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Math is fun

To many students math is a difficult time consuming process. In many developing countries they learn by rote and memorization. This inefficient teaching method leads to 12+ hour school days. The end result is a student who has less understanding and has learned that math is boring.   I see math as like solving a puzzle and playing detective. Math is how we used to entertain ourselves before video games and smart phones. Ultimately, math is the silent rhythm by which the universe dances. Math is a universal language that transcends historical, cultural and language barriers.

The Importance of S.T.E.M. (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)

Today, the future depends on you as much as it does on me. The future also depends on educating the masses in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, otherwise known as STEM. As a new tutor to WyzAnt, I hope to instill the importance of these subjects in student's lives, as well as, the lives around them.    Besides the fact that,  "the average U.S. salary is $43,460, compared with the average STEM salary of $77,880," (Careerbuilder) these subjects are interesting and applicable to topics well beyond the classroom. Success first starts with you; I am only there to help you succeed along the way. STEM are difficult subjects. Yet when you seek out help from a tutor, like myself, you have what it takes to master them.    Please enlighten me on students looking to achieve and succeed rather than live in the past and think I can't as opposed to I can. We can take the trip to the future together, one question at a time

Technology Overload

In 2014, every child that I have taught has been familiar with using a SmartPhone, an IPad, a laptop, etc...  This is the age of technology, and for students to compete with their international peers, they will have to learn how to navigate the Internet and various functions of the new-age portable computer-like devices.     However, I have found that the increase in the use of technology has created two major learning deficiencies amongst our young people.   Firstly, I have noticed that many young people expect to get the "answer" instantly.  They often do not want to use the strategies that have been provided; not because they do not work, but because it takes them longer to "get to the answer".     For example, when teaching phonetics, I use a tap-it-out method for decoding and blending phonemes.  One of my students absolutely HATES to tap it out because he wants to say the word correctly instantly... read more

How to solve simultaneous equations.

Normally, an equation has a single solution when it contains only one undefined variable.  For example, take the equation 3x + 7 = 19.   3x + 7 = 19     [original equation] 3x = 12     [subtracted 7 from both sides] x = 4     [divided both sides by 3]   This is one case of a larger trend in algebra.  As I've already said, you can solve an equation for one answer when it contains a single variable.  However, this is derived from the larger rule that you can solve a set of equations where there are as many distinct equations as there are variables.  These are called simultaneous equations, and occur any time that two equations are both true over a certain domain.  In the more practical sense, this is what you should do if an exam asks you to solve for a value and gives you two different equations to use.   To solve simultaneous equations, we can use three strategies... read more

Hi, My Name is Jen and I like to Teach Math

Hi,   My name is Jen and I am a math nerd.   I love math and I honestly believe that you have the capability to love it, too. We use basic mathematics in our everyday lives - even if you don't think about it that way. I use algebra skills when I am shopping sales at my favorite stores and I use geometry when I play mini golf with my brothers. Math is all around us and I would really like to help you see that being a great math student has many advantages inside and outside of the classroom.   I hated math until I got an amazing teacher in fifth grade, and even if it's the summer before seventh grade or senior year you have the chance to be a great math student, too!    I know this whole post is a little cheesy and really optimistic, but I know that with a little help and perseverance I can get you through that PreAlgebra math packet or that Calculus final you have been dreading all semester.    Please post... read more

Summer Blues

Having fun in the summer is what this break is all about! However, if you are not diligent in retaining what you've already learned it'll "POOF"! A tip from what I did in summer! Have your fun, but take one hour a day to review your old notes, then search for a problem on the internet and try and solve it!

How to Win Fame and Fortune with Math (or at Least Some Candy)

I keep hearing people say that Geometry has no relevance to every day life.  Maybe I believed it a bit too, but that was before I won 380 marshmallow bunnies.  I had just been reviewing the formula for finding the volume of a cylinder, which makes perfect sense if you think about it.  You find the area of the circle, and then multiply it by the height of the cylinder.  This formula was still in my mind when I came upon a typical contest involving guessing the number of candies in a glass jar.  I looked at the bottom to see that the radius was four marshmallow bunnies, (A=πr2= 48,),counted the height (8 bunnies), and put in my guess of 384 (using only 3 as an estimate for pi).  To my delight mine was the closest answer, which was announced in front of a crowd of about 50 onlookers.  My 8 year old daughter looked at me as if I were a rock star, especially when she got to take the whole jar of candy home.  Geometry - it can come in handy... read more

Five Tips To Keep Young Students Attentive And Engaged

Working with high school students is very straightforward. Kids in their mid to late teens are often focused and self-motivated to learn and perform. They are thinking about college and beyond, and usually have some goals in mind that they would like to achieve. Young children, however, are not as determined to plow through hours of mathematical tutelage as their older counterparts. They are substantially more disconnected from the real world and career ambitions. What usually occupies their minds on a regular basis is playing sports with their friends, video games, and sleepovers. In a word, their lives are primarily centered around “having fun.” And that’s a beautiful thing. In fact, I do what I do on a daily basis because I love having fun. It just so happens that my version of fun is teaching math. Because younger children are carefree, unencumbered by concerns of college admissions and career goals, it can be a challenge to command their attention. But after... read more

The Goal of Tutoring

As tutors, our work puts us in an odd position. While part of our income depends upon spending time serving students, serving students means that we help them improve until they no longer need our assistance. In this sense, we work to make ourselves unnecessary. Some people might speculate that we would be motivated therefore to work less efficiently, to drag things out & spend more time than necessary to achieve our students' goals.   I can't really speak for other tutors, but I'm idealistic enough to believe that all of us want our students to be as successful as possible, as efficiently as possible, and we want them (and, in the case of children, their parents) to feel satisfied that we are working hard to do what is best at every moment & that they are getting their money's worth. After all, our great reputations as tutors ensure that we will acquire other students in the future - some of whom will perhaps replace those students who have improved... read more

Me and Maths!!

hey, my name is lynda and i am a student at njit. This is the first time im doing something like this, and by this i mean a blog lol. i started tuturong today, and i've found i seriously enjoy it!!!

Favorite online resources and tutorials

Education subjects:   http://www.kutasoftware.com/freeige.html   https://www.khanacademy.org/   http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Testing/Testing-Materials/Practice-Tests-for-Grades-3-8-Achievement-Tests   http://grammar.about.com/od/tz/g/themeterm.htm   http://www.homespellingwords.com/   http://www.spelling-words-well.com/spelling-bee-lists.html     Computer programming subjects:   http://www.w3schools.com/

Developing Study Habits for Math Courses

The majority of the students that I have often have the same problem -- they aren't grasping the information fast enough or they aren't really able to follow the lessons a teacher gives.   Sometimes, teachers aren't adaptive to every learning style for each student in their classroom.  However, know that each student has the capability to learn math on their own.  It is just necessary to have key characteristics to make it successful.   Every math student should have: patience motivation adaptability organizational skills open communication between themselves and their teacher (inside and outside the classroom) breaks!! :)   Study Tips Always try to study outside of your home or dorm room. In our minds, those are places that we relax at and it can be difficult to turn your mind off from the distractions to study. Public libraries, universities, coffee shops, and bookstores are the way to go... read more

SAT Prep - Tackling Tough Math Questions

Nailing an 800 on the math portion of the SAT can be a tricky feat, even if you are steadfastly familiar with all of the requisite formulas and rules. A difficult problem can overwhelm even the most prepared individual come test day. Time constraints, test surroundings, and the overall weight of the exam can unnerve the most grounded students. So what do you do when panic strikes and your mind draws a blank? How do you re-center yourself and charge forward with ferocity and confidence? What you do is this: write everything down from the problem. This is the most important part of the problem solving process. As you peruse the question, write down the pertinent data and establish relationships by setting up equations. This exercise will help you see solutions that were previously difficult to decipher. As you work on practice tests and sample problems, you must work diligently to form a solid habit of writing down important bits of information as you plow through... read more

Ellen's Choice: Teach the Concept, Not the Algorithm

I hear a lot about math teachers from my students, and while every teacher is unique, some comments are repeated over and over. By far the most common one I hear is that their teacher didn't really explain something, or was incapable of elaborating when questioned and simply repeated the same lecture again. As a tutor, my first priority is to make sure the student understands the material, and if they're still confused, to find another way to explain it so that it makes sense. In order to do that, I need to have a thorough understanding of the concepts myself, so that I am not simply reading from a textbook but actually explaining a concept. In my years of tutoring math, I've developed a point of view and approach to math that I refer to as “teaching the concept, not the algorithm.” An algorithm is a step-by-step procedure for calculation. The term is used in math and computer science, but the concept of an algorithm is universal. I could tell you that I have an algorithm... read more

Math Challenge Problem #1

You are playing a game involving three dice. You can choose to bet on any number from 1 to 6. I'll roll the three dice. If: - none shows your number, you lose $1 - one shows your number, you win $1 - two show your number, you win $3 - three show your number, you win $5 What is the expected value of this game?  Email your answer so as not to ruin the challenge for others. 

The Power Of Willpower: Five Tips To Strengthen Your Discipline

Willpower is unique to humanity. It is the keystone characteristic that is directly responsible for our technological advancement over the last several hundred thousand years. Willpower can be defined as the capacity to restrain our impulses and resist temptation in order to maximize our long-term success. It is the expulsion of energy to fight off innate survival based urges to exponentially increase future advantages and benefits. It is the driving force behind all civilizations, and it is what prods humankind forward to learn and grow. When we turn down a bite of cheesecake, step away from a mind numbing reality sitcom, or push off a nap to get some work done, the credit goes to willpower. It is this ghost like aura of control and discipline that we rely on to extend our existence and maximize our accomplishments. When we watch highly successful individuals exercise routinely, read voraciously, and work tirelessly, we are impressed with their ability to resist... read more

Mathematical Journeys: Undoing the Unknown Exponent

This journey is heavily inspired by the youtube mathematician Vi Hart, whose videos describing mathematical concepts through doodling in a notebook were the inspiration for much of my mathematical journeys series. I'll put a link to her video on this topic at the end of the journey, and I highly encourage everyone to go check her out. Let's talk exponents. But to do that, first we should talk about multiplication. Multiplication is a shortcut for adding a bunch of the same number together. If I gave you: 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 + 5 = ? You could just add them normally, treating each of those 5's as a size-5 step along the number line. But since each of these addition steps is the same size, a faster way to figure out the result would be to determine two things: the size of the step, and how many steps we have. Then we can multiply the size of step (in this case, 5) by the number of steps. In this case, we have a total of 6 size-5... read more

What to Watch out for on Standardized Tests

Hey folks,  I am sure many of you have plans of going to college or finishing up that last hectic year of school.  Well with these endeavors comes not only tests and quizzes created by books and your professors/teachers, but you also have to take nation and statewide test in order to pass and/or qualify for a position in a higher learning institute.  Such tests include the SAT, ACT, MCAT, etc.  What you want to remember about taking these tests is that these tests are testing you ability to locate small mistakes and easy to miss information.  They also want you to understand this material.  You have to be prepared for these easy to miss situations.  For example, I am sure you all have done a math question, felt like you did it perfectly correct only to find out that you actually got it incorrect.  Furthermore, the answer you got appeared as one of the answer choices!  Or you were on the right track to answering correctly, but made... read more

Physics and Mathematics

Two types of studies that many people despise the most are Science and Mathematics.  Some people cannot even stand to hear them mentioned.  Truth is, whatever you are actually extremely good at, others may need some improvement.  Although there are scientists and mathematicians out there who are able to analyze and engineer scary and complex looking graphs and three-dimensional shapes and models, they do have some weaknesses.  One of my weaknesses in academia is reading (especially when it is uninteresting to me).  I have struggled with reading for quite some time and there are times where I actually have to force myself to read, not because I can't do it, because I can.  This is the same for many others, it's not that you do not like math/science, its just you were taught to memorize it and not understand it.  Back when you did adding and subtracting, math was pretty fun right?  Well I am sure you will find science and more complex... read more

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