OpenLab: Advice for the Future

Assignment, due Monday, 12/11/23 (300 words minimum): Imagine that you are invited to speak on the first day of MEDU 3000, to give advice to entering students.  Write at least 300 words responding to one or more of the following questions, describing what you would say to the class.

  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?

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


  1. Sherly Gonzalez

    I want to say I wished I had been told to practice as many regents as possible because whether I passed the class or not depends on that, however I think that was said since the first day. I do wish I had practiced more since day one so the pressure of trying to pass that one exam did not go further until the third attempt, however with all my other classes I could not just dedicate all my time to one class so I was not able to do it from the start. I want to say one of the hardest topics for me is knowing when angles are congruent or similar because of ASA,SSS,etc. Geometry itself has always been difficult for me but I definitely learned a lot with this class such as finding angles with the information given. I would just suggest asking as many questions as possible to get the Professor to explain it thoroughly. I think it’s really good to get as much practice as possible on the regents prior to the class because this will help us succeed in this class. You can be in a very advanced math class in college however your grade depends on that first exam which involves only regents questions which may sound easy, but practice is what will help you. Knowing beforehand that this is what the class consists of can definitely help because you have all of the summer to prepare because it’s so many regents to go through that semester while also taking other challenging math classes. For any future students I would recommend to dedicate as much of their time before the semester starts on regents, it’s only going to benefit you with passing this class and that’s every college students goal, to be able to pass the class and move forward to the next!

    • Taspia Jannat

      I completely agree with Sherly. I also said that regents exams should be practiced beforehand in order to better succeed in this course. Also, geometry is a subject that I have practically struggled with my whole school life and to this day, I have a hard time. One thing that will definitely help you succeed with any course is if you ask the professor questions and are always asking for clarity if you are confused because it really helps you like it does to me!

  2. Jason Chen

    I don’t believe that there would’ve been much I could’ve informed myself before the start of this class that would do me any good or provide help towards the class as I believe that my current standing is appropriate.

    While I personally don’t feel Trigonometry to be quite challenging to me anymore, I believe that it is one of the subjects that a student may struggle with the most without learning the subject properly. As Trigonometry goes over trigonometric ratios (cosine, sine, tangent, etc.), it is also important to review and explain the relationships of such trigonometric ratios to values upon the xy graph along with a variety of other concepts including the unit circle and algebraic relations between the trigonometric ratios. One thing I believe would be important to teach would be the visualization of the unit circle and key points along the unit circle with explanation of the values of trigonometric ratios along the unit circle. As for other advice on the students end when learning trigonometry, there isn’t anything that can help make it understandable instantly. Rather, I believe that learning this subject would require students to learn each individual concept piece by piece until they can build a full picture together with what they’ve learned. Furthermore, practicing and remembering identities among the trigonometric ratios could be quite beneficial for dealing with algebraic problems involving these ratios.

    One of the many things that have contributed to my problem solving skills in math simply comes from the fact that I have done a lot of practice before. Everyone may take a different amount of time but I believe that with enough practice, everyone is bound to spot patterns in math and then be able to recognize these patterns and utilize what they remember of these patterns into problem solving when the time comes for its use.

    • Taspia Jannat

      I think many students should be like Jason who does practice before because this will definitely help you master any class. Trigonometry is also a very hard subject that students struggle a lot with because when I was doing observations I saw many students not getting the concept and finds it really challenging so doing more of these problem will help you master this concept.

  3. Taspia Jannat

    I wish someone had told me that to pass MEDU 3000 I needed to pass a regent’s exam. On the first day of class, when I first heard this, I panicked because first, it’s been a long time since I even saw a regent’s exam since I have been in college for about 4 years now and almost all of us forgot those materials as we are learning new materials. It’s a huge challenge for students to remember past materials and knowledge but it’s also extremely important to review them as you move along and learn new things. I would have never imagined that the regents that I took years ago would come in front of me again. But this shouldn’t demotivate anyone of you because this is again great practice for yourselves to rediscover these topics. This is also a great opportunity to put us in the position of a student again because as a future educator, sometimes we forget that we were also once in that same position, and we wanted to learn and pass a class too. One topic in this course that I found challenging is complex numbers. Complex numbers are the collection of numbers satisfying two conditions which are that every real number, and i, are complex numbers and they are closed under addition, multiplication, that is, if x, y are complex numbers then so are x+y, x*y. One way to master this topic is to understand what complex numbers are and do some problems related to them. You can only master something if you keep on practicing because practice makes permanent. I think one of the most important prior knowledge areas that you need to succeed this class which is not taught in class is to have a good understanding of secondary school material because this class is all about secondary school curriculum and we are expected to pass a regent’s exam to pass this course so it’s a big deal. My advice for future students is that as a future teacher, take this course to expand your knowledge of the secondary school materials at a more advanced level. Also, review regents’ problems beforehand so you are way ahead, and this will definitely help you pass the test in one go. This course has taught me so many things and have shown me concepts in a different way that I wish I knew before. So many topics in math, we only see it through one way but there is so many ways to look at it and you can choose which way is best for you. I wish you all the very best and I hope you are successful in this course and are able to take away something from this class like I did! Good luck to all of you!!

  4. Alpha Barry

    What I wish that I have been told at the start of this class was said for the first day of the class that out of other contents, there is a regent exam to take that is based on many regent exams from algebra and geometry. What I advise future students who are like me to come to the classroom without having any advice from another student who already took the course; is to take seriously the information given on the first day of the class. So, I advise them to often practice the homework assignments, and other remaining regent exams that are available for students to practice and seek help for any concern. I think one of the challenging topics of this course is the study of functions, especially on analyzing rational functions on their behavior. What I advise the future students in that topic in order for them to master it, is first to practice on finding the roots of all categories of functions, finding the domain and the range, and be able to graph them, then practice on their behavior, and as always seek for help.

    I agree with Jason “One of the many things that have contributed to my problem-solving skills in math simply comes from the fact that I have done a lot of practice before.” Because more you practice more you learn, and more you get better in your math problem solving skills.

  5. Irina Chernyavskiy

    I would advise students coming into the course to continuously work on the regents exams from day 1. For the midterms and finals I would rewrite notes right after class and reread those notes before bed.

    Geometry was the hardest subject for me since I do not have a good verbal memory only a decent visual one. Remembering definitions and little facts based on definitions is what I struggled with most of all. I would say get a brief overview of the main ideas of each course on YouTube first if possible. After the overview try working through the regents exams. If it doesn’t work keep going back and searching for the topic need to solve the problem.

    Ignore the actual grade needed to pass the first exam. Just study the material to fix any gaps in understanding. If you do that all semester you’ll be fine. Focusing on the grade itself will only cause more stress and anxiety. Do not compare yourself during class it will only make you more miserable. Everyone has something to work on even if it’s not obvious.

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