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Math Study Strategies:

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Meet Jan

Meet Jan. Jan is an incoming Freshman at Cornell. Jan is a premed and excited to get started along that career path, but distribution requirements… Calculus 1110 doesn’t frighten Jan though – Jan was good at math in high school. Thorough notes, and diligence on the homework will pull Jan through, or so Jan thinks.

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[Jan is a monosyllabic, gender-neutral name. I’ve reworked the text to avoid third person pronouns altogether. When I am tutoring, this is a strategy I encourage students to use in the interest of clarity when talking and thinking to themselves about problems. Often students’ difficulties evaporate when pronouns are carefully replaced with their antecedents. But I digress... Jan is inclusive of people with transitioning or non-binary gender identity while at the same time making for easier reading. The text can be taken personally by anyone while avoiding some of the in-your-face distractions of other approaches to inclusiveness.]
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  Jan could be in for a rude awakening. Calculus 1110 is a different beast than high school mathematics – including AP Calculus. Note taking may have been a sufficient strategy in high school – memorize the information, solve the kinds of problems in question, and regurgitate the solution when asked. Calculus 1110 is structured, intentionally, to make such a strategy impossible. There is growing evidence that note taking can actually reduce retention of information for many people. In short, taking notes in class may inhibit how well you understand the material.
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  Think instead:
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“I know how to solve this problem because I understand what is being asked and what we’ve learned in the past”.
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N.B. Red and Green may be indistinguishable to the colorblind...
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“I know how to solve this problem because I understand what is being asked and what we’ve learned in the past”.
  Q: If I take notes, won’t I memorize this “understanding”?
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https://www.panopto.com/blog/put-down-that-notebook-new-studies-find-taking-notes-is-bad-for-your-memory/
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Comments

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 A, B, and C
THE HUMAN ELEMENT IN MATHEMATICS

-- Dick Furnas - 2018-08-21

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