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Now that finals have passed for most of the college students on the semester schedule, I'd like to reflect on the panic that arises when students in required introductory physical science classes come to the end of a course and realize that they haven't retained anything! What is the correct approach to triaging such situations? Of course, the best way to engage with material is by answering questions that are similar to those that will be on the examination, and most professors will be kind enough to tell you what the format and types of questions will be. Generally, there are two types of questions you will find: qualitative and quantitative. I'll deal with the best way to study for each type of question in turn.   Qualitative Questions The tendency here is to think that cramming and memorizing facts is the best way to go to answer such multiple choice, free response, or essay questions on qualitative subjects. However, this is not often the case.... read more

You'd think that, "If I'm paying for tutoring, he should be answering MY questions. Not the other way around." While I can sympathize with the general sentiment, I'd say,"you're way off base there!"   I think that the tutor/teacher/coach should never ask the student directly,"Do you understand __________ ?" Not knowing the subject matter, how would the student know/evaluate/determine if they understood or not ? Generally they can't, that's why the need a tutor. Rather than ask about specific content, directly, I ask questions to determine if the student understands the material and how the pieces fit together. Sometimes that's five or six questions.   Here's my general GAME PLAN: Find out where they are. Tell them, show them, then see what they heard and saw.   When your tutor's asking you questions, he/she is probably working the same kind of plan. You can help them help you by always providing the syllabus... read more

I love archery. Not only is it excellent moving meditation and a great upper body + core workout, but it's also lots of fun, a great motivator to get really strong and well-conditioned, and most of all, it is an amazing tool for teaching basic physics concepts and possibly piquing some curiosity for all age groups. Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a very young archer who was getting frustrated with the fact that her arrow speeds were really slow compared to everyone else's, not that anyone was shooting particularly well given it was at a medieval fair with minimal fiberglass equipment with maximal safety features for shooting at live human beings in armor. Archer: My bow is too weak, I can't get it to make it to the target without aiming into the trees! [she only draws to a little short of her face] Me: Let me try. [I draw back to full anchor and use my arrow, which is actually heavier than hers... and I shoot *over* the target] Archer: How did you... read more

Greetings Wyzant community, prospective students, fellow tutors: I have just returned from my studies abroad and am ready to begin teaching again. Please take a look at my profile. My education ranges from my Masters in Physics, to my undergrad degrees in physics, biology and music. I just completed the coursework for a masters program in peace and conflict resolution as well. Aside from know knowledge and experience teaching, I think I possess a very good ability to understand the different ways students learn. This helps me to engage with them in a way that is most effective for them. Not only does it help to comprehend the material for the subjects they are learning but it also helps them to develop a wisdom and intuition for further (creative) learning and a strategic approach towards test taking. I'm looking forward to working with all of you. Don't hesitate to contact me for any reason...

When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too. I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER make the child feel "stupid," no matter what.) It is most important to have a safe and quiet place for studying, without distractions. I like to find a quiet table at a library, and work with students there. I welcome suggestions from parents, and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching skills.

An important piece I bring to the table in terms of tutoring is the fact each student is a unique individual, which may be better reached by creative thought concerning what will help them master the material of their subject. It also matters a great deal what their personal goals are in learning a subject. The teaching approach can be tailored in a way that addresses both what they want to learn, and the best way for them to learn it. This is certainly the advantage of having a tutor. In addition to helping them with a specific subject, I also seek to imbue students with the kind of study skills that will benefit them to not only do well in the course, but skills which will benefit them through out their professional development.

Hello! This whole site is pretty new to me, but I wanted to briefly show my interests and experiences, as they are fairly diversified: Sciences: As noted above, most of my experience is with chemistry. Organic Chemistry is my specialty, but I am also familiar with Inorganic Chemistry. I've been a Teaching Assistant for college freshman level courses through upper level chemistry courses. I started off as a Biology/Pre-med major, so courses like Physics and Biology are high on my understanding. Tutoring in most of the sciences will be my highest level of knowledge/experience. Math: I was a mathematics minor as an Undergraduate, so I am very familiar with a fair amount of mathematics divisions. Calculus is fairly fresh, but I am most proficient with Algebra. I have a secret love of the mathematics, so tutoring math in some way would definitely be great. Dance: I just noticed that dance was an option for the "subjects", so I listed it. I am a Lindy Hop dancer... read more

The equation below is used for Covalent Bonds, Molecular geometry, electron geometry, and structural formulas to figure the number of bonds in a molecule. N-A = S equation to figure the number of bonds in a molecule N = needed: the sum of the number of valence electrons needed by each atom (2 for hydrogen, 8 for all other atoms) A = available: the sum of the number of valence electrons available for each atom S = shared: the number of electrons shared in the molecule S/2 = the number of covalent bonds in the molecule If you need any help with these concepts, please contact me for tutoring. Thank you very much, John M.

As you may know, I am a big fan of the well-known author and brain specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen. He mentions in several of his books that Physical Exercise is good for the brain. I have read of research studies that showed a clear correlation between IMPROVEMENT in students' test scores in math and science, and their level of physical activity (for example, when math class followed PE class, the students had significantly higher scores). Maybe we should schedule PE before all math classes in our schools. What do you think about that idea? This morning I read an online article on the myhealthnewsdaily site, entitled "6 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain," and another article about how Physical Exercise helps maintain healthy brain in older adults too. The second article, "For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workout" was found under Yahoo News. The remainder of this note is quoted from that article: Regular physical exercise appears... read more

A current poll by Wyzant of tutors indicates a large majority of tutors assign homework to their tutees. Seriously? My students all have plenty of teacher-assigned homework they are required to do. They can use this homework to practice what we've done in tutoring sessions. More homework? Not if you want to keep the student!

0. Many STEM problems involve manipulation of a set of constrained equations. Identify the set for the problem you are solving. 1. The numbers don't matter; so, ... plan on always deriving the formula or mathematical expression for your answer, first. 2. Never operate on or write dimensionless numbers in a derivation or problem solution. 3. VARIABLE = Quantity x [Units]. This is always true, even if its not presented this way in introductory courses. 4. Only variables with the same units can be added (or subtracted). 5. The result of multiplying two variables is has units that are the product of the multiplier and multiplicand: VARIABLE_1 x VARIABLE_2 = Quantity_1 x Quantity_2 x [Units_1 x Units_2] . Sometimes, units in the numerator(denominator) of one variable will cancel out units in the denominator(numerator) of the other. 6. For details, Google "Dimensional Analysis". That's what I'm talking about! 7. Corrects answers come from derivation... read more

Playing a math game. Following a recipe. Building a science project, robot, or electronic kit... These are some ways to use hands-on learning activities to make science and math more interesting. This summer, for example, I have been using some new modules that include electronics/science of electricity, automotive engine technology, solar energy labs, etc. for "gifted", "average", and "special needs" students. And everybody loved the new study lessons. Even the ADD/ADHD students (myself included) stayed interested during entire lessons. I think we need more of this sort of thing in the schools. What do you think? If hands-on learning can keep the attention of ADD/ADHD students, it can work for other students too! I enjoy watching students learn through interactive games that utilize technology. For example, we like to race the clock and fill in math and science puzzles. There are many active ways to make learning more interesting, and before... read more

Hi, I'm a new tutor to this site. Within the past few days, I've been working on getting certified in as many subjects as possible. These are all of the subjects I'm certified to tutor in on the website. Most of the subjects are in math or science. Some are in English topics as well like in reading and writing, etc. I also am certified to tutor to prepare for a lot of standardized tests and a few common computer software programs people use. Please read my profile if you need a new tutor in the Hillsboro or Portland area! -Ann

I will be beginning my 12th year as a Middle School teacher. I've taught grades 6, 7, and 8. I've taught Physical Science, Earth and Space Science, and Life Science. In addition, I'm working my 2nd year as a summer camp instructor, in Broward County Florida, and tutor a middle school student in math. My goal as a student's tutor is not simply to teach the subject material, but to increase the student's confidence in the subject as well. I would love the opportunity to demonstrate my skills in working with your child. Thank you. Emil K.

Behold--the God Particle. Warning--NERD ALERT: This post contains unusually high levels of one or more of the following: Geek, Nerd, Dork, or Math. Readers Advised by the Surgeon General that reading this post may induce over-excitement about the microscopically tiny or macroscopically huge world of quantum physics, or may cause a lasting love of math. Continue at your own risk. So they found it. The particle they've been searching for for years--the Higgs boson. But what is this particle--what does it do, what did they find, what does it imply for the future of quantum physics, and why on Earth would a bunch of physicists (who are usually not very religious) nickname an elementary particle the "God Particle"? All that and more--right here. First, we must understand some basic principles of particle physics theory--without trying to bore you, I promise. At the quantum level, all of the quarks and elementary particles that collectively make up both matter... read more

Some students forget their skills and knowledge of subjects during the summer because they do not practice and receive tutoring. Other students maintain or increase their skill and knowledge during the summer by practicing and receiving tutoring on their subjects(s). To help maintain skill and knowledge level, many parents and students are having me provide tutoring during the summer for one or both of the following reasons: 1. tutoring for reviewing current subjects for practice and maintenance or enhancement of knowledge and skill levels 2. tutoring on upcoming subjects for learning so that when the student starts back after the summer, not only are they still at an enhanced skill and knowledge level for current subjects, but they can master the upcoming subjects from the beginning because they have received a preview and practice during the summer. Starting on May 30, the parents are having me tutor their student(s) in various subjects on one the following... read more

Recently, after I tutored two of my favorite students to prepare them for upcoming tests in Pre-Algebra and Geometry respectively, I received positive reinforcement for the importance and value of customizing the tutoring approach, information, knowledge transfer, and tutoring style. After the first tutoring session, I was approached by three people as I was waiting for my next student: 1. An elementary school teacher – she complemented me on my knowledge and tutoring style, and asked me for my information to refer students to me for tutoring. 2. A parent seeking a tutor for their daughter – he complimented me on my tutoring style, my patience, and my problem solving ability, He said, “I saw how you tutored him and I want you to tutor my daughter the same way” He booked a tutoring session for the next day. 3. An adult student preparing for a standardized test – she worked at the café, came over and said that she saw me tutoring the student and saw how he was excited... read more

I was reading what another WyzAnt tutor said, and I realized that he and I have the same attitude towards tutoring: We cherish each and every student, and enjoy working with them, but we don’t necessarily want to build a long-term relationship with them. I compare this situation to birds learning to fly. They need help at first, but it is important for them to learn to be self-sufficient, and learn to handle the challenges on their own. My goal is to help you to get on track, fill in some "gaps," and then let you "fly" on your own, when you are ready. In the future, if more help is needed with a new challenge, I am always glad to help. As John from California said, "Many students were never taught the basic concepts behind their courses. Because of that, the entire course can be a struggle for them." That problem does not just happen out West. I have found that to be true here too. If you were never taught the basic concepts, we will... read more

I'm so happy to finally be able to tutor again! Now all I need are some students... I hope they aren't afraid of my charming good looks. Perhaps a math joke will win them over... Question: What is the area of a circle? Answer: pi R^2? Response : Pies are not square. Pies are round. Cornbread is square.

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