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MATH STUDY SKILLSCreated by Janice LevasseurPresented byTheresa HertMSJC ~ San Jacinto CampusMath Center Workshop Series
Welcome to Math Study Skills • Congratulations for taking a math class • Studying for a math class is different • You will use all math concepts learned in previous math classes • You need to memorize and apply what you learn • You must use the information learned to solve new types of problems Therefore, you need to design a plan to improve your math study skills
Before we start . . . • “My Personal Math Study-Skills Inventory” Source: Conquering Math Anxiety, 2nd Ed by Cynthia Arem, 2003
Math Study Skills Inventory • “I attend all my math classes” • “I review my class notes as soon after class as possible” • “I do weekly & monthly reviews of all my class and textbook notes” • “I take notes on my text and review them often” • “I work to ‘overlearn’ and thoroughly master my material”
4 Keys to Better Study Skills • Motivation/Goal Setting • Time Management • Planning • Organization
Motivation/Goal Setting Set realistic goals Use attaining the goal as motivation
Time Management • Unlike High School, you (in college) manage your time • You take responsibility for what you do and don’t do, as well as the consequences of your decisions
Planning • Weekly Schedule • Set aside time to study • Prioritize by importance, avoid urgency • Monthly Calendar • Test date • Major projects/assignments due dates
Organization • 3-Ring Binder (one for each class) Monthly Calendar Class Schedule Class notes Handouts Homework Exams Extra Binder Paper
Studying in College • 2 – 3 hours each week for every 1 hour (unit) in class • Ex: 3 units class = 3 class hours 6 – 9 hours doing “homework” each week • “Homework”: • Read the text • Practice problems • Review lecture notes • Complete homework assignments on time
Read the Math Textbook • Read your textbook • First pass, skim the sections • Second pass, read in depth – slowly, carefully • Take notes on definitions & theorems • Mark up your book – highlights, underlines, scribbles in the margins • Create a summary sheet of the sections • Refer to the section lessons when stuck on a homework problem
Practice Problems • Study math everyday -- Practice DAILY! • Work through example problems in the lesson sections & work the “try it yourself” problems • Do additional problems not assigned (odd to check answers in the back) • “Own the material, don’t rent it!”
Review Lecture Notes • Recopy your class notes • Fill in any gaps • Work thru things you didn’t understand during the class lecture • Summary Sheets • Summarize the lecture • Create flashcards (vocabulary, properties, theorems, proofs, formulas, algorithms, procedures)
Complete Homework Assignments Do the homework as soon as possible It will take less time It will be easier to remember what was covered during the class lecture Check your answers The answers to odd problems are in the back of your textbook You learn what you do, so do it right!
Why Planning? • The “Magic of Now” Improves Memory • Review immediately & again 8 hours later • Do your HW the same day it is assigned
Hermann Ebbinghouse German psychologist that researched the rate of forgetting • After 20 minutes, nearly 50% of what had been learned is forgotten • After 1 day, nearly 66% is lost • After 2 days, 69% is lost • After 15 days, 75% is lost • After 31 days, 78% is lost
H.F. Spitzer’s study on retention showed that Students who reviewed the material immediately after learning it and then did periodic reviews were able to retain almost 80% of the material after 2 months!
Other Factors to Success • Take math classes consecutively and avoid short-term classes, like in summer school • Consider auditing or repeating a math class • You are more likely to succeed if you earn a B or higher in each math class • “Learning math frequently and in small chunks is better.” • When are you at your best? • Set aside the hour after class for review and doing homework
Teacher Selection • Find a teacher you “click” with • Word of mouth, peer (student) recommendations, ratemyprofessor.com
Perceptual Learning Channel Your primary perceptual learning channel will be visual, auditory, or kinesthetic
Perceptual Learning Channel Visual “I can often see in my mind the page in my notes or in the text where the explanations or answers are located” “I am more likely to remember math when I write it down” “It helps when I can picture working a problem out in my mind”
Visual Learner • Study written material • Rework your notes • Make flash cards • Use different colors • Ask your tutor to SHOW YOU how to do the problem • Write down each problem step the tutor tells you
Auditory “I learn best from a lecture” “I hate taking notes” “I repeat the numbers to myself when mentally working out math problems” Perceptual Learning Channel
Auditory Learner • Tape record the class • Read aloud any written explanations • Have your tutor EXPLAIN HOW to work the problems • Explain to your tutor how to work the problem • Make sure all important facts are spoken aloud
Kinesthetic “I learn math best when I can manipulate it, touch it, or use hands-on examples” “I learn best in math when I just get in and do something with my hands” “I’ve always liked using my fingers” Perceptual Learning Channel
KinestheticLearner • Use manipulatives to understand math concepts • Obtain diagrams, objects, drawings, and get involved to help you learn math • Rewrite your lecture notes • Rewrite your homework problems and solutions
Give it Your All! • Successful Math Students are • Disciplined • Persistent • Patient • Hard working • Able to concentrate
Attend All Classes & Stay Current • Don’t fall behind • Seek additional help sooner rather than later • Learning Resource Center or Math Center • Instructor (Office Hours) • Tutor • Study buddy or Study Group • Other Textbooks/References “Procrastination is one of the worst enemies!”
Take a Complete Set of Class Notes • Studies show successful students take fuller class notes (about 64% of what is presented) than unsuccessful students • Recopy your notes after class filling in any blanks • Write on one side of the paper only (use the other side for additional sample problems, comments, questions, etc.) • Neatness counts!
Tackle your Math book • Read your textbook • Work out practice problems • Mark up your book (the best math students always mark their books – highlights, underlines, pencil scribbles in the margins) • Review at the end of chapter Key Words • Use the Chapter Reviews and Chapter Tests to take a practice test before the real test
What We Say and Do We remember • 10% of what we read • 20% of what we hear • 30% of what we see • 50% of what we hear and see • 70% of what we explain aloud to ourselves and others • 90% of what we both say and do Source: Edgar Dale’s “Cone of Learning”
It is up to you . . . • . . . to understand the material covered in each class • Subsequent lectures and assignments proceed from the assumption that you understand the previously covered material. • Learning doesn’t happen passively in a math class! • Believe in yourself! You can do it!