Checklist for Success in Math Courses


 Carefully read the material before discussion, answer the reading questions, and pose some questions of your own.

 Attempt to solve some of the homework problems before the material is presented.

 Keep an organized binder with separate sections for notes, reading and homework assignments, exams, reflections, resources for your classroom, etc.

 Ask questions and keep a good attitude!



 Attend class prepared and ready to work in groups.

 Work actively to solve problems--attempt to solve problems before a solution is given and try to understand other people’s reasoning.  If you find a solution, find another one.

Always give it your best effort!

 Be prepared to make mistakes, learn from them, and try again!  Frustration is a normal part of the learning process.  It is OK as long as you do not give up!

 Write solutions on the board and explain them when the opportunity presents itself.

 Be an active participant during class: remember the "say and do" principle. Research shows that we remember only 10% of what we read, 20% of what we see, but a full 90% of what we say and do. So whenever possible say and do.

 Use the time in class effectively.

 Ask questions and keep a good attitude!



 Find several people to work with outside of class.

 Spend the time to do well in the class. Expect to spend at least 6-8 hours per week on the course (this is a minimum; if your math background is not as strong, you will probably spend several more hours).

 Do the homework and turn it in on time. The best time to do the homework is soon after class. Before you attempt the problems try to make an educated guess of what the answer will be. Then work the problem and see if your guess matches your answer. Always check to see if your answers make sense.

 Be prepared to make mistakes and try again!

 As soon as possible, summarize, edit and review your notes. Use the margin to write questions and relationships to previous material.

 Work out lots of problems. Practice, practice, practice. Do assigned problems and more. Make up your own problems. Remember the more you "say and do" the more you will be able to recall what you're learning. You must always be actively involved in the learning process.

 If you don't know how to approach a problem, don't give up. Put it aside and come back to it later (your brain will keep working on it in the meantime). If one way doesn't work out, try a different way.

 Rework exams and homework and come by office hours to get new problems soon after you get them back.

 Don't attempt to memorize a concept or formula without understanding it. That will only store it in your short-term memory.

 When you think you've mastered a concept, explain it to a friend.

 Talk to me privately if you have concerns.

 Seek help before it is too late.  Talk to other people from the class and work in groups, come to office hours, go to the Math Learning  Center, send me email.

 Ask questions and keep a good attitude!


If all of this seems like too much work consider that it will take nearly as much work to fail. If it takes only a little more work to succeed, then take the time to succeed!

Thanks to Perla Myers for this checklist.