The following proposed course outline has been developed by
the Math Study Skills team at San Diego Mesa College with input
from the participants from the December NSF workshop. Comments
and suggestions are always welcome:
tteegard@sdccd.net
 Differences between
 high school and college courses
 college classes are voluntary
 college classes are condensed/faster paced
 high schools teach algorithms only (?)
 high schools give extra credit and count effort in the grade
 high school classes consist of groups of friends for networking
 high school attendance is mandatory
 math and other courses
 math requires studying every day
 math is a language, hence if you don't understand the vocabulary you can't understand the subject
 math is a skill course, hence if you don't practice you lose it
 math consists of sequential courses, hence you must build on previous knowledge
 it is socially acceptable to be poor in math
 Learning Styles
 evaluate the learning styles
 how can you improve your learning, based on your preferred learning style
 Anxiety
 causes  a math autobiography can help determine
 unprepared or under prepared
 previous math instructor traumas
 previous failure
 gender ( boys blame external sources while girls blame internal sources)
 comparison to others by parents and/or teachers
 avoidance, taking the math course as the last requirement for continuation, hence increasing the pressure to pass
 overcoming 
 anxiety is a learned response and can be unlearned
 stop negative thinking
 use meditation techniques
 Classroom Skills
 choosing an instructor
 determine your best learning style
 peer mentoring
 interview instructor
 observe a class
 determine if the instructor using group work, overheads, lots of homework, daily quizzes ect.
 interaction in the classroom
 sit in the learning triangle in the best position for your learning style
 come on time and be prepared
 ensure that cell phones are off
 acceptable behavior in class requires respect for all
 ask questions
 note taking
 if appropriate, use a tape recorder
 write down comments next to the problems
 do not expect to understand everything, you will need to review your notes in light of the textbook and the homework
 collaborate with others to fill in blanks
 interaction during office hours
 come with specific questions
 try the problems first
 ask questions, don't blame  teachers are human too
 Study Habits
 study routine
 keep a neat notebook with notes, homework, graded quizzes and tests
 set aside a particular time and place to study  be sure it is quiet and you will not be interrupted
 time management
 schedule your classes so that study time is part of every day
 balance your workload and home life with school and studying
 plan to take your math courses in sequential semesters
 study buddy
 find someone in your class with a similar schedule so you can study on a regular basis together
 have the phone number of at least two other students so you can get the notes and assignments when you miss class
 be sure your study buddy is also dedicated to passing the course
 textbook/homework
 review the material in the textbook before trying to do the homework
 summarize the important terms, theorems, and strategies in the section before attempting the homework
 if you get stuck on a problem, review the section in the book
 don't spend all your time on one problem, skip it and go on  the next problem may help you remember how to do the previous one
 mark homework problems to be asked in class, tutoring sessions or office hours
 Testing
 preparation
 start preparing at least 3 days before the test
 explain in your own words how to work each of the problem types
 review past notes
 review past homework, noting those problem you could not do originally
 make flash cards
 keep telling yourself that you can do it
 have a good night's sleep
 taking
 arrive early and ensure that you have your materials ready
 do some positive selftake
 look over the test and indicate those problems that you can do easily, do these first
 even if you don't think you can work a problem, start it
 analyzing
 when the test is returned, review and classify the types of mistakes
 rework the problems you can now do
 go over any you still do not understand with the teacher, a tutor or study buddy
 be sure to save the test for preparation for the final exam
 Resources
 tutoring
 find the tutoring center at the school
 see if you qualify for any specialized tutoring such as STAR or EOPS
 counseling
 see a counselor or math chair to determine if you are taking the appropriate math courses
 develop an education plan
 don't let math keep you from pursuing the career of your choice
 DSPS
 it is ok to ask for special help if you need it
 there are many resources available including tutoring and test proctoring
 privacy ensures that no one other than your DSPS counselor and instructor need to know about your disability
 using the resources only helps you
 Calculators
 types
 ensure that the calculator is a scientific calculator, preferably with statistical functions
 don't get a calculator that is more complicated than you need
 calculators with a screen that show the entire expression are good for checking input errors
 use and misuse
 a calculator is a tool, it does not do the thinking for you
 as much as possible, do simple arithmetic in your head  this keeps the basic facts fresh in your head
 do not rely on your calculator to do all your fraction problems
