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Math Doesn't have to be Hard | Math tutor in Englewood, CO

Math. The word alone is enough to send shivers down the spine of students. It's a dreaded subject that aims to give headaches and worry. And to make matters worse, teachers often claim it's "fun." How can wanting to pull your hair out be fun? Unless going bald is your objective.  I too felt like this for a long time. While not to the same degree as many students, there has always been a moment in every math class I have taken where I wanted to throw my textbook out the window. It wasn't until I became a tutor that I actually started to like math. I began to manipulate problems in ways I never thought of. I was seeing patterns I hadn't seen before, making it easier and easier to solve problems. Going over different areas of math with different students has helped me understand math in a way that makes more sense, thus making it more fun.    

Here are some cool math tricks and discoveries I have learned over the years. 
1) If you are multiplying any number of whole numbers together, you will always gain an even answer if you have at least one even number in the multiplication.   

2) To quickly multiply any two-digit number by 11, simply add the digits up and put the result in between the original two digits. This is your answer. If the result of the addition gives a greater number than 9, then place the digit in the one’s place in the middle of the two original digits, and carry the other digit and add it to the digit in the ten’s place.   

3) A number is divisible by 9 if you can do the following: First add each digit together, and then add the digits of the result together. If you get an answer of 9, then the number is divisible by 9.     

4) Can you explain why anything divided by 0 is undefined?  Well, remember that division is just repeated subtraction, X/Y means how many times can I subtract Y from X until I reach 0. Therefore, when doing X / 0, I can subtract an infinite number of 0's from X and I still wouldn't get an answer of 0. The term undefined also has to do with limits, but that’s for a later discussion.   

Below are what I consider two of the most important things you can do to strengthen your math skills. 
1) Don't do the homework problems until you do some practice problems. If you have a textbook, re-read the chapter and do those practice problems. You will no doubt learn some important technique that will save you frustration down the line.    

2) It all boils down to algebra. No matter the upper level math course you take, algebra will nearly always be necessary. Often times, the concepts aren't very difficult to understand. Yet students always get the wrong answer because they can't understand the algebra, whether it be exponent rules or factoring. As my calculus teacher put it, "Nobody fails calculus because calculus is hard. They fail because they suck at algebra."    

Practice as much as you can, connect the dots, see the patterns and make life easier for yourself. The reason many people hate it is because they don't properly understand it. Once you do however, you see why it can be fun. 
Md R
Experienced Math and Computer Science Tutor
Metropolitan State University
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