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I mentioned this problem from one of my earliest blog posts with one of my students last week, so I thought I'd bring it back as this week's Math Journey.  Enjoy!   ~   The SAT messes with your head. Don't feel embarrassed, it messes with everyone's head. It's designed to. The SAT is a test of your critical reasoning skills, meaning it's actually far more about logic and figuring out the correct course of action than it is about actually knowing the material. This is nowhere more evident than on the Math section. The SAT Math trips up so many students because they expect it to behave like a math test. The truth is, the SAT Math is about figuring out how to answer each problem using as little actual math as possible. It's all about working quickly, and the questions are structured such that they conceal the quick logic and context-based route behind the facade of a more complicated math question. They're trying to psych you out; to make you... read more

Has anyone noticed the profusion (glut) of a questions coming in that are written exclusively in (what I think is) Chinese? (Resources/Answers)   This looks to me like an attack intended to disturb the normal function and use of the WyzAnt site. 

My Big Secret A lot of people give me flattering feedback which I greatly appreciate, but it also humbles me to recognize that I am not special. I am certainly no genius! Let me share my secret. The reason I connect with students and get fast results is because I know exactly how they feel. I know their frustrations, and doubts, and weak points. I really do! How? Because I used to struggle too. It seems insane to say that I struggled in school, but it is true. Math (back in Scotland) was a nightmare - especially math. I was lousy at math all the way through! What? Yes. And now you want to tutor my child!?!? Yep! My secret is this ..... When I graduated from school my overall grades were good enough to get into university - all except math. I made the first (of many stupid decisions in my life). I signed up for Mechanical Engineering. Wasn't that crazy? That first year in college was horrible. I groaned and... read more

I truly loved teaching high school English, and it thrilled me to see my students have so much fun in my classes. We laughed a lot, which I think is important, because when students are enjoying themselves in the learning process, it makes it so much easier to learn. That is why I feel it is so important to build an easy rapport with students in the beginning, making the student feel at ease, and comfortable, putting the student in a position in which he or she feels comfortable asking questions, for example, and getting a complete understanding of the material at hand. I enjoy tutoring because it gives me the opportunity to teach in a one-on-one situation, focusing my attention on one willing student, and helping that student to achieve his or her goal. I enjoy building a student's confidence, and sharing the joy that comes with improvement. I tutor in my own home, though some students prefer to do some of their work on-line or by phone. This is fine; I have instructed this way with... read more

Thank you for the opportunity to help you or your child achieve learning goals in English and writing. Helping others develop enthusiasm for learning as well as content-based understanding is my motivation. I am glad to be of service. I also rely on tutoring income to help meet my responsibilities. For that reason, I believe it is important to have policies around scheduling and cancellations. Scheduling I schedule students on a first-come, first-served basis, and, normally, I have students who choose to keep a regular appointment or two each week. However, I also have some students who schedule as needed. Those students need to be flexible as my availability may shift from week to week. All appointments are a minimum of one hour in length. To schedule an appointment please contact me at  Cancellations If you must cancel an appointment, please contact me at least six hours prior to your scheduled lesson. Appointments cancelled after... read more

I have been on WA now for several months (granted, through the summer months to start with), and although there were plenty of jobs that I would have accepted, I applied to several, and no one takes me up.  It is for any age Science, math, chemistry, physics, and I will also help with composition, English, etc  I get no one.  I double checked what makes a good job application, etc.  I double checked my profile. So is my price too high?  WA has not suggested nor given any guidance on any of these things, so I am asking you all. Thank you.

College application essays are one of my favorite assignments to work on with students. They are a chance for me to get to know my students better as we brainstorm topics for their personal essays. I get to hear about childhood memories, unique family traditions, and uncommon hobbies. I love helping students find their voice and tell their unique stories to colleges. My students do not share my enthusiasm for application essays. They feel immense pressure to produce their best pieces of writing to impress colleges. They have also probably heard vague tidbits of advice on how to accomplish this: stand out, don’t be cliché, and be interesting. It’s no wonder that a lot of students have trouble finding a place to start. Here are a few tips to make college application essays less scary: 1. Reading other essays: Read other well-written college application essays. Many colleges release strong application essays from previous years. Reading an array of these essays... read more

I couldn't find any references to this tool in the blogs or forums, so I wanted to put this out there.   I use A Web Whiteboard (AWW) found at for all my online tutoring needs. No download, registration, or install necessary... and it's completely free! It also has zero ads or any other clutter you might associate with any free tool. It appears the developers behind AWW make their money by selling a premium product to those interested in that sort of thing, but I've found the free tool more than enough for my needs.   It has pretty much everything I'm looking for in a whiteboard tool: multiple colors, incredibly simple to invite students to join the board, cross-platform (any student with an internet connection can use it, and it works in every browser, as far as I can tell), and there is an option to save the images you create so you and your students can have material for reference later.   The only conceivable drawback... read more

Let's derive the equation sin2x + cos2x=1 from the pythagorean formula.   A right triangle with angle x will have a leg that is adjacent to angle x and it will have a leg that is opposite to angle x.  There will also be a hypotenuse.   From trigonometry, a right triangle with a given angle x,  can defined as follows: adjacent/hypotenuse=cosx opposite/hypotenuse=sinx   Following is the pythagorean identity for our right triangle: adjacent2 + opposite2=hypotenuse2   If we divide the above equation by hypotenuse2, we have:   (adjacent2 + opposite2=hypotenuse2)/hypotenuse2 or  adjacent2/hypotenuse2 + opposite2/hypotenuse2=1   Substitute in sinx and cosx into the above equation:   cos2x+sin2x=1   Can you derive the other two Pythagorean trigonometric identities?   cot2x + 1=csc2x tan2x  + 1=sec2x   Hint:... read more

In mathematics, word problems have been known 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. How can we expect those students who have not yet mastered language to make meaning of word problems? 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... read more

Hi. I'm an English Tutor and I have a question for other English Tutors regarding CBEST essay writing prep.  I was wondering if other English Tutors are challenged by the vast number of EL students trying to pass the essay writing portion of the CBEST.  I would love some suggestions on Grammar helpful for ELL.

Know the strengths and weakness of the student in the particular subject area. Highlight their strength and help them overcome weaknesses Show interest in what students are doing academically outside of tutoring Re-affirm them and let them know that you are proud of them when they get a concept that was once confusing to them. Give students breaks as needed, recognize when they are tired. Listen to students and provide the best service you can

As a parent you may be wondering, "How do I find a tutor for my child?" Here are a few questions to ask a tutor: 1. What is your prior experience in ? 2. How will you assess my child's needs? 3. What is your previous experience in education? 4. How will you work in collaboration with my child's teacher? 5. Can you come to my home? Or do I need to come to your location? 6. How flexible are you with your schedule? Is this something you only do part-time, or is this what you do? Here is a list of some questions that a tutor should ask (not in any particular order): 1. What do you think would help your child be more successful? 2. What does the teacher say about how your child is doing up until now in the class? 3. How does your child feel about tutoring? What has he/she been saying about class? 4. How has your child done in previous math courses? When did she/he start struggling? 5. Do you have a copy of the syllabus for the class... read more

How many times have I heard this: "I'm too old to learn Spanish." Or, "Only kids' brains can absorb new languages." While I would like to just say "phooey!" and leave it at that, I've come to see that adults who say such things are in one of two groups: Traumatized Former Language Students, or Victims of Ageism.   There's a problem with language education in America: we don't do it. Why is it that the average person from any African national speaks four or five languages, with no language lab, little money at the local school, and no fancy computer apps? Because the people around them speak multiple languages: It's part of the culture. But also, sadly, it's because of a history of colonialism and the predominance of English in the world. French, Urdu, English, Patois. These folks switch between numerous linguistic codes with utter facility from an early age. It's a natural part of their culture. People in Africa (and Europe) expect multilingualism... read more

The journal Science has recently published a meta-analysis of numerous long-term studies examining the correlation between high GRE scores and the quality of work done by graduate students once they are enrolled in doctoral (and in some cases) master degree programs. The researchers--professors of Education at several universities have included there is no evidence that there is a relationship between a high GRE score and "successful" work in grad school; in this case, successful means contributing meaningful, thoughtful, and original work in response to assignments, whether they be short research projects or doctoral dissertations. Another study, in fact, has found a correlation between receiving high scores on the GRE and doing poorly in certain fields of study. This may seem counter-intuitive, but then, so many things are.  I'm not including a link for time limitation reasons, but the study would be easy to track down and read if you insert the appropriate descriptors... read more

Late University of Chicago Professor Emeritus Joseph Williams was arguably one of the best writing instructors of our time.  I met him years ago when he was teaching a judicial writing course at the National Judicial College. The genius of his approach was to improve clarity in legal and business writing, by asking writiers to first sketch a "story" of their work, including the list of "characters" (nouns) and actions (verbs).  By focusing on storytelling, you as a writer are forced to be more concise in explaining information to your reader--in a more active context.  Using the "character-action" approach to writing simplifies your lanaguge, places responsbility cleary for following regulatoins, and reduces your use of the passive voice. Consider these two examples: (Statutory Instrument 1991 No 2680, The Public Works Contracts Regulations 1991, Part 1, 2.4, page 4)   'General saving for old... read more

If the lesson needs to be cancelled or rescheduled, please inform me through Wyzant messaging atleast 24 hours before the lesson begins. A no-show is a student who is more than 15 minutes late. For no-show students, a cancellation fee equal to the full amount of the lesson will be assessed. If the student is going to be late to the lesson, please feel free to inform me that way I do not consider the student to be a no-show and therefore continue with the cancellation fee. 

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