Mathematics was one of my main areas of study during my undergraduate degree. Because I needed a solid math foundation to complete these studies, I have a high level of comfort with the algebra, geometry, and trigonometry to be tested on the ACT. Students should be ready to answer questions quickly and confidently, as it is a fairly speedy test.
I would like to impart my skill with reading exams to many other students; there are a number of best practices that even slow readers can master. I scored an 800 on the SAT Reading and 770 on the SAT II Verbal, which are closely related to the ACT.
My undergraduate major was Environmental Science, which incorporated Life Systems, Solid Earth Systems, Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Air Pollution. This also included Physics and Chemistry. I will also emphasize that many of the questions in the Science section of the ACT can be reasoned through logically and through attentive reading, without knowing extensively about the subject.
I have a strong math background and am quite comfortable with simple equations and operations. These should be a very solid foundation for students, and will be helpful throughout an academic career. I have a practice-based approach; in algebra, for me, doing is more important than seeing and hearing.
Algebra is an important bedrock for further math learning, and something that I find relatively fun as well. I want to encourage in students the feeling of satisfaction after solving an equation successfully. Many of my more advanced math and science classes relied on algebra, and I believe all students can achieve comfort with the subject through practice.
I took Calculus AP in high school and scored a 5 on the AB test. Then I concentrated in Mathematics at Columbia, proceeding with high grades from Calculus II through IV. I adhere to a practice-based math teaching method, because I found practice problems more effective than listening to lectures.
I completed high school AP Chemistry and General Chemistry at the college level, including classwork and laboratories. Chemistry also factored into my university courses on air pollution, atmospheric science, and environmental biology. This subject will be essential for many other disciplines as well (not least, pre-med tracks).
I was in an elementary school accelerated math program, and now I greatly appreciate the extra attention the subject received at the time. I also remember a 7th grade teacher complimenting my math skills, which bolstered my confidence hugely. I think most young students need this confidence boost, along with many practice problems, to establish a strong foundation in basic math skills.
I majored in Environmental Science at Columbia, and took the following courses: Life Systems, Earth Systems, Climate, Atmospheric Science, Physics, and Chemistry. Most of these courses had lab sessions and field trips accompanying them for hands-on learning. At Stanford, I also took Weather and Storms. Elementary age students should be excited about science and the potential to explore and experiment. I am especially passionate about understanding our planet.
I am a native English speaker and avid reader. I scored an 800 on the SAT Critical Reading section and achieved A grades in my university writing and literature courses. Good English reading and writing skills are actually essential for many more academic fields, including science and engineering.
My environmental science degree included a course and laboratory focusing on "Solid Earth," otherwise known as geology. I also took an interesting class called the Design and Maintenance of a Habitable Planet, describing how chemically and geologically the Earth is habitable as we know it. Geology requires a high level of observation, some reasoning, and also memorization. It can be a very interesting subject that can be applied every day to the world we see around us.
Most of my knowledge of grammar comes through practicing reading and writing, and referencing Strunk and White's Elements of Style. I think grammar, as well as spelling and vocabulary, is best acquired through immersion in good examples through reading and application.
My academic coursework includes AP English in high school, Literature Humanities in my freshman year at Columbia, Contemporary Civilization (mostly philosophy) in my sophomore year at Columbia, and a fantastic 'Supernatural in Japanese Fiction' class also at Columbia. I am an avid reader in my personal time, with current favorites including Middlemarch, Crime and Punishment, and I Capture the Castle.
I completed high school and college level (general) physics courses, within my science major at Columbia. The university general physics course covered mechanics and electricity. To support physics with calculus, I complete Calculus 1-4 at the college level.
I have a strong math background and was typically in accelerated math in elementary and middle school. Girls especially need to be encouraged to be confident about math skills, and all kids should acquire a solid computational foundation on which to build. I went on to have a Mathematics Concentration at Columbia.
I did well in Precalculus in high school and went on to AP Calculus. Mastering the typical equations in Precalc is a great foundation for further courses. I scored a 5 on my AP exam for Calculus AB and continued Calculus in college.
I am an avid reader in my personal time, and have taken advanced high school and college English and literature classes. I also scored an 800 on my SAT Reading in high school. I am a fast but thorough reader and will emphasize the joy of novels to beginning readers.
I scored an 800 on SAT Reading, on the 2400-point test in 2007, without any re-takes.
I scored a 720, without re-takes, during high school. I also received an A+ grade in my University Writing class at Columbia.
I think that spelling can become a somewhat intuitive skill from familiarity with the English language, as it has--for the most part--for me. This is acquired through reading, writing, and checking references. There are also many rules of thumb (such as, 'i' before 'e' except after 'c') that become useful. I expect students NOT to rely on an extensive use of spell check to get by.
Having spent a large part of my life reading, I have a naturally strong vocabulary. I support contextual learning, mostly by reading and being inquisitive about the text, over last-minute memorization. I scored an 800 on the SAT Reading section.
I received a grade of A+ in University Writing at Columbia, and enjoyed and did well on my essays in literature classes. I also authored an Environmental Science senior thesis, which was well-received and partially incorporated into my research adviser's paper in the Journal of Climate. Also, I scored a 720 on my high school SAT Writing section.