If you would like to make the most of your Mathy experience this year, try some of the suggestions below. Remember, you gain the greatest benefit from Math class when you put in not only TIME, but also REAL EFFORT.
1. RE-READ CLASS NOTES NIGHTLY. Even if there is no written homework assignment, you should get in the habit of spending some time each evening re-reading your class notes. The material will make more sense this way, and you will retain the information longer.
2. USE YOUR TEXTBOOK. Find the current lesson in your textbook. Read the explanations and sample exercises. Try some of the "Practice" exercises. (You can check the answers to the odd-numbered problems in the back of the book.) We don't use the textbook in class very often, but it IS an excellent reference.
3. STUDY THE VOCABULARY. It's hard to understand the lesson being taught in class if you don't understand the words that I'm using. Math is a Language. Learn to speak it!
4. USE YOUR RECORD AND PRACTICE JOURNAL. The journal contains extra practice for every lesson. If you do the exercises, I will be happy to check them during lunch.
5. GO ONLINE. Do an internet search for whatever concept we're working on. You should find hundreds (or thousands) of web pages. Take a look at several of them, and see if you can find an explanation or example that clarifies things for you.
6. CALL A FRIEND. If you're having trouble with an assignment, chances are, one of your friends understands it and can help explain it to you. DO NOT JUST ASK YOUR FRIEND FOR THE ANSWERS. You've probably already figured out that, even if you're not having trouble, working with someone you like makes the homework experience a little less painful.
7. ASK YOUR PARENTS. Many of you seem surprised when you discover that your parents know things! If they know Math, see if they can help you when you're struggling. (Just be careful: Parents sometimes explain things at THEIR level of understanding. Politely remind them that they need to explain it at a 6th or 7th grade level.)
8. CONTACT ME. You and your parents have my e-mail address. If you have a question and none of the other suggestions have helped, CONTACT ME and I'll be happy to help you!
DON'T SKIP IT! You'll never learn it that way. Plus, if you don't show me you tried, I can't give you credit for the assignment.
DON'T SAY, "I'll just wait until he goes over it tomorrow." You learn more when you figure it out for yourself.
DON'T FORGET... I am available to help you: (a) in class, (b) before school, (c) during lunch [7th grade], and (d) after school.
MOST IMPORTANTLY... DON'T GIVE UP!