Dear students,

School starts on 4th January 2021. Here are tips on how you can be a good Mathematics learner.

Firstly, be aware of the purpose for learning Mathematics:

1. Use the skills learned in real life situations eg. shopping, doing calculations, measuring, designing, …
2. To pass school examinations
3. Jobs require Mathematics qualification

Now you know that Mathematics is necessary to learn, put in the required effort to enjoy and master the concepts the teacher introduces in class lessons.

1. Pack all your required Mathematics books and stationery in your bag before going to school.
2. At lesson time, place the needed materials on your desk in class.
3. During the lesson →
eg. Teacher is teaching – Order of Operations in a Primary 5 Mathematics lesson
The procedure steps are:

Step 1 – Carry out operations within the brackets
Step 2 – Multiply and/or divide from left to right
Step 3 – Add and/or subtract from left to right

When teacher is teaching, be alert, focused and listen attentively. Write notes on the steps in a notebook for you to remember and refer to. Remain focused throughout the lesson. If teacher refers you to the procedure notes in the Mathematics textbook, mark the notes with a pencil or underline them. Circle the page number and write the day’s date so that you can refer to the notes when you need to.
Make connections with teacher’s teaching to the Mathematics notes
so that you understand and the concept becomes enjoyable and
meaningful to you.

4. Apply the learning to work out sums that you are assigned straightaway

e.g. 8 + 14 ÷(15 – 8)

Applying the procedure steps, the solution would be →

8 + 14 ÷ (15 – 8)
8 + 14 ÷ 7
8 + 2 = 10

Complete all the sums at one go. When in doubt, refer to your own notes/ textbook notes.

5. Often, there are word problems that you would need to work out on the concept learned.

Let’s apply the procedural steps to solve this example word problem:

Jim divided 15 raw eggs equally among 5 boys. 2 boys broke all their eggs. How many eggs were broken altogether.

Working steps:
Understand and write out the first Maths equation:

Jim divided 15 raw eggs equally among 5 boys → 15 ÷ 5

Now understand and write out the second Maths equation:

2 boys broke all their eggs → • x 2

Combine the two equations: 15 ÷ 5 x 2 = ?
Solution:

15 ÷ 5 x 2 =
3 x 2 = 6

The boys broke 6 eggs altogether.

Check : 6 ÷ 2 = 3
Each boy has 3 eggs
5 boys have 5 x 3 = 15 eggs. ü

(Jim had 15 eggs at the start in the question)

Now let’s try to solve a more challenging word problem:

Mdm Lan was 6 times as old as her grandson 5 years ago. How old is Mdm Lan now if the sum of their present ages is 73 years?

Working steps:
Understand and draw a diagram to represent the story:

Now write the Mathematics equations working from the present to five years back to obtain the value of 1 unit → (73 – 2 x 5) ÷ 7

73 – 2 x 5 =
73 – 10 = 63
7 units = 63
1 unit = 63 ÷ 7 = 9

Mdm Lan was 9 x 6 = 54 years old 5 years ago.

Now Mdm Lan is 54 + 5 = 59 years old.

Work backwards to check if you are able to get the information given in the question:
59 – 5 = 54
54 ÷ 6 = 9
1 unit = 9
9 x 7 units = 63
63 + (2 x 5) = 73 ü

(The sum of their present ages is 73)

6. After school, go through your notes/textbook notes to revise and remember the lesson.

Practise working out some sums from your Mathematics textbook daily to reinforce your learning. You can also create and work out your own sums.

Remember, you are going to be tested on the concept in school tests and examinations. So, it is your duty as a student to enjoy, master the concept and develop speed and accuracy in solving sums. Be an active learner!

Maths Article by Aishah Abdullah