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In mathematics, word problems have been know to pose challenges for elementary school students, middle school students and even some high school students. In addition, a vast majority of students also have difficulties with solving problems with fractions. If we mix a word problem with a problem with fractions, then we end up getting an even tougher problem to solve. Let's dive right into a math word problem which will illustrate this.    Problem: Tashira has a piece of lace material that is 3/5 yard long. She used 2/3 of the material to make a quilt. How much did she use to make the quilt?   When a student reads this problem one of the questions she/he may ask is, "Where do I start?" The student may have difficulty with translating the word problem into its mathematical representation. The next difficulty is that if the student decides to use the traditional method of solving this, he/she may need to know how to correctly multiply... read more

I've seen many ads recently in which parents were looking for some tutors for the 4th, the 3rd, and the 2nd grades. As you may have heard, there are curriculum books available from the Barnes and Noble for each grade. Those book show and tell how to solve one problem or another. In my experience as a tutor, those books are liked by kids as they are common core compatible. There goes my buck; however, connecting parents with appropriate resources is a part of this tutor's job.

I want to know if 1 hour of tutoring is more effective than 2 hours of tutoring at 1 tutoring session? In my opinion, I believe that 2 hours of tutoring in 1 tutoring session because I can focus on more teaching and instruction without looking at the clock. The parents said that 2 hours is overwhelming for 1 student. Break it up to 1 hour of tutoring at a time. Also, the commute. I don't believe in traveling for 2 hours for 1 hour of tutoring and weather climate.

Meta-cognition is thinking about thinking, and higher levels tend to be associated with intelligence and - in the parlance of the times - high income and job satisfaction. So, to keep things simple: if you think that you might struggle with learning concepts in statistics or research methods, then get in touch with a tutor early. It's important to establish some type of relationship so you can evaluate their style, methods, and how likely it is that you'll be successful within their approach. If you wait too long, or right before an assignment is upon you, you may be stuck with a limited number of tutors that you are forced to work with.    Prevention through establishing early contact will help you iron out details, assess a match in learning and tutoring styles, and prepare for mastering any difficult concept.   Don't wait - contact tutors before it's too late!

Welcome, 2016!   As the New Year rolls around, it's always a sure bet that there will be changes to current tax law and 2016 is no different. From health savings accounts to retirement contributions and standard deductions, here's a checklist of tax changes to help you plan the year ahead. Individuals For 2016, more than 50 tax provisions are affected by inflation adjustments, including personal exemptions, AMT exemption amounts, and foreign earned income exclusion. For 2016, the tax rate structure, which ranges from 10 to 39.6 percent, remains the same as in 2015, but tax-bracket thresholds increase for each filing status. Standard deductions and the personal exemption have also been adjusted upward to reflect inflation. For details see the article, "Tax Brackets, Deductions, and Exemptions for 2016," below. Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT) Exemption amounts for the AMT, which was made permanent by the American Taxpayer Relief Act (ATRA)... read more

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, in concert with the enactment of the Health Care and Education Tax Credits Reconciliation Act of 2010, resulted in a number of changes to the US tax code. As such there are a number of tax implications for individuals and businesses. Individuals Healthcare Exchanges   Healthcare Exchanges, which are also referred to as Health Insurance Marketplaces, officially opened for enrollment on October 1, 2013. Some of these exchanges are run by the state in which you reside. Others are run by the federal government. Individuals (including self-employed) who do not currently have insurance or buy insurance on their own can use these marketplaces to buy insurance, which becomes effective January 1 of each year. When you get health insurance through the Marketplace, you may be able to get the new advance Premium Tax Credit that will immediately help lower your monthly premium. Individual Mandate Starting... read more

Some of us come with a knack to program computers and with little effort we can get the computer to work for us. On the other hand, some of us don't have a clue how to even get started. We may dread the errors that computer programs give such as "Compile error: undefined variable used," or we may be indifferent to anything computer programming related.   I will attempt to unpack the knowledge that has intrigued some of you into simpler and more understandable concepts. Let me start by stating that this series of blog posts is by no means a complete course on how to program a computer. However, I will give you the basics that you need to create simple computer programs. I will also give it to you in easy digestible pieces so it will not be too overwhelming. This way you can impress yourself and others with your newfound knowledge.   So you may ask yourself the question: "How do we bridge the knowledge gap?" I agree. Computers are getting... read more

When designing your manufactured product, you never forget to work on the process selection. The same applies when designing your app or your computer programming project. The designers of applications such as Twitter, Angry birds, Uber or the Wyzant application you are currently accessing engaged in their process selection work in order to give us these fine products.   As a major in computer science and a professional who develops anything from Android applications, websites, and client server applications, I have learned that a good software product is not good because it works but it has to meet the requirements too.    Process selection refers to the strategic decisions involved in choosing the production process to have in your production environment. Sometimes, this is already chosen for you when working on a school project. However, when working in real industry and creating your own Android apps or iPhone apps, you need to choose your own... read more

I specialize in teaching essay structure and style. When I began tutoring, I had a vague idea that I'd work with college students like the friends for whom I'd proofread during university: young Americans who've grown up in a public school system which emphasized group work over individual learning, and who therefore never got a chance to develop their writing skills. I've certainly worked with students from a background very much like this. However, I've also had the pleasure of building a strong ESL clientele. At this point, I've spent enough time with ESL students to have made some observations about the nature of ESL learning and the way it is discussed. I'm certainly no expert, but by now I am a reliable dilettante. I speak with the authority of firsthand experience. From that vantage, I'd like to address one mistake which is frequently made in conversations about ESL learning. It is a very serious mistake and I have to believe that it muddles teachers' thinking considerably... read more

Many students encounter test anxiety during the course of their studies in school. I once had a middle school student ask me to sign a contract that I would not put long division on an upcoming test. He brought me the contract and supplied a witness to our contract. When I asked his mother about why tests stressed him out she said he had always been like that. The family never put pressure on him; he did it to himself. There are many causes of test anxiety including the fear of failure, lack of preparation and a history of doing poorly on tests. Sometimes parents put pressure on students and sometimes, as I noted, students put pressure on themselves. Symptoms of test anxiety may be physical, such as headaches and shortness of breath, emotional, such as feelings of anger and helplessness, or behavioral such as trouble concentrating and negative thoughts. There are many techniques to overcome test anxiety. My favorite is deep breathing exercises taken from yoga... read more

This is what I know about online sessions that work.    1) The student should have a webcam and microphone (of course many of them are the same 'device').   2) WyzAnts online platform is great but has some limitations.      A) The platform seems to work best with Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.      B) There is no Apple (Mac) support      C) I can only have a session with one student at a time. This doesn't work with my ASVAB classes.   3) I use Skype. It has support for all the browsers people have asked for so far. Many students already have accounts. A potential deal breaker would be that Skype doesn't include a blackboard facility.   4) I, and my students, have installed the free version of Idroo. This is an add on to Skype that provides the blackboard we use.   This is what works for me. If a student has another request I usually honor it but we find... read more

Function decomposition can be tricky at first.   Equations used to be y=mx+b.   Soon after, they turned to f(x) = mx+b.   f(x) simply means f, as a function of x.    Then, we started getting into f(x), g(x), and h(x), and started seeing things like f(g(x)) and f(g(h(x))).   If f(x) means that f is a function of x, then f(g(x)) means that f is a function of the function g(x), rather than x.    This means that for every x you see in the function f(x), you will replace it with g(x).     When I was first taught function decomposition, my instructor would have us label the functions f, g, and h, rather than f(x), g(x), and h(x).   Example:   f(x) = x+1. g(x)=x+2. Find f(g(x)).   (rewrite)    f(x)= x+1. g=x+2. Find f(g). (For every x in the equation, replace with g(x).)   f(g) = (x+2)... read more

Recently taking a "practice" SAT test, I noticed there were words that I wasn't familiar with. I tried to think of words that had the same prefix (like re, pre, and dis) to try and figure out the word. The word was actually taciturn, and the word tact came to mind. Not knowing the meaning of taciturn proved to be a problem, but I know the word tact. Figuring out what tact deals with, it makes taciturn easier to figure out. This can be a tricky task, as the word tack is a generally known word around High School age. But tack is an object, and the others aren't. However, each word may bring an emotion to the reader (in this case, me) and that is what would help with words you don't know. Get the nuance of the words with the same spelling, and you are able to figure out what words mean. Tact to me means being sensitive and responding in a way that's not offensive. Tack brings to mind something hard and sharp (which could imply pain). Tac[k] (iturn) can then become - I turn away... read more

If you're going in for a tech interview here are some things tech interviewers are watching out for -. 1. Your interest in tech 2. How well you innovate a solution to a problem 3. Creative thinking 4. Analytical thinking 5. Your willingness to learn. 5. Your communication skills - think out loud. Don't jump into the solution Discuss your design. Come up with your own tests to break your code.. 6. Don't be a jerk, and Don't get defensive! 7. Your response to curve balls. 8. Your attitude - Have fun. if you're not having fun with code, the computer is probably not going to make an extra effort to cheer you up! 9. Your ability to work within a team.

There is no such thing as someone who doesn't get math. Instead, it is the teacher who "does not get how to teach math".   I have come across many very good teachers, and the thing that differentiates them from the less amazing ones is this: they do not have a single "tried and true" method. The teachers who do have this type of "tried and true" method always find problem students, and those students get discouraged. However, those students need to know it is not their fault.   When teaching Multivariable Calculus this past semester, which is infamous for failing engineering students at Cornell, my fellow teachers came from different backgrounds. The less experienced ones would always complain about their students "not getting it" and it was because the teachers themselves did not understand the material to a depth that they could explain the math in multiple ways to students.   In my experience, I have... read more

Working at a college IT help desk, I have found that many people choose to not seek help when it comes to technology, as they are ashamed of how little they know about it. However, technology gives to us so many new and fun opportunities to learn, communicate, and play! As I am growing up in an age where new and exciting technology has become the norm, it is sometimes hard to remember that there was a time when all of these luxuries did not exist. Most people would rather not use it, but they miss out on a vast amount of new knowledge. That's why no one, no matter their age, should be afraid to ask for help. While new technology is sometimes easy to pick up and learn, it isn't always as easy to troubleshoot and fix. This doesn't mean that one should get frustrated. Instead of worrying about calling a help center and waiting on hold for "the next available representative", it's never too late to learn how to fix it yourself! 

Imagine being a college admissions officer and reviewing hundreds or thousands of applicants that all look very similar. How do you make yourself stand out from all the others. One way is to do something special and have that work published. Mechanisms for high school students to become published in science do exist. These include Profiles in Science and Current Topics in the Biomedical and Biological Sciences, both published online and in print format. Email me through WyzAnt for additional information.

Hey guys,     After working with high school and college students in algebra 1 & 2,  i came across quite a few students who found logarithms hard to work with . Most of the  students failed to retain some important log based rules which were essential to be effective at problem solving.   Here's a list of a few rules :   logab = x could be written as  ax = b. Let me work a couple of examples to show how this rule works   log39 = 2  By using the rule that i talked about above can be written as 3^2 = 9 where a=3, x=2 and b = 9.      loga10 - loga5  can be rewritten in the form loga(10/5)  which is the same as loga2. As long as the bases are equal to one another we can divide when there is a subtraction taking place using log.   When it comes to addition we need to add logarithms that have the same base.     Also... read more

It is hard to believe Stephen Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective People was first published nearly 30 years ago. Although all 7 habits are excellent tools for both tutors and students, I believe the Second Habit -- "Begin With the End in Mind" -- can play an important role in creating the foundation for a productive and satisfying learning partnership.   For example, it is no use for a tutor to expect a student to go back and read the assigned book when the analysis paper is due in 48 hours. Similarly, a parent will be bitterly disappointed if they expect an "A" in Chemistry after only a few tutoring sessions. And a student shouldn't expect to learn a semester's worth of Physics without completing a single assignment.   Tutors can start this conversation by asking a few key questions: "What would you like to accomplish during our time together?" and "How would that accomplishment look to you?" Follow up questions... read more

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