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Math problem, What Math Problem?

Updated on August 28, 2012

Sometimes we feel sorry for our kids, especially those that never had a chance to have a tutor. We have technology and we have a will. We can be read in Bangladesh, and we can be seen in Santa Fe, Argentina.

This monster called math can be insidious and a pain in the neck. We have said it before, Math is a subject similar to learning another language. Syntax and Semantics are laid down from the start and maybe that's when our first graders start thinking the worse from math.

Here are some examples with graphics, and how we can solve them.


Area of Compound Figures

The graphic at the right shows a compound shape. The problem is given just as shown on Graph 1.

There are different ways to approach a problem... like in life itself. On Graph 2, we have broken down the compound shape to two well known rectangular shapes. Like in a business of our own, we find the width and length of the sides of those rectangles.

A= A1 + A2

A=b.h Area= base x height

A1=22x12 A2=7X8

After simplification we can gather enough information from the graphs:

A= 22X12 +7X8 Where A is the total area

A=320 m

The area of that compound shape is 320 meters. We could've taken a different approach, but for now, this was the easiest one.

Similar Fgures and Proportions (ratios)

On this Graph 3, your teacher wants you to find the value of 'm.'

Weighing the geometrical implications and the numbers that you were already given, you can solve this 'teaser' by using ratios or proportions.

If you have 2/3= 6/9=24/36

Then, your ratios are keeping the equation at bay.

In the case shown in Graph 3



So, using proportions we found the value of IJ, REPRESENTED BY:

'm= 8'

Finding missing angles in Quadrilaterals

Sounds like the biggest monster of all, right? We can make it easier by going to a regular kind of chat:

Suppose that they give you this humongous 'Pizza pie' shaped like in Graph 4.

If you are able to break them down in triangles shapes like in Graph 5, you will be given 180 bucks for each triangle that you can get out of Graph 4.

So, a trapezoid or Quadrilateral shaped as in Graph4, is composed of four angles on those four corners.

Let's call the missing angle : x

adding those four angles should make 180+180=360 degrees.

X + 116 + 113 + 34 = 360 degrees

Solving this simple equation will give us the missing angle:

X =360-34-113-116





Arc AB=60° Arc CD=100°

angle 1 = .5((100 - 60))

angle 1 = 20o

Theorem of secants to a Circle

Not that you want to be a rocket scientist, but your smart ass teacher will come back to hunt you with this Theorem by 8th Grade. So take heed!

On Graph 6, we have ANGLE 1 formed by two secants that intersect on P, and happen to lay their telescopic 'legs' on C , D, A and B.

Given ARC AB and ARC CD

The theorem states that the measure of Angle1 is :

angle 1 = 0.5((arc CD) - (arc AB))

More segments in circles and Power of a point- Video credit to Dangarbo10


Submit a Comment

  • Lord De Cross profile image

    Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

    Rahul, we had a tutor and luckily he was there for us. Still can remember his wisdom and his love for math.

    @Thanks Molometer, there was so much to write about...that we feel tied handed at times...but is enough for a day of math. So is fair for every one!


  • molometer profile image

    molometer 5 years ago from United Kingdom

    Ouch! my head hurts after all those maths

    Well done Lord for tackling these tricky ideas. I am sure they will help.

  • rahul0324 profile image

    Jessee R 5 years ago from Gurgaon, India

    You remind me of my favorite math teacher in School!

    Effortlessly explained and made simple!

  • Lord De Cross profile image

    Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

    TillsonTitan, There is an area in the brain that is capable to take, literally Math and its analytics by the horn. Some are luckier to have a teacher out of this world. The average kid is not so lucky and deals with the problem on a daily basis.

  • tillsontitan profile image

    Mary Craig 5 years ago from New York

    I still can't believe my daughter is a high school math teacher and I'm in the dark ;) I'm sure this hub will help many. Students aren't aware of breaking their math problems into smaller bits to find the answer. Voted up and useful.

  • Lord De Cross profile image

    Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

    Thanks Joan Veronica, seeing a Senior Math Teacher commenting in here made our day. We felt the need to write this hub in order to reach that young boy, who is struggling everyday with his homework (girls too). Thanks for your support, much appreciated.

    @Very good Becky! Algebrahas been taught for centuries, and even is explain on those jerogliphics from Egiptian times. The thing is... why they still make it look so hard? Thanks for the kudos my friend!


  • Becky Katz profile image

    Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

    Lord, I am in college now, going online. I had to take college algebra, never having taken it in school. I had business math instead. I had a five week course and passed it. I studied 10-12 hours a day to pass it and it was not easy. I think my daughter will have it a little easier.

  • joanveronica profile image

    Joan Veronica Robertson 5 years ago from Concepcion, Chile

    Well, I think this is so interesting, having taught Maths for ages! First, teachers should never scare kids with the story that Maths are difficult, because they are not! And second, I use Dummies books for Blogging, Twitter and similar subjects, because as an oldie I am not too smart with all this internet stuff, but I would never have thought of a Maths one! Every day brings something new to learn! Congratulations to Lord de Cross and to Becky, way to go! Voted Up, etc.

  • Lord De Cross profile image

    Joseph De Cross 5 years ago

    Hi there Becky. We understand your painful journey as a parent. Unfortunately teachers are literally tied handed. The system really sucks! How in the world you want to scare a kid with those subjects. We've seen kids just getting by and College is raking up the bucks with a mediocre teaching. Are we heading into a third world kind of educational system?


  • Becky Katz profile image

    Becky Katz 5 years ago from Hereford, AZ

    My daughter is home-schooled. When we took her out of public school in the 5th grade, we got the Math for Dummies book for her. She could still not do long division. That is the best book for a smart kid that just didn't get math. She was mad at her teachers for making it so hard. We kept telling her and trying to show her but she just kept saying that they wanted her to do it differently. She now request the books for Dummies for her math books and she is in High school now. She says they explain it so much better and easier than all of the other math books. She at least likes math now, instead of actively hating it. Best money I ever spent on school books. She wants to try the English books now. She is fairly good but she says she can be excellent. I am all for that.