
I once kept a "Windows Support" person on the line for a while, repeatedly asking which of my computers was the one that he was referring to. The best he could come up with was, "the one just near you".





I've given the cash offer on my home the same answer.





MarkTJohnson wrote: I love the "would you consider a cash offer on your house" calls too. I always say, "Yes, $100,000,000 firm."
Well that is amusing.





As Robert Heinlein said "I always answer the phone, it may give me the opportunity to be rude to someone". As a retiree and being a grumpy old fart I welcome scammers.
Never underestimate the power of human stupidity 
RAH
I'm old. I know stuff  JSOP





I tell scammer to go do anatomically impossible things to themselves. I had one with the gall to call me back to tell me I was being rude and I told her she's a f*ing scammer and that she initiated the call. Then I told her to contact the authorities if she didn't like my cussing at her and hung up.






I am teaching basic arithmetic operations of integers  addition, subtraction, multiplication, division  to a middle school student. and am looking for innovative ways to teach these operations, in an easytounderstand manner. Finding that the student at hand tends to repeat the mistakes, and is finding it difficult to learn; perhaps there's a basic fear instinct about mathematics in general.
How to get the child overcome such fear, and make him successful? Any ideas are welcome, am open to experimentation here. Thanks a lot.






This is really good. Thanks for pointing out. Will surely use this site.





Perhaps math dyslexia or Dyscalculia?
Searching for ideas on that might help.





jschell wrote: math dyslexia
Maybe, but there should be a remedy for this.





Remedy?
Like in medicine? No there is none. Nor for the more well known reading dyslexia.





We did a lot of things with blocks, and beads (in 5's and 10's, etc), and wooden pie pieces and toy grocery stores with play money when I was in kindergarten.
"Before entering on an understanding, I have meditated for a long time, and have foreseen what might happen. It is not genius which reveals to me suddenly, secretly, what I have to say or to do in a circumstance unexpected by other people; it is reflection, it is meditation."  Napoleon I





Long past beads and wooden pieces. We're dealing with numbers in the thousands and tens of thousands, especially with negative numbers.





The real question here is how can I have 2 pieces of apple. And if multiply by 1 does nothing, how can I draw 2 apples out of thin air after multiply by 1.





The "1" is a "transform" (translate?) ... you've simply changed the coordinate system; the "2" is still a 2.
"Before entering on an understanding, I have meditated for a long time, and have foreseen what might happen. It is not genius which reveals to me suddenly, secretly, what I have to say or to do in a circumstance unexpected by other people; it is reflection, it is meditation."  Napoleon I





I was terrible, terrible at math as a high school student.
I didn't know why.
I was a fixed mindset on math too. I had a very smart honorsstudent friend and I believed he was just born knowing math. That fixed mindset was bad for me learning.
I went to college and took an algebra class.
I really wanted to get past the issues I had in high school.
I decided to do every odd problem at the end of each chapter.
I started thinking deeply about math just so I could hack my way into understanding math.
Then something happened.
I discovered that if you learned the rules of math and just applied those rules you could take on basically any math. You just simply memorize the rules because math is all made up by humans and someone down the line made up the rules for how things work  for how we calculate.
So, for example I started really looking at the simplest rules:
Commutative property of addition:
1+2 = 2 + 1
No matter the order you add numbers, you get the same answer.
Associative property of addition:
(2+3) + 4 = 2 + (3+4)
Now the student has a base of understanding from simple principles.
Next, explain how the commutative property doesn't work on subtraction
3  2 != 2  3
Allow them to see that this is just a madeup way of dealing with numbers but it works out.
It's not some huge subject that only geniuses can learn but learning these little things provide confidence.
Next, the = property really helped me understand algebra.
I had to really think about what it meant that two sides of = have to be the same.
5 = 5
5 = 7  2
7  2 = 5
So then if you do something to one side you have to do something to the other side to keep the = sign true.
step 1. 7 = 7
step 2. 7(+2) = 7
Step 3. what do you need to do to the 7 on the right to get it to be equal?
Later all of this helped me when we got to exponents for example
I was like why can you just add exponents when multiplying exponents ?
for example x^2 * x^4 = x^6
But, why?
Well, because if I multiply out x*x * (x*x*x*x) that would be the same as X^6.
So now I knew the rule and knew "ok, just add up the exponents when you multiply them".
But what about if someone gives you this?
x^2 + x^4
Well, you have to remember that is:
(x*x) + (x*x*x*x) which is 2x + 4x = 6x and 6x is different than x^6.
Now replace using a simple number:
(2*2) + (2*2*2*2)
4 + 16 = 32
(2*2) * (2*2*2*2)
4 * (16) = 64
This was a lot, but I had to see these rules to really get them into my head.
It's a first principle to learn the very basic in a solid way to provide the student with confidence and then from that confidence they can learn and grow much faster.
Build from simple rules.
Good luck.





Thanks for the very detailed reply. All this is to be done keeping maths as one of the six subjects which the child has to study.
Will certainly use your ideas.





Glad it might help.
I think the mental frame I had to get to was:
1. Math isn't just nebulous thing done by geniuses.
2. If you learn the very basic rules
3. and learn to recognize when to apply the specific rule
4. Then you will no longer just sit and stare at the problem but instead (like any puzzle) you will just apply the rule(s) and complete the work.
This gave me freedom from thinking that math was just "magic that some geniuses understand.
Instead, it is just a game like any other. Learn the rules and apply them.





i was a math major but a poor student . i was excited at start of each course but quickly became frustrated . somehow i graduated . many years later it occurred to me mathematics is discovered not as was often stated by my most hated math Perfessor invented like boring tax laws just as the laws of nature are of course discovered and not invented by a bunch of boring accoutants . i then restudied Calculus and was able to solve every problem in the book . for a demonstration of mathematical discovery i direct you here viz. HACKENBUSH: a window to a new world of math  YouTube[^]





Great story, thanks for sharing. I too like the idea of "discovery of math".
Once my mindset changed (from fixed mindset to growth) I discovered that what we see in schools is often the filtereddown results of bunches of people who summarize everything.
It makes most subjects boring and distant.
As soon as you discover that mathematical concepts are just really great patterns that super smart people have learned then you begin to see that you can:
1. go back to the roots of it and discover what the original people discovered  it will just take a long while and you may not get a huge breadth of understanding.
2. understand that those smart people have shortcut a lot of learning and discovery to give us what we have but we all need to remember that even those giants who we stand on the shoulders of were picking their way through the challenges too.
It's kind of like seeing into the subject and being a part of it instead of just "another thing to memorize."





I never understood that last part but you made it sound easy.
Bastard Programmer from Hell
"If you just follow the bacon Eddy, wherever it leads you, then you won't have to think about politics."  Some Bell.





Game my mother played with me and I played with my children.
Usually while driving somewhere.
just have a conversation
25 divided by 5 times 4 times 5 minus 1 divided by 11 is what?
Nothing about order of operands in this. Just in linear order. But it makes one think instead of using a calculator or sheet of paper. You can make it as easy or hard as you want. But it causes the person to work thru things in their head. It worked wonderfully for math.
9
To err is human to really elephant it up you need a computer






I apologize beforehand that my reply is colored by my personal experience. Why not try to teach him something else than basic arithmetic? There are so many branches of mathematics you can choose from: geometry, sets theory, algebra.
For me, the first 5 years were absolutely horrible. I had (and still have) no inclination for arithmetic and struggled to get mediocre grades. Luckily, in grade 6 I started basic synthetic geometry (triangles and stuff) and a bit of algebra. All of a sudden I discovered that math is about reasoning and first "reductio ad absurdum" proofs seemed like intellectual martial arts. Got hooked for life.
Mircea



