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?
1 Comment
Patricia Gartman
4/27/2014 12:27:22 am
Thanks for sharing your ideas about studying math. I am more of an old school studier myself. I remember and learn best when I write things down, but the students I will be teaching are certainly "digital natives". Your inclusion of quizzlet and YouTube are something they can really grab on to. Also Mathway.com will generate extra example problem worksheets as well. Your blog is inspiring to an old school math teacher trying to come into the digital way of thinking!
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Natalie Turbiville
Educator who loves math and working with students. Archives
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