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Mathematics

Introduction

It is commonly accepted that math is difficult, obscure and of little interest

to certain people. Mathematics has importance over and above the application of

the basic numeracy skills. It is also the prime vehicle for developing students

logical thinking and higher-order cognitive skills. Mathematics also play a major

role in a number of other scientific fields, such as physics, engineering and

statistics.

Mathematics is part of our daily living. It is a mental activity in which it

consists in carrying out, one after the other, and those mental constructions which

are inductive and effective. Meaning that combining fundamental ideas one

reaches a definite result. In this connection, a positive attitude towards

Mathematics among students is an important goal of mathematics education in

many jurisdictions.

Mathematics problems are really difficult. I didnt know how to do it.

Thats why I did not finish it. I dont like math. These statements are quite

familiarly heard when students encounter a mathematical word problem.

Mathematics problem solving is not a topic but a process underlie the whole

mathematics programs which contextually help concepts and skills to be learned.

require students to apply and integrate many Mathematical concepts and skills as

well as making decisions. Problem solving as one of the learning areas in

mathematics give the researchers thought to conduct this study. Understanding the

difficulties in Mathematics skills needed in problem solving problems is one of

the ways in assisting student learning.

Objectives

Main objective:

To know the difficulties of the students in solving word problems.

Specific Objectives:

To assess the problem solving abilities of the selected Grade 8 Jupiter students

To know and analyze the root cause of student difficulties with word problems

To identify what learning competencies should be mastered by the students in

To arrive with strategies that the students need to be taught in solving word

problems.

Significance of the Study

The study will bring a significant result which would be important to the

students, teachers, and future researchers.

Students. This study will help the students to know the various strategies

that they can make use of in solving word problems.

Respondents. This study will help the respondents to cope with the

difficulties they encounter in dealing with problem solving by using the

different strategies.

Mathematics Teachers. This study will guide the teacher on how to teach

his/her students with mathematical concepts needed in developing problem

solving skills.

Future Researchers. This study will benefit the future researchers who

will conduct related study. This research will serves as their reference.

This study primarily dealt on finding the difficulties of the Grade 8 Jupiter

students in solving word problems in Mathematics.

The researchers decided to gather information about the cognitive abilities

of the selected students through conducting a survey. A questionnaire is in a

checklist form that contains factors that make the subject difficult. Strategies that

the teacher can make use of will be formulated after the analysis of the result.

Methodology

A descriptive research methodology was used for this study. A

combination of qualitative and quantitative approaches was used to gain a clear

understanding of students difficulties in mathematics problem solving as well as

to triangulate findings. The researchers used a questionnaire in conducting the

survey which was administered to grade 8 Jupiter students of Libon- Agro

Industrial High School. It is in a checklist form consist of questions that reflects

students experiences and views in learning mathematics.

Result

The total of 46 Grade-8 Jupiter students of Libon- Agro Industrial High School

ITEM

1

2

ALWAYS

15

14

SOMETIMES

30

29

NEVER

1

3

3

4

5

23

5

8

21

40

36

2

1

2

The table above shows the responses of the students to the first part of the

questionnaire below.

ALWAYS

SOMETIMES

NEVER

days life?

2. Do you find mathematics

subject easy?

3. Do you enjoy solving

math problem?

4. Did you experience hard

times in solving word

problems?

5. Do you find problem

solving as the hardest part

in mathematics?

The results obtained show that many of the students were able cope with

their daily lesson in Mathematics and find it as an easy subject. Half of the

students says that they enjoy solving math problems but majority of them have

hard times in doing the activity.

Majority of the students say that Algebra is the easiest area in

Mathematics. They find solving word problems in Math as difficult activity

because they used to solve problems in which the values to be operated are

already identified and given. Many of the students find patterns in answering

word problems.

Analysis

tabulated, quantified and statistically- treated accordingly. In the first part of the

questionnaire we use the frequency count and percentage technique.

Frequency count is the frequency of occurrence of event and this was

used to determine the experiences of students in their Math lesson particularly

solving word problems. The percentage was used in quantifying the responses.

The factor that has the highest percentage which makes word problems in

Mathematics difficult was used to solve word problems with given values with

63% .Forty-one Percent (41%) of the students says that mathematics requires

higher order thinking skills. Twenty- eight (28%) of the students says that

mathematics is difficult because of the psychological attitude towards the subject.

Twenty-two percent (22%) of the respondents says that they found problem

solving difficult because of less exposure to the task. And the factor that has the

least percentage is having the difficulty in interpreting word problems.

Discussion

Difficulties solving word problems in mathematics were classified into

information, language and visual spatial skills. As seen in findings the

respondents appreciate the subject. They have the interest in learning the subject

but there were factors that hinders them to easily solve word problems such us

reading ability and poor visual spatial skills. Students find it hard to interpret

word problems. They simply pattern their solutions to the given examples of the

teacher thats why if different case was given they found it hard to arrive with the

correct answer. The learners were not able to completely understand the concept

and does not perform analysis. Limited examples and less exposure to word

problems make the task difficult. Students were not practiced to think in depth

analysis by which they can apply different mathematical concepts. The students

used to solve word problems in which the values to operate on was already

identified. The negative attitude towards the subject must be removed in the

minds of the students. Mathematical word problems requires higher order

thinking skills thats why the students must first master the important skills in

learning mathematics. Students need to be taught strategies to find the solution in

the problem like: foregrounding important characters, using visuals to create a

lasting impression and have students use manipulatives and models to solve

problems.

This study implies that, students difficulties in problem solving might

occur, caused by a deficiency in any of mathematical skills they must mastered.

The understanding of this difficulties faced by students is a strategy to respond

with this issue. Based on the understandings, it could provide a guide line for

teacher as well as researchers to plan better approaches and effective teaching

methods. Development of diagnostic instruments, modules and approaches were

essential to assist the students which will result in more meaningful teaching and

respond with the difficulties in mathematical problem solving. These efforts could

help to be motivated managing and trying to improve skills in mathematics

problem solving. Understanding of the issue, knowledge, skills and commitment

of teachers are keys in assisting students success.

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