Let's start off by defining some rules. 1) please no one post answers directly on this post, rather send all answers to me via a message. Comments will be deleted and the person will be disqualified from all future contests. 2) The first 5 people to respond correctly to this post will receive a free 1 hour tutoring session via the online platform in any subject that I am approved in. I will respond back to your message explaining the correct answer, how to get that answer, whether you were correct, and, of course, the details in setting up your free session with me 3) If you are trying, but stumped...message me for a hint 4) Have fun!! Now for the brainteaser! Chicken McNuggets can be purchased in quantities of 6, 9, and 20 pieces. What is the largest amount of McNuggets that can NOT be purchased, using these quantites? Happy Holidays everybody! I look forward to hearing answers from all of you!!
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Thanks, Vihart of YouTube! In this video, elementary algebra is built up from counting to positive numbers to negative numbers to multiplication and division to exponents and logarithms. All these concepts are tied together under the common theme of "fancy counting." That is, each of these operations is tied directly to the fundamental operation of "+1". All of this in just over 9 minutes. This is how experts think of algebra. Novices, new to the world of algebra, see the mechanical steps to be taken, the shuffling of symbols, the confusing mass of numbers, letters, and symbols and get lost. Experts think of algebra as chunks of value that are being operated upon by a (relatively) small set of operations, made smaller by lumping an operation with its inverse (addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, exponents/logarithms) and realizing they are two sides of the same coin. "How I Feel About Logarithms, by Vihart" Happy +1's!... read more
One of the common questions I get asked when I am tutoring algebra is how to find the difference of squares. First, what exactly is a difference of squares, and what is it used for? Second, how do you find it? The difference of squares is a tool used to factor certain types of polynomials. Factoring is often useful in simplifying equations and allow some form of cancellation or combination of like factors. The difference of squares will allow you to factor some polynomial types that are not otherwise factorable, making it a useful tool in algebra and anything that uses algebra. So how do you find it? You can find the difference of squares for any polynomials which is a difference of two perfect squares. Take the simplest case: x2 -1. This polynomial is the difference of two perfect squares: x2 is, obviously, the square of x while 1 is the square of 1. The resulting factors, using the difference of squares, is (x+1)(x-1). To confirm that this is, in... read more
I find oftentimes that one of the biggest stumbling blocks for algebra students is that beginners have difficulty seeing the "chunks" in an expression. Instead, they see a big jumbled mess of symbols. An analogy is an orchestra. A person who has never played a musical instrument, or doesn't have much experience with listening to music, hears the orchestra as one big sound. The trumpets, flutes, strings, percussion all happening at once. An experienced musician can isolate each instrument, and let the rest of the orchestra fade, focusing on the single melody or harmony line. Likewise, an experienced mathematician can isolate the sections of an expression, focusing on the single term or operation that needs to be dealt with at the moment, allowing the rest of the expression to fade away for the time being, until the term or operation has been dealt with. Consider the following problem; can you see the four operations required to solve the... read more
Area, Volume and Circumference equations: Area of a Square A=S2 Area of a Triangle A=1/2bh Area of a Rectangle A=LW Right Triangle/Pythagorean Theorem a2+b2=c2 Area of Parallelogram A=bh Area of a Trapezoid A=1/2h(a+b) Area of a Circle A=πr2 Circumference of a Circle c=πd or c=2πr Volume of a Sphere V=4/3πr3 Surface Area of a Sphere SA=4πr2 Volume of a Cube V=s3 Volume of a Rectangular Solid V=lwh Slope of a line Equations Slope-intercept form y=mx+b m is the slope b is the y-intercept y is a y coordinate on the graph (that coincides with the line) x is an x coordinate on the graph (that coincides with the line) Horizontal line y=b Vertical line x=a Finding... read more
I recently responded to a question on WyzAnt's “Answers” page from a very frustrated student asking why he should bother learning algebra. He wanted to know when he would ever need to use it in the “real world” because it was frustrating him to tears and “I'm tired of trying to find your x algebra, and I don't care y either!!!” Now, despite that being a pretty awesome joke, I really felt for this kid. I hear this sort of complaint a lot from students who desperately want to just throw in the towel and skip math completely. But what bothered me even more were the responses already given by three or four other tutors. They were all valid points talking about life skills that require math, such as paying bills, applying for loans, etc., or else career fields that involve math such as computer science and physics. I hear these responses a lot too, and what bothers me is that those answers are clearly not what this poor student needed to hear. When you're that frustrated... read more
I used to do this and I see a lot of students who do this common mistake when studying. Maybe you are working through old homework problems to prepare for an exam in math or physics and you have the solutions in front of you. You get to a certain point and you get stuck, so you check the solution, see what the next action you have to take is, and then continue working through the problem. Eventually you get an answer that may (or may not) be right and check the solution again. If it is, you feel great and move on. If it isn't you compare the work and see what you did wrong and understand the mistake so you move on. All this is a fine way to start studying, but the major mistake is that most students don't go back to that problem and try to do it again. Even if you were able to understand the solution or the mistake you made, you never actually got through the problem completely without aid. So now if you come to this problem on your test, this will be the first time you actually... read more
I've heard this sentiment over and over--sometimes from students, and sometimes, I'll admit, in my own head. Last night, I was working on my own math homework, and there was one problem I just couldn't get my head around. I read the book, looked back at my class notes, and even sat down with a tutor for a while, and still, when I tried a new problem of the same type on my own, it just didn't work! "Maybe I'm not as good at math as I thought," I told myself. "Am I REALLY smart enough for bioengineering?" It was hard, but I told myself "YES!" And I kept working. I laid the assigned problems aside and started doing other problems of the same type from the book. I checked my work every time. Each problem took at least ten minutes to solve, and the first three were ALL wrong! I kept going. I got one right, and it made sense! I did another, and it was half right, but there was still a problem. I did another, and it was right! Eventually I had a page... read more
Algebra does us the favor of assigning numbers to cause-and-effect relationships. For instance, we sense that exercise leads to weight loss. Algebra answers that key question: "How much?" Difficulties come in three forms: expressions that mix numbers with letters, minus signs, and fractions. COPING STRATEGIES View equations as balance scales or "seesaws": (+)weights point down, (-)wts point up, with "=" as the pivot. Vocalize equations like a "recipe": 2x-7 = 9 is "double the 'x' and remove '7' to make '9'." Use "containers" instead of letters: "x" is a box and "y" is a bowl. What's in the box for "box +box -7 = 9?" Move "minus" elements "to the other side." What's in the box for "box +box = 9 +7?" Re-scale to get rid of denominators: x/2 - x/6 = 8/3 becomes (box +box +box) -box = 16 or 8 per box.
You have a science paper due on Monday. History test and math packet due on Tuesday. English project group meeting Wednesday after school. Homework to complete. Chores on Saturday. And you want to spend time with a friend. Use a student planner. Be specific with the time. Include day/date and time/hour. Specifying the hour in your planner creates an actual appointment, and appointments are not made to be broken. During the week, your friend calls, wanting to come over and watch a movie with you on Saturday at 1:00 pm. You look at your planner. It shows you will be completing your history reading assignment at that time; you suggest 3:00 pm to your friend. It’s Saturday, 3:00 pm. Your friend knocks at the door. What’s that? You say you’re feeling great, relaxed, at ease. Oh yes. That’s part of the reward of scheduling, and sticking to it. You've read and studied the chapter for your history class. You finished your chores. Now you can really enjoy a movie. When are... read more
Tomball Texas, do you need math tutoring? Then check out Liz's profile on WyzAnt, the Tutoring, Teaching and Coaching site. The URL is http://www.wyzant.com/tutors/tomballtutor. She explains math concepts in the simplest way possible, so the student has a good understanding of the concept. After demonstrating the correct way to do the problem she will watch the student do a similar problem. These are the concepts that she learned in her CRLA Training course from Texas A&M, where she was a Level III certified as a Master Tutor. She has been teaching since 2001 and tutoring since 1998. She tries to make the lessons interesting and fun, so the students don't dread the sessions, but look forward to them. Give Liz a try and I think you will be pleasantly surprized how easily she works with your son or daughter. Contact her through WyzAnt.com via email
Are you having some difficulties with your math or science class? Many students have this feeling at some point during the semester. Unfortunately, most of them think that the new chapter will be starting soon and then everything will be ok. While this might be the case, math and science are two subjects where the material builds from chapter to chapter. Missing a key formula or concept in one chapter can really affect how the rest of the semester goes. So don't wait too long to get some help. Maybe all you need is one or two sessions with a tutor to clear up a concept. Hiring a tutor doesn't have to be a long term commitment. But if it turns out that more help is necessary, you've made a great decision in starting early. Remember, it is better to have a tutoring session early and clear up any misconceptions than to feel like you need to learn a whole semester of material in a day or two before the final.
First of all, let me start off by saying that Algebra can be the starting point of making or breaking whether or not a person graduates from a particular grade level or is able to advance to the next level of math needed for graduation. Sometimes, with all the numbers and variables and such, Algebra may even be a little intimidating. Let me tell you this though, Algebra 1 is the start of a newly defined way of understanding the introduction to higher level math. Once a student is capable of solving the mini-complex problems that Algebra 1 has to offer, the student will then self-prepare for understanding how to use these fundamentals in everyday life. Math, like any other subject, is what you make of it. YOU DO THE MATH, DON'T LET THE MATH DO YOU!!!! I love math and all of it's complexities, and I still use certain equations to solve everyday math problems that I run into. I would like to offer my services to those in need of understanding Algebra 1. With a little guidance... read more
"Why don't I get this?" is a statement commonly made by many students. It's steeped in frustration, anxiety, and anger. Or "Oh, I knew that!" after the principle is revealed to be something they did learn but couldn't apply well. This is why understanding the basic principles and then working your way up to the more difficult concepts is so important. Instead of absorbing information 'like a sponge,' or passive learning, doing something- relating something... engaging with the material by asking questions and making memorable connections in your brain is immensely more powerful AND useful. A simple example: If I knew x(a + b) = xa + xb, then I can infer that x(1/2 + b/y) = x/2 +xb/y. If I knew x(a + b), then what about x(a + b + c)? It must be xa + xb + xc! Logic builds on logic and wondering about the next logical conclusion budges your brain to think beyond the box.
Learning a new language can be similar to learning how to drive a car.... there's lots of rough spots, stops and starts and white knuckles. Algebra is the "language of math." If you or your child is experiencing difficulty in math, part of the challenge might be no one has laid out the fundamentals for you. I remember my youngest son as a teenager saying in pure frustration, "I don't need to know about any x, y or z!!" Now he is a paramedic and can truly say every day as he administers medicines to save lives he is using ratios, combining percents without realizing that in fact he is using that dreaded "x, y and z!" There is no mystery to math; fortunately it's just like solving a puzzle, it just takes time one piece at a time or one problem one step at a time. My favorite math mentor has a quote on her wall: "Inch by inch math is a cinch, yard by yard math is hard." Please take the time to explore and relax with math. Learn the new language in pieces and put together... read more
There is a nifty little magic trick here (http://www.learnenglish.org.uk/games/magic-gopher-central.swf) that many of you have likely seen already, but it's a nice one to motivate a discussion about how algebra works with your students. It's called the Magic Gopher, and below is an explanation of how it works. The Magic Gopher asks you to first pick a two-digit number. He should ask you to pick a two-digit whole number, because a decimal like 2.5 (that's what I picked the first time through) doesn't work in the trick. No matter what two-digit whole number you decide on, this number can be represented algebraically as 10 × a + b, or 10a + b. In this form, the number 99 is written as 10(9) + 9, and the number 10 is written 10(1) + 0. You can see that no matter what number you pick, it can be written in this form. You can also see that the variables a and b above are the digits of your number. So, the number 65, for example, is written as 10(6) + 5. The a represents... read more
Welcome! I'm starting this blog to share advice, tips, and experience related to tutoring. I’m hoping that it will be specific and useful, not just for those that work as tutors, but also for parents looking for advice when it comes to helping kids with schoolwork. You’ll be able to check out posts on general info such as dealing with frustrated students or helping a tutoree study for an essay test. There will also be posts geared towards students and parents about more specific topics pertaining to popular tutoring subjects and homework topics, for example, solving Algebra word problems or conjugating French verbs. I’m looking forward to sharing tactics for sculpting engaging tutoring styles to individual situations. I’m also looking forward to getting feedback from other tutors so that we can improve together.