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When a young person takes their first higher math course, Algebra I, their brains are developing a different set of skills than arithmetic, and they are faced with abstract concepts. Most students are intellectually ready for this transition in the 8th or 9th grade. Many students have to be patient, I as it sometimes takes a few months for the "aha" moment when it all clicks. I find that their are many ways to teach algebraic concepts that allow students to grasp the particular skill they are working on. I use methods such as real-world examples, I foldable study guides, reviewing or introducing basic concepts such as inverses and identities, using colors, using hands-on materials like algebra tiles, and more. I often have students use highlighters or make their own problems. After 28 years of teaching, I know which misconceptions are made most often, so I also what NOT to do and why.  Research has repeatedly shown that success in Algebra II is the best predictor of... read more

I graduated with a First-Class Honors degree in Mechanical Engineering. But: I wasn't always first in the class! I know how it feels to struggle with math. LET ME SHOW YOU HOW I TURNED MATH AROUND - I DID IT = YOU CAN TOO. During my Junior, Middle, and High school years I struggled like crazy!! I KNOW how it feels to be lost in a math maze!! How could that be? I went to an expensive school, but the teachers told me I couldn't do it – so many times - that I believed what they were saying. Even the school principal said I'd never make it to university. Even so, my dad was an engineer and somehow I passed the entrance exam. Whew!! BUT – my math (at that time) wasn't good enough – I got booted out. - NOW IT GETS BETTER! - My best friend's dad, advised me to try teaching math at night school. It sounded insane, but I got a teaching job (Lord knows how) and during one year I taught math to younger kids. In that year, I had to study like... read more

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