Some students feel that they simply cannot pass certain classes. As a science and math teacher, I have had my fair share of students that simply gave up at trying to pass any math or science class. However, I believe that any student can pass any class,
if they follow this advice:
1. Do not aim to simply pass. Students who aim for a D inevitably fail. Aim for an A or a B, and you might even surprise yourself with a higher grade than you thought you could attain.
2. Complete ALL homework and classwork assignments. Whether or not they count for points, they will help you learn the material. Also, many students feel it is enough to do most assignments. However, even if you skip just one homework assignment per week, the
highest grade you can now achieve is an 80%, and that's if you get 100% on everything else in the class, including tests.
3. Spend time every day doing extra studying to prepare yourself for tests. Cramming the night before an exam, especially in a subject...
It may sound silly, but I would say that about 90% of students do not use their textbooks properly. You may be thinking, "How do I USE a textbook? Aren't I using it properly just by reading it?" The answer is no!
The problem with simply reading through a textbook is that you are basically trying to build a house without laying a foundation. This is because you are trying to simultaneously learn large concepts and small details in the first read through. Instead,
you should always begin reading a chapter by scanning very quickly through it, paying attention to titles, pictures, and diagrams. This gives you an idea of what the chapter is about. Next, scan through the chapter more slowly, looking at subtitles, vocabulary
words, and picture captions. This gives your mind a structure in which to fit the new information that you learn. Finally, read all the way through the chapter carefully. Finish the chapter once, even if there are parts you don't completely understand...
You're sitting in class listening to an algebra lecture when you start to think "Why do my teachers always expect us to do problems THEIR way? Why can't I do it the way that makes sense to me?" Well, I would like to answer that question.
Your teachers are not simply being picky or inflexible. They often have very good reasons for requiring you to use certain procedures to solve problems. One of the biggest reasons is that some problems have only one mathematically correct way to solve the
problem. If you find a different way to "solve" the problem, it may or may not be mathematically valid.
When I taught in the classroom and students would ask if they could solve a problem their own way, it would often reveal that they did not completely understand the material. Be sure that you completely understand why your teacher asks you to complete each
step before you try any "shortcuts."
Another reason teachers may require a certain procedure...