1. Do all of the homework. Don’t ever think of homework as a choice. It’s the most important way that students practice and master the concepts taught in class. Set up a regular time and place that make doing the homework feel automatic. 2. Fight not to miss class. Math class moves fast, teaching a new concept every day. What you do today builds towards tomorrow. It is difficult to miss math; If you are absent, make extra time to learn what you have missed. Schedule an appointment with your teacher, copy the notes you missed, ask questions and confirm your understanding. So if there’s an optional appointment to be made, take care not to schedule it during math. 3. Find a friend to be your study partner. We all have reasons for legitimate absences. So find a friend who will take good notes when you’re gone and will call that night to fill you in on the homework. This is good practice for the real world, where building positive relationships is necessary to thrive. It’s a good idea to build a study group to practice for tests. 4. Never, ever work math problems in pen. This one is pretty simple. You will make a mistake; it is only a matter of time. When you do, you will want to completely erase your mistake and write over it. You will never, ever want to scratch something out and write next to the scratch-out. This will lead to a paper that is hard to read, and the scratch-outs will actually increase your anxiety about solving these problems. You want clean-neat paper with a clean well thought-out solution. 5. Analyze and understand every mistake. Some students want to pass over a mistake made on homework or a test, to just let it go. But it’s important to fix mistakes and understand why they were made; otherwise we’re doomed to repeat them. Take time to figure out the thinking behind a mistake, and figure out how to do it right. Ask the teacher if you’re unclear. 6. Learn the vocabulary! Many students struggle on tests because they learn to just look at the "math part" of the question and go on instinct. They do not actually read the question, often because they wouldn't really understand the words in the question anyway. When studying, pay particular attention to the wording of questions. Learn what is of expected of you when the question says, "Simplify" or "Evaluate." Most students don't realize that sometimes half the questions actually tell you exactly what to do, if you just understood what the instructions said! 7. Get help fast. If you realize that something is difficult, you should seek help as quickly as possible. Straighten out misunderstandings before they start to snowball. 8. Don’t swallow your questions. Questions are the vehicle by which we learn. If you have one, ask it. Chances are that many of your students have the same question. Saying it out loud will help you, your classmates, and the teacher. Asking good questions is a lifelong skill, and school is a safe place to practice. The more questions we ask, the easier it gets. 9. Basic skills are essential. Quick: what’s 9 times 7? To be successful, you must be able to answer this correctly in your sleep. The multiplication tables are the basis for most high school math problems. If you don't know them, practice! Make flash cards, download an app, and practice, practice, practice. 10. Understand what the calculator is doing. It’s not enough to know how to use the calculator; you need to know what the answer means and if it makes sense. You should ask yourself what the calculator is doing for you, and always analyze the calculator’s answer. For instance, if the teacher asks for “the square of negative three,” many students will type in “-3^2” which gives the answer “-9.” But the real answer is “(-3)^2”, or 9. You should play around with your calculators and become familiar with the way they work.
Follow this format to ensure full credit on your homework.
Fold paper into 2 columns
Carefully copy problems on a separate sheet (unless otherwise specified)
Neatly complete problems step by step, as shown in class.
Work on left side of page. Corrections on left side of page.
Include diagrams, if necessary.
Box or Highlight answers.
Check answers in RED pen-a DOT by each correct answer and circle each incorrect answer.
Write number wrong at the top of the page.
Re-do incorrect answers next to problems or at the end of the assignment.
If you are still having difficulty:
Review your notes--look for similar problems that were done in class
Watch ConnectEd tutorials, work through "House Problems" OR reference other math websites--some posted here.
Confer with friends
Come early in the morning or after school for help on specific problems. OR e-mail me!
Ask questions during class!
Remember, Mrs. Kaneshina is available most days for extra help at 7:30 or after school until 3:00. Please email or speak to her before class to confirm availability. Click on the links below for other suggestions for tutoring.