How did the visual thinkers learn math?

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Ganondox
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18 Dec 2011, 12:07 pm

I'm not sure what type of thinker I am. I think I'm a mixture of several.

Anyway, you sort of got to visualize it, then move everything around in your head, and pull it apart like gelantinous blobs or pop them back together like blobs, only they aren't blobs, they are numbers and functions and other mathematical objects....

I don't think I'm helping.


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MrXxx
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18 Dec 2011, 12:39 pm

SETS!

I guess I may be one of the lucky ones. When I started public school, in 1966, our school district had adopted a math teaching method involving "sets."

Everything about math was being taught visually. We were taught to add sets of lemons and oranges, or puppies and kittens. There might be several sets of lemons, several sets of oranges, several sets of puppies, and several sets of kittens.

We'd have to answer questions like:

How many [kittens, puppies, lemons or oranges] are there?

How many fruits are there?

How many animals?

How many living things?

They would use sets for addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. I ACED math because of it.

Later on, I moved to a different district that didn't use visual techniques for math. I did okay for a while, but stopped liking math. When I got into algebra though, all of a sudden I could see the connection between sets and algebra, and I started doing a hell of a lot better.


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LookingLost
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18 Dec 2011, 1:57 pm

Umm, i dunno if this works for anyone else but how about using lined or blank paper as opposed to squared? Up until 6 months ago i was always told to use squared paper which made my head spin and i could never understand maths, now i use lined and i find it so much easier...

Also, trying questions that are like little stories? E.g. Matt and greg walk so far in different directions. Calculate the distance between them?



LookingLost
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18 Dec 2011, 1:58 pm

Umm, i dunno if this works for anyone else but how about using lined or blank paper as opposed to squared? Up until 6 months ago i was always told to use squared paper which made my head spin and i could never understand maths, now i use lined and i find it so much easier...

Also, trying questions that are like little stories? E.g. Matt and greg walk so far in different directions. Calculate the distance between them?



Jp896
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30 Dec 2011, 11:41 pm

This is off topic, but oddly I'm not a visual thinker. In calculus I always used the definitions to solve problems, in fact I would loose points on test for not graphing when we were suppose to. I'm good at adding numbers in my head and would also loose points for not showing enough work. I do numerical calculations in my head by breaking it down into simpler parts- the same way as everyone else.



seekingtruth
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31 Dec 2011, 1:41 am

My son is in 1st grade as well and a visual thinker. So far domino's are working best for him.

I am also a visual thinker and I remember flash cards helping, the more I stared at them the better they were in memory. But I never did learn the connections, just visually could see them to recall for tests.


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31 Dec 2011, 1:53 am

One tree plus one tree equals two trees.

O, and counting on fingers.

(It's pretty funny how math is actually a verbal ability.)



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31 Dec 2011, 1:55 am

They used repitition with me.


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Mummy_of_Peanut
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31 Dec 2011, 7:18 am

I think my daughter is quite a strong visual thinker. She's always been OK at maths, sort of average. But, once her class started to learn about money, her learning just seemed to take off. I believe she's about to move from the middle group to the top one for maths. Money is quite concrete and easily visualised.


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sraddha
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31 Dec 2011, 1:09 pm

I am a strong visual thinker and a PhD sanskrit scholar of ancient indian mathematics.
i love sanskrit, ancient languages and math.
grammar and languages, the same logic, rigour and beauty



spacedog
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01 Jan 2012, 4:36 am

I learned general math concepts by making picture symbols of the math representations and taking geometry and trig. when i could not understand algerbra ie no pictoral representation. I mostly learned nothing in a school or college classroom. I went home and read the text and found out a way to get the correct answer. Unfortunately the teachers and professors thought I had cheated because my equations where completely different from everyone else's and yet they worked. Even to this day I subtract to solve problems not add so most people don't get how I learn. Well... it works for me... so who cares. I get the right answers.


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Sparhawke
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01 Jan 2012, 8:50 pm

I cannot really help you with that question, I am a visual thinker and the abstractness of it all is a complete mystery, I remember being 3 or 4 and my dad trying to get numbers and multiplication into my head and struggling for hours with printouts with tables up to 12 burned into them...I only ever did figure it out after much simple remembering but that is not like true maths skills that my brother possesses, he is a master of mathematics from Manchester university and has been offered a Phd. course placement.

Sometimes I think it is important to understand your limitations and concentrate on what you are good at, I learnt to read so much faster than everyone else and remember the first book I read solo was "Charlie and the chocolate factory" shortly after, my visualisation skills help me build up a perfect image of anything written, who needs maths skills? When I was 4 and kids were reading about cats sat on mats I was trundling my way through Enid Blyton, and advanced robotics (at least for 4 year old kids in 1981) books that most adults couldn't even understand..

While it would be nice to make some sense of the odd shaped squiggles on a page I have learnt to accept that they make no sense, I know basic maths and really do not see a world in which the learning of advanced calculus would be of a necessity to me :)


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Blue_and_Orange
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01 Jan 2012, 10:27 pm

I have been known to use a calculator, and STILL get it wrong. I have NO idea how that happened. In my last semester of H.S., I took trigonometry. There was one instance in which the teacher told me I got a problem right, then realized I was looking at it upside down. How I got it right that way, I don't know.



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03 Jan 2012, 7:23 pm

I have mixed math skills. Advanced algebra is tough for me, but things like trigonometry/geometry/physics are easy. I read on here somewhere on here once that this is not an uncommon problem since algebra can be considered more conceptual but with the others you have 'visual aids', ie - shapes.