I Need Help!

I don’t understand this math, and I don’t know what to do!


Suggestions (not necessarily in this order):

1.    TEXTBOOK EXAMPLESAnalyze an example: look at each step, and what the reason is that the step happened (textbook should say next to the step what the reason was). If it doesn’t make sense, ask parent/relative/tutor/friend/teacher about that specific step.

2.    ANALYZE SOLUTIONS: Pick one of the textbook problems and look at the worked-out step-by-step answers that your teacher has made available for you.  Look very carefully at each step, making sure you understand how the the authors went from one step to the next.  If you don't understand why or how they did a step, ask for help.

3.    INTERNET RESOURCES:  There are a lot of really helpful online resources. Some of these are listed on my Useful Math Links webpage. One is Khan Academy (khanacademy.org) which has a GREAT collection of short videos on almost everything in math you could need (including other subjects, like chemistry, biology, physics, and lots more). You’ll have to search for the topic you need, but these videos have an outstanding reputation for helping people learn math much better than just in school. Covers some basic elementary math through college-level calculus.  There are also many non-video webpages that are easier to use and see examples and explanations that might work great for you. 


a.     Non-school help: Get help from a relative, a friend, a tutor…anyone who knows the math well. It might help to make a little study group with a couple of other friends in your class and meet regularly to help each other in math (and maybe other subjects). 

b.     School help

                                          i.     Come to the weekly study group! The teacher will present examples of the most important or most difficult things in the weekly work, and some of your concerns might be answers just from seeing and doing whatever is in class.

                                        ii.     Come to a scheduled math-help time. Your math teacher is available three or four times each week on a simple walk-in basis: no appointment, just show up during a scheduled time, ask one or many questions, stay as long as you need…3 or 4 minutes, or more than an hour, depending on the time available. These math help times can be VERY helpful…the math teacher can usually explain one particular step quickly and make it more understandable than with just the textbook.