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On Friday my TV broke. Kind of a bummer, but we'd had it for many years and it was time for it to go. Now we needed to get a new one, so we headed out to the store. In the process of our search, we realized that our old TV was at the extreme smaller end of the TVs they now sell, so we were going to need to buy a bigger one. We found one we liked, that was only slightly bigger than our old one. The big question, though, before we plunked down our hard-earned cash, was this: would it still fit on our entertainment center? Our current TV was sold as a 40-inch model, and the one we liked was 43-inch. However, TVs are measured across the diagonal, not the width, so we needed to know what the actual width would be. My hubby got out a tape measure, and I got out a pencil and paper. He measured our 40-inch TV across the diagonal and found that 40 was actually just the screen size; the full diagonal with the frame was 42.5 inches. We knew the new one's frame was no larger... read more

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We all have one: that one subject that our brains just refuse to understand, and no matter how much we study or how hard we work, we never feel like we really truly GET what is going on.   For me, that subject was always Physics. No junior high or high school teacher could ever answer the unending string of "...but WHY?" questions that I needed answered before I could understand even the most basic concepts of our Introductory course. It wasn't that I couldn't understand, but rather that I wasn't being taught these ideas in a way that made sense to me.    As an adult, Physics is now actually one of my favorite subjects to read about because I have found some books written for people just like me, people who need explanations fulls of examples and explanations and lots of pictures! I may never discover black holes or split an atom, but I now know enough that I can understand the people who do those things. :-)     So,... read more

Math is a subject that I've always been excited about! So it was easy for me to do my homework. What if you don't like math? Let me ask you a question. Is math a subject that is required for you to take in order to be promoted from one grade to the next? Do you have the choice of not taking it? My point is simply this. There are many things which you and I have to do that we don't like if we want to make it or survive. Instead of telling yourself that you don't like math or that you hate it; simply say that you love what learning math can do to your quality of life or how you can conquer your fears and I promise that you will find yourself solving problems that you thought only Einstein could do. Get it? Got it? Good!

When I start a tutoring session,I first check up on my students and inquire about what they are up to or what is on their mind. Then I relate to that and segue into our goals for the next hour or so (session length). Second, I always bring up how I learn and how everyone learns a little bit differently. Thus, I encourage my students to let me know if they are not following my lead or have questions or concerns. Third, I always have my students "illustrate" outwardly how their minds are working through a problem by working entirely without assistance until they feel they have done their best. This fosters perseverance and lifts self-esteem and goes a long-way towards generating a "can-do" attitude. Then, I always make up games or riddles that challenge my students in what they are studying (Since, I predominately tutor in chemistry and math and SAT/ACT math prep, these "puzzles" are mathematical in nature.). Lastly, I mention something that relates the... read more

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!

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