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HTS Tom Naude THS

Wiskundeondersteuningsentrum

Mathematics Support Center

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INTRODUCTION

Succeeding in Mathematics can be visualized with 2 basic principles:

Building which represents knowledge

and Training which represents practice.

 

BUILDING

To make things interesting we will imagine building a castle. Each concept in Maths represents a brick. One brick or concept is always laid on another.

Now as you can imagine, any building without a proper foundation is sure to come down crashing at some stage. Right now you might feel frustrated with Maths, but perhaps your foundations simply aren’t in place. Therefore we will start with building on the foundations simply by laying one brick at a time and making your foundations stronger by putting the bricks in place that aren’t there yet.

TRAINING

Have you ever looked at professional athletes, musicians or artists and wonder how they became so good? Talent does play a role, but the majority of it came with practice; hours of it. Therefore we will also think of Maths in term of athletics. Take long distance running in particular; everybody can train their muscles and lungs to be stronger and therefore become fitter to run faster and easier as training progresses. In the same way everybody can train their brain to become stronger to do calculations faster and easier as practice progresses.

“There are no secrets to success.

It is the result of preparation, hard work

and learning from failure.”

~Colin Powell

 

When we see someone who succeeded or became great at something, we can only see the final result as they perform. But very few people have seen the person on a daily basis and seen the hours of training and even the countless times they may have failed before you could see them as they are there. Did you know that Thomas Edison failed 1000 times before he finally invented a light bulb that works!

“I don’t believe I have special talents,

I have persistence…

After the first failure, second failure, third failure,

I kept trying.”

~Carlo Rubbia, Nobel Prize winning Physicist

 

That is why I would like you to get into the mentality of training when you do Maths. Like the majority of people who achieved greatness by practicing one thing over and over and over, getting a little better each time until they finally get it right, so you must treat each concept in Maths.

 

Try – learn from your mistake – try again.

 

Finally, I would like you to be determined to work hard, especially when your motivation fails or when you don’t feel like it, to keep deciding to do it anyway.

 

“If you are NOT WILLING to learn,

NO ONE can help you.

If you are DETERMINED to learn,

no one can stop YOU.”

~Anonymous