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Hi math students :) When preparing for a mathematics tutoring session, try to have the following things at hand... Textbook (online or e-text) Syllabus, assignment, tips/hints/suggestions, answer sheet/key Class notes Pencils, pens, erasers, paper (graph paper, ruler, protractor) All necessary formulas, laws, tables, constants, etc. Calculator that you will use on tests Do I really need my calculator? I can do most of my work in my head. Having your calculator is just as important as paper and a pencil in most cases. You'll be using it on your test and if you don't know how to input what you want, you won't do very well. Have your tutor teach you about your calculator's functions beforehand. Learn how to check your simple math and how to input exponents, logarithms, or trigonometric functions before your test. Why do I need my book, notes, or answer key? Isn't the tutor supposed to know everything? Yes :), but even the most experienced tutor... read more

Over the time that I have tutored, both at Austin Community College and as an independent tutor, the best thing that I have learned is that any student that is having fun while they learn make them actually want to come back and learn more. Although people came in to the tutoring lab at Austin Community College, they were coming in to the tutoring lab reluctantly because they just didn't understand what was going on and weren't really enjoying the subject because of it. My personal goal for any person that I tutor is to not only help someone understand the concepts while they are sitting with me, but also make it more fun. Not only does time fly when you're having fun but, as noted in "Brain & Behavior, An Introduction to Biological Psychology", a person is able to learn better and more efficiently as they have positive memories with those concepts rather than a neutral emotion of repetition. I love learning math and, as I look back, I did well in all my math classes,... read more

I have been working with a few students who are ready to learn math much, MUCH faster than allowed by the traditional classroom model in which math is taught over 6 to 8 years. Based on this experience I believe that many students as young as 4th grade and as old as 8th grade (when starting in the program) can master math in 2 years from simple addition through the first semester of Calculus, with Arithmetic, Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, Precalculus, Probability, Statistics, and Trigonometry in between. This is significantly faster than the traditional approach and is enabled by a combination of one-on-one teaching and coaching and a variety of media that I assign to students to complete in between our sessions. This is a "leveraged blended learning" approach that makes use of online software, selected games, and selected videos with guided notes that I have created that ensure that students pick up the key points of the videos, and which we discuss later. The result... read more

When someone is interested in a topic, there is a heavy intuitive knowledge associated with that interest. A good musician intuitively knows what would be enjoyable to their target audience; a good fashion designer intuitively knows what would be fashionable for the next season; a good personal trainer knows intuitively how to work a particular person with a particular body and a particular mentality to make that person more active and more healthy. In all of these fields and any field you can think of, there is a certain amount of memorization required, a certain set of rules to follow, but is mainly following personal intuition within that field. Science and math works the same way. Sure, there is a certain amount of memorization involved – terms, history, phrases – but there is a certain amount of intuition involved. There is a logic behind every concept in all of science and math, regardless of terms and phrases. This logic has its beginnings in the appropriate intuition. Think... read more

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful manner-... read more

A parent told me recently that her son scored a near 100% on his last test. I was so proud. I feel proud when all my students succeed. The question is what does it mean for a student to be successful. I think it's a mix between the student having more confidence than when I begin working with the student, as well as an increase in the student's grades. Depending on the student and his or her own situation grades may increase immediately and with others it may take a bit of time. I want my students to feel confident about their abilities and also be able to show the world and themselves that they understand what's going on in class. I make a commitment when I take on a student, which is, I will work my hardest to be available and flexible. Your child's success is my success.

The key to enjoying any subject you take in School or College is simply to know how the subject is or will be applicable in your daily life and possible future career! If you can challenge yourself, your teacher/professor and family/friends to show you the meaning of learning a subject, by actually showing why and how it is important as part of your daily life or career in the future profession that you are either preparing for or are currently aspiring to be (e.g., Doctor, Engineer, Scientist, Business person,etc), then you can give "meaning to your studies by showing the difference that subject will make in your life." I welcome everyone to try this with every subject you are taking or have taken or plan to take. If you cannot find meaning in Geometry, Pre-Algebra, Calculus, Botany, Biology, Physics, Chemistry or any subject, write to me and I will show how it can be applied in day-to-day life and also in your future career to be a successful professional in that field...

When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too. I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER make the child feel "stupid," no matter what.) It is most important to have a safe and quiet place for studying, without distractions. I like to find a quiet table at a library, and work with students there. I welcome suggestions from parents, and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching skills.

Did you ever realize that the SLOPE EQUATION is the SAME as the POINT SLOPE FORMULA???? WHAT?!?! Check it out: POINT SLOPE FORMULA is (y-y1)=m(x-x1) SLOPE EQUATION IS m = (y-y1)/(x-x1) Can you see where I'm going with this? -Take the first equation -Divide both sides by (x-x1) -The result is the second equation!!! So now you've shortened your "list of equations to learn" without really doing anything ;)

Hello! This whole site is pretty new to me, but I wanted to briefly show my interests and experiences, as they are fairly diversified: Sciences: As noted above, most of my experience is with chemistry. Organic Chemistry is my specialty, but I am also familiar with Inorganic Chemistry. I've been a Teaching Assistant for college freshman level courses through upper level chemistry courses. I started off as a Biology/Pre-med major, so courses like Physics and Biology are high on my understanding. Tutoring in most of the sciences will be my highest level of knowledge/experience. Math: I was a mathematics minor as an Undergraduate, so I am very familiar with a fair amount of mathematics divisions. Calculus is fairly fresh, but I am most proficient with Algebra. I have a secret love of the mathematics, so tutoring math in some way would definitely be great. Dance: I just noticed that dance was an option for the "subjects", so I listed it. I am a Lindy Hop dancer and... read more

Beginning students often become confused about the difference between the quadratic function, the quadratic equation, and the quadratic formula. They all sound a little strange at first, and a little similar. Let’s look at the quadratic function first: ƒ(x) = ax2 + bx +c It’s just a shorthand way of saying you can make a shape (in this case a parabola) by plugging in all the values of x. Pick any number on the x axis, plug it into the function, and put a dot above or below it at the height that matches your answer for ƒ(x). On a three day weekend you could plot enough points to discover that they all connect together in a smooth line we call a parabola. Now let’s consider the quadratic equation: 0 = ax2 + bx +c All it is is that one special case of the quadratic function when ƒ(x) = 0. I just cut and pasted the right hand side to get it down here. Turns out it’s pretty useful but I won’t go into that here. And now the quadratic formula: X = -b ±... read more

I feel that a good tutor is passionate about the subjects he or she teaches. Therefore, I've brought you my favorite math videos. These are fractals. In ancient India, mathematicians determined that all growth in nature can be deconstructed into a simple sequence. Go ahead, google "fibonacci sequence"and "golden rectangle". I'll wait. By the way, Nova created an amazing documentary: For a more artsy view of math topics, check out Vi Hart, a mathematician artist She takes ordinary household objects: balloons, toy snakes, fruit by the foot, and teaches amazing things. She'll re-ignite a passion for math in you.

What a way to start off the New Year! First I met with a student for US History and Living Environment. She is taking the Regents exams in three weeks. When I first met with her, Cee had a fear of taking exams, and was very nervous. She struggled with understanding both subjects; the Historical Events and dates, as well as the vocabulary words for Biology. Her next struggles were understanding and answering the document based questions for US History and the short responses for LE. Now she answers them much more confidently and accurately, and has even improved in writing her document based and thematic essays for US History. I am so proud of her and is certain that she will pass both Regents exams. Then I met with my grade 4 student for Math, English Language Art and Science. He has gone from scoring 31% to 83% on his practice science exam. He is much more confident with doing Math and ELA assignments. I am so proud of him. Then it was on to my grade 6 Math student. When I... read more

I'm sure you've noticed this--For some reason teenagers in general, especially young men, tend to "resist" when their mothers ask them to do something. Even when they do obey, they seem to have an attitude of "dragging their feet" sometimes....It might be a subconscious part of growing up. I'm not sure why, but I do remember feeling that way when I was a teenager too. So sometimes it really helps to have a coach or tutor or someone else do the "pushing" that is needed. (And it can give moms a break, so they don't have to be the only ones doing all the pushing...Moms, you deserve a break once in a while too.) :) I encourage--push--my students to put in more effort before our sessions, doing as much as they can on their own, which saves time & money and also lets the students build confidence that they can do more "self-starting" in the future. Comments are welcome--I'd like to hear your thoughts and feedback on this. Thanks,...

This is what my student, Alysa, told me on Monday, December 3rd. She has been struggling with fractions, and so I would give her several practice exercises, and show her some new ways to do them. I had her convert mix numbers to improper fractions and vice versa. I had Alysa add, subtract, multiply and divide a variety of fractions. Just when she seems to understand them a bit, I had her cross divide. At first she was a bit confused and resistant because her teacher was not teaching her to cross divide/cancel. As she began realizing how much easier it makes arriving at the final answer, she began to gravitate towards this method. Now her teacher is teaching this method in class, and she is so excited. Not only did she understand and pass her quiz, she was able to assist her best friend. She came to the tutoring session beaming with pride. I am so proud of her. Now we are on to decimals and percentage. So far so good :).

Q. Where will we meet for tutoring? A. We will try to find a suitable place that is convenient for both of us. Though I do travel to meet you, time and distance are important factors in making this work feasible and profitable for me, so I try to find locations that minimize my travel time, while also providing convenience to you. Q. How will we decide on a time to meet? A. We will try to find a suitable time that is convenient for both of us. Q. When are you available to tutor? A. It varies from week to week, but my general availability begins at 10:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and ends at 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at 3:00 pm Saturday. Please contact me for my current availability. Q. How long will each session be? A. The session length can vary, depending on the subject, the student, and the schedule. Unless otherwise agreed, the session times will be two (2) hours each. Q. Why do you recommend two (2) hours per session? A. Through... read more

Hello! This is my first blog entry and I just wanted to take a moment to say welcome to my profile. I am excited and looking forward to working with you and putting my experience as a teacher for five years in the classroom to work as a tutor! Cheers, Mike

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