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In my view, the ultimate reward is being able to empower students to apply the concepts and theories presented in their course of study. Once students are able to use the knowledge they have acquired, the student is able to grow both personally and professionally.

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!        

     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.

#1. You must lose some battles before you can win the war.-“Timing” you have 2 minutes for every quant question (37 Quant Q’s total) and about 90 seconds for each verbal question (41 Verbal Q’s total.)  There will be a clock on your screen that counts down how many minutes you have left for that particular section. While verbal can be a bit more confusing due to the reading comprehension passages, Quant/Math questions are clear-cut.  How do you get keep pace?  Set some mile-markers by memorizing the ones I’ve listed below.  At each minute, you should ideally be at the question listed.  If you’re too slow, speed up a little bit, but not too much.  If you’re too fast, take a deep breath.   75 minutes-37 Questions 60 minutes- Question 7 45 minutes- Question 15 30 minutes- Question 23 15 minutes -Question 30 10 minutes-Question 33 5 minutes- Question 35 2 minutes-Question 37   #2. Don’t be Late-... read more

For the past few years, there have been moments when I look back at my educational experience and ask myself, "Why psychology?" I think back at all the other educational paths I could have walked on but I ponder more about why I chose psychology. Like most questions I typically ask myself at times, there was one than one answer that came to mind.   We all use psychology daily. It's fact. Whether we realize it or not, it is a daily habit of us to analyze things, other people, and most of all, ourselves.   What? Why? Where?    I know for me personally, a lot of the questions I ask myself at times begin with those words. I can only imagine it is the same with many others, if not, everybody else out there as well. Answering my own questions much less analyzing them is a very tricky method that doesn't always bring about the answer you want. But it is better aimlessly wandering around without a hope in sight. My knowledge in psychology... read more

A question that I have heard many times from my own students and others is this: "When am I ever going to use this?" In this post and future posts, I'm going to address possible answers to this question, and I'm going to also take a look at what mathematics educators could learn from the question itself.   Let's look at the answer first. When I was in school myself, the most common response given by teachers was a list of careers that might apply the principles being studied. This is the same response that I tend to hear today.    There is some value in this response for a few of the students, but the overwhelming majority of students just won't be solving for x, taking the arcsine of a number, or integrating a function as part of their jobs. Even as a total math geek, I seldom use these skills in practical ways outside my tutoring relationships.   Can we come up with something better, that will apply to every student? I say... read more

Make sure to take holiday brain breaks with your child/students over the holidays. Incorporate time for fun activities and holiday themed worksheets into their normal learning. You can easily replace their normal multiplication worksheets with some turkey times table or a thanksgiving themed word scramble for spelling word practice. For the younger children, practice fine motor skills with arts and crafts projects (there are plenty out there!) by making your own decorations, making place mats, centerpieces, etc. Also, if you are taking a break from tutoring over the holidays, ask your tutor about a work packet! Happy Holidays!

My approach to each Physics Chapter: As I read the chapter I look for definitions - many times the text is in italics I work with 3 by 5 index cards and note the chapter and the definition of a new concept I also look for identified equations and write them on equation cards by chapter describing what the equation represents and the units I make unit cards which include the Physics term and the units and their equivalent in each unit system As I work through the chapter I read each sample question and try to do it without looking for the answer Then I check the answers and the methods used - sometimes my methods are different but the answers are the same This shows there are sometimes more than one approach to a problem When I finish a chapter I try the odd problems since they have answers in the back When I can not solve it I check the answer and try to work backwards. Unit analysis helps. Although... read more

What are your 5 outside the box tips that help make your tutoring lessons fun? 1. Have a sense of humor about learning. I like to use humor in my tutoring, to keep students engaged and interested in the material. I've found that it's easy to zone out during a lesson, and the classes I've retained the most information from myself have been ones where the teacher employed humor. In a writing class, a teacher explained the importance of context to spelling with the quip “You need to remember which witch is which, or you'll suddenly have a lady with a black hat appear in your paper.” My high-school calculus teacher helped us remember the SOH-CAH-TOA trig function sequence by telling us a long joke about a native american who stubbed his toe and was advised by the village elder to “Soak-a-toe-a.” And later on, in a materials science class in college, our professor explained the molecular physics properties of a certain material with a joke about coal trying to... read more

1. I never meet my students at home, be it mine or theirs. Rather I meet them at our local public library. This removes the discomfort of being in a stranger's home.   It is quite and offers a safe, private yet public location for both parties.   2. I allow my first session to be about exploring and identifying my students weaknesses. Once we get this part out of the way it is easier to  customize your lesson plans for each particular student.   3. I keep humour in my lessons. This help to lighten the mood which inevitably helps with the student/tutor connection. Which leads to  a repeat customer not to mention good reviews and referrals.     4. Don't be  a know it all. Though you are the tutor, keep in mind that you to can learn from your student, yours isn't a position of superiority.   5. Don't be afraid to get to know your student, one never know what friendship may spring... read more

First, use handouts -- Make them colorful with graphics. Second, Use easy to understand words and expressions.   Third, Make up a crossword puzzle they can work on later on. Fourth, Refer them to a fun website for extra credit for school or to work on a project. Fifth, have them log in to WyzAnt and schedule another session.   Remember, you have the student's full attention; Why not make it fun!

Online tutoring has one special BONUS which few people think about when seeking out tutoring. The time element is changed and made astoundingly different. Imagine being able to have three 20 minutes sessions over the course of one afternoon instead of a one hour slotting. What if your tutor could go over the subject for 30 minutes, have you start working and come back to you in an hour to check in and review questions. Working with your tutor online allows you to schedule increments of time. The time allocation difference is valuable for all types of students. -Some students need a longer period of time to concentrate/practice. -Some students would like an explanation and then try some independent work with a check in. -Some students can squeeze in 1/2 hour before a piano lesson and then 1/2 hour after dinner. -When students are young, 1 hour can be far too long. I discuss these options with parents when explaining the value of on-line tutoring. Manipulating... read more

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