When you play a sport you're aggressive, right? Why not be as aggressive with your math? Of course, we are talking about a positive form of aggressiveness where you aren't sitting watching on the sidelines but rather chomping at the bit to get in the game.
Let me ask you a question: When you are in your class are you leaning against the back of your chair with your arms folded and your pencil lying on your desk?...or are you leaning forward with your pencil in hand actively involved?
When you are doing story problems you should be filling up your paper with diagrams, equations, notes and sentences with intensity!
When I was in college, I was told that when taking a test if I happened to drop my pencil that the students sitting next to me would kick it across the room. The tests were graded on a curve and everyone wanted an advantage over one another. This, of course, is not the aggressiveness we are going for. By the way, this never actually occurred but gives you an idea of how competitive you should be with yourself.
You know that final lap your track coach makes you do before practice is officially over? Or the last 10 push ups and 20 sit-ups before your football practice is dismissed? Likewise, you want to be doing one more challenging word problem, asking one last question, and proving one last theorem.
I've got to tell you a secret. I wasn't the smartest kid in my classes but I worked at school harder than my average classmate. Oftentimes things didn't "click" until that 5th or 10th time...but once I got it - I really got it.
I'm sure a number of students I work with are in that same boat...so keep on working at it, be aggressive, ask for help when you need it, and keep on improving....
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Helping students succeed in math for over 10 years. Individualized attention makes the difference!