Making mistakes and negative numbers

Make mistakes often

Learn to make mistakes with Hamburg Maths Tutors.

Making Mistakes

The first rule of success in maths is to let go of your fear of failure. Anyone who has been successful in their studies or any other walk of life will say the same thing. That’s why our philosophy at Hamburg Maths Tutors is all about one thing:

Confidence, confidence, confidence.

Don’t know the answer to the question on a practice exam paper? No problem, that’s what we’re here for! Don’t understand the difference between fractions, decimals and percentages? Can’t separate your Pythagorus from your parallelograms? Unsure of the difference between a barchart and a histogram? Calm down, relax, explain to us what you need help with and we will help you at your own pace.
Maths doesn’t come easily to everyone, and different teaching methods are more effective with some students and less so with others. What is important is that you turn up, try your hardest and are not afraid to stick your neck out.
At Hamburg Maths Tutors we reward endeavour and encourage failure. We need to fail so we can learn where our weaknesses are and change them to strengths. Shout out the answer, be wrong and make mistakes. But never regret your attempts, regardless of whether you were right or wrong.
Mistakes are just stepping stones on the road to success. Embrace them, like we do at Hamburg Maths Tutors.

Don’t be negative about negative numbers

Understanding how to handle negative numbers is one of the fundamental pillars of success in mathematics, and should be treated as such. The problem with large classes in crowded schools is that lessons do not always go at the right pace for every child, and so some key principles get left behind.
I have tutored many, many students – ranging from 4 years old to 18, and I can tell you from experience, negative numbers count for a lot. What is so frustrating about that is, if taught in the right way, negative numbers do not need to be tricky at all, if only we understand what they mean from an early stage.
So with that in mind, let’s outline the two fundamentals to achieving success in negative numbers:

Know the number line

A good understanding of the number line and how it works will help you in the long-run. Practise moving up the number line (addition) and down the number line (subtraction) passing 0 in both directions. Do this exercise until you can do it with your eyes closed standing on your head. It’s that important.

Understand multiplication/division of negative numbers

Multiplying negative numbers can be a daunting task for students that have not properly practised the basics, but really it can be very simple: a negative mark changes the sign and two negatives cancel out. We can explain why this works on a fundamental level but actually, it’s just best to remember the rule and to practise, practise and PRACTISE!
Getting the hang of these two tips may seem tedious when you’re more concerned with quadratic equations and circle geometry, but getting them both right will help you to approach the more complex problems you will come across in your final exams, and more importantly, to succeed!

Good luck!