[quote]Mathtastic: the term made up by a math teacher to mean that a person did so well on a project, test or quiz, that they were absolutely amazing…. Urban Dictionary[/quote]
Math is a tough subject yet, when the unique tutoring methods of Robert Ollis are learned and applied in everyday Maths, it doesn’t take long for students to achieve success and more importantly, to appreciate just how enjoyable math topics can be.
However, success at all levels and for any student, comes at a price!Success is dependent on many things with the Self Discipline aspect being probably the most important of all elements.
Self Discipline; that quality present in all math students willing and determined enough, to stay on task until the task is completed.
Perseverance; the mindset in students that sees them working hard and trying hard even when, the task at hand seems beyond them.
Integrity; students who make choices that help them be the best they can be. Students with integrity will do what they think is best and who will work at doing their best.
Responsibility; dependable students who make good choices. They not only take care of what belongs to them, they take of themselves and what they do.
Trustworthiness; students who can be counted on to do the right thing even when an adult is not present. Students who return borrowed items and do what they say they’ll do. This is a must have quality!
Robert Ollis knows from personal experience (himself once an exceptionally high achieving Math student) that for students to succeed offline and more especially online, that these qualities combined are the essence of success.
By the time students have finished Elementary School (Grade 6) most will have developed the ability to really apply themselves yet for those students who have failed to grasp the total concept of a basic math skill, Grade 6 can prove to be the beginning of the end both emotionally and academically.
When students who have fallen into this bracket find themselves placed into the lower classes of Grade 7 it doesn’t take too long for them to fall further behind academically, emotionally and socially amongst their peers.
Sadly, it is a situation that should never be allowed to happen!Unfortunately over the last two decades, there has been a reduction in focus on the relevance of “Repetition of Mathematical Concepts and Skills” a situation that has resulted in the problem of misunderstanding math concepts being exacerbated rather than improved.
The focus has shifted even more towards thinking abilities and “thinking and working outside of the square” which in effect means, that students are being encouraged to apply problem-solving skills to real life situations. This has actually been accompanied by an increase in the amount of written product/material in secondary school Math Text Books and an alarming reduction in the amount of the critical repetitive exercises needed, where only the basic mathematical skill, is practiced.
While excellent in concept, the declining standards of Mathematics in both the US and Australia tend to indicate that this approach toward Math is not quite as good as it might have seemed in the beginning.
The trouble lies with its fundamental assumption that students have
already grasped the basic principles required for problem solving.Where Math is concerned, it is not possible to “work outside the square” unless the student is sufficiently competent in all the skills included within the square. For instance, students won’t be able to solve the problem concerning the amount of wire needed to fence a paddock unless they can accurately calculate perimeter correctly.
Having the ability to finish repetitive textbook exercises does not ensure success in application problems however, what it does do is provide all students, with the tools they need to tackle problems far and beyond the Maths textbook.
Attempting to solve abstract problems without a strong skill base is like constructing a building on a sandcastle; a totally pointless exercise.
The can also be compared to weight training. While one can understand the benefits of being able to build muscle through exercise, unless the number of repetitions required, to build and strengthen a particular muscle group are repeated regularly, one will fail when it comes down to the application task of weight lifting.
Students need to grasp the fact that Mathematics works in the same way with the element needed for continued success being repeated, regular repetitions of the sets required to master each skill.
“Repetition is the mother of all skills”The repetition of basic skills builds upon the student’s proficiency and confidence levels in that particular skill, hence the reflex action that occurs when both physical skills and academic skills are practiced daily.
Which is precisely where Robert Ollis excels. With hundreds of his ex students going on to achieve high and exceptionally high levels of academic success, he knows, that through his unique methods of problem simplification, that all students can achieve whatever level of success they aspire to and work hard towards.
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