# Blogs

## Prealgebra Blogs

Test Preparation – Best Practices Start this at least one week before the math, chemistry or physics exam. What does the test cover? Sounds simple but it is amazing that many students are not sure the night before an exam. Using major topic titles, your notes, instructors’ notes, pages in the book – describe fully what the upcoming test covers. If questions come up - NOW is the time to ask the instructor exactly what is covered. I encourage you to approach the instructor – let him/her know you are actively preparing. Ask them if they have a good source of extra problems to work to prepare. They will love that you are taking their class seriously. Don’t do this to impress them – be sincere – but be aware – this could be helpful in that they might be interested in helping you. They work very hard instructing you - you probably don’t realize how much work they do when they are not in front of you in class – so you “make their day” by your behavior. Even if a cheat... read more

SOH CAH TOA When working with Right Triangles in any Math and Science subject, especially Algebra, Geometry, Trigonometry, Chemistry, and Physics, many problems can be solved by remembering this Memory Jogger: Indian Chief SOH CAH TOA (sounds like soow caah towaah) Angle = A Sine A = Opposite/Hypotenuse Cosine A = Adjacent/Hypotenuse Tangent A = Opposite/Adjacent You can use these formulas to calculate and find missing angles or sides to solve various problems. Please contact me to help your student achieve the best grades possible in Math and Science. As a Chemical Engineer, I work on Math and Science problems all day, and tutor students in Math and Science in the evenings and weekends, including students from Elementary School to College Graduate School. I help students learn to see how Math and Science can be fun and useful in daily life, school, and career choices. All the best, John M.

I have found that many students fear math and business classes as the teacher/instructor knows only a single approach to the topic and additionally cannot show the relevance of the subject with real world examples. With over 20 years of classroom and tutoring experience in math and business topics and my experience in the business and education sectors, I have a huge variety of experiences to draw upon to solve problems and show day-to-day relevance. Learning needs to be fun to engage the student and success must be achieved with every learning situation. I truly enjoy "Turning Distress Into Success"! Larry D.

Teaching is my passion and with 34 years of teaching experience and current NM teaching license *Kg-8. I am ready to help elementary, jr high, and high school students overcome their learning problems and help them begin to be successful in school. My experience also includes teaching teachers at the graduate school level and one - on - one tutoring for the GED test. If you choose me, you will not be disappointed.

1. No one was born to lose. The best of my students understand this principle like the backs of their hands. No, there is no inherent genetic formula or organic compound you can use to get an A in a class. We are all products of our hardwork and investments. Whoever decides to put in excellent work will definitely reap excellent results. 2. Always aim for gold. Have you heard that there is a pot of gold lying somewhere at the end of the rainbow? It's true! Okay, I'm just joking, but my best students always aim for the gold. The very best. As, not Bs, or Cs, or Ds. Just the very best. The one thing people don't think they are capable of achieving is the best. The top of the class. Or the valedictorian. 3. Never settle for less. My best students are innovative, inquisitive thinkers. They tend to think outside the box, never settling for "just what they got from class." They love to use real life examples and explore how theory comes alive in their personal experiences... read more

I'm new to this site and can't wait to help you. Got questions? I got answers! Whether you need some simple study skills and techniques or if you have very specific problems in a subject, I can help. Let me show you how all these subjects work together and are not isolated disciplines that you're never going to use. I'll show you the relevance of each subject and how they're all integrated. Learning is so much fun when you understand why you need to know.

Whenever you complete a math problem, it is paramount to go back and double check your work. Remember, no one is perfect and mistakes will be made from time to time. The first step is to always ask yourself "Does this answer make sense"? For example, if you're working on a geometry problem and you're trying to calculate an angle of a polygon, and you determine the answer is 110°, look at the angle and ask "Does this answer makes sense, does this angle look like it's greater than a right angle or a 90° angle"? If not, you know you've made an error and can go back to find the mistake. You can do it!!

I wanted to take a moment to share a recent "success story". Recently, a Student contacted me because he needed to pass a formal standardized exam, known as the "Praxis I". The Praxis tests are used by State Governments and Colleges of Education to ensure they bring only quality students into their programs to be trained as educators. My Student had unfortunately previously failed all 3 components of the Praxis test, and was now "under the gun", since a second failing score would have resulted in his expulsion from his School. In my home State, students must achieve a combined Praxis I Score of at least 522 to be eligible for School. The passing score for the Reading test is 176, the Writing test 173, and the Math test 173. The minimum score on each test is 150, and the maximum score is 190. It should be noted that this is a fairly difficult exam series; the median scores (175-179) are barely above the minimum passing scores (173-176). My Student,... read more

OK, so I'm a math geek, but actually very down-to-earth and not much of a blogger. My students like that I'm friendly, approachable, and explain in plain English using tangible objects when possible. For example, when teaching the calculation of volumes generated by revolving curves around a line, I've used a glass vase to illustrate; for cylindrical shells, a roll of toilet paper got the idea across. For Trig, 'sketch, look, and count' go much further than memorizing the gazillion rules your textbook makes you think you need to memorize. Exponents? Easy--think of asking for a certain number of copies when you print. Do the same thing with the algebra expression, only multiply those copies. Yup, plain analogies make the concepts way clearer and less intimidating. No, I don't eat math for breakfast and love dogs, cats, and doing arts & crafts. But I am very experienced at teaching math and my students tend to stick with me as long as they need help. Being too humble to brag,... read more

I recently sent this as advice to one of my clients having trouble with linear systems of inequalities. I thought I would share it here on my blog for students, parents, and tutors who have use for it. EXPLANATION OF LINEAR SYSTEMS OF INEQUALITIES A system with regular lines (the ones with equals signs in them that you have done before) shows the single point where the two lines cross each other on the graph. The X and Y at that point are the two numbers that make the equal sign true. For instance, with the equations 3 = 5X +Y and 10 = 2X -Y, the answer is x = 7/13 and y = 4/13 because if you plug those numbers into both equations you get true statements, 3=3 and 10=10. The point (7/13, 4/13) is the point where the two lines cross each other. Inequalities, where you have "less than" or "greater than" signs work the same way. But, instead of getting a point where the equations are true, you get a whole area on the graph where they are true. So, the answer... read more

I know, I know, lots of students (and even adults) get frightened even by the thought of math. I've known people to have nightmares, and/or to freeze up when it comes time to take a math test. So much of this fear has been handed down to us by previous generations, unfortunately. But all you have to do is decide to FACE your FEAR of math! I can help you do that, because as an experienced tutor of math at all grade levels, Elementary through Algebra and Geometry, I know that the best way to understand math is to have someone break it down into small, logical steps for you. Once you see the patterns, it's like a light bulb goes off and what just moments ago seemed like an impossible puzzle has now been solved. Eureka! All of a sudden, "that" kind of problem makes sense. And once you see you are capable of understanding one type of problem, you become confident that you CAN understand others. With a patient teacher guiding you (like myself), everything mathematical that... read more

Do you really want to succeed in your studies and tests? Here’s the key: a Gut Check. Simply put, when the going gets tough, keep going. This is what differentiates the Good from the Great. We were not created to merely exist. We were created to thrive and fulfill our potential. It’s the consistent overcoming of obstacles that breaks down barriers to success. When you’re lifting weights, it’s the last three extra reps that you did that really bring in the results. It’s the extra mile that you ran, the extra sprint that you did. Let’s apply this principle to academics. Decide today that you will keep going when things get tough.

"Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire." (William Butler Yeats) I am new to WyzAnt.com. I am a recent Johnson State College graduate. I majored in Elementary Education with a concentration in math. I recently completed my second practicum at Georgia Elementary School with a classroom of 20 4th grade students. Before that I completed my first practicum at Jericho Elementary School with a classroom of 13 2nd grade students. I currently substitute at the Georgia Elementary and Middle School, as well as, tutor three 4th grade students, two days per week, in math and occasionally in other subjects. I thoroughly enjoy working with k-6 students, their curiosity and enthusiasm are amazing and exhilarating. I welcome the chance to create a spark and light a fire of enjoyment and curiosity to your child's learning experience. Janice B.

Tutoring can be a beneficial tool for your at-risk student. If your child is experiencing issues with confusion within subject matter taught within the classroom, needs a boost in self-confidence, or perhaps needs a challenge, your family may want to consider tutoring as a viable option. An experienced tutor is able to perform a formal or informal assessment to determine the need of your student. Once this step has been accomplished, a good tutor will provide materials and activities that are necessary to making learning both fun and successful for your student. It is also important to develop a rapport with your student conducive to finding out the needs of your student, as well as finding ways to supplement learning when your tutor is unavailable. In closing, I feel that if a family is interested in obtaining a tutor though the WyzAnt company, it may be best to pre-pay in order to avoid confusion between tutor, company and families. This will help greatly in obtaining the necessary... read more

“Take time to think, for this is the source of power. Take time to work that you may know the joy of success. Take time to leave the world a better place, for only then will you truly appreciate the journey of life.” Life in the 21st century does not always lend itself to taking time. Since leaving Abington Friends School, I have been taking time to write. In recent days, I have been working on an opus entitled Dear Thomas. Over a two-year period, I penned my son Thomas 155 letters chronicling family history, my life, thoughts and feelings of the day, and hopes and dreams for the future. I am now in the finishing stages as I edit and re-edit this illustrated volume of about 600 pages. "Know you what it is to be a child? It is to believe in love, to believe in loveliness, to believe in belief; it is to be so little that the elves can reach to whisper in your ear; it is to turn pumpkins into coaches, and mice into horses, lowness into loftiness, and nothing into... read more

Finals have started in the middle and high schools and so the break will soon be here. I'm anxious for my students and my daughter (in 9th grade) who are waiting to see what their final grade will be. While a few weeks off is treasured by teachers and students, the Christmas break is actually an excellent time for students to learn in math what they weren't able to master during the year. Neither the tutor nor the student relishes the idea of giving up vacation time but it's those students who go above and beyond who will ultimately succeed. In just a few sessions over the break, so very much can be accomplished because there isn't other work to compete with the student's time. To my students in middle school, good luck and remember to simplify those radicals and fractions. To my high school students, please practice the formulas and mnemonics I've taught you. Good luck to you as well! I have every confidence in you! Sincerely, Tracey M.

Work is force times distance: handling your calculator is just as much work as is figuring out what to write down. You will have more time to figure out what to write down if you wait until you've worked out solutions to all the problem you know how to work, before you use the calculator to compute numerical values. Picking up the calculator, putting it down, making the context shift in your mind,.., all take time away from the work that's earning you points on that test. So just do it once. I will say it again: deal with the numbers only once!