Friday, April 12, 2013

Math Rescue Kit - Book Review

I'm a nontraditional college student. I have 60 years of life experience; I'm a writer; and I homeschooled my six children and prepared them all for college. However, past the seventh-grade level, they learned math from their dad and, later, from some excellent computer-based, self-teaching materials. I've never been a "math person".

But to achieve the associate's degree that I am now pursuing, I will need three math classes...that is, after I get through the two "developmental" math classes that I tested into (high school level math for college students). And how am I even going to pass those first two classes? Well, I signed up for my first class, and, first of all, we have a good text; we use the MyMathLab computer program for homework; and I have a great teacher. But still, I needed a little more! So, secondly, I bought the Math Rescue Kit. Okay, you've heard enough about me, and now you want to know something about the book, right?

Dr. Porr divides the book into three parts: Attitude and Perspective, Before Class Begins, and Power Techniques. Each part is equally important, but it's not like you have to master everything in the book before you begin. Each of these three parts has various principles. Each principle or idea is helpful, but you don't have to use all of them to benefit. The tips that help you the most might not be the same as the tips that help me the most. Maybe someone's favorite tip might be "Look for a Metaphor" or someone else's favorite suggestion might be to "Join or Create a Study Group". My personal favorite is this one: "Pursue Mastery, Not Just Completing Assignments". Every single new math lesson that I pursue is a challenge for me (and he addresses that, too); but as I keep pursuing mastery with each new lesson, I finally "get it"...and I'm getting good grades. Most of all, I've learned that: "I can learn math!"

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