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Week 8 Discussion Questions Math 156 - Personal Statement Example

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Many people have defined it as the subject that entails playing around with figures while to others it is a behemoth subject and a real quagmire to deal with. Learning mathematics involves familiarizing…
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Week 8 Discussion Questions Math 156
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Mathematics 156 MATHS 156 Mathematics is a fundamental taught in many schools worldwide. Many people have defined it as the subject that entails playing around with figures while to others it is a behemoth subject and a real quagmire to deal with. Learning mathematics involves familiarizing oneself with figures, numbers and symbols which might appear peculiar for the first time but once one learn how to play with the figures as others say, then mathematics become interesting and easy. Symbols or operations commonly used are fractions, decimals, division and multiplication just to mention a few. Multiplication or division can be done by using fractional and division forms which have some advantages and disadvantages.
Advantages of using fractional and division forms to multiply and divide are: Fractions allow use of small numbers in calculation which makes it easy to do calculations. If the small number is common to both numerator and denominator then it can be used to simplify or cancel both the denominator and numerator and the result is an easily workable fraction. For example, 25/30, a small number such as 5 can be used to cancel the numerator to 5 and the denominator to 6 so that 5/6 is obtained as the simplest fraction. Fraction division involves flipping the numerator and dominator followed by multiplication and simplified by cross multiplication. This makes it easier to work with fractions than decimals. Decimals are also easily workable if converted to fraction or whole numbers. Disadvantages includes cumbersomeness when working with recurring decimals which requires rounding off which in turn affects accuracy of the obtained answer and also some decimals might not be easily changeable to fractions and some fractions might not be easy to divide and simplify.
Fourth grade level entails using mixed numbers, calculating probabilities and learning fractions. Knowledge of fractions can be taught using natural solids such as oranges, chocolate bars and guavas just to mention a few. Fraction is made up of two numbers referred to as numerator (top) and denominator (bottom) separated by horizontal line. This concept can be taught using an orange which is divided into several portions. The children should identify the number of portions which are the denominator. Portion(s) taken way are not included in the final number of the remaining portions which forms the numerator. If the orange is divided amongst 4 children, the fraction is ¼ and if one child eats his/her portion while others await, then the remaining portion is ¾. In multiplication, the children can be asked to calculate the number of portions if two arranges were used. In such case they should multiply 2 and ¼ (fraction from the first orange) to get 2/4 which can be simplified to ½, and if two children are left out so that orange is divided amongst 2 children then such division entails dividing 1 and 2 to give ½. The orange provides a real life situation case and the children might use the concept in day to day problem when dividing things or valuables amongst themselves and by doing so they easily comprehend the concept of dividing and multiplying fractions. However, other methods such as drawing circles, squares and other divisible figures can be used (Petti).
Reference
Petti, W. (n.d.). Math cats - fun math for kids. Fractions idea bank. Retrieved May 15, 2012, from http://www.mathcats.com/grownupcats/ideabankfractions.html
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