Episode 12

How to Do Math

De-mystify the Numbers

How best to take notes, use the textbook, and work the problems in a wide variety of math-related courses. Our goal: that you'll look at this and think, "I could do that."

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Full-Length Demos

Venn Diagrams: The Basics (Complete In-Class Demo) Class notes
Venn Diagrams: The Basics (Complete Textbook Demo)
Venn Diagrams: Three Circles! (Complete Problem Demo) Problem solved


  1. This video uses one word to explain what to look for when doing math. What is that word, and why do you think we chose it? How might this approach to math be different from what you are doing now?

  2. Next time you are in your math class, try taking notes not just on what you see, but on how the instructor thinks through the process of solving the problem.

  3. Try reading your math textbook for understanding, with paper and a pencil nearby to work through the examples.

    • You could try using the Frayer Model to enhance your understanding of each new concept.
  4. When you are working your math problems, what kinds of questions can you ask yourself to talk through them, “translate” them, break them down, and work through them step-by-step?

  5. Instead of working the same type of math problem over and over in a row, try mixing them up.  Read more about why here (look under “Mistake 2. Repetition”).

  6. How could you adapt some of these strategies for other kinds of STEM courses?

Download the exercises