Graphing Linear Equations is one of the most difficult concepts for students enrolled in MAT 091. There are many different equations, formulas, and concepts that all build on each other. Every year my students struggle with this exam and no matter how I presented this information or interventions I made, nothing seemed to make it better. In previous years I had suggested to students to make note cards but I didn't give them any guidance on how to create them and I did not follow through to make sure they completed the note cards. This semester I made sure to tell them that they needed to buy note cards and bring them to class. I made sure to go over how to create a note card and how they could use them to study. As we talked about a concept they created a note card. I made sure to check each of the note cards to make sure the information was correct. On the review day they used the note cards to quiz each other on the concepts. The exam revealed much higher test scores than previous years. See attached handout for Questions for each note card as well data results.
I love this and it can be used for so many things! I can't wait to try it.
I like the idea of using the note cards to quiz each other before the exam. They can really see if the note card is useful.
Showing students how to study and organize math concepts is a great tool to use in class. We often don't have time to do things like this in class, but we need to make time. The benefits for our students makes the time worth while.
My favorite mathematics class was Geometry in 11th grade. I loved it because my teacher had us use note cards to learn theorems and do proofs, and I was successful! So, this isn't a "new" technique, obviously, but it is a classic. And sometimes classics get pushed away by new ideas (for good or bad). Luvia, I am glad you tried this with your students and they had such great success!
Great idea, Luvia! I too have come to the realization that many of our students, especially those taking developmental courses, simply don't know how to take notes! I don't use note cards, but use a variety of formats including Cornell Notes, whereby students have to pause periodically and reflect in different ways (such as creating a nonlinguistic representation) on what they have just learned. Going to have to try note cards! Well done!
Love, love, love this idea! I have been encouraging note card study from my students since I started at EMCC three years ago. Every semester I do a bit more from showing them what to put on the back and front of the notecard and how to actually use them to study. However, I haven't required them to actually make the notecards. This is something I've been contemplating given that most students won't necessarily make notecards unless it's required. I'm going to try this during my summer introductory statistics course. Great work!