I’m spending 2 1/2 hours a week studying for a math test I am taking on January 10. Passing the test is one of the requirements to become certified in Middle School Math in Oregon so I want to do well and pass it the first time. It covers a lot of material: algebra, geometry, etc. Most of those things I haven’t done since I learned them in high school.
Aside: one pet peeve of mine is when adults say “They never taught me.” the “They” in question being teachers. That phrase causes me to wonder how much of the things that were never taught, were actually taught but not retained?
So three mornings a week for a half hour and one hour on the weekend I am up to my ears in math. I just spent several weeks on Algebra and am now reviewing Geometry. The best part of this whole venture is that the Internet was invented between my high school experience and today. Back in high school when I didn’t get something I could reread the chapter, look at the examples, refer to my notes and sometimes look in the back of the book for a solution. If I was still stuck–and I often was–I was left with the “I don’t get it” option of either pressing on through the assignment or giving up.
Today when I hit the “I don’t get it” point I have many, many helpers just standing in the wings. Here’s what I discovered while reviewing algebra.
Purple Math. The best site for explaining all things algebra and I love that she grew up not liking math.
The Math Page. His “Skill in Algebra” review was invaluable and his page has a feature that allows you to do problems he suggests and step-by-step uncover what is happening. I also love that you can start reviewing math with his Skill in Arithmetic and work your way up all the way through Plane Geometry, Algebra, Trigonometry, Precalculus, Calculus, and Real Numbers.
West Texas A&M’s Virtual Math Lab was my next step in solving things. They have step-by-step instructions and practice problems with answers.
As I move into the Geometry Review I found the best thing ever. A simple program that creates PDF flash cards. Oh, to have had this in college! I would have avoided writing out those thousands of flash cards. I’ve been typing my definitions into Word so I can check my spelling, etc., then copying them onto the fields provided.
One of my favorite things about the Internet is that people would take time to build web pages to help little old me with what I am doing.