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Maths SL

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Hey all,

Started IB two days ago...hope my motivation keeps up for the duration of the year. Except for one subject. You see, before I had considered IB last year, I was (and am still) quite bad at Maths. This is because the subject was unheard of in my old primary school in the middle of nowhere, and that next year when I started high school the Maths was such a radical change that I failed to do the homework and sunk lower until last year, few years later, I chose an alternative (applied) Math class, which touched on topics briefly and easily, "dipping" with small tests. Suffice to say I learned hardly anything.

I am fine in other subjects, which is why I chose IB. I hadn't considered the Maths until I confirmed taking the diploma. My school is rather small and isolated, which is why Math Studies is not yet an option - either Maths SL or HL, I chose SL of course. Now, just a week ago, I heard painful words which questioned my ability doing IB.

The new IB Maths teacher (just one) has told me many times she doesn't want to teach me. Yes, that's right. Just because I am a bit behind in Maths, the teacher will not go the extra mile to consider teaching me content I need to know this year. Many times I have been faced with Maths teachers asking if I were gonna drop IB Maths, or pull out of IB altogether. I will not drop my Maths and take a normal school subject, because then there will be no diploma or IB to partake in. You know what I mean?

I can see through my teacher's plot, easily. She clearly doesn't want to teach me. She seems desperate to see my parents as soon as possible - I know the teacher will use them as a way of eliminating me from IB by putting her concerns there, in heavy doses. Other Math teachers are unable to help since they have no clue about IB. And I just know the IB coordinator is in on it. Quoting from the syllabus:

"Students are not required to be familiar with all the topics listed as presumed knowledge (PK) before

they start this course. However, they should be familiar with these topics before they take the

examinations, because questions assume knowledge of them."

"Teachers must therefore ensure that any topics designated as presumed knowledge that are unknown to

their students at the start of the course are included at an early stage. They should also take into

account the existing mathematical knowledge of their students to design an appropriate course of study

for mathematics SL."

With this in mind I find it necessary to warrant an appeal or protest to other teachers knowledgeable of IB protocol. Again, Math teacher does not want to teach me and is dismissing my lack of skills so she does not require extra work to get me up to speed. Subtly eliminating me from not only Maths, but eventually all IB because as I said there is no point doing five IB subjects - no TOK, CAS or diploma. I may be good in other subjects, but I'm not perfect. Quoted in wise words of my Biology teacher yesterday afternoon, IB is not about being smart and clever. It's about motivation, time-management, participation... or something around those lines. My school, in New Zealand, is small and of course isolated. Therefore a strict reliance to proper syllabus and protocol instructions of IBO by teachers can be flexible. Overall...

...the evidence suggests my Math teacher is violating the syllabus to make things work in her favor - i.e. eliminating the extra workload, the "burden".

I am almost in dilemma over the situation. I will of course put my concerns to a different teacher (Biology), but who knows if that will help. What do I do? Tips? Am I going mad by labelling my teachers as some sort of conspiracy theorist group? AND, do syllabi rules indicate there is something more sinister behind my situation? Thank you so much for reading,

Paul

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I would bring it up with another teacher then if that doesnt work then go to your IB coordinator. And if STILL you arent learning well, then i recomend you pay the money to get an SL Math 2008 Textbook. You could then try to teach yourself and asking a Math HL or another SL student to help you. The H&H book is very good and does a good job explaining every topic.

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I understand exactly what you mean, I'm sort of in the same situation...but worse. You say you never had too much math in your old school but since you were good in everything else then there are no problems in IB. Well you have to understand, though you probably already do, that IB is mostly about the humanities, languages and such. I can tell you right now that Math SL is NOTHING compared to any other IB class. Haven't you noticed that most of the things for IB are language related? I can understand how you must feel, having to take this math class with such bad background; I'm going through the same, I came to the US not too long ago and now I'm stuck in enlgish HL...HL!!! It's killing me and there's nothing I can do about it, math is easier to get a hold of, all you need to do is study the concepts and thats it. But hey, even though I've lost 20 years of my life sweating over english class and you must've felt your deal too, I say that in the end what doesn't kill you makes you stronger, because if you never do this, then you will NEVER get anywhere mathwise (all careers need at least some type of calculus and Math SL is not even considered that but its a start) Just remember that if you need some help in math there's a thread in the math section and you just post ANY question there and i'll answer you ASAP :P Good luck :P

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Thanks for helping, and offering additional support. I have reviewed the Maths SL syllabus, and the teacher has continually told me that this maths is at university level, so I think my bad+ background in the subject isn't going to do me much justice for my other subjects and CAS. Last year, I forecast that if I took the subject, slowly but surely I would falter behind in others which I do best and enjoy - the end result: average capabilities in Maths and less than average marks in the humanities. Even if I aim for a (to me, high) 4/7, there will be compromises.

Of course, the teachers themselves cannot remove me from the program, but I feel the Maths teacher will use my parents to bring me down...ugh, how I am thinking the worst. I need to feel more optimistic about this, as Maths is dragging my esteem down. Yesterday, had first Biology class and we started on Topic 1: Statistical analysis. I couldn't even grasp that, and let me not think I announce I don't even know what the "mean" is... So obviously I am a bit more behind a "bad" background in Maths. *Sigh*

koolgecko91: I may look into a textbook, but unfortunately money is a buffer. It's either the book or private tutoring, and I think it's best to get the tutoring - even though it is hundreds of dollars... Thanks.

ezex: First of all, good luck with your English HL (hey, that's me too!). And if you say that Maths is not too difficult to grasp, I will take your word for it...thanks.

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Well, I don't know if I can reallyy help you at all, especially if your basics are all messed up. I'd recommend looking in the maths studies course, perhaps going over that topic, understand it and then looking at the equivalent in the SL. Not sure if that'd help though. Anyway, I have a bunch of notes on most of the topics in Maths sl that i got off the net quite a while ago and I can't find the original site now, but i'll upload them. I don't know if they'll help but if you're not getting the textbook either, then they might come in handy atleast to understand some of the concepts.

Good luck. =)

Hm, i just realised there's no option to upload here for some reason? I can e-mail them to you or something, if you like. I'm not sure why I can't upload. =/

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I read several IB forums and I bookmark links to revision sites, so here we go:

Wikibooks - the Wikibooks site for Math SL. They don't have everything and it's Wiki, but I looked at Topic 1 (Algebra) and the stuff seemed accurate and the explanations weren't too shabby.

IBMaths - this site lists the syllabus and the material that you need to know for the IB exam, and they have a lot of links to sites that explain the topic.

I'm in HL, and I'd be happy to explain stuff if you need anything. But your best resource would be to have a HL/SL student from your school explain it in person. In fact, it could even be a CAS opportunity for that student - go to a Math teacher (I don't think it has to be the mean IB Math teacher) and ask if he/she would be willing to sign off such a CAS form, and make sure this is okay with your IBC.

Edited by Agneisse

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Thanks! Nanki perhaps IBMaths.com was the website you were thinking of? The IB Maths website looks good. WikiBooks is a wiki and therefore it is not really up to scratch. It appears most of the content is just a general overview, similar to a syllabus with small "teachers notes". It will just waste time...well, I hope I do get through these first few weeks to survive the math teacher's inquisition. I don't know whether to think the worst. First class tomorrow :P

:P

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IB is mostly about the humanities, languages and such.

IB isn't mostly about the humanities and languages, it's about the maths and sciences, but still you shouldn't fret over one subject. Even if you only get a 3 on the IB Math test you can still earn the diploma.

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Hey!

I'm also in IB Math SL. I think that one of the hardest challenges are the math internal assessments, which is what I am struggling with now.

I don't get the structure and nature of IA's. Take the Stopping Distances internal assessment. I did my best at it and handed it in.

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I didn't read anyone else's comments so i hope i don't conflict with them, anyway...I didn't have the knowledge when i went into math (unknowingly seeing as i had 90s at my elementary school, but they didn't teach me anything), and i've been working hard to catch up. It also helps that i have a teacher willing to help me and i got a tutor, but it's not impossible to do well. You seem determined to stay in the course which is good, but don't be foolhardy and just stay in because you want to, seriously think about it and the benefits and/or consequences of staying in the program if you don't have the knowledge. If after thinking about it you feel you want to stay in the course you have to work really hard and catch up with what is going on. Not understanding the concepts is not a good enough reason for not doing the homework

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IB isn't mostly about the humanities and languages, it's about the maths and sciences, but still you shouldn't fret over one subject. Even if you only get a 3 on the IB Math test you can still earn the diploma.

Not in Math.

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Good luck tomorow. Hopefully she was just saying that.

Thanks... first class was an introductory lesson. Started off by revising PK. First was number systems and set notations, then over the next few days surds, standard form and algebra. Wasn't too good with the first topic...surds were okay for a few parts and I couldn't get my head around standard form. Its horrible knowing these are supposed to be "easy" topics since they are presumed knowledge.

Aside from that the teacher and IB coordinator finally got around to talking with my parents...and no, it wasn't what I thought it may be. Turns out its all good and the IBC put in a good word for me. Well, I'm doing IB. In it now for the long run. :)

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