Yes. The answer is yes you can study mathematics. There is apparently a rumor going around telling students that math cannot be studied. This is a lie. Run from the darkness. The issue is students need to learn how to study math. This is where I, as the teacher, come in to hopefully fly in to save the day. Here is the list of ways I personally have studied math and instruct my students to do so. Cheat Sheet (See photo to the left) Start reviewing notes, powerpoints, textbook, or whatever form the material being tested was presented on and on a blank sheet of paper write out problems, equations, formulas, and helpful hints on the material you do not 100% understand. This is your "cheat sheet." Writing the topics you do not feel comfortable with allow your brain to process the material from start to finish and you get to "feel" how the topic is worked out. When I was a student, I would do this multiple times on separate days before a test. Your cheat sheet should get shorter and shorter the more times you complete this exercise. On the last night my sheet would short so I had less material to work through. I like this method because it works for all subjects and it a great to hold onto for use in studying for finals. The picture shown is one of my students "cheat sheets" that he created for his final test (that I did let students use). This does take time but with more repetitions on the same topic the quicker the process will go. Flashcards This is a fabulous tool to use with units where there is vocabulary, properties, and formulas that will tested. Oldschool using lined index cards and newschool sites like quizzlet are great tools to use while studying. I prefer oldschool paper index cards because I learn best when I write the material down (my love of cheat sheets is explained) but I have seen more students lean more towards quizzletlike sites. The advantage of quizzlet is that you can share your creating with others. YouTube Videos I have written of my love for YouTube as a teaching method I use in class so it should be not surprise that I am using it again. I believe that YouTube gets rid of the excuse for students that they do not understand the material on test day (even if they were absent.) It has EVERY TOPIC YOU CAN IMAGINE on it. Simply type to topic in the search bar and 1,000s of videos will appear. I recommend starting with the first one that pops up. You do not like the person on the video you say? pick another one! Extra Practice Problems (the whole problem, on a clean sheet of paper without referring to the worked out example) As a coach, I know what my athletes do during practice is a direct implication on how they will preform on game/match/race/meet day. I also know that an athlete does not become an expert by watching me practicing the stroke/running technique but rather by practicing the technique. The same is true with math. Working out extra problems from start to finish does help. I find that students give into the lie that if they understand a problem by watching me going through it problem, hearing my explantation for it, and seeing my work on the board for it that they understand that topic. NOT REALLY TRUE. A student really knows the topic if they can work out a problem from start to finish without assistance. This is why I give my students a study guide/practice test for each test. Bottom line...to study math you have to take time to study the math. You will not be able to magically get all topics, it will take work. Take the time to figure out what works. There are plenty more ideas, these are just the top Work with different strategies to see what works. One method may work for one topic but not for the next. How do you study mathematics?
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While I am on Pinterest, I notice some funny math posters/ideas/the thing where you add a saying to a picture. Here are some of my favorites. These are great to look at for a quick laugh and I have used some in lessons as an introduction or ending. The pizza one shown first on the slide show is a new one for me and I will be using it for volume this upcoming year. Have fun and laugh a little. I spent Memorial Day Weekend on the beaches of South Walton County. It was amazing. The weather was incredible. The water was perfect. The condo I stayed in had a keypad in which we were given a unique code. While talking to one of my friends, she became worried about the code being easy to figure out. No fear, I told her, math can put your worry to rest. The code was 6 digits. So using the multiplication counting principle, there are 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 * 10 = 10 ^ 6 = 1,000,000 different codes. The odds of someone randomly punching in out code was 1/1,000,000 or simple said, one in a million. The probability showed that we were safe. Even if someone had the first three digits of the code that still left a 1/(10 * 10 * 10) or 1 in 10,000 chance of getting the last three digits correctly. This led to my friend rolling her eyes at me. There is also a fabulous book entitled "One in a Million" that I highly recommend. I love probability. My youngest sister is entering 9th grade in the fall and will be taking the accelerated course I taught this past year. My mom has asked me to work with her over the summer just to make sure she is 100% ready. I was able to reflect on the skills that my students needed this past to excel with the quick pace of Accelerated Coordinate Algebra/ Analytic Geometry A and decided to post what I plan on going through with my sister. She is SO excited to do math over the summer. She even rolls her eyes at me when I mention what is to come.
I have condensed the list to 3 major topics that every math student enrolling in the accelerated course should be 100% confident in. Topcis: 1) Solving onestep, twostep, and multiplestep linear equations 2) Graphing linear lines in various forms 3) Simplifying radicals with an index of two Kuta Software is awesome! The free trial has great worksheets that cover each topic and provide the answers. I am linking the worksheets I plan on having my sister work through. I will be there to help her but I also am showing her how to use tools like YouTube to watch quick tutorials on topics she wants more instruction for. Kuta Sheets by Topic 1) Solving onestep, twostep, and multiplestep linear equations OneStep TwoStep MultiStep 2) Graphing linear lines in various forms SlopeIntercept Form Standard Form 3) Simplifying radicals with an index of two Worksheet 1, 2 This is just a start. I kept it to three major topics that I noticed that if my students where 100% in these areas they were able to focus on the new material and not be held up with much needed concepts. Happy Summer :) 
Natalie Turbiville
Educator who loves math and working with students. Archives
May 2016
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