OpenLab Assignment #5: Advice for the future

Assignment (due Monday, July 2nd).  Imagine that you are invited to speak on the first day of MAT 1180, to give advice to entering students.  Write a paragraph responding to one of the following, describing what you would tell them.

  1. What do you wish that you had been told at the start of this class, to help you succeed?
  2. Choose one topic in the course that is especially challenging. Identify it, and give advice to students trying to master that topic.
  3. What is the most important prior knowledge (not taught in the class) that you need in order to succeed?  Why is it important?
  4. Would you recommend taking the class in the summertime?  Why or why not?

Extra Credit.  Respond to someone else’s comment.  Do you agree? disagree? Have anything to add?

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42 Responses to OpenLab Assignment #5: Advice for the future

  1. Sharess Isaacs says:

    There is nothing in particular that I wish I had been told prior to the class because I already knew what to expect. The most challenging topics I have are radicals and angles I’m getting better but they scare me for some reason. My advice to someone taking this class is Yes take it in the summer just don’t miss a day, because the one days topic you miss can make you feel like a lost puppy when doing test or homework.

    • Tash J. says:

      I agree that missing a class during the summer is not advisable. I don’t want to go to the bathroom, for fear of missing something very important. Math is the language of perfection and there is not room for mistakes. Some topics are harder than others but all have a LCD. Finding that LCD is the key I use to solve problems beside asking someone that knows.

      By the way I love radicals, angles, standard deviations, and percentiles.

    • Julita Kropiwnicki says:

      I agree, myself I missed a class. It is very difficult to catch up unless if you have a nice classmate who’s willing to help you with studying or simply providing notes.

      • Kevin Hernandez says:

        I nether agree nor disagree with your comments. Being absent does take a toll, but only on the reasoning part behind the problem. With a little effort, a student can solve the problem solving part of the material he or she has missed due to the formulas given in the text book.

    • dlane says:

      I would have to agree that mssing a class inthe summer is not a good idea. because the classes are so fast paced and covers alot of information, missing one day can really cost you alot.

  2. Tash J. says:

    Greetings class!!! I took Math 1180 in the summer of 2012 with Professor Reitz. I had taken a similar Math class in another state and gotten a D. That D wasn’t transferable; therefore, I sat in Math 1180 in the summer. Professor Reitz brought a new element to thinking mathematically. He actually made Math Cool and it was useful! (You never know when you will need it, so learn it!) The way he taught and non-judgmental presence set the stage for my As. I like the fact that he answered questions at the beginning of class about homework and other problems. I studied hard and something within happened where I understood the problems and their solutions. As I did the online homework I was getting the problems right one after the other. I was getting it and my confidence grew. I realized that continually doing math problems improved my understanding and if I could make sense of the problem then I had a good chance of solving it. There also seemed to be a learning pattern of Math being built upon levels. Therefore peers, mastery can only be achieved through continual practice, for perfection is the practice of action… So, practice, practice, and more practice…

    • chimene says:

      Your dedication, determination and discipline are what perfected your success this time around, and that is great example for others to follow!
      The fact that you came from having a D to getting an A in math says a lot about the professor but most importantly; in particular, your study habits, tenacity and your drive to succeed academically says a lot about you.

      I wish you and all my other classmates the best with your future studies!

      At Prof: Thank you for being so engaging, patient and effective! Also thank you for giving us various ways to earn additional points and extra credit. The site is also a great learning platform, it helped balance a bit of the practical with some social activity. Kudos to you for a job well done!! By the way, I wouldn’t sleep on your programming, you have skills!

    • Sharess Isaacs says:

      I agree I actually love the way the Professor taught. He never made you feel like any question was stupid and he made the entire environment very comfortable.

      • Tash J. says:

        Professor is probably the less judgment person I have ever met. I felt comfort in his class. He works hard to prepare us for problems. He made Math interesting and exciting. I gain a new respect for Math because of him and hard studying. I had studied for hours and there were days where I didn’t get any sleep.

    • Show off lol. Good Luck Tash!

  3. Julita Kropiwnicki says:

    I think that summer classes allow students to take classes during the summer months when colleges and universities are typically in their off season. Summer college classes have their positives and negatives, students can complete classes. Most definitely summer classes allow you us improve GPA (especially for students with a low amount of credits) or take a class that is hard to get into during the regular semester or take a required class that will allow you get a semester ahead, re take a class you received a bad grade in (or failed). In short, I think that taking Math this summer was the best decision I could ever make. It went very quick. Yes I am extremely tired since every day after Math I go straight to work (I work Monday till Saturday) and most of the time I am getting off around 1am but I still think that it was worth to take it. Best, Julita

    • Kameela Edun says:

      I agree the class was quick and not that painful since I’m terrible in math but Prof. Reitz made the class enjoyable and not boring which I liked.

      • carolisa says:

        I AGree with you. it was quick, fun and easy with professor Reitz. The only think is that i believe that if a person is not good in math and capable of taking so much information in this short period of time don’t take summer class for math. Because the period of time is short and you may get a professor that really don’t explain well. Therefor you are going to feel under a lot of pressure to know all the topic at once and you will not get it…I also believe that summer class is a good time to improve your gpa not a bad idea.

  4. Kameela Edun says:

    I think I got all the basic information I need to pass the class at the beginning of Professor. Reitz class, his instructions are clear and simple just do what is required of you study and work hard and you will pass. For me radicals were the most confusing for me I guess it the rules that you have to follow and remember to get the correct answer which made it challenging for me. For me the most important prior knowledge was if you’re not strong in math like me get help before you take the course maybe with simple workshops given by the school a little help goes a long way. I would recommend this class in the summer if you’re strong in math.

    • Rosa Caraballo says:

      I agree i think radicals were confusing. But overall everything about the class was clear explained since day one.

  5. quazismom says:

    I would recommend that someone take this class in the summer time, if they are good at retaining a lot of information in a short period of time. If not, I suggest taking it during the fall or spring semester, that way you will be able to take your time. If your not good at math, having time to practice is very important in order to be able to remember all of the different steps to each problem.

  6. carolisa says:

    I think there’s nothing that i wish i had been told at the start of this class. I believe professor Reitz is the best professor for math in city tech and i wish i could have him for all my math class. Since the very first day he entered the room and said Good morning CLass!!!! very loud, he showed a lot of motivation and love for what he does. Therefor i had a feeling that he was going to make the class “math” easy and fun. Now, that i had been setting in this class i was not wrong of my thought. He’s a well organize person and clear. However, the most challenging topic for me is Probability. To over come this challenge i try to practice every day examples an still i get it. Not only that but i also ask for friend help or go to tutoring . If this is also one topic that you find the most difficult, it’s important that you get help from a tutor or a friend that know ASAP.Never wait for the next day because you may forget. I don’t regret taking this class in summer i believe it was the best because you go every day and you won’t forget all the topic . Is good taking math class in summer only if you have a good professor! otherwise is going to be boring sitting there every day for 2 1/2 hour while you don’t get the concept and you will get very frustrated. In this class i never got bored. It was fun and easy. Thanks to professor Reitz.

  7. Hello future 1180 math class some knowledge to know before going into the class is always remeber that you are paying for the class so put as much effort as you can into the class because you dont want to waste that money if you fail. studying and asking questions are the most important things to do if you dont understand something ask because chances are their are 7 other people who dont understand either and want to ask the same question but their to shy. try no to be absent because missing a day is huge and sometimes really hard to make up. lastly do your hw and anything else the teacher wants because effort is everything.

  8. Hello Future 1180 maths Class, I strongly recommend taking this class in the summer time because there are so many concept to learn but in the short time its better because its easier to remember the solutions to the questions. I also believe Professor Reitz is an excellent at teaching Maths, he is patient and he takes his time to explain when you simply are lost and confused. One thing I think which is really important is when you are taking a Maths exam if you get stuck on a problem move on to the next problem then when you are done with all the others come back to work on the ones you got stuck on, by doing this you won’t waste time on one problem and you will have enough time to finish the whole exam. Please practice, practice, practice thats the only way to pass this class. Maths is only learnt through practice.

    • chimene says:

      That is great advice, just move on to the next. I get stuck all time the time and get get frustrated. Before you know it the exam is over! But you also have to make time to try and go back and check your work. Often, you will find several small mistakes.

    • L Bourne says:

      I completely agree! Especially since we’ve only had 45 mins on each exam to complete it, sticking on just one problem can set you back. Moving on and leaving the more complicating problems til the end is great advice. I also strongly agree with Professor Reitz being a GREAT professor! Not many professors take the time to explain a problem when you’re stuck, step by step. He’s very patient and helpful, and made the class very enjoyable!

      • Yes, I agree with what you said Latty, and also Chimene he did make the class very enjoyable, I never liked maths, but with professor Reitz, he made it seem easy and i actually enjoyed this class. Always check your answers thats my problem too silly mistakes, but he grades on if you know the steps to solving the problem and how you arrived at the answer so you might lose a point or two for the wrong answer but still get most points for the correct working after all to err is human.

  9. Rosa Caraballo says:

    I think I got all the basic information I need to pass the class since day one. The first day of class the Professor will explain the syllabus in details, there is no surprises in this class. I strongly recommend students to take this class in the summer is quick and is easier to remember all concepts. Also do the homework because is going to help you a lot with the exams, the homework is more like a review. Professor Reitz is very patient don’t be afraid to ask him questions if you are confuse.

  10. dlane says:

    I usually would not tell some one to take a math class in the summer, however this class was not too bad. Even though I don’t have the greatest grades in the class, it is not because of poor teaching. Professor Reitz is a really good professor and he explained concepts very well. I would agree that missing a class inthe summer is a bad idea, but if you attend class everyday and complete the HW you shouldn’t have any problems.

  11. chimene says:

    It all comes down to being actively engaged with every aspect of your study. First, start by getting a good fun and lively professor, one who has a positive reputation and results with various students. Sometimes, you can find out about their teaching habits, styles and other comments through sites like, “” or check around school and the math department to see who is preferred and highly requested within the department.

    Once your studies begin, you should quickly recognize your weaknesses. If you struggle with factoring, fractions or graphing linear equations, focus more on that and practice! Practice! Practice!

    I learn from doing so just coming to class and taking notes does not work for me. I have to apply what I learn into practice and when I am confused, I ask a whole bunch of questions, sometimes they do not make sense to others but attempting to get clarity for me, makes a lot of sense! Conquer your fear of math and do not let it conquer you! Think positively and breathe. Learn to relax before taking a test; the mind can play some serious tricks on you! My motivation is remembering that I am paying a lot of money and spending a lot of my time, and the course is required so I have no choice but to pass!

    Thirdly, go and get help! Tutoring is very helpful but try and work with someone you understand and that can focus time and attention to your specific math needs. The tutoring center at times can be very overwhelming. Pair up with a classmate, preferable an “A” student and become study partners, this helps both of you to bounce of ideas and review material with positive support…Thank you Tash!

    Take a few practice tests until you get it right. This can be frustrating but persistence really pays off!
    One last thing, try to use visual or video aids like on YouTube. The channel, “yourmathteacher” has very helpful video tutorials…I just wish I new about them sooner! Thanks Marcel!

  12. Lewis Napolitano says:

    The only suggestion that I have for future students is to be sure that you find someone to study with. I think I’ve done a lot better than I’ve done in the past because having a partner to study with not only keeps me motivated (on my own I’d rather watch a movie or watch paint dry), but also allows me to remember more. It seems that when I have a problem with something my partner knows it and vice versa. Plus helping someone else with a problem helps me to keep it fresh in my mind whereas if left on my own, I would probably never bother with it again because I think I’ve got it (until I take the test and start banging my head against the desk because I suddenly went blank)

  13. Shardae Sales says:

    Welcoming new student to 1180 I would tell them to stay focus and to listen and it was very great taking this class in the summer being that it was every day I was able to stay on track with homework and studying only having this class twice a week is hard and you need to be doing this type of math everyday to understand it . I would also tell the to take this course with Professor Reitz being that he is great with the fundemental of math and he doesnt just go over once he goes over it a number of time to make sure everyone understand and last I would give them my best wishes

  14. kevin lau says:

    Theres nothing in particular that I wish i knew, mainly because i already know what to expect prior to entering this class. One topic that was particularly difficult for me was linear inequalities. Linear inequalities may not seem harfd(Depends on how the professor teaches it), but if you practice it everyday and ask the professor for help if your stuck with the topic than you’ll do fine. make sure you attend class everyday,study and do your homework so that you know what to expect on the exams(which is based mostly on the hws and the review)I recommend taking this math course in the summer for those who dont want to deal with it during the fall semester,and you get to engage with the professor more since you only have a short amount of time to pass this course.

  15. sussynatalia says:

    Hello future Math 1180 Students!
    i already knew what to expect from Math 1180 since it wasnt my first time taking it. The most important thing prior coming to class is knowing that is mandatory to be in class everyday. Summer sessions are short with lot of information to process. Therefore, missing a class will make you fall behind which may become a huge challenge to deal with later.
    Standard deviation and Normal distribution became a challenge for me because i missed the class when these two topics were covered. While i was spending extra time learning the information i didnt get, a new topic was coming along and it was difficult to catch up.
    This Summer 2012 was my first Summer class. I believe i improved my Math skills because of professor Reitz. He is extraordinary. I have never had a professor so motivated and dedicated to his students. He doesnt mind to answer millions of questions, provides lots and different solutions to a problem and he is accessible.
    My advice is to Never miss a class in Summer.

    • lsuarez0930 says:

      I agree ! He’s the best math professor I ever had. He makes me love math. I also agree that missing a class is not a good idea in the summer, even when you have the greatest professor.

  16. olgarhina says:

    I strongly recommend students to take this class during the summer. It is convenient because you get to focus more in one or two classes, in a short time than in a regular semester. Also for people that forget things fast, is good because you don’t even got time to forget, you will get an exam every week. its incredible how 6weeks pass by so fast. Another thing that you got more chances of getting a better grade.

  17. Kevin Hernandez says:

    I do recommend taking this course for summer, especially if the you are a student who is relatively fresh out of high school. The material covered in this summer course is almost the same from what is covered in a normal session. The summer course reduces very little of the material learned in a regular session. My only advice is to memorized the different formulas that correlate to its given counterpart. This class is doable. Just put a little elbow grease and you are good to go.

  18. lsuarez0930 says:

    Yes, I would strongly recommend other students to take this course in the summer. Since theres only a couple of weeks to cover all of the material, it keeps you focused as the instructor moves quickly from topic to topic. For me it was very helpful having tests every week because it forces me to stay on top of my studies and when you see the same stuff everyday it makes you feel more comfortable than if it was only once or twice per week like in a regular semester.

  19. Natasha Jaikaran says:

    I would recommend taking a summer class because it has many benefits. You can get ahead to your next semester classes while taking a required class. You can also boost your GPA for those with a small amount of credits. Summer classes fly by very quickly so you’ll be done before you know it! It is also a month long while a regular semester is four months long so the information you learn is always fresh in your head. I would highly recommend reviewing what you’ve learned each day and not waiting until the last minute to do things!

  20. L Bourne says:

    Being that the summer session is so short and that there’s so much to learn in this class, it can be a lot to handle. Missing just one day of class can set you back, or even just being late! So, if you’re able to keep up with the fast pace of learning a brand new topic everyday and being tested on what you have learned weekly, I would definitely recommend taking Math 1180 during the summer! But, if you feel that it would be too much pressure on yourself to cram a new topic into your memory everyday, then you’d be better off taking the class during the spring or fall semester!

  21. Tash J. says:

    Focus!!! You have to make up your mind that you desire to be in that percentile above 97%. Hard work pays off and is the road to greatness. Math is a subject that is all about perfection. If you make a mistake–no matter how small–the problem is wrong! Many people are not use to such a language of excellent all the time. But Math is the supreme language and for good reason.

    I noticed that in this class each chapter is built from the previous one. Therefore, progression of learning is based upon system upon system. It starts from addition and continues like the values of pi. The journey of Math is an awaken to the world you have lived in yet which remained unknown to you. Math is that bridge to higher divine creation.

    But only if you study and see the importance of the moments. You will need Math. Therefore learn the procedures, and go step by step. Your ability to reason Math problems transcend into the real world and life becomes equations you solve for. But only if you practice and know that which you already don’t know. When I couldn’t solve a problem, my thinking would not let that problem remain unsolved. I asked for help and when I learned the technique I set it in memory. And so shall you!!!

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