Math fundamentals

Understanding the Fundamentals of Math

October 10, 2023
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Math is an essential part of daily life, whether you realize it or not. 

From calculating the tip on a restaurant bill to understanding complex scientific theories, math is, well, everywhere. And that’s exactly why having a strong foundation in math is crucial for both real-world and academic scenarios. 

So what are the fundamentals of mathematics, exactly? In this article, we'll discuss them step by step and highlight how a strong foundation in math can benefit various aspects of life.

The Fundamentals of Math: What They Are and Why They Matter

Math fundamentals are the basic building blocks of mathematics. They include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division, and things like number theory, algebra, and geometry. These concepts are crucial because they serve as the foundation for more complex math topics. 

So, without a solid understanding of these math fundamentals, it can be difficult to grasp more advanced concepts. 

It’s also important to note that math fundamentals aren’t just important for academic success; they also have practical applications in everyday life. For instance, calculating a tip at a restaurant or creating a budget requires a basic understanding of arithmetic operations. And measuring ingredients for cooking or designing a room layout involves knowledge of geometric relationships. 

Basic Math Skills You Might Use Daily

Basic math skills are essential for everyone, regardless of age, profession, or background. These skills provide the foundation for more advanced mathematical concepts and are crucial for success in both academic and real-world scenarios.

Addition and subtraction are fundamental skills that everyone should understand. These operations are used in everyday life, from calculating the price of groceries to balancing a checkbook. 

Similarly, multiplication and division are essential for tasks such as calculating discounts or figuring out how much to tip at a restaurant.

Understanding fractions and decimals is also important for many real-world applications. This includes tasks such as measuring ingredients for cooking or calculating interest rates on loans. Being able to convert between fractions and decimals is also a valuable skill that can be applied to many scenarios.

And finally, knowing how to calculate percentages is an essential skill that has practical applications in many fields. This includes finance, where percentages are used to calculate interest rates and investment returns, as well as in scientific research, where percentages are used to measure changes in data over time.

Are you surprised to see how applicable math is on an everyday basis?

6 Tips to Becoming a Better Problem Solver

If you’re feeling a little rusty in the math department, it’s okay. Here are some additional tips to keep in mind as you get started building up your foundation in—and changing your perspective of—math:

  1. Use online resources: There are many online resources available that can help you learn math fundamentals. Websites like Khan Academy offer free tutorials and practice problems.
  2. Practice regularly: Consistent practice is the key to building your math skills. Set aside time each day or week to work on math problems or practice exercises. (We like playing the Elevate app’s math games for a few minutes each day.)
  3. Apply math in real-world situations: Math is used in countless real-world scenarios, from calculating the cost of groceries to designing buildings. Look for opportunities to apply mental math in your daily life, and you'll find that it becomes more intuitive and applicable.
  4. Visualize the problem: If you're struggling to understand a math problem, try visualizing it in a different way. For example, you could draw a diagram or use manipulatives to represent the problem.
  5. Stay positive: Math can be frustrating at times, but it's important to stay positive and persistent. Celebrate your successes and learn from your mistakes.
  6. Use mnemonic devices: Mnemonic devices are memory aids that can help you remember math formulas or concepts. For example, PEMDAS (Parentheses, Exponents, Multiplication and Division, Addition and Subtraction) is a common mnemonic used to remember the order of operations.

Common Fundamental Math Concepts to Know

Mathematics is a vast field with many different areas of study. So what are some fundamental math concepts you should prioritize understanding? Here are our suggestions:

  • Trigonometry: Trigonometry is the study of triangles and their properties, including angles and sides, and is used extensively in fields such as engineering, physics, and navigation.
  • Statistics: Statistics is the study of data analysis and probability and is used to collect, analyze, and interpret data in various fields such as finance, healthcare, and social sciences.
  • Logic: Logic is the study of reasoning and argumentation and is used to evaluate arguments and draw conclusions based on evidence.
  • Number systems: Understanding number systems, including integers, fractions, decimals, and irrational numbers, is important for working with numbers in various contexts.

Using the Elevate App for To Enhance Your Math Skills

Ready to start building up your math skills? Our favorite way to do this in a fun and low-stakes setting is by playing the Elevate app. It has more than 40 games spread across math, reading, writing, speaking, and memory skill groups and features personalized skill training programs based on your goals—like improving your math fundamentals. 

What sets Elevate apart from, well, your high school math teacher, is that Elevate’s brain games don’t teach you math for the sake of math. Instead, you’ll practice techniques that you’ll actually use in everyday life, like splitting the bill at dinner or cooking dinner yourself! 

The best part? No homework. 

Taking the First Step in Understanding Math Fundamentals

Whether you realize it or not, having a strong foundation in math fundamentals is important in so many areas of life, from real-world scenarios to academic settings.

However, it's just as important to understand that improving your math skills isn’t always easy, but the benefits are well worth it. With dedication and practice, you can build a strong foundation in math that will serve you well throughout your life.

One easy (and fun) way to do this is by downloading the Elevate app, available on iOS or Android. You can play brain games that are specifically dedicated to improving your math skills in a fun and low-stakes setting. 

Soon enough, you’ll be calculating discounts, tips, measurements, and more—without a calculator. So start bringing your math skills to the next level as soon as today by downloading Elevate!

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