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In school, teachers will tell you the exact order in which they want you to write an essay. Often times they will want you to start with an outline, develop a thesis, gather evidence, and then write your essay. However, the more essays that you write, the more that you will realize that this sequence does not work for everyone. In college, I realized that I often did not develop a good thesis until after I already finished my essay. This is just fine; you can change your thesis after you finish your essay as long as you leave yourself adequate time for revision. You have to do what works best for you.

I am having a wonderful time with an 8th grader who attends an excellent private school. All he needed was a little boost in study skills. I am reticent to divulge my techniques. But they are unique and they do produce results. In not too many sessions, study techniques become habit. Habits they can take to college !!!

Why it's important   You can use the quotient rule to answer questions like:   Find f'(x) when f(x) = (3 + x2)/(x4 + x).    What it is   I recite this rhyme to remember the quotient rule:   Low Dee High minus High Dee Low Draw the Bar and Square Below   Which means:   f'(x) = [low * dee high - high * dee low] / low2   Dee high means the derivative of the high function. You can guess which that is.   In our example, low = x4 + x and high = 3 + x2, so dee low = 4x3 + 1 and dee high = 2x.   f'(x) = [(x4 + x) * (2x) - (3 + x2) * (4x3 + 1)] / [(x4 + x)]2   That's it. That's the quotient rule.   Intuition   I like applying rules I just learned to cases where I know what the answer will be. This helps me build my confidence that I'm using the rule correctly.   x2 is... read more

Just the other day  I had a conversation with a parent about what's wrong with schools today.Among many things we agreed that students don't get the chance to really learn the material. They just don't practice the skills enough. Is it because they spend all their time preparing for standardized testing? Is it lack of time in the classroom? Or is it just plain old boring ? Well boring or not,  repetition is necessary. You heard me right. If you practice something over and over again you will remember it! I can prove it . Marketing gurus use this all the time.  How many of you reading this blog know about the Geico Geeko? Now prior to that commercial, how many of us would have known to call that green  lizard a "Geico" Very few I am sure. We would've just said it was a lizard but  because we have seen that commercial pop up on our screen thousands of times. We know about the Geico Geeko even if we didn't want to know about it.  Here's... read more

One of the biggest frustrations for students is getting something wrong that they know how to do. What is usually the problem?  Careless errors. Do students really care less? Probably, they care less for writing everything down step by step. They care less about labeling the formulas.  They care less about thinking about why they keep making that mistake. For some reason, I have found that students have the perception that smart people don't write stuff down. Students believe that "smart"  people hold it all in their heads. Well, here's the real deal. Smart people write almost everything down with meticulous attention to detail. They know that the "blackboard " in their head gets erased quickly. There's nothing more frustrating than trying to figure out what you did wrong when you don't have a record of what you did. I call it the dance in your head that leads nowhere!  What's the cure? If you believe that your student is being careless... read more

Physics is a subject that many students in high school and college struggle with but with solid instructions and a firm grasp on basic key principles, physics can became very straightforward. When it comes to forces, free-body diagrams, Newton's Three Laws, kinematics, torque, thermodynamics, and so on and so forth, all that really matters is understanding the basic concepts and the equations and the process of dissecting word problems so they became understandable.    For example, if a problem states that a car is traveling at a constant velocity, that means a few things. First, it means what it literally means...that the car is traveling a constant velocity so the speed of the car is not fluctuating. It also means - though not clearly stated, that the acceleration of the car is 0 m/s.  Finally, it means that the forces are in equilibrium and that the net force is 0 because net force = (mass)(acceleration). If acceleration is 0, then the net force is zero... read more

I have found that one of the most important elements to successful tutoring (of minors) is including the parents. Most of us would agree that parents have a primary and weighty role in the development of their children. Academia is no exception. I have developed a few methods to include parents in a manner that positively channels their influence towards my goals as a tutor. Thus far, the result has been excellent; parents are more satisfied, children learn with more enthusiasm.   Engage in respectful, meaningful correspondence with the parents. Learn what their specific concerns and goals are.  Parents are likely to know your student better than anyone else, and the information they can provide upon further questioning may prove invaluable. Always provide a succinct explanation of how you tutored, the milestones you achieved, your observations, and ways the parent can help the child improve. This not only... read more

One of the most common grammar and usage questions I receive from students is this: How do I know whether to use "less" or "fewer"? It's an important question; using these words properly can mean the difference between sounding intelligent or seeming uneducated.  No one wants to ruin a good impression with a potential employer, date, or admissions interviewer by making the wrong choice in a matter that is actually quite simple.     Here is a good test to help decide which word is more appropriate:  Will the word be describing a countable noun--or will it be describing a noun that represents a group, collective, or abstract concept? If the noun is countable, then use "fewer". By way of example, it is appropriate to say, "Since I took a cut in pay, there are fewer dollars coming home each week." Another example is to say, "It is amazing that, as I grow older, it seems there are fewer hours in a day."... read more

It is “common sense” to believe that we share the same sense of commonality amongst all others within society. However, we should never assume what is common to one’s self is necessarily applicable to the entirety of humanity. Each and every individual is independently designed to learn, grow and facilitate thought at his or her own pace to which cannot be labeled as common, but rather should be seen as unique. As unique individuals we must help one another to learn our own common knowledge in order for him or her to flourish. What is not necessarily “common sense” is the understanding that we, as members of society, are responsible for the facilitation of all other’s level of common sense. A powerful way to prevent others from engaging in those behaviors that may irritate ourselves we must educate rather than discriminate and judge. So maybe next time, rather than judging an individual’s faults as a defect of “common sense,” pursue the opportunity as an educator, friend,... read more

1. "Knowing what topics will be on the quiz is half the battle" Start by asking the teacher tons of questions like "will we need to know this for the quiz?" or "is this one of the key problems that we should know how to solve?" or "would you say that this is a topic of major importance for us to learn in this class?"  If you can, look at the teacher's past quizzes and talk to former students (seniors) about this teacher to see what his tests are usually like. Do they look the same from year to year? Google terms like "inverse trig quizzes" to test yourself and compare what you find to what the teacher gives you.   2. "Be prepared" Get enough sleep.  Eat a good breakfast. Use the bathroom before the quiz. Have extra paper and pencils. Bring your calculator with extra batteries.  Bring your "Note Sheet" with everything you need on it. Do NOT lose this. Don't put... read more

Hello! I wanted to share something with everybody which seems obvious to me, but I'm not sure everyone is on the same page. Have you ever had a terribly boring school teacher? I bet you have because we all have at some point! It doesn’t mean that these teachers are all uneducated in their subject, (although they might be…) it just means that either: A. They aren’t involved enough in their field to have passion for it or B. They don’t know how to transmit that passion to students effectively To be able to have fun or at least gain respect, understanding, or interest in a subject - the subject must be presented in an interesting way. It seems obvious when you put it that simply, but some or most teachers don’t care enough to even pretend to be excited, passionate or involved in their field. This makes learning from these teachers very difficult, especially if the students are self-sufficient learners. ——That is where... read more

When taking a math course there are four things that a student should learn.   The Fundamentals The fundamentals include the definitions, the rules of operations, and the tactics of manipulation. It is essential that you understand the definitions and can visualize them. The rules of operations need to be practiced until they are second nature but they should never be divorced from a simple illustration that explains the rules. The tactics of manipulation are the sequences of steps needed to solve the types of problems that will be encountered. “As strange as it may sound, the power of mathematics rests on its evasion of all unnecessary thought and on its wonderful saving of mental operations”. (Ernst Mach Paul)   The Applications to Problem Solving Math is the language of science. Math was developed to solve problems. You are in this course because you have other courses that will require the problem solving... read more

Many students and new business owners dislike Accounting because they think it is boring and they don't understand the "language of Accountants".  Here are my five ways to help you get through Accounting: - Compare it to a company that you can relate to -  Inventory costing at Nike - Explain stock options and grants through the eyes of executives at Apple and you as a potential stockholder - Use Fixed Cost vs. Variable Cost examples at Chipotle - Demonstrate why accounting is important for failing businesses - Show real examples on accounting software like Quickbooks not just Microsoft Excel.   Accounting can be fun!        

As the smell of new boxes of crayons and freshly sharpened pencils fills the isle at the market, parents might be thinking “Help! My child is behind in school and I don’t know what to do. How can you start out behind?” This realization brings a feeling of failure before the new school year has even begun. Although the education system in America has many problems, one of which is constantly allowing students to be promoted to the next grade regardless of their failing to meet the standards required to be promoted, there are many things that parents can do at home to help their child succeed and grow as much as possible. 1) Read, read, read everything in sight! Children of all ages need to hear fluent adults reading to them on a regular basis. This helps them to develop expressiveness in reading, fluency and accuracy, increase vocabulary, and better understand figurative language. It also greatly influences a child when they see that their parents or guardians... read more

     Although I enjoy geometric constructions, as in solving geometric problems with the equivalent of a string, I find that many students have little to no interest in them. I particularly like learning about how ancient cultures such as the Egyptians used them to design Pyramids where the error in the corners are about 1/300 of one degree, much more accurate than can be seen and even more accurate than almost all houses built today. Although learning about their history is interesting there is not a lot of places to apply this knowledge in the modern world, i've solved some problems in surveying with geometric constructions but there are always more advanced CAD methods which can also do the trick; which is why I was happy to find Euclid The Game.      This is a straightforward game that applies all the basic principles of geometric constructions into a fun little game. Although it doesn't require the attention to detail the Egyptians would... read more

As a tutor that have advertised myself as a teacher willing to help students with the CPA, I have come to find a wide spectrum of students with varying needs and propositions.  As a person who has studied and passed the CPA exam myself, I realize the number of hours needed to invest into the preparation, as well as the immense amount of materials being covered.     Before a student decides to reach out to a tutor, they should think about the following to facilitate their discussions with potential tutors:   1) What am I expecting out of the session, do I need to be taught the material, do I need pointers on being more effective and efficient in my studies, do I just need someone to keep me on track?   2) Do I possess relevant and updated materials to study, or do I need help from a tutor to locate that material   3) Knowing that there are so much material to cover and time needed to invest in my studies, and with the... read more

Every Chess player comes upon a point when their rating stagnates and improvement feels out of reach.   When this happens, it is advisable for the player to alter their training program and get on a new training program that yields visible improvement.   Improvement may be measured by increase in rating or by increase in ability - but one should still be seeing a constant increase in rating.   As a general rule of thumb, if one plays tournaments at least once per month, and has not seen improvements in 3 months then they should get on a new training program.

As an educator, I strive to further the development and understanding of students. As such, when first getting to know a student, I give a quick summary quiz to better inform me of the student's understanding of the subject. This is followed by a general overview of the subject and then detailed study of the areas in need. Each student is unique and the process will vary in the time it takes for the student to fully understand.

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