I love graphing

    Fred--->
    http://www.stanleyschmidt.com/FredGauss/index2.html

    I highly recommend Fred for any old broads who need math. I am taking the Accuplacer math test next month and if I can get into precalc next quarter, I can start the Diagnostic Medical Imaging (sonography) program next fall.

    Interestingly, I hated math as a teen. I barely passed and a lot of what I am learning now is new to me. The kicker is I love it! That I know a triangle takes up a third of the volume of a cylinder is mind boggling and wonderful. That I can prove it mathematically is sweet! WOOT!
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 15, 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    5,034

    Default

    Does your local community college have developmental math courses? I am taking a course now and love it. It makes me wish I hadn't slept through Algebra II 20 years ago...I am finding out that I'm actually good at it. I tried doing it myself...I bought the complete set of Great Courses videos for Alg I and II, but just couldn't motivate myself. Taking the class has made it extremely easy to understand and find out that I retained more from high school than I thought I did.

    But, I do have the complete set of Great Courses Alg I and Alg II that I'm not using if you're interested



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Location
    washington state
    Posts
    10,140

    Default

    Thanks I have basic, fractions, decimals, beg algebra, adv algebra, geometry and trig already. I generally study 5 or 6 hours a day (no joke, I want to get this done!) as well as complete one practice test daily to assess where I am at. I use the practice tests online here, very easy!

    http://www.testprepreview.com/accuplacer_practice.htm

    I also have a math tutor (cough*dictator*cough) who homeschools, has a math degree and a daughter who just happens to need help with her horse. Yes, I get to hang out with an awesome teen and a good mare to pay for my tutoring
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    23,300

    Default

    Community colleges sometime have the most wonderful math teachers. That may very well be your best bet. I used to tutor math (upper levels) at a community college in Baltimore. In my experience, the professors/instructors were very patient with older, returning students.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Out for Lent
    Posts
    34,571

    Default

    word problems
    I actually liked them
    It helps when you make a list of what is given in the text. Literally start of with

    Given:
    Needed:

    from this you can usually derive your formula very easy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bristol Bay View Post
    Try setting your broomstick to fly at a lower altitude.
    GNU Terry Prachett



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar. 28, 2010
    Location
    Kentucky
    Posts
    11

    Default

    As other have said: Write out what you know (or given) in the word problem and DON'T FORGET the UNITS!

    For example if they give you a speed in miles per hour and a distance in miles, you can figure out the time it takes to travel the speed. So 60 mph (miles per hour) and 40 miles takes (40 miles/(60 miles/hour) = 0.667 hours or (60 minutes/hour * 0.6667 hours =) 40 minutes. Your units should cancel each other out to get to the desired units!

    I hope this helps!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Location
    washington state
    Posts
    10,140

    Default

    I like given and needed, with drawing pics out.

    I do know d=rt, they are the only ones I actually can do without a big production.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    May. 12, 2000
    Location
    NE TN, USA
    Posts
    6,215

    Default

    Contact Lindsay Publications and ask for their book "Solve Word Problems In Algebra", stock #5014, for $9.95

    It's written in down-to-Earth language and gives real-world examples of problems and the thought processes involved in solving them.

    Order their catalog. They have several other books of the same nature, covering calculus and solving some problems in your head w/o pencil or paper.
    “There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by the sword. The other is by debt.”
    John Adams



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, TX
    Posts
    6,035

    Default

    Actually, starting with units can sometimes help you figure out the data you need. To borrow from MSpecial's example, if you have a rate (miles/hour) and are looking for a distance traveled (miles), you know that you have to multiply your rate by some unit of time to cancel out the time. You may have to convert the given time to the correct units (i.e., minutes to hours), but you absolutely know if you're looking for a distance and end up with units of, say, hours^2, you messed up.
    Jer 29: 11-13



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