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Sure, we have all heard our math teachers say "Study for your test tomorrow." While we can all agree the importance of studying and getting prepared for an exam, not many math teachers actually tell you HOW to study. I am sure we have all spent time making flash cards, staring at our notes, or watching last minute videos on youtube, only to realize the test results often don't correlate to our effort. Before long, these upsetting experiences and test results created a scar in our minds, that statement we have all heard before: I am just not good at math.   The truth of the matter is, many people who have expressed their inability to understand and perform well on mathematics simply don't know how to study for a math exam. After all, those negative signs and multiple choice questions are often so tricky, even though you calculated every step correctly until the very end, all it took was one single mindless error that can well ruin the entire result. If we closely... read more

Wow, what a year it has been! I always thought I wanted to teach middle school math, but somehow ended up teaching high school math my first year. Teaching high school math was awesome, but I was working too far from home and decided to find a job closer to home. I scored the perfect job (or so I thought) at the exact middle school that I attended! It was wonderful to be back and on the other side of things. This year was crazy, but in a good way! I definitely love teaching middle school better than high school, and I have a gracious understanding for the age group. Being able to embrace the goofy personalities is a must! My students and I had a fun year together, and I'm sad it came to a close. But I will still be teaching middle school math (6th and 7th grade now) at a different school. While I love teaching math in general, I can honestly say that I have a preference after teaching at both levels. I've always been told that I'm "crazy" and must have a lot of patience for... read more

Hi everyone! I've had years of experience with teaching and tutoring math and science, and I've been a student of science and math myself. Some of my students have asked me about strategies for learning math and science concepts that are fun and effective. Here are two quick tips to help you ace that next test or homework assignment. Good luck! Make connections between what you're learning and what you'd actually like to learn.  This tip is for people who are learning concepts that don't interest them very much (yet) and are interested in lots of other cool things. Are you learning about graphing inequalities but you're not really a fan of pre-algebra in general? Have a parent or a friend make up word problems about real-life situations that would be interesting to you! Don't like geometry but you're a big fan of dinosaurs and volcanoes? Maybe making up your own problems where you need to figure out how the velocity of a rock that was blasted out... read more

When you have to take the derivative of 2 variables being multiplied, we use the product rule. If we have f(x)g(x), the derivative will be:   (f(x)g(x))' = f(x)g'(x) + g(x)f'(x).   Now, the primes can be a little confusing when you are learning how to apply this for the first time, so lets denote the number 1 to f(x) and the number 2 to g(x), where 1 refers to f(x) and 2 refers to g(x). The product rule becomes easy to memorize.    Sing it to yourself: 1d2 + 2d1   Whenever you have a "d" in front of the number we denoted for the first part of the function, you take the derivative, and if there is no "d", we simply copy the exact same function.    Example: (x+4)(x² - 1)   Here, your 1 = (x+4) and 2 = (x² - 1).   We compute 1d2 + 2d1 = (x+4)(x² - 1)' + (x² - 1)(x+4)'   Notice that the functions you need to take... read more

I remember going to school and feeling like something was wrong with me because I was good at mathematics. Especially, since nearly every teacher felt the need to re-iterate how girls were not as good at mathematics as boys based on what ever random statistics at the time.   However, I excelled and kept going. I got a degree in mathematics. So, what made me different from all the other girls that got discouraged. Natural ability for mathematics; however, when I reflect that's not the whole story. As I went to college, there were other girls that were great at mathematics, but once again got discouraged. So, what made go on to pursue degrees is Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Engineering.   I got the same discouraging information as everyone else, but I kept going. Why?  1) "Fighter" Personality My personality is such that when someone tells me that I can not do something, then I wanted to fight that much harder to prove them... read more

Although new to WyzAnt, I have tutored mathematics for the past four years at college. One thing I notice among many students is a great deal of annoyance towards mathematics. They feel mathematics to be too abstract, rigorous, relentless, and just plain boring. Most students either prefer a subject they will end up using in "real life", or a subject that gives them a sense of wonder. However, the amazing thing about mathematics is how truly wonderful it is for me. Most people who see my attitude towards mathematics (including others who are reasonably adept at math) find this odd or misplaced, and I fully understand their lack of sympathy. Perhaps you are one of them. But I can assure everyone reading this there is something truly mysterious about mathematics that breaches the very foundations of astonishment and awe. Take prime numbers for example. It's pretty clear that you can take any whole number and decompose it down into a product of prime... read more

The most basic math that students will have most problems on will be Algebra.  Algebra is a whole new language to some and native to others.  Knowing and Understanding what Algebra is will be the difference between success or hardship farther down the roads.   Hi, name is Thang, and I think algebra is the stepping stone for student to succeed in any math class.  If students have basic knowledge how to recognize and utilize what they know about algebra, then they will do well in other math classes. However, if the students can manipulates and applies their understanding of algebra, then they will succeed and go farther in their mathematics' skills.   As tutors, we  can and should guide our students to learn the arts and crafts of mathematics (as well as other subjects) so it can be like their native tongue.

In mathematics, different functions has different rules and I can see a lot of students are struggling with the rules for integers. So I'll kindly discuss the rules for each operation: + - * /   Addition   (-) + (-) = (-) Ex: -9+-8=-17   (+) + (+) = (+) Ex: 4+6=10   (+) + (-)  [Remember to always take the bigger number sign and use the opposing operation, which is subtraction to solve the equation.] Ex: 5+-3=2   (-) + (+)  Ex: -9+8=-1 [Same rule follow as above]   Subtraction   (-) - (-)  Ex: -9-(-8) = -9+8 [When two negatives are next to each other you change to its opposing operation: addition and change the 8 into a positive integer.]   (+) - (+) = (+) [Unless the first integer is smaller than the second. Ex: 5-8= 5+-8 [Then you follow the rule... read more

The unit circle is one of the most important concepts to understand in Trigonometry.   As a tutor who emphasizes understanding and comprehension over memorization, I try to make it as easy as possible for my students.   Here's the way I like to look at it:   1) First, realize that the unit circle is simply a few points drawn on an graph with an x-axis and a y-axis. 2) Recognize that there is an overall pattern. Every 90 degrees (0, 90, 180, 270) is a combination of 0 and 1 (positive and negative). Every 45 degrees (45, 135, 225, 315) is √2/2 (positive and negative). Every 30 degrees (30, 60, 120, 150, 210, 240, 300, 330) are combinations of 1/2 and √3/2 (positive and negative).   This means that you only have to remember three numbers: 1/2, √2/2, and √3/2 (positive and negative).   The first quadrant (0-90 degrees), has all positive numbers, just like you'd expect in any other graph. The... read more

Online tutoring is a great option for families to have on-demand access to help.  After a long day of work and school, sometimes having to go out again to a tutoring session can be very daunting.  Online tutoring allows you to bypass all of the headache and stress and get to the help you need immediately.   Typical online tutoring uses a virtual classroom which includes a whiteboard that allows the tutor and tutee to communicate in real time.  Most virtual classrooms have audio and visual components included and require no additional installation.  The only tools necessary are a computer, internet connection, speakers and microphone (or telephone depending on the connection).   To learn more or if you are interested in online math tutoring contact me, Andrea Hall.    

Almost no one likes homework, especially mind-numbing drill and practice.  Problem after problem, over and over again... does this really accomplish anything?  The answer, according to the literature, is "yes!"     As a tutor, I recommend the website ixl.com to all primary and secondary students as the best way to practice math, but is it the best way?  To investigate this, I turned to the peer-reviewed literature, which turned up some interesting results about the importance of practice.     In a 2005 study on a diverse group of Texas math students, researchers Nguyen and Kulm randomly placed students in two different groups.  One group had old-fashioned pencil-and-paper homework, while the other group had randomized online homework.  Students in both groups had the opportunity to rework homework and improve grades.  The students were given a pretest before the study and a post test after.  The results... read more

Q: Where do you go when it is cold? A: In the corner of the room because it is 90 degrees!   Q:Why is a math book always sad? A: Because it has too many problems!   Q: Why did the mutually exclusive events break up? A: Because they had nothing in common!   Q:What did one math book say to the other? A: Don't bother me I got my own problems! Q:Why do you never serve beer at a math party? A: Because you can't drink and derive!

Here are 48 of my favorite math words in 12 groups of 4. Each group has words in it that can be thought of at the same time or are a tool for doing math.   between on over in   each multiply of many   ratio divisions distribution compartments   limit neighborhood proximity boundary   infinite infitesmal mark differentiation   graph width height depth   circle sphere point interval   hyper extra spacetime dimensional   geometry proportion sketch spatial   four table cross squared   target rearrange outcome result   area volume space place   What are your favorite math words? If you aren't sure, search for "mathematical words" and pick a few.

It has come to my attention that a lot of people do not enjoy math. As a math tutor, I probably hear this complaint more than most, but most people probably know a person (or are that person!) who just does not like math. I would like to say that if you think you don't like math, you might just be wrong. Mathematics is an extremely diverse discipline that stretches across all aspects of life. What a lot of people don't realize is that they are engaging in mathematical activities without even thinking about it. When you're driving and start to hit the breaks early so you can coast to a gentle stop, you're using calculus. When you're running and feel the air cool as it's passing your face, that’s thermodynamics. When you're asked to make a password with numbers and letters, that’s cryptography. When you can't find what you're looking for on Google and try rephrasing your search, that’s set theory. You're using math every day all the time. So maybe "solving for x"... read more

This course represents a transition from basic mathematical formulas and equations into a bigger concept of learning about the origins or proving theories of math and created formulas. Taking this course requires the use of logic and concepts which you must understand deeply in order to write out correct proofs to back up your theories of math.

But there's always MORE math! That's what I told one of my students a month ago, and I meant it. I've dealt with math in every role from student, to teacher, to tutor and I can honestly say that the more I learn, the more I'm sure that I've barely scratched the surface of what's out there. A scary thought considering I've been educated in the subject for nearly 25 years. So what is a high school student to do these days with so much scary math out there?   I have one piece of advice: focus. That does NOT mean fixating on every minor detail you come across in order to then extract meaning from each individual piece of information and then put it all together at the end. That's not focusing, that's suffering. Nobody learns the ABC's all at once. Neither should you attempt to do it with math.   In order to focus, it helps to (temporarily) ignore the minor details and devote your attention to "the big picture." You want to quickly identify and master... read more

I can't count how many times I've sat and watched a student erase half a page of her hardest math work just because the end result didn't come out right - or because it didn't fit neatly on the page.  I'm not sure if this is a new thing, this preoccupation with making one's homework look nice and flow perfectly from Point A to B.  But it makes me sad to see my students erasing some of the most important records in their academic lives.   Mistakes are not failures.  Mistakes show you how hard you worked, how far you got and exactly where you went wrong.  They are beautiful pieces of your mental history.  They show you what kinds of things you need to watch out for in the future.  Do you often forget to distribute your negatives?  Do you get exponent rules mixed up?  Maybe you're not so great at remembering when to rationalize the denominator.  Whatever your personal "weaknesses" are, they are uniquely yours.  Acknowledging... read more

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