All of
Michael’s current tutoring subjects are listed at the left. You
can read more about
Michael’s qualifications in specific subjects below.
Algebra 1
Algebra is the building-block of higher mathematics. With an understanding of Algebra, the student can go on to Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus and be prepared to succeed. The student can also go on to Engineering, Medicine, etc. But without Algebra, these pathways are blocked. So it is really important to deal with Algebra.
Fortunately, Algebra is not hard to learn, if properly taught. I make a point of teaching it with patience and supportiveness, being sure to praise the students for what they are getting right, and gently but clearly exploring what they are getting wrong. Then we address what they are getting wrong, so that they truly understand it. Then they get lots of practice problems to work on, with my guidance, so that the new lessons can "sink in."
In tutoring, we will work on whatever is required by the student's current schoolwork. If desired, I can assign homework, so that lessons are not forgotten between tutoring sessions. We generally cover these subjects: Solving Equations, Graphing Equations, Word Problems, Exponents & Roots, Functions, Quadratic Equations, and other subjects. We can put extra emphasis on Word Problems, which are often hard for the student at first.
With this patient step-by-step approach, we build the students' Algebra skills, and prepare them for success, both now and in their future math classes.
Elementary Math
Math is a very important subject, because a student will have math classes throughout elementary school, middle school, and high school. Also, in adult life, there are many uses for math. The good news is that once students master the basics of math, they can use those basics for the rest of their lives. The basics don't change.
Fortunately, math is not hard to learn, if properly taught. I make a point of teaching it with patience and supportiveness, being sure to praise the students for what they are getting right, and gently but clearly exploring what they are getting wrong. Then we address what they are getting wrong, so that they truly understand it. Then they get lots of practice problems to work on, with my guidance, so that the new lessons can "sink in."
In tutoring, we will work on whatever is required by the student's current schoolwork. If desired, I can assign homework, so that lessons are not forgotten between tutoring sessions. Students in different grades will have different math needs, but we will cover some or all of these subjects: Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, Division, Fractions, Decimals, Percentages, Exponents & Roots, and other subjects.
With a patient step-by-step approach, we build the students' math skills, and prepare them for success, both now and in their future math classes.
English
Language skills - speaking and writing well - are very important in today's world. If we can speak and write well, we can qualify for better jobs, entrance to good schools, etc. If we do not have good skills with language, those opportunities may be closed to us. So it is important for children (and adults) to have a chance to develop their language skills.
Actually, it is not hard to develop good language skills. But it takes guidance, instruction, and practice. In tutoring, I take a patient and supportive approach, with a lot of practice at writing, and a lot of examples of good writing. I make sure to praise what the students are doing right, and to gently but clearly correct what they are doing wrong. We work at clear, logical sentences, organized paragraphs, correct punctuation, and use of vocabulary.
My background:
Bachelor of Arts, University of California at Berkeley
I have lots of experience at writing in a professional environment.
I'm an experienced professional tutor who enjoys teaching.
Geometry
Geometry is a fascinating subject, if properly taught. I make a point of teaching it with patience and support, being sure to praise the students for what they are getting right, and gently but clearly exploring what they are getting wrong. Then we address what they are getting wrong, so that they truly understand it. Then they get lots of practice problems to work on, with my guidance, so that the new lessons can "sink in."
In tutoring, we will work on whatever is required by the student's current schoolwork. We generally cover these subjects: Congruence, Similarity, Properties of Triangles, Quadrilaterals, Circles; Area, Perimeter & Volume; Ratios, Graphing, Theorems, and other subjects.
One area that is very challenging to students is the subject of Proofs. Probably more students (and parents) have become prematurely gray over Proofs than over any other area of Geometry. Actually, this area is not so hard, if approached properly. The way to do it is to start with clear explanations and simple examples. Sometimes we will find that the student did not understand how to build a logical argument, step-by-step. So then we explain how this works, starting with very simple obvious cases and working slowly toward the more complicated cases. Sometimes we find that the student did not know all the important facts. So then we drill on the facts, and then return to the proof.
There is no challenge in Geometry that cannot be handled when we approach it with patience, clear explanations, and lots of practice.
Grammar
Language skills - speaking and writing well - are very important in today's world. If we can speak and write well, we can qualify for better jobs, entrance to good schools, etc. If we do not have good skills with language, those opportunities may be closed to us. So it is important for children (and adults) to have a chance to develop their language skills.
Correct grammar is a part of good language skills. Knowing the rules about subjects, predicates, nouns, verbs, past tense, present tense, etc. is important in being able to pass school exams and write good school papers. It can also be important in qualifying for good jobs.
Correct grammar can be confusing, but if it is properly taught, it can be made understandable and easy to manage. In tutoring, I use a patient and supportive approach, with clear explanations and lots of practice. I make sure to praise the students for what they are doing right, and to gently but clearly correct and explain what they are doing wrong. In this way, they have a pleasant experience of how to use correct grammar. Before long, their grades improve dramatically.
My background:
Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of California at Berkeley
I have lots of experience at writing in a professional environment.
I’m an experienced professional tutor who enjoys teaching.
Literature
An understanding of literature is often considered a sign of a well-educated person. In addition, school courses in literature can be hard to pass, unless the student knows how to understand the poem, novel, play, etc. that is being taught.
Actually, it is not hard to develop an understanding of literature, and the skills of how to write book reports and term papers. But it may take guidance, instruction, and practice. In tutoring, I take a patient and supportive approach. We read and learn to understand the literature that the student has been assigned. Then we discuss and practice on how to write a good book report or school paper - whatever has been assigned to the student. As much as possible, I try to use literature that is interesting to the student. Using this approach, we can make a lot of progress quickly.
My background:
Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of California at Berkeley. My studies included many courses in Dickens, Shakespeare, Twain, modern authors, etc. I also received excellent instruction in writing good essays about the literature.
I have lots of experience at writing in a professional environment.
I’m an experienced professional tutor who enjoys teaching.
Prealgebra
Algebra is the building-block of higher mathematics. With an understanding of Algebra, the student can go on to Advanced Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, and Calculus and be prepared to succeed. The student can also go on to Engineering, Medicine, etc. But without Algebra, these pathways are blocked. So it is really important to deal with Algebra.
Fortunately, Algebra is not hard to learn, if properly taught. I make a point of teaching it with patience and support, being sure to praise the students for what they are getting right, and gently but clearly exploring what they are getting wrong. Then we address what they are getting wrong, so that they truly understand it. Then they get lots of practice problems to work on, with my guidance, so that the new lessons can "sink in."
In tutoring, we will work on whatever is required by the student's current schoolwork. If desired, I can assign homework, so that lessons are not forgotten between tutoring sessions. We generally cover these subjects: Solving Equations, Graphing Equations, Word Problems, Exponents & Roots, Functions, Quadratic Equations, and other subjects. We can put extra emphasis on Word Problems, which are often hard for the student at first.
With this patient step-by-step approach, we build the students' Algebra skills, and prepare them for success, both now and in their future math classes.
Reading
Reading is the beginning of education. With good skills at reading and comprehension, students can be successful throughout their school careers. But without good reading skills, they will always struggle.
Actually, it is not hard to develop good reading and comprehension skills. But it takes guidance, instruction, and practice. In tutoring, I take a patient and supportive approach, with a lot of practice at reading, at understanding which sounds the letters make, understanding the punctuation, etc. I make sure to praise what the students are doing right, and to gently but clearly correct what they are doing wrong. By taking this approach, they make rapid progress and can get better grades and feel more comfortable in school.
My background:
Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of California at Berkeley, with many courses in reading literature and writing.
I'm a parent myself, and have helped my own children (one of whom has special reading problems) through their learning years.
I’m an experienced professional tutor who enjoys teaching.
Study Skills
Having good study skills can make or break a student's success in school work. Fortunately, it is not hard to develop good study skills.
The key component of study skills is organization, of both time and materials. So I would teach the student to set aside a certain time each day for schoolwork - usually right after they get home from school when the assignments are still fresh in their minds. Then, I would teach the student to keep a list or a notebook of assignments and upcoming test dates. Forgetting assignments, due dates, test dates, etc. is a major cause of problems in schoolwork.
Also, it is important for the student to have all the necessary materials for the assignments- text books, assignment sheets, paper, graph paper, calculator, etc. - whatever is needed for that day's assignment. So at the end of the school day, the student should check the assignment list, and be sure to bring home the books, papers, etc. that will be needed. If the student says "Gee, I left my books at school!" it will not be possible to do the homework correctly.
Of course, there are many more study skills also - how to write a book report or essay, how to use reference material, where to start on a particular assignment, how to read, understand, and retain the material, etc. I am prepared to teach all of these skills, in an orderly manner.