II. Before, During, and After Math Class
A. Before Math Class:
Read your textbook before class to become familiar with new terms, formulas, and concepts. For each chapter, prepare your own list of math vocabulary words. For a better understanding of the material, recite back the materials you have read. Mark any trouble spots that you might want the instructor’s help in clearing up.
B. During Math Class
1. Come to class on time and sit as close to the front as possible.
2. Exchange phone numbers with someone in class. When you are working on math and
encounter a problem you just do not get, you will have someone to call for help.
3. Attend every class. If you miss a class, ask your instructor for permission to attend the same course that is taught at a different time or day. Remember: you are responsible for material covered in a class that you missed.
a. Use a good math note-taking system
b. Don’t photocopy someone else’s notes. It is important to attend class and hear
everything for yourself. You may not understand what someone else wrote, or you
may deem things important which someone else may leave out.
c. Take notes on how to solve problems. Don’t just record the problem itself. When
you look at the problem later, you may not be able to recall how it was solved.
d. Copy all information that is written on the board. It is important; otherwise, the
instructor would not have taken the time to write it.
e. Verbalize (silently) problems the instructor writes on the board. Solve the
problem or silently verbalize each solution step.
f. Ask questions, ask questions, ask questions! You are paying for the course; make
sure you get your money’s worth. Chances are that many other students in the
class have the same question and will be relieved you asked.
g. Get help early in the semester before you get too lost in the course. You know the
old saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.” Get help figuring out the small stuff
before it grows into a huge dilemma!
C. After Class
1. Find a study buddy and set up group study times.
2. Schedule a review period after every class, even if it’s for only ten minutes. Work
through examples again.
3. Make note cards or a “math dictionary” to remind you how to solve various types of
a. Put each concept on a 3” X 5” note card and write an example on the back.
b. List all new math terms with their definitions in a separate notebook. Review
these at least once a week.
5. Read your text and do all the examples.
6. Do a bit of math review, homework, studying, and practice every day. Increase or
decrease the time you spend daily on math with respect to your mastery of the material.
Remember to practice working the types of problems you may be having difficulty with
until you master them.
III. Getting Assistance, Problem Solving, and Homework Tips
A. Get assistance.
1. Get help as soon as you need it. Don’t wait until a test is near. The new material builds
on the previous sections, so anything you don’t understand now will make future
material difficult to understand
B. Ask the right questions.
1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Any question is better than no question at all. (At least your instructor/tutor will know you are confused.) But a good question will allow your helper to quickly identify exactly what you don’t understand.
TIP - Right after you get help with a problem, work another similar problem by yourself.
2. Control the help you get. a. Helpers should be coaches, not crutches. They should encourage you, give you hints as you need them, and sometimes show you how to do problems. But they
should not, nor should they be expected to, actually do the work you need to do.They are there to help you figure out how to learn math for yourself.
1) When you go to college, your study group, or a tutor, have a specific list of questions prepared in advance. You should run the session as much as possible.
2) Do not allow yourself to become dependent on a tutor. The tutor cannot take the exams for you. You must take care to be the one in control of tutoring sessions.
3) You must recognize that sometimes you do need some coaching to help youthrough, and it is up to you to seek out that coaching