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Email Bert H.

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I graduated from Cal State University Northridge with a 3.98 GPA, a B.S. in Computer Science, and a minor in Math. I started tutoring when I was in 8th grade, and I thought it would be a temporary job. However, even after graduating college at the top of my class, I've kept on tutoring because I love helping students one-on-one.

About 70% of what I have tutored is math, from basic elementary-school math, to pre-algebra, algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, pre-calculus (and some statistics, probability, and calculus).

Also, for several years, I have tutored the entire HSPT (the typical entrance exam for students who wish to attend private high schools), and I have also tutored the SAT and ACT college entrance exams.

Besides teaching K-12 math, I have several years experience helping K-8 students with almost all of their other subjects, such as science (including science projects), grammar, general writing and essay writing, spelling, etc.

I look forward to helping you!

Sincerely,

Bert

Test Preparation:

Homeschool:

Elementary Education:

Math:

ACT Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, Linear Algebra, Logic, Prealgebra, Precalculus, Probability, SAT Math, Trigonometry

English:

In Algebra 1, I encourage students to use what they already know, and then we try together to fill in the gaps.

Once students understand a concept, my motto is "practice makes perfect." I try to make sure they have done enough problems to master one section before they go to the next. This is not only true with doing homework but also with studying for quizzes and tests.

I have tutored Algebra 1 for over 13 years, and I would like to help you or your child improve.

I have tutored Algebra 2 for close to ten years in a row, to both high school and college students. (In college, Algebra 2 is usually called "College Algebra.")

When I tutor math, including Algebra 2, I play the role of both a coach and a teacher: I encourage students to use their current knowledge and understanding to figure out the problems, but I also help break down the problems into simpler, "digestible," parts.

I believe that practice makes perfect, so I try to make sure a student has done enough problems to master one section before they go to the next. Furthermore, I usually help them to check their answers during the session, and I advise them to do the same if they have time during their tests.

Some of the topics I have tutored include: graphing and analyzing polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions; trigonometry; and conic sections, such as circles, parabolas, ellipses, and hyperbolas.

I have helped with homework, studying for tests, and doing projects. I love this subject!

I graduated top of my class at Cal State University, Northridge in Fall 1994 with a B.S. in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. I have tutored the HSPT for over 6 years. I am extremely familiar with the content and the timing for this exam, and I really enjoy tutoring it!!!

The 5 major sections are as follows: Verbal, Quantitative Skills, Reading, Mathematics, and Language. Verbal contains logic and vocabulary, Quantitative Skills involves numerical patterns, Reading involves reading comprehension and more vocabulary, Mathematics goes up to basic Geometry and Pre-Algebra (and does NOT allow calculators!), and Language involves, spelling, punctuation, and grammar.

Depending on time constraints, I give a general description of each part of the test, then we do a practice test or practice sections of the test together. Then, the student does the practice tests timed, without my help. Also, if the student is motivated, he or she can do the timed practice tests or sections on his or her own and bring me back the results for discussion and correction; this can save the student money and give the student time to go over other issues when I am with him or her. During our last session, we go over the timing for each section, and we go over the tips and strategies we discussed.

For about 17 years, with the advertising and good word from the principal herself, I tutored students from a school which held kindergarten through 8th grade. I tutored students in each grade and in all available subjects, including: math (basic math through Algebra 1), science (basic science, Earth Science, Life Science, and Physical Science), English, reading, phonics, spelling, handwriting (printing), cursive, computers (Microsoft Excel & Word), Elementary Spanish, social studies (cultural studies, California History, American History, and World History), religion, and art (theory). Primarily, I helped with homework, exam preparation, and projects. With homework, I was a helper; I would help explain problems they could not figure out and encourage them to use their own words and understanding to master concepts. With tests, I would present sample questions and see how they answered them; if they needed help, I would do what I wrote above. For projects, I would try to encourage them by inspiring their creativity and then helping them to apply those ideas into requirements of the project. Generally, I tried to help these children (and their parents) learn that, with hard work and a little bit of encouragement, they could succeed.

I have tutored elementary math longer than any other subject (for at least 17 years), as most of my students were from a K-8 school before I moved. I had the privilege to teach K-6 students (including a student preparing for kindergarten) everything from basic addition and subtraction to the skills needed for Pre-Algebra.

The following are some of the major tasks and most challenging feats for many elementary (K-6) math students: memorizing and understanding the basic facts of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division; redistributing (formerly-called carrying) in multi-digit addition and multiplication; redistributing (formerly-called borrowing) in multi-digit subtraction and within multi-digit division (also called long division); converting numbers from standard to expanded form (and vice versa); performing operations on fractions, mixed numbers, decimals, and percents; mastering estimation techniques (including front-end estimation, compensation, and rounding); simplifying complex expressions using the order of operations; learning and applying the rules for exponents; converting standard units of measure to metric units of measure (and vice versa); finding the mean (average), median, mode, range, and outliers of a set of data (elementary statistics); creating and understanding charts and graphs; converting numbers from standard notation to scientific notation (and vice versa); setting up and solving proportions; memorizing, understanding, and applying formulas, (including rate=distance*time; perimeter, area, surface area, and volume of geometric figures; basic interest (I=Prt); and compound interest (A=P(1+r)^t)); and, last but not least, setting up and solving word problems.

For about 12 years, I tutored several students in K-8 science. Among other things, I taught the basics of Earth Science (geology, weather, oceans), Life Science (biology, anatomy, plant and animal life), Physical Science (chemistry, physics, and astronomy).

I have tutored high-school geometry one-on-one for most of the last thirteen years, and I started tutoring elementary geometry years before that.

I play the role of both a coach and a teacher; I encourage students to use their current knowledge and understanding to figure out the problems, but I also help break down the problems into simpler, "digestible," parts. I also encourage students to draw out the problems and to mark them up if it makes them easier to understand and solve. Furthermore, I encourage them to check their answers if there is time during the session, and I encourage them to do the same if they have time left over during their tests.

Some of the topics I have tutored include: definitions and applications of the different geometric terms and figures, logic and proofs, solving equations in geometry using what they learned in algebra (or what I need to re-teach them from algebra), and (depending on the curriculum) an introduction to trigonometry and its application to geometry.

I have tutored Linear Algebra concepts in Algebra I, Algebra II, Honors Algebra II with Trigonometry, and Pre-Calculus. I also took Linear Algebra in college, plus a Mechanical Engineering class which used Linear Algebra, and I got an A in both classes.

Specifically for Linear Algebra, I have helped students solve problems, including word problems, by setting up and solving matrices and vectors (one-dimensional matrices). I have helped students add, subtract, and multiply vectors and matrices. I have also helped students find the determinant and the inverse of matrices. I have helped students solve systems of equations using using row-echelon reduction and using other methods.

Like most math subjects, Linear Algebra is about 20% understanding and about 80% practice. My goal is to help the student understand the concepts, and then try to ensure that the student does enough problems to succeed.

Logic, specifically Symbolic Logic (sometimes called Boolean Algebra), uses operations to prove or determine the validity of a statement. The most common operations are NOT, AND, and OR, IF-THEN (conditional), IFF (aka XNOR aka IF-AND-ONLY-IF (biconditional)), and XOR (eXclusive OR). NAND (NOT AND)and NOR (not OR) are somtimes used, especially when designing circuits. Depending on the course, different symbols are used for each of these operators, such as "U" or "+" for "OR". When you combine these operators, you can do several things, such as determine the inverse, converse, and contrapositive of a statement, and then determine if the new statement is true or false, or "sometimes", "always", or "never" true. In some courses, you are asked to complete "truth tables," which involve using combinationations of operators in a table format to determine when a statement is true or false. You can also use the operators to complete formal proofs. Besides using logic in Geometry in high school, I also used it in Electrical Engineering (4-unit semester course (including lab)) and Symbolic Logic (also a 4-unit semester course in college), and I earned an A in all three courses. I have also taught logic to Geometry and Honors Geometry students because logic was part of their courses.

I have probably tutored pre-algebra more than any other type of math during my life as a tutor, not only because of my ten or more years tutoring the formal "pre-algebra" class, but also because of my more than twenty years tutoring the topics of pre-algebra that begin in the earliest school years and continue through higher math in high school and college. The actual pre-algebra class is sort of a checkpoint (Have you mastered your basic math?) and a launching pad (Now let's prepare for the years to come.)

In a typical tutoring session for "pre-algebra" (the middle school course, not the general pre-algebra), I play the role of both a coach and a teacher; I encourage students to use their current knowledge and understanding to figure out the problems, but I also help break down the problems into simpler, "digestible," parts. I also encourage students to draw out or visualize word problems if it makes them easier to understand and solve. Furthermore, I encourage them to check their answers if there is time during the session, and I encourage them to do the same if they have time left over during their tests.

As far as the general "pre-algebra," if it is a student taking basic math, I do the same as above. However, if it is someone in higher math (high-school algebra, geometry, etc.) I have to stop and review what they need help with. For example, if someone is solving an equation for algebra 1, and it involves fractions, I may have to review fractions before going forward with the problem.

I have tutored Pre-Calculus for several years in a row. Some of the topics I have tutored include: graphing and analyzing polynomial, rational, exponential, and logarithmic functions; vectors and matrices; trigonometry; conic sections; and introductions to limits, derivatives, and integrals.

I have helped with homework, studying for tests, and doing projects. I have also taught it twice by myself (no other teacher involved) at a high school in Santa Fe Springs. I had to choose what to teach, present the material, answer questions, assign homework, answer more questions, give tests (including finals), and calculate grades, including the final grade. This was done on a one-to-one basis with each student.

I have tutored probability (and its main parts, combinations and permutations) as part of the courses of several elementary and high school students (about 10-12 students is a good estimate.)

Usually, the elementary students would have word problems requiring probability at the end of each chapter, and the high school students would often have a chapter or part of a chapter on probability.

I helped the students figure out the problems either the long but trusted way (writing out each possibility) or, to the more advanced or older students, the shorter but more clever way. I can use the former way if the number of combinations is realistic; for example, writing out the six ways to arrange the letters A, B, and C. However, if there are too many combinations, I either explain it using simple logic; for example, if the student is arranging the letters A, B, C, D, and E, there are 5 places A can go times 4 places B can go times 3 places C can go times 2 places D can go, times 1 place E can go, which means there are 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 20 x 6 = 120 different arrangements. However, if it is a student (high school or college) that must use formulas, I will explain the formula before doing a problem that requires that formula.

As far as my own educational experience, in college I took a semester course called "The Fundamental Concepts of Mathematics," that covered combinatorics (the number of combinations, permutations, or possibilities of different events) in depth. Then I took another semester course just on probability, which not only expanded what I had learned in the Fundamental Concepts course, but also taught me how to find probability using calculus and the connection between statistics and probability.

On the SAT, including SAT Math, I first get an idea of where the student is at, then work on his/her weaknesses using sample questions. Then it is all about tips and practice. Depending on the amount of time, we do practice test(s) or portions of practice test(s) together, and I give tips to succeed on each section. I also recommend that the student take practice test(s) on his/her own time (free of charge). When he/she returns, we continue practicing until I feel comfortable that he/she will do well, or until there is no more time left for preparation.

On the SAT, including SAT Reading, I first get an idea of where the student is at, then work on his/her weaknesses using sample questions. Then it is all about tips and practice. Depending on the amount of time, we do practice test(s) or portions of practice test(s) together, and I give tips to succeed on each section. I also recommend that the student take practice test(s) on his/her own time (free of charge). When he/she returns, we continue practicing until I feel comfortable that he/she will do well, or until there is no more time left for preparation.

Specifically for the reading section, don't worry about completing the last (big) passage. Instead, get your quick points on the vocabulary and the smaller passages. For each passage, it is often a good idea to read the questions first (but not the potential answers) and then read the passage. This way, as you read the passage, you will know what to look for. Again, take your time on the vocabulary and the smaller passages so you can get those points instead of rushing through them (and missing easier points) in order to complete the bigger passages, unless you are excellent at reading comprehension.

On the SAT, including SAT Math, I first get an idea of where the student is at, then work on his/her weaknesses using sample questions. Then it is all about tips and practice. Depending on the amount of time, we do practice test(s) or portions of practice test(s) together, and I give tips to succeed on each section. I also recommend that the student take practice test(s) on his/her own time (free of charge). When he/she returns, we continue practicing until I feel comfortable that he/she will do well, or until there is no more time left for preparation.

Specifically for the essay question, I make sure the student can read the question, brainstorm, and form a position (thesis statement) on it within the first 5 minutes. Within this critical time, the student should have 2 or 3 major reasons that support his position; these will become the topic sentences for the body of the essay. Within the next the next 15 minutes the student should write a brief introductory paragraph, ending with the thesis statement; 2 or 3 supporting paragraphs, starting with the topic sentences and containing facts, reasons, and examples to support them; and a brief conclusion, which summarizes and/or restates the student's argument. This (hopefully) leaves 5 minutes for checking and correcting errors, including grammar and spelling.

I have been tutoring trigonometry and other classes which contain trigonometry (geometry, Algebra 2, and Pre-Calculus) for about 11 years in a row. Personally, I used trigonometry in almost every math class I took, from around 10th grade through my junior year in college, earning an A in every course, as I completed my math minor.

I teach each part of trigonometry carefully, because it is packed with new concepts, and students can easily get confused along the way. I try to make sure they know the basics first before going on to more complex topics. This can take some extra time, but it is usually for the better.

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