Tips to Success in the Math Classroom

Laura Zittlow, Reporter

When it comes to math, most people tense and panic. They normally don´t get the math content being taught, or they find it hard. However, math isn’t as hard as most people think. The majority of the stuff taught in the high school math classroom is an extension of things previous or putting a name to something already known. Success in the math classroom can come more easily with the knowledge of knowing that most of what is being taught is already known. In talking with high school math teachers and students that excel in math, here are some tips to help you succeed in the math classroom:


Tip one: Always pay attention to the content being taught. 

You have to pay attention to what the teacher is saying and not zone out.  The best way to pay attention is to actively listen. Now, the best way to get the information that is being taught is to be a sponge. You can´t just pay attention and walk away. You have to remember everything from day to day because, in the math classroom, you are always building on known material.  


Tip two: Do your homework.

The only way to get better at math is to do it regularly. One of the ways to practice math on a regular basis is to do the homework assigned. (It is good practice for all subjects.) Much of the time, your homework will be very similar to upcoming test questions. The homework you do can also help you study for upcoming tests. Doing homework will also help you identify things that you still don´t get and what you have down already. 


Tip three: Partake in all class activities.

Similar to doing your homework, partaking in class activities will help you identify some of the material that doesn´t quite click yet and what you don´t have to worry so much about. Partaking in class activities will also help you prepare for tests. And it shows your teacher what they need to focus a little more on. 


Tip four: The best way to prepare for a test is to practice.

Practice, practice, practice. Math isn´t like a traditional class in that you can study off of a study guide and feel like you got all the content under your belt. Math is very similar to your music classes in that you have to practice in order to master the content. Nowadays, you can go on your computer and google practice problems. Use them to your advantage.  


Tip five: Don´t be afraid to ask questions and don’t be afraid to go in and get extra help.

As all teachers say, don´t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions and getting extra help lets the teacher know that you are confused. It will also help clear up anything that you still don´t get. Most of the time, if you have a question, someone else in the room has the same question. Asking questions also helps expand your knowledge. The extra help will provide you with clarity and allow you to get extra practice in before a test. A great time to get help is during ELT, your study hall, and before or after school.


Tip six: Master AlgebraⅠ.

AlgebraⅠ(Alg) is the base of all mathematics. The other types of math are built off of it. If you don´t have Alg down, Geometry, AlgⅡ, Trigonometry, and Calc will be harder than they actually are. Alg  Ⅰis the type of math that everyone works with in their careers. There are jobs where you work with ¨higher¨ mathematics but they still need Alg as their base.


Another thing to keep in mind is that mistakes are the main way you learn. Don’t fear them, and when they happen, analyze them and see where the mistake actually happened.*