Wednesday, August 31, 2011

My 10 Tips for Math Class

Mr. Sladkey’s top 10 tips for Math Class

1. Do the example problems from the book.

Most math text books have examples that are completely worked out with the solution given. Take a piece of paper and hide the textbook answer and work, but show the question. Redo the problem and then check your work with their work and solution.

2. Study for Tests and Quizzes.

It is easy to just do the review homework and feel like you are ready for the test. You need to do this and more. Study for the test or quiz by going back through problems that have been given and solved in class. Actually redo them and check your work. Studying for math is DOING the MATH.

3. Make sure your homework is correct.

Check your answers with those that are in the back of the book while you are doing your assignment.

4. Do math EVERYDAY.

Do your homework every day. Try not to skip any days of homework. If you are cramming all your work into a short single session you will find this usually ends up in frustration as well as poor long term memory with the topic.

5. Attempt the most difficult questions.

The most difficult questions will usually teach you the most about the material. Never skip them. Try to get the most exposure to these problems as you can. Try to solve them on your own. Revisit them. Go in for help. Ask a question on the problems in class.

6. Take a break.

Give yourself a break when working with math. If you are being efficient, then three fifteen minute sessions in a day are better than one 45 minute session. Stand up. Stretch. Go for a walk. Move your work to a new place. A break is needed when working with math.

7. Have a good attitude.

Never think “I’m terrible at math”. You usually meet your own expectations. Believe that you can do it!

8. Go in for help with your teacher and bring a specific question.

When you bring in a specific question to your math teacher they can help you with where you are struggling. The teacher then can typically give you more examples that are similar to what you are struggling with.

9. 5 minutes.

Once your homework is done, then take an extra 5 minutes to look at these possible things: vocabulary, formulas, notes, projects, and book examples.

10. Go to

This is a collection of free video tutorials involving almost any math topic that you could think of. This is by far the most useful website that I have ever recommended for a math class.

What are your thoughts on these?  Would you add to them?  Would you take any away?
 I have posted these in a word document if you would like to modify these in any way.  Feel free.


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Minute to Win it Circuits.....Move and Learn

Yesterday I made a math problem so that it took up one whole page of typing paper.  I cut it up into 6 equal pieces that were approximately 3 by 3 inches.  I put it a random order and put a paper clip on it.  I did this for 5 problems in all and 2 sets of each for a total of 10 questions.  I have 20 students in my class.  So I had my students work in pairs.  It is real easy to cut these problems up with a paper cutter. See the above cut out lines that I took with the problem.

Then I put the 5 stations with 2 sets of the same problem around the room.  Four people, or two pairs of partners would be at each station.  I would then have them start on the problem and set the timer for ONE MINUTE.  The partners together would have to unscramble the pieces and then solve the problem.  They would write their answer down on their paper.  Once they were done, they could check the answer that is provided at each station.  After the minute was over and students had checked their answers, I told them to rotate.  They went to the next station and we did the process all over again.

I was happy with the outcome because they seemed to enjoy trying to figure out the puzzle and do the math.  It also helps the students to MOVE and LEARN.  They are moving after each problem.