By Vic Odarve

Solving math examples in different methods but yield the same answer is itself a challenge. And it works; keeping students at bay!

This approach allows the students to learn the principles of each method of solving same examples and develop mastery. As they master the different methods, students can readily compare the results with ease and build confidence. As confidence builds up, they challenge math problems by doing themselves; hence math becomes easier and simpler.

Solving math problems by different methods can surprise many students, even the stupid ones. Math teachers, an expert in this field and speak with a power of persuasion, keep students’ eyes, glue to the board; ears listen to every discussion, and silence throughout the classroom. For example, in Algebra, find the value of ** x** in a quadratic equation by factoring, by completing the square, and by the use quadratic formula. These three methods of finding the solution work differently but yields the same answer. This way the students learn three math principles in just one example. Furthermore, they can spot the differences, and mimic the teacher’s steps in arriving the final answer. Students feel great, satisfied, and enjoyed by learning three different approaches. This develops mastery of the course. Of course, a surprise and challenge!

Solving single math problem and obtain the same result using different methods also allows students to check and compare the final answer; hence the process builds up their confidence. Students turn this great opportunity to learn more methods; thus, increasing their math knowledge. These environments keep them changing, growing, and learning more math; thus becoming them to be an expert. Since all the methods yield the same results, they are motivated and making great grades… one of the top class math performers. The approach does build their confidence. Henceforth, as confidence develops, students challenge themselves in solving math exercises and problems.

What were the results? Some students came to the office smiling and showed their solutions confidently; others wanted to discuss how they got their final answer. Sounds great and fulfilling! It all begins with single math example that keeps the student’s challenge.