~ Making the Human Heart Visible ~
Inspiring Quotes of the Week + Bonuses!

# Success in School Math

### By Victor Guskov

For success in school mathematics it is necessary to master elementary mental computational skills at first. This statement is obvious not only for teachers. Everybody knows that addition and subtraction within the limits of 20, multiplication and division within the limits of 100 are the foundation of all next arithmetical and algebraic topics. But my practice shows that a level of the skills, which maybe is suitable for primary school, very often is insufficient for secondary school and not suitable for online universities and regular colleges.

During last twenty years I investigated why some pupils can not study mathematics successfully. Now I am sure the first of the causes is poor mental arithmetic. If elementary mental computational skills are not enough good, a pupil has no chances to understand and master more complicated topics.

How can we diagnose a lack of the skills? The answer seems very simple. Mental computations must be swift and errorless. We may say that the skills must be driven to automatism (the top quality of skills) which means quick and errorless mental implementation of the simple arithmetical operations.

Thus the computational speed is the first criterion of the automatism. Meanwhile an error may be caused not only by lack of skills. There are many other outside causes - a bad condition of a pupil, a brief distraction of attention and so on. Therefore a probability of occurrence of an error, which must be sufficiently low but not equal to zero, must be taken as the second criterion.

The results of my study allow determining permissible limits of the average time of implementation of one operation and relative frequency of occurrence of errors while a pupil implements a sequence of simple uniform operations. All pupils who had not reached the limits could not learn mathematics without big problems. They could not work at lessons of full value and do homework themselves. Their knowledge and skills were very bad. In contrary, in those cases when it was possible to improve their elementary mental computational skills, they began to make progress.

Here are two effective ways for improvement of the skills:

1. The testing tables which are an effective means for training work. Their using lets to bring up quickly the elementary mental computational skills to the level exceeding the calculated permissible limits of the considered parameters.

2. The teaching computer program for improvement of elementary mental computational skills. It makes a diagnosis of a level of the skills; carries out the work on improvement of the skills; carries out control by a psycho-physical state of a pupil and by a level of permissible working load; allows controlling the results of working.
For confirming the influence of quality of elementary mental computational skills over success in school mathematics bad achieving pupils (from one to three years after the multiplication table was completely studied) were chosen. The work upon development of the skills, which level had been very bad, was carried out with each of them individually. In 85% of cases the level was brought to stable correspondence to the calculated values of parameters. The results exceed the limit values of the parameters significantly. After that a work upon main basic topics of school math (common fractions, algebraic equations and so on) was carried out with the pupils. The work was successful, and all of them had not big problems in their subsequent math's learning.

It must be noted that the level of elementary mental computational skills of actively working pupils only do not decreases in due course. If a pupil works passively at lessons and does not carry out home works himself/herself, the level decreases gradually. In some time it leads to difficulties in maths learning.

Thus a level of elementary mental computational skills is a good means of determination of pupil's preparedness for successful studies. The limit values of the considered parameters define the first threshold of school math's learning ability. The pupils who have not crossed this threshold are doomed to poor progress. It means that results of testing of the skills may be used for prediction of failure in school mathematics.

MAIN INFERENCES

1. Unsatisfactory development of the elementary mental computational skills adversely affects progress in school mathematics. The skills must be driven to automatism. That is the obligatory condition for success in school mathematics.

2. A level of the skills may be determined by two parameters: average time of implementation of one operation and relative frequency of occurrence of errors.

3. For testing it is handy to use the standard tables, for which the permissible limits of time and errors were calculated, as supplied on the web site...
Victor Guskov, PhD. Pedagogical Sciences, is a teacher of mathematics in Rumania.

More personal development articles at the Counterpoint Article Library

From our extensive site, you'll find good info on many topics using this search:

# Looking for a better life?

Trans4mind Training - our series of online, interactive video workshops - presents the most effective methods of personal development, combined with support from expert life coaches. The human heart made visible.

## A great way to support your Trans4mind Training is to use these popular and effective hypnosis downloads...

• The Next Level ~ Designed to radically boost your performance in any field. It's based on a technique used by top athletes and other successful people to help them make a big stride forward.
• Create Your Own Reality ~ Use the power of your unconscious mind to transform your life.
• Deeper Self Respect ~ Use hypnosis to connect with your true inner worth.
• Detach From Fear ~ Tune out nervousness and anxiety with hypnosis.
• Generalized Anxiety Treatment ~ Use hypnosis as a generalized anxiety disorder treatment and you can feel calm today.
• Improving Concentration and Focus ~ Learn how to discipline, direct and command your mind to improve your performance.
• Exercise Motivation ~ Give you powerful keys to getting back on track with your exercise - and staying there.
• Overcoming Shyness ~ Provides an invisible security blanket allowing you to develop social ease and overcome shyness.
• Quick Confidence Booster ~ An audio hypnosis session that's specifically designed to get you (quickly!) back on track.
• Stop Negative Thoughts ~ Learn powerful hypnotic techniques to stop negative thoughts before they start.
• Overcoming Procrastination ~ Let hypnosis help you get on with what you need to do, when you need to do it. Let nothing hold you back.
• Think Thin ~ Use hypnosis to re-train your brain and lose weight naturally... that's how to get and stay slim.
• Fall Asleep Fast ~ Relearn how to fall asleep fast and enjoy a good night's sleep.
Search now on an issue that interests or concerns you...

## Welcome to the New Wave in Meditation Technology

The iAwake Profound Meditation Program is a way of enhancing your meditation practice, making meditation not only easier and more enjoyable, but also more efficient and effective.
Profound Meditation provides the smoothest, deepest, richest, most profound meditation experience available anywhere...
• Establish a daily practice that sticks
• Enhance your focus, flow, and performance
• Relieve stress, anxiety, and depression
• Evolve and deepen your spiritual life
Here is a link to a free 20-minute track from iAwake Technologies - a sample of the type of tools that will deepen your meditation immediately and help you quickly become a successful meditator. It's the opening track of iAwake's flagship product, the Profound Meditation Program, called the iAwake Experience...