People usually learn to exploit predictable structure. When we translate it into learning, there are two ways of learning:

* Acquisition of information/knowledge through memorizing, i.e.,have the predictable structure repeated many times and let it goes into our RAM (Random Access Memory) automatically! Good example of such learning is the acquisition of mother tongue (if the mother tongue is being used at home from very young age)!

* Using separate chunks and progressively composed with extended practice, i.e., learning how to add single digit numbers, then use the acquired skills of addition and apply them in solving summation problem of double digits or triple digits.

Good application of chunk learning can lead to acquisition of mathematics knowledge if one learns how to migrate the learning, i.e., use the chunk of knowledge in summation, subtraction, multiplication and division and apply them together in suitable situations.

For example, work out this sum

89 divided by 3...

(Please do not use any calculator)

Answers:

3 89 (3 goes into 8 2 times)

__6 (3 times 2 is 6)

__29 (Subtract 8-6=2, and drop down the next number 9)

__27 (3 goes into 29 9 times and 3 times 9 is 27)

___2 (Subtract 29-27 = 2, 2 is the remainder)

89 divided by 3 is

29 & 2/3

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or

29.666667

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The easier way to solve this mathematical problem for a simple-minded person like me maybe:

89 / 3 is the same as (90 -1) / 3

= (90 / 3) - (1 / 3)

= 30 - 1/3

= 29 2/3 (or 29.66666...)

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The first chunk of knowledge we use is

90 = 89+1

or

89 = 90-1

The second chunk of knowledge we use is

30 = 90/3

or

90 = 30*3

The third chunk of knowledge we use is

1/3= 0.33333....

2/3=0.66666...

or 1 = 1/3 + 2/3

Hence, we can use of our simple chunks of knowledge in addition, subtraction to change 89 to 90, then use division or multiplication to make up 30 from 3* 30 or 90 / 3. The additional 1 is being divided by 3, hence we can get the answer 29 2/3 or 29.66666... .

Q & A of mathematic problem extracted from:

http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20070122133325AA22PtK&show=7

Dexterine Ho

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I have a blog and website called Chunky Learning www.chunkylearning.com

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