MathProject’s Vision: Acquire life skills through understanding math
What life skills can math teach students?
Mathematics is a subject that is often dreaded by students. However, it is one of the most important subjects in school, as it teaches students life skills that they will need in their future careers and personal lives. Overall, understanding math and possessing these skills will not only benefit you academically but also in your future career and personal life. These skills include problem-solving, critical thinking, ownership of work, collaboration, communication, organization, and time management.
Problem Solving and Critical Thinking
One of the most important skills to have is problem-solving skills. Mathematics involves acquiring and applying techniques to gain flexibility, accuracy, and efficiency in problem-solving for both learners and instructors. Through this discipline, individuals learn to comprehend and depict a given scenario, utilizing mathematical language and tools to make connections with real-world scenarios, reason logically, communicate their thought processes, and provide valid justifications for their solutions (Transferable Skills in Mathematics, n.d.). When students are faced with a problem, they need to use critical thinking skills to analyze the problem and come up with a solution. They need to identify the problem, break it down into smaller parts, and then use mathematical concepts to solve it. This process helps students to develop their problem-solving skills, which they can use in their future careers and personal lives.
Ownership of Work and Work Habits
Ownership of work is another skill that students learn in mathematics. Students need to take ownership of their work and be responsible for their own learning. They need to show initiative, ask questions, and seek help when needed. This process helps students to develop their ownership skills, which they can use in their future careers and personal lives.
Collaboration and Communication
Communication is another important skill that students learn in mathematics. Students need to communicate their ideas effectively, both verbally and in writing. They need to explain their thought process, justify their reasoning, and present their solutions in a clear and concise manner. This process helps students to develop their communication skills. In math, both students and educators employ math tools and language to comprehend the world around them. This includes utilizing math vocabulary, symbols, and representations to convey their ideas, viewpoints, and compelling arguments, using various communication modes like oral, visual, textual, and gestural means (Transferable Skills in Mathematics, n.d.). Having good communication skills will help students better communicate with their peers. In mathematics, both learners and instructors engage in productive, respectful, and critical discourse with others. This interaction allows them to improve their comprehension of concepts and problems, generate effective solutions, and fine-tune their thought processes (Ford, 2010).
Organization and Time Management
Understanding math is essential for improving organizational skills and time management skills. The ability to perform calculations and analyze data is critical in making informed decisions and prioritizing tasks. Math teaches individuals to break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts, which can help in organizing and planning tasks effectively. Math can also help with time management skills. With homework, it’s important to learn to manage your time so you can submit all the homework on time. With the ability to manage time effectively, individuals can prioritize tasks, set goals, and meet deadlines, which can lead to increased productivity and success. In conclusion, math is an essential skill that can improve organizational and time management skills, leading to better outcomes in both personal and professional life.
How does MathProject use math to teach life skills?
Problem-solving and Critical thinking
Teaching problem-solving always starts with learning a new skill (Stramel, n.d.), such as multiplication, or even calculus. Here at MathProject, we teach our students new skills all the time which will help students develop their problem-solving skills. When teaching new skills we give our students multiple strategies on how to solve a problem. Some strategies include, drawing the problem out, writing out all the given information, checking your work, asking a lot of questions, etc Using these strategies helps students think critically about their math problems, and strengthening these skills can help students in their real lives.
Ownership of Work and Work Habits
We understand the importance of submitting homework on time and how it contributes to the overall academic success of our students. It helps them develop a sense of responsibility and discipline, which are important qualities that they will need to carry forward in their lives. Therefore, we always encourage our students to submit their homework on time. We firmly believe that adhering to deadlines is an essential part of being a responsible and successful student. However, we also understand that students may face challenges that could impede their ability to meet deadlines, such as a heavy workload, personal or family emergencies, or unforeseen circumstances.
In such cases, we like to engage in constructive dialogue with the students to understand their situation better. If we notice that a student is consistently submitting homework late, we like to send emails and maybe even schedule a meeting to come up with good work habit strategies. Our goal is not to punish or reprimand the student but to identify the underlying reasons for their behavior and offer support and guidance to help them overcome the challenges they may be facing. During these meetings, we like to discuss the student’s current work habits, including their homework routine, their understanding of the assignment instructions, and the level of effort they are putting into their work.
Collaboration and Communication
At MathProject, we are passionate about helping our students achieve their full potential in mathematics. We understand that learning math can be challenging, especially when students are struggling to grasp complex concepts or equations. That’s why we offer group sessions as a way to supplement our individualized instruction. We believe that group sessions provide numerous benefits that can help students develop essential life skills that go beyond just math. By working with their peers, students can learn important skills such as collaboration, communication, and problem-solving.
Collaboration is an important skill that is highly valued in many professions. In group sessions, students have the opportunity to work with others toward a common goal. They learn to communicate effectively, delegate tasks, and contribute their unique skills and strengths to the group effort. By doing so, they can accomplish more than they would on their own, and they also learn to appreciate the diverse perspectives and insights of their peers. Communication is another key skill that is essential in both personal and professional contexts. In group sessions, students have the opportunity to practice communicating their ideas and thoughts clearly and concisely. These skills are not only valuable in math, but they can also translate to other areas of life, such as in social situations or in the workplace.
At MathProject, we believe that group sessions offer a unique and valuable learning experience that can help students develop essential life skills that go beyond just math. We encourage our students to join our group sessions when we teach and to take advantage of this opportunity to work with their peers and to grow and develop as learners and individuals.
Organization and Time Management
At MathProject, we understand that organizational skills and time management skills are essential for academic success, especially in mathematics. We believe that teaching these skills is just as important as teaching mathematical concepts and problem-solving techniques. By instilling these skills in our students, we are helping them to become well-rounded learners who are equipped to succeed both in and out of the classroom. Submitting math homework on time is critical for a student’s academic success, as falling behind in math can quickly lead to difficulty in other subjects. By emphasizing the importance of timely homework submission, we are helping our students to develop a sense of responsibility and accountability. We understand that homework can be a challenging aspect of academic life for many students, which is why we provide additional support and resources to help our students stay on top of their assignments
At MathProject, we believe that every student has the potential to succeed in math, and we are committed to providing them with the support and resources they need to achieve their goals. Whether it’s through teaching organizational and time management skills or providing additional support with homework, we are dedicated to helping our students become confident, capable, and successful learners
- Transferable Skills in Mathematics. (n.d.). Mathematics. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/curriculum/elementary-mathematics/context/cross-curricular-and-integrated-learning-in-mathematics
- Ford, W. (2010, January 23). Life Skills Learned In Math Class – MathMaine. MathMaine. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://mathmaine.com/2010/01/23/life-skills/
- Stramel, J. (n.d.). Teaching Mathematics Through Problem Solving – Mathematics Methods for Early Childhood. FHSU Digital Press. Retrieved March 21, 2023, from https://fhsu.pressbooks.pub/ecumath/chapter/chapter-4-teaching-mathematics-through-problem-solving/