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Posts Tagged as "Jose Luis Villegas Castellanos"

How to get started when you have no idea what to do … talk it out!!

Wednesday, November 27th, 2013

Most people think of math as a silent activity, but solving a problem effectively doesn’t mean you have to stay quiet. Talking through a problem out loud can trigger insight. So when in doubt, talk it out!

Psychologists in Spain found that college students who talked through challenging math problems out loud solved them faster and more accurately than students who stayed quiet.

Researcher Jose Luis Villegas Castellanos suggests that talking themselves through the problems provides math students with “more possibilities of finding the right solution.”

Many times in my one-on-one work with my students, once they open their mouth and start talking, they are totally surprised by how much they are able to figure out, even when initially they were super stumped!

Do you want your son or daughter to have the opportunity to consistently talk their math problems out with an expert who fosters their mathematical independence? Do you wish your kid could see math as a challenge they can handle, rather than a task that they dread? Do you want them to feel confident, fearless, capable, smart, and relaxed? Are you ready as a family to receive top-level math tutoring support?

Just click here to get started with your special application for my one-on-one math tutoring programs. Once your application is received, we’ll set up a special phone call to get clear if my approach would be a good fit for your child.

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Sending you love,

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Posts Tagged as "Jose Luis Villegas Castellanos"

When in doubt, talk it out

Monday, February 15th, 2010

Here’s a great new tidbit from my favorite magazine, The Week:

If you find yourself struggling to solve a complex math problem, try working through it out loud, says Scientific American. Psychologists in Spain found that college-level math students who detailed their thinking processes aloud were able to solve the problems faster and with greater accuracy than their silent counterparts.

In the study, quiet and nonquiet students were placed in separate rooms, given problems to solve, and monitored on videotape. The test results confirmed that students who talked aloud, or who drew pictures to map out the problems, scored higher and finished faster.

The researchers aren’t quite sure why this approach works, says psychologist Jose Luis Villegas Castellanos, only that representing a problem verbally or visually clearly offers “more possibilities of finding the right solution.”

This new finding makes me think of all the times in high school that I’d approach my math teacher to ask for help, only to suddenly realize exactly what I needed to do as soon as I started to explain why I was confused. I’d joke with my teachers about how they radiated understanding so I’d just “absorb” it once I was in their force field. But now I’m wondering if it was actually the process of getting ready to tell someone what I didn’t understand that activated my own inner knowledge.

This new finding also potentially explains why tutoring can be so powerful. In most math classes today, students passively receive information by listening to a teacher present the material to the class and then approach math problems in silent solitude at their desk. Talking things through out loud isn’t encouraged.

But in a tutoring situation, students are forced to talk things through out loud with their tutor. Maybe the process of learning to talk things out is as powerful as the process of “getting help” from someone who is more experienced.

I wish that more people were encouraged to talk things out and draw pictures to solve problems in standard math classes.