# How do you respond to...?

Discussion in 'General Education' started by atomic, Nov 8, 2011.

1. ### atomicCompanion

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Nov 8, 2011

Student says, "It's not that I don't know how to do the problem, I just have trouble remembering how to do it."

3. ### Caesar753Multitudinous

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Nov 8, 2011

I'd ask the student to explain what he means. Then I'd ask him to tell me about his study habits and what he is doing to try remembering the material.

4. ### a2zVirtuoso

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Nov 8, 2011

I read an article about studying and learning regarding when students have a cursory knowledge about a concept, topic, information, etc. The article said that when a person hears something familiar, they tend to lose focus and browse the topic instead of working on mastering the topic. They think, "Yeah, I know about cubed roots." Well, not really. They just make the immediate connection and the person assumes they know how to apply it or in other courses assume they have what needs to be memorized or connected done.

The brain is a tricky thing. That is often why a student will say they "studied" but still fail miserably and not know why.

5. ### AliceaccMultitudinous

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Nov 8, 2011

I think maybe his undestanding is too shallow.

In math, once you understand WHY a problem works, you don't have to remember HOW it works-- that just follows. So, assuming you've memorized any pertinent formulas, the problem should just flow.

For example, today with my sophomores I did coordinate geometry proofs. If you're asked to prove that ABCD is a rectange, you need to:
- know what a rectangle is
- know that slope is the formula that gives you proof of both parallel and perpendicular lines
- know the formula for slope.
- know the relationship between slope, parallel,and perpendicular

Once you know those four basic things, you find the slope of all 4 sides. The problem spits out the answers: two pair of matching answers, and the negative reciprocals needed for perpendicular lines.

I would take a look at his homework. When he got stuck on the homework, what did he do?? One stragegy is to have him copy the model problem once for each problem he can't do. Hopefully the logic behind the model problem will help him see the logic behind other similar problems.