My daughter is in the middle of her final examinations of class 8. She has a trait quite opposite to me. She just hates Maths while I have always loved Mathematics. I have my reasons o love Maths and I have never really managed to understand why a large number of kids hate it. May be there is something wrong in the way Mathematics is being taught.
I have tried to encourage her to develop the ability to do simple mental Maths with very little success in the past. She was in a relaxed mood this evening and I asked her, “Do you know the Algebra equation (a + b)2 ?”.
She said, “Oh yeah. I don’t know why we have to learn that kind of nonsense. It is some a2 + b2 + 2ab. What is the use of our suffering all these a, b, c and x, y, z ?”
I asked her “Can you tell me the whole square of 55 ? And without using a pen and paper ?” Her face went down. I said, “It is 3025”. She countered me with, “But you have known that before…”
I said, “No, you give me any number and I can give you the whole square of that using the equation, (a + b)2 = a2 + 2ab + b2. You just need to listen to me and I bet you’ll enjoy it in the end”
So she came with a paper and and a pen I showed her how to derive the whole square of 59; step by step and then to do it in the mind.
Step-1: 59 is 50 + 9 (a + B)
Step-2: Applying the Equation, we have 502 = 2500 and 2a = 100 ready for all numbers from 50.
Step-3: So what do we have ? 2500 + 100b+ b2 [That means 2500 + Hundred times the second number + the square of second number]
Step-4: That is 2500 + 900 + 81 = 3481
Since we know the round figures of 50 square and small squares well, all four steps get condensed into just one step in our mind and we have the answer in double quick time compared to the cumbersome method of doing the multiplication of 59 X 59.
Similarly, for numbers below 50, we can apply the (a - b)2 = a2 – 2ab + b2 equation.
Thus 44 (50 – 6) square can be calculated in no time with 2500 – 600 + 36 = 1936
We can use this method to calculate whole square of big numbers by just remembering the round figures and then the 'dreaded equation' ! It isn't necessary to be an Abacus product to know Mathematics.
Once she came to terms with this, there was a BIG smile on her face and she asked me, “Why don’t they teach us these things at school ? I LOVE this Maths. Why don’t you take some Maths classes in our school, Appe ?"
|Maths: As easy as that !|
It wasn’t any big deal teaching a class 8 student, something she already should be knowing. But for someone who was carrying the burden of not being able to break the mental barrier she had created around her, this was a BIG break through. I know I have managed to breach her fortress. My day was made !