Every student in my Yr11 class is making a Maths Diary. In it they will summarise everything they need to know about Mathematics, to help them become better Mathematicians, and to strive to get an excellent grade in their summer exams.
Crudely – it worked for me, so hopefully it will work for them (there are obvious dangers in this approach).
The act of condensing notes requires the mathematician to identify the essential from ther superfluous.
Why a book?
Cue cards and folders tend to lead to disorganised piles of notes. A book is a self-contained treasure-trove of information.
- For students who enjoy neat presentation of work, this is a comforting dream.
- Every mini-test or lesson that students do now ends with a few minutes transferring key ideas in quick note-form back into the diary (key notes jotted in back of book for reference). This is the central store of all knowledge.
- What about the student who finds it hard to formally explain their understanding and might benefit more from reams of practice? Is the art of summarising important enough to warrant a short-term loss in their performance?
- What if the book is lost? (We have already mourned the loss of one diary)
- It takes a lot of lesson time to maintain and keep momentum