Algebra 1,
Algebra 1
I have tutored students in Algebra 1, Honors Algebra, or intensive Algebra classes, including college students in subjects based in part on Algebra 1: Intermediate Algebra (MAC/MAT 1033), College Algebra (MAT/MAC 1105), and Math classes for liberal arts students. I also tutor for tests: SAT-Math and ACT-Math (see separate descriptions), EOC-Algebra 1, PERT, etc. Algebra 1 is my subject of highest expertise and largest experience, as I have been tutoring it for six years. Furthermore, I provide help for internet-based assignments and programs as well: FLVS, ALEKS, MyLabsPlus, IXL, MathXL, etc.
I have three main goals for my Algebra student: understand notions, be fundamentally sound, and enrich knowledge to become math-savvy.
My first task is to explain notions. The main reason why parents and students contract tutors is that notions are not well explained in class. I task to cover that. Thanks to advanced understanding, personal research, and lengthy experience, I have developed methods of explaining that are easy to understand for any student. As I practice with the student, I may share my notes which I continually polish over the years to make them more student-friendly and more efficient -- it’s like my own Math book. I simplify concepts, break down notions, and classify knowledge. Also, I can be reached anytime for help once I connect with the student. I am committed to the student’s success.
Secondly, it is critical for the student be fundamentally sound in Algebra to perform well. If that is not the case, it should be addressed. I make sure that certain notions are well known and understood, such as: operation tables (memorized); the concept of equation; linear patterns; functions and their practical use; classification of numbers; the concept of exponents; proportions and ratios, etc. I also make sure that the student has the skills to perform certain operations such as: fraction operations; sign operations; conversion between decimals, fractions, and percentages; exponent properties; order of operations; distributive property; etc.
Depending on the situation, I may progressively review these (e.g. Algebra 1-related class) or start the tutoring program with these notions (e.g. preparation for an Algebra 1-related test). By the time a student is done with Algebra 1, the above notions should be mastered, but also: linear functions (slope, standard form, slope-int. form, graphing linear functions, application of linear functions); systems of linear equations (solving algebraically using different methods, and solving by graphing); linear inequality (solving algebraically or by graphing) and systems of linear inequalities (solving algebraically or by graphing); function terminology and principles (continuous vs. discrete, properties of a function, function notation); radicals and radical operations; simplifying expressions (combining like terms, eliminating common factors); absolute value; etc.
Part of being fundamentally sound is also the consistent application of the step-by-step process to solve problems accurately. With me, students will see that a correct answer often must be figured out progressively. I also show them how committing to solving things step by step helps identifying and fixing mistakes, or avoiding them. They will also see that working with a system helps to stay focused and interested.
Lastly, I want to make the student math-savvy. That, of course, depends on the student’s interest level, the workload, and how fast the student assimilates notions. I like to provide my students with multiple ways to reach a result, alternative methods. This deepens math understanding and it makes them stronger in the subject because they are better equipped to face different challenges. Also, this limits mistakes because the student can check the work by looking at it from a different perspective. Knowing alternative methods is also helpful when the teacher’s method in school is confusing or imperfect. I like to go deep into notions and formulas. For instance, I explore explaining some principles and theories with the student, or proving them, to better understand the rationale behind them. A usual complaint of students who do not like math is that it is mysterious, that it is a system made of pre-determined principles that everyone just has to accept and apply. With me, students have a chance to explore how and why these principles were set, if the student is interested or if time allows. This brain stimulation can arouse the student’s interest in Math, and lead to success.
I want my students to feel knowledgeable and able, to feel “smart”, by understanding what is being done, and by easing the development of skills through practice and studying.
Algebra 2,
Algebra 2
I have tutored students in Algebra 2 for regular Algebra 2, Honors Algebra 2, or intensive Algebra 2. I also tutor for tests that include Algebra 2 concepts: SAT-Math (see separate description), ACT-Math (see description), EOC-Algebra 2, etc. I provide help for internet-based assignments and programs as well: FLVS, ALEKS, MyLabsPlus, IXL, MathXL, etc. I also tutor college students in College Algebra (MAT/MAC 1105).
For Algebra 2, I want to serve as a guide. My first goal is to explain notions. Algebra 2 is much more complex than Algebra 1, and it is critical to understand notions to apply them correctly. Oftentimes, this explanation time is not provided in the classroom adequately enough, leaving the student to go through Algebra 2 with perpetuating flaws. To counter that, I spend a good deal of time looking at theories and theorems, I go to the root of things. Understanding notions and principles is also key because when the student might be coming short in calculation, reasoning will come in handy.
In the same idea of making things practical, I seek to apply mathematical notions to reality, and to engage the student doing so. I want to lead the student to understand that Algebra is useful. For instance, we may talk about how exponential patterns are used in business, or how different types of functions and graphs are used in aviation, architecture, sports, etc.
Besides being more complex, Algebra 2 often brings more homework than Algebra 1! Unless requested and arranged for, a parent or student should not expect me to provide help for every homework exercise. The personal practice time is important for the student. I try to look at a few homework exercises to apply my teaching, but the student is responsible for the (rest of) the homework. Also, if necessary, I can be reached anytime outside of the tutoring time.
Since Algebra 2 is a complex course, a student needs special skills to perform in it, pre-existing skills and skills that must be acquired as the class goes along. It is very important that a student comes to Algebra 2 with advanced understanding of many concepts and notions seen before, including: operation tables (memorized); sign operations; linear functions and linear patterns; going from decimals, fractions, and percentages; fraction operations; exponent properties; order of operation; system of linear equations, system of linear inequalities; evaluating or simplifying expressions; using a scientific calculator efficiently; factoring (finding the GCF, eliminating common factors, difference of two squares, square of a sum, square of a difference); etc. If those skills are not at a satisfactory level I must dedicate some time to review them with the student, as soon as possible. In order to perform at a high level, the student needs good fundamentals: understand concepts, know several formulas, theorems and terminologies.
By the end of Algebra 2, the student should understand and be able to deal with: exponential functions, quadratic equations and functions, 3-variable system of equations, parent function and shift, polynomial functions and equations, rational equations and functions, absolute-value inequalities, sequences and series, permutations and combinations, variations, radical expressions and functions, inverse functions, irrational and complex numbers. Some programs will also add: conic sections, logic, logarithms and logarithmic functions, matrices, etc.
Prealgebra,
Prealgebra
Pre-algebra is one of my subjects of predilection. I have not only mastery of its notions, but also lengthy experience and polished skill in teaching it. I seek to make my student excellent.
Pre-algebra is a critical period in math for any student because if notions are not explained, Algebra 1 and every math class that will follow can be a problem. I task myself to decode, simplify, and even prove notions, to make them practical. The interest level and work ethic of the student will be factors, but supplementary knowledge that a student may get from me includes: explaining and exemplifying the practical use of equation and its principles, exploring the concepts of length, area, and volume, explaining the concept and use of linear patterns and other patterns, exploring the usefulness of the concept of function, analyzing the realm of numbers, and clarifying the duality of positive and negative numbers.
Besides understanding notions and their uses, Pre-algebra also represents a critical time to develop skills and good habits. By the end of Pre-algebra, students should be fundamentally sound. They should have operation tables memorized, gain mastery of fraction operations, know conversions between decimals, fractions, and percentages, understand the concepts of exponents, proportions and ratios, know basic statistics (mean, median, mode, range) and graphs (box plot, bar graph and histogram, two-way table, box-and-whisker plot), be able to apply order of operations consistently, know several formulas must by heart (e.g. perimeter, area, and volume of different shapes), and know key terminology (names of shapes and parts of shapes, algebraic terms).
Thirdly, Pre-algebra is the time when the student should maximize mental calculation. Many Pre-algebra programs and instructors prohibit or limit the use of the calculator, and I certainly don't encourage unnecessary use of it. This is a golden period of a student's Math career where mental calculation tricks can be learned and repeatedly applied until they become useful routine. Depending on the interest level and how fast the student can assimilate knowledge, I will teach all the tricks I know.
All of the above, added to solid and steady practice, will develop great skills and great habits that will enable the student to do Math faster and more effectively. These skills and habits gained by the end of the Pre-algebra course, or lack thereof, can impact students for the rest of their Math career.
Writing
Writing
I have helped students of different levels with writing: elementary school, middle school, high school, college underclassmen and upperclassmen. I have also helped people preparing for tests and exams such as TOFEL, SAT, Pre-SAT, etc. Furthermore, I have helped people with college/university application essays, and essays for other higher-learning programs. Also, if you are applying for an international program or as an international prospect, I can help you if your essay is in: French, Haitian Creole, Spanish, or English. I can translate your text and make it satisfactory and competitive.
Writing is a learnable skill that can apply to any level. To that skill I continue to add teaching experience. And through that experience I have developed my own system for writing. My student has a chance to have my guidance for the following steps, depending on when we start collaborating.
> Assessment of material:
I help the student in finding material using online resources and libraries, and filtering material: determining which material is more relevant to the given topic but also relevant to the class learning and the teacher’s emphasis, identifying key parts within a book, article, chapter or page that are most relevant and useful.
> The Outline:
This is the most prominent part of my system. If the student works with me before the text is written, we will create a bulleted outline that will be as detailed as necessary. That outline serves as both (complete) brainstorm and structure for the essay. Everything will be detailed: introduction, body parts, conclusion. Also, transitions between parts will be planned and previewed at this outline stage.
> Filling out The Outline:
Elements from annotated material will be added as supporting details and quotes to ideas and sub-ideas of the outline.
> Turning The Outline into essay:
This is the easiest part! A student could satisfactorily do this alone. Because the outline is so detailed and organized, to turn it into essay, we just have to connect sentences, polish them, take care of the transitions, and separate paragraphs.
Sometimes a student will already have a first draft but is not confident about it. I can still do the detailed outline with the student and use parts of the initial draft as supporting detail, in the process of creating a new essay.
> Proofreading:
In this stage we will be taking care of the technicalities: making sure supporting details are properly mentioned, seeing that the text flows well and stays relevant to the topic, double-checking grammar and spelling, etc. A good deal of correction is done during the outline stage, for instance: using vocabulary that is most relevant to the topic and area of study, avoiding over-repeating terms and expressions, making sensible sentences, etc.
A student can also contract me only for proofreading (see “Proofreading” subject description).
> Proper formatting and styling:
There, we take care of special formatting and styling for those concerned: MLA, APA, Chicago... work-cited page, title page, etc. Since these things are taught much in class, I prefer that the student do that alone and I can just check on them during the final proofreading. But I can assist the student in actually doing it if necessary (this may incur additional service charge).
> Final proofreading:
I often work with people online on writing projects, but I prefer that the final proofreading be done in presence of the study, in my desire to help the student improve for the future.
I intend to and tend to make people I work with on writing better writers.