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It is hard to connect concepts in a first-year mathematics course to true real-world situations that students can relate to. Students need to move beyond first-year concepts, but many will never take any higher-level mathematics courses. The question that first-year mathematics instructors then need to ask is: “What do we do?” In my view, one way to alleviate some of the students’ frustrations and anxieties is to give life to the mathematical objects, concepts and notation, taught with the help of fun mnemonics and mantras.
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