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As you may know, I am a big fan of the well-known author and brain specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen. He mentions in several of his books that Physical Exercise is good for the brain. I have read of research studies that showed a clear correlation between IMPROVEMENT in students' test scores in math and science, and their level of physical activity (for example, when math class followed PE class, the students had significantly higher scores). Maybe we should schedule PE before all math classes in our schools. What do you think about that idea? This morning I read an online article on the myhealthnewsdaily site, entitled "6 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain," and another article about how Physical Exercise helps maintain healthy brain in older adults too. The second article, "For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workout" was found under Yahoo News. The remainder of this note is quoted from that article: Regular physical exercise appears to... read more

My emerging tutoring passion is assisting ESL college students with their coursework. Most of them must also hold full-time jobs to support themselves and often their families as well. Many require online courses to get college educations. They could not earn a college degree any other way. Do textbook publishing companies realize how much cultural bias is written into their online ancillary (supplemental) materials? Do teachers of online college courses realize how hopeless these students feel about merely passing a class when their grades depend on online multiple-choice exams consisting of 60 items to be completed in 60 minutes (60 in 60), for example? This may be a subtle form of cultural bias, but bias it is. Frankly, as a native speaker of American English with a master’s degree in journalism from University of Wisconsin—Madison, I’m not sure I could pass a 60 in 60 exam. I would like to challenge the instructors who teach these online courses and college administrators... read more

Ken B., known as "The Best Little Tutor In Texas", has just surpassed the 400 hour tutoring mark in Houston, Texas! What makes Ken so good and popular in Houston? It is because of his diverse background and of being able to do the following: mathematics, statistics, chemistry, physics, computers, and computer programming. He can help a student in many many different areas. Ken does both high school and college and does regular, honors, IB, PAP, AP, etc... All that is quite a talent. Ken says that the subject most tutored in the past several months is statistics, and the reason for that is that most teachers use the 'dump' method...they 'dump' a copious quantity of power point files onto the student but the teachers do not really teach how to 'do' the problems...he has seen the same trend with other subject areas, and this is most unfortunate for students taking the classes...so, if you need to get on top of your mathematics and science courses (except of biology), then Ken... read more

I am excited for the semester break, but I am more excited for next semester.  Are you ready for next semester chemistry?  How well did you do last semester?     I am pleased to say -and I was very hesitant being that one of the students approached me with 5 days until their exam- that both of my students passed with flying colors last semester.   I am looking for students who are excited for the material; they want to learn the material, and they want more than a good start.  I am very engaged with my students.  I spend hours behind the scenes to get them to where they need to be, want to be and have to be.

When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too. I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER make the child feel "stupid," no matter what.) It is most important to have a safe and quiet place for studying, without distractions. I like to find a quiet table at a library, and work with students there. I welcome suggestions from parents, and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching skills.

Most of us tend to think that science is all about equations. But language is just as important as numbers are to the scientific endeavor. E.O. Wilson, the famous biologist, once stated that he doesn't even consider himself as acting like a scientist until he sits down and starts writing. Words are central to science, and so when you're teaching or studying the sciences, it's a good idea to focus on writing as a tool for learning. What I recommend for my students is to build a master list of new vocabulary terms. I have them write definitions in their own words of what those terms mean, and I use that list to quiz them. This serves a few purposes. First, it helps students build their understanding of language of science. Second, for who struggle with attention or other learning disabilities, it helps them to focus on the key ideas of the course. As a grad student in science education I learned that there is a lot of evidence to indicate that revising notes, focusing on vocabulary,... read more

A growing area of educational thought is reconsidering the pros and cons of single-sex education, i.e. all-male or all-female schools. In Madison this week, the president and CEO of the Madison Urban League proposed opening an all-male school for grades 6-9 aimed at African-American students (Troller, 2010). The hope is that such a school can take advantage of the ways that young men learn differently from young women and provide dedicated adult-male support that young men who often lack such support need (Troller, 2010). Obviously, this idea raises issues about the history of racial segregation, the fight for integrated schools, and the challenge of civil rights for people of all races in the United States. But single-sex education is not solely a desire for more all-male schools, rather there is a movement towards creating more all-female schools as well (Meehan, 2007). As Meehan (2007) observes, girls behave and learn differently in the classroom, and as a result can be left... read more

Now that finals have passed for most of the college students on the semester schedule, I'd like to reflect on the panic that arises when students in required introductory physical science classes come to the end of a course and realize that they haven't retained anything! What is the correct approach to triaging such situations? Of course, the best way to engage with material is by answering questions that are similar to those that will be on the examination, and most professors will be kind enough to tell you what the format and types of questions will be. Generally, there are two types of questions you will find: qualitative and quantitative. I'll deal with the best way to study for each type of question in turn.   Qualitative Questions The tendency here is to think that cramming and memorizing facts is the best way to go to answer such multiple choice, free response, or essay questions on qualitative subjects. However, this is not often the case. There... read more

You'd think that, "If I'm paying for tutoring, he should be answering MY questions. Not the other way around." While I can sympathize with the general sentiment, I'd say,"you're way off base there!"   I think that the tutor/teacher/coach should never ask the student directly,"Do you understand __________ ?" Not knowing the subject matter, how would the student know/evaluate/determine if they understood or not ? Generally they can't, that's why the need a tutor. Rather than ask about specific content, directly, I ask questions to determine if the student understands the material and how the pieces fit together. Sometimes that's five or six questions.   Here's my general GAME PLAN: Find out where they are. Tell them, show them, then see what they heard and saw.   When your tutor's asking you questions, he/she is probably working the same kind of plan. You can help them help you by always providing the syllabus... read more

In high school I enjoyed writing about conspiracy theories. Who killed JFK? Did aliens crash land in Roswell? Does Chipotle put crack in their burritos to make them so addictive and delicious? The last one is more of a personal pondering. The government seems to be the central focus of the vast majority of conspiracies, likely due to its imposing size, societal ubiquity, and all the money they feel the need to take out of my diminutive paycheck. But I think the government is a bit too scatterbrained to be able to pull off all these feats of conspiratorial prestige. Let us look at a former top secret government endeavor, the Manhattan Project. Blowing things up is intriguing, and from my experience with fireworks, it is pretty exciting. Ignoring the social and ethical implications, the atomic bomb is a scientific wonder. But perhaps even more impressive is the work of G.I. Taylor in exposing the carelessness of the government. The government tested the first atomic bomb on July... read more

I love archery. Not only is it excellent moving meditation and a great upper body + core workout, but it's also lots of fun, a great motivator to get really strong and well-conditioned, and most of all, it is an amazing tool for teaching basic physics concepts and possibly piquing some curiosity for all age groups. Not too long ago, I had a conversation with a very young archer who was getting frustrated with the fact that her arrow speeds were really slow compared to everyone else's, not that anyone was shooting particularly well given it was at a medieval fair with minimal fiberglass equipment with maximal safety features for shooting at live human beings in armor. Archer: My bow is too weak, I can't get it to make it to the target without aiming into the trees! [she only draws to a little short of her face] Me: Let me try. [I draw back to full anchor and use my arrow, which is actually heavier than hers... and I shoot *over* the target] Archer: How did you do... read more

Greetings Wyzant community, prospective students, fellow tutors: I have just returned from my studies abroad and am ready to begin teaching again. Please take a look at my profile. My education ranges from my Masters in Physics, to my undergrad degrees in physics, biology and music. I just completed the coursework for a masters program in peace and conflict resolution as well. Aside from know knowledge and experience teaching, I think I possess a very good ability to understand the different ways students learn. This helps me to engage with them in a way that is most effective for them. Not only does it help to comprehend the material for the subjects they are learning but it also helps them to develop a wisdom and intuition for further (creative) learning and a strategic approach towards test taking. I'm looking forward to working with all of you. Don't hesitate to contact me for any reason...

An important piece I bring to the table in terms of tutoring is the fact each student is a unique individual, which may be better reached by creative thought concerning what will help them master the material of their subject. It also matters a great deal what their personal goals are in learning a subject. The teaching approach can be tailored in a way that addresses both what they want to learn, and the best way for them to learn it. This is certainly the advantage of having a tutor. In addition to helping them with a specific subject, I also seek to imbue students with the kind of study skills that will benefit them to not only do well in the course, but skills which will benefit them through out their professional development.

Hello! This whole site is pretty new to me, but I wanted to briefly show my interests and experiences, as they are fairly diversified: Sciences: As noted above, most of my experience is with chemistry. Organic Chemistry is my specialty, but I am also familiar with Inorganic Chemistry. I've been a Teaching Assistant for college freshman level courses through upper level chemistry courses. I started off as a Biology/Pre-med major, so courses like Physics and Biology are high on my understanding. Tutoring in most of the sciences will be my highest level of knowledge/experience. Math: I was a mathematics minor as an Undergraduate, so I am very familiar with a fair amount of mathematics divisions. Calculus is fairly fresh, but I am most proficient with Algebra. I have a secret love of the mathematics, so tutoring math in some way would definitely be great. Dance: I just noticed that dance was an option for the "subjects", so I listed it. I am a Lindy Hop dancer and... read more

The equation below is used for Covalent Bonds, Molecular geometry, electron geometry, and structural formulas to figure the number of bonds in a molecule. N-A = S equation to figure the number of bonds in a molecule N = needed: the sum of the number of valence electrons needed by each atom (2 for hydrogen, 8 for all other atoms) A = available: the sum of the number of valence electrons available for each atom S = shared: the number of electrons shared in the molecule S/2 = the number of covalent bonds in the molecule If you need any help with these concepts, please contact me for tutoring. Thank you very much, John M.

A current poll by Wyzant of tutors indicates a large majority of tutors assign homework to their tutees. Seriously? My students all have plenty of teacher-assigned homework they are required to do. They can use this homework to practice what we've done in tutoring sessions. More homework? Not if you want to keep the student!

0. Many STEM problems involve manipulation of a set of constrained equations. Identify the set for the problem you are solving. 1. The numbers don't matter; so, ... plan on always deriving the formula or mathematical expression for your answer, first. 2. Never operate on or write dimensionless numbers in a derivation or problem solution. 3. VARIABLE = Quantity x [Units]. This is always true, even if its not presented this way in introductory courses. 4. Only variables with the same units can be added (or subtracted). 5. The result of multiplying two variables is has units that are the product of the multiplier and multiplicand: VARIABLE_1 x VARIABLE_2 = Quantity_1 x Quantity_2 x [Units_1 x Units_2] . Sometimes, units in the numerator(denominator) of one variable will cancel out units in the denominator(numerator) of the other. 6. For details, Google "Dimensional Analysis". That's what I'm talking about! 7. Corrects answers come from derivation... read more

Playing a math game. Following a recipe. Building a science project, robot, or electronic kit... These are some ways to use hands-on learning activities to make science and math more interesting. This summer, for example, I have been using some new modules that include electronics/science of electricity, automotive engine technology, solar energy labs, etc. for "gifted", "average", and "special needs" students. And everybody loved the new study lessons. Even the ADD/ADHD students (myself included) stayed interested during entire lessons. I think we need more of this sort of thing in the schools. What do you think? If hands-on learning can keep the attention of ADD/ADHD students, it can work for other students too! I enjoy watching students learn through interactive games that utilize technology. For example, we like to race the clock and fill in math and science puzzles. There are many active ways to make learning more interesting, and before you know... read more

Hi, I'm a new tutor to this site. Within the past few days, I've been working on getting certified in as many subjects as possible. These are all of the subjects I'm certified to tutor in on the website. Most of the subjects are in math or science. Some are in English topics as well like in reading and writing, etc. I also am certified to tutor to prepare for a lot of standardized tests and a few common computer software programs people use. Please read my profile if you need a new tutor in the Hillsboro or Portland area! -Ann

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