Middle School Math Help Articles - Wyzant Tutor Blogshttps://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/middle_school_math_helpThis is an aggregate of all of the Middle School Math Help articles in Wyzant.com's Tutors' Blogs. Wyzant.com is your source for tutors and students.Mon, 24 Feb 2020 07:11:47 -0600https://www.wyzant.com/images/logos/wyzant-logo.pngMiddle School Math Help Articles - Wyzant Tutor Blogshttps://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/middle_school_math_helphttps://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/middle_school_math_help377393https://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/377393/math_concepts_vs_drillsAmy F.https://www.wyzant.com/resources/users/view/85499067Math Concepts vs. Drills<div> There are so many great math curricula out there. Some are very heavy on drills: and who can deny that drills are extremely important? Others are wonderful at demonstrating concepts....the thought processes behind working out problems. Drills can easily bore a student to death and make them feel like math is a punishment, rather than an interesting investigation. However, they seem to have some mastery of math when, in reality, they don't understand the language of math. Some children pick up on concepts so quickly that a teacher or parent begins to think the student is a prodigy and is past the drills. So the teacher tends to "zoom" through lessons, allowing the student to lose important ground that has already been gained. Eventually, this leads to a halt in the student's progress. </div>
<div> Obviously, this means that both concepts and drills are equally important, and a tutor should never sacrifice one for the other. A student MUST know their tables by heart, and I mean instantly! Since this can become a drudgery, the tutor needs to find many roads to lead the student down the path of mastering the multiplication/division and addition/subtraction tables. There are different methods for different ages.</div>
<div> For example, a primary student delights in making a colorful lapbook. Examples are abundant over the internet. Children love opening a book that they made on their own and reading it over and over.</div>
<div> For elementary students, taking a timed quiz over and over increases their confidence and lets them see their progression. They take pleasure in beating their own score each day until they reach "perfection". </div>
<div> Middle school students need to begin recognizing patterns. For instance, the pattern in the 8's times tables look like this:</div>
<div> 08, 16, 24, 32, 40, 48, 56, 64, 72, 80</div>
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<div> Notice that the left side of the number (the ten's place) increases by one, except that 4 repeats itself twice (0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8). The right hand side of the number (the one's place) repeats the pattern: 8, 6, 4, 2, 0, 8, 6, 4, 2, 0...... etc. When written vertically, this pattern is much more obvious.</div>
<div> Teaching concepts, for me, always begins with learning the "language" of mathematics. For example, one can substitute the word "of" for the multiplication sign. 1/4 of 40 is the same as saying 1/4 times 40. Fractions can always be read as a division problem. 2/4 is the same as saying two divided by four. If a tutor doesn't explain concepts, math will become drudgery and uninteresting.</div>
<div> Therefore, please include drill and concepts in your lessons on a consistent basis to ensure success and the pleasure of learning mathematics!</div>
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<div>Have Fun Teaching!</div>
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<div>Miss Amy</div>
<div>Reading/Math/Piano Tutor</div>Mon, 07 Sep 2015 17:00:30 -05002015-09-07T17:00:30-05:00264300https://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/264300/educational_appsJessica S.https://www.wyzant.com/resources/users/view/84101090Educational Apps<div>After several months of carrying some pretty heavy textbooks around with me, I recently decided to switch to a Kindle Fire and start using electronic textbooks. Although there are times when a good old-fashioned book really cannot be replaced, I'm very pleased with the weight of my tutoring bag now, and my students seem to be enjoying the switch as well.</div>
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<div>I'm able to download textbooks for free in some cases ("Boundless" publishing), and I also have several different dictionaries and other reference books a tap away! Any other books I might find helpful for my students? Just a few clicks away. This also frees up my paper textbooks to loan to my students in-between sessions.<br /><br />Using a Kindle gives me the added benefit of being able to load educational applications to use for practice and reinforcement. Since we are in the 'computer testing' age, this also gives my students some extra practice in preparing for computerized exams. I'm sure you'll notice that the list below is very heavy on math applications; all of my students currently need help in math, so this is where many of my resources are going right now.</div>
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<div>So, which apps does a highly rated K-12 tutor carry?</div>
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<div><strong>Angry Numbers</strong> - This scrabble-like game requires students to create correct math equations using a random combination of numbers. Each level adds another layer of complexity by adding an additional operation. Level one is addition-only, and level four includes addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This is a required skill on several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Visible Body Atlas</strong> - This app is great for college students and high school biology/health students who are working on a unit covering major organs and systems of the human body. It includes an atlas, animations, and quizzes.</div>
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<div><strong>Blackboard Math: Fractions</strong> - This app allows me to choose from a variety of settings to give my student a more personalized experience, working with only one specific type of fraction (simplifying, or least common multiple), or one specific operation (addition, multiplication, etc), or a combination of different settings to target specific academic standards for different grade levels. There is a "practice" mode as well as a "quiz" mode. This is a required skill on several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Drag Math</strong> - Great for younger students who are just starting to learn multiplication, Drag Math requires students to drag a number into a multiplication chart accurately to help reinforce relationships between numbers. This is a required skill on several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Evernote-</strong> Evernote is an organizational genius. I can keep a list of current topics, projects, or anything else for each of my students, ensuring that I can remember when their big test dates will be, what we covered the last time we met, and what we know we'll need to cover in future sessions. This helps to keep our sessions as productive as possible.</div>
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<div><strong>FreePlay Math Skills Quiz - </strong>Math Skills presents students with word problems and three possible solutions, helping them to not only practice working with word problems, but also to help them prepare for computerized, multiple-choice testing. This is a required skill on several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Grammaticus</strong> - Although I do not tutor in Latin, having a Latin dictionary helps my high school students connect to vocabulary terms that are rooted in Latin. This includes most biology terms.</div>
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<div><strong>Learn Algebra </strong>- If you are taking an Algebra class, this free app is a must-have. The app includes a lesson on each topic, as well as a practice quiz that also displays correct answers if you answer incorrectly. This is a required skill on several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Learn Algebra 2 - </strong>Learn Algebra 2 is an extension of "Learn Algebra," which continues Algebraic topics into Algebra 2. This is a required skill for several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Lumos Step Up</strong> - Although Lumos is a subscription service (free), it's a great reference for Common Core standards on the go. All Common Core standards are listed in this app, along with a (limited) amount of free practice quizzes, which can be run in "learning" mode (provides answers as you go), or "quiz" mode (no answers key, just right/wrong.)</div>
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<div><strong>Math for the Brain</strong> - This app is great for lightning-round math games to reinforce basic math skills, like addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This can be played as a single-player or two player (on one Kindle or two!). This is a required skill for several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Math Ref Free</strong>- This app is another "must have" for any student in an advanced math class. It is a complex formula sheet, organized by math topic. This app has so many formulas, I'd be surprised if there was any reason why this app wouldn't ever be a sufficient reference for the advanced math student. This is a required skill area for several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Mathway</strong> - This subscription service shows step-by-step solutions for even the most advanced math problems. This is a great tool if you have a tricky homework question that you just can't seem to crack!</div>
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<div><strong>Notepad+</strong> - Notepad is a digital dry erase board. Each "page" can be saved and referenced later. I have not yet figured out how to export these pages, but I think there is a way to do so.</div>
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<div><strong>Polynomial Factorization</strong> - This app is great for anyone learning how to factor polynomials, especially when it comes to checking your work. Enter equation, and get a step-by-step answer, so you can check all your work, not just the answer! This is another Common Core skill.</div>
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<div><strong>Simply Fractions 3</strong> - This app is fabulous for elementary school students or anyone who needs a solid review of fractions and decimals! Choose from several categories, each with different operations for practice. This app also includes a section on word problems for fractions. This is a required skill on several different grade levels for Common Core requirements.</div>
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<div><strong>Stack the States</strong> - This app provides several ways to help students learn US geography. </div>
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<div><strong>Trinomial Factoring Free</strong> - This app takes polynomial factoring to the next step and works the same way that "Polynomial Factorization" does. Enter an equation, and see the step-by-step results of the answer. </div>
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<div>Most of these apps are FREE. A great way to keep an eye out for cheap paid apps is to check the Kindle store every day. Whenever you see a featured, promotional app offered for free (or discounted), download it!<br /><br />What about web-based resources? Check out my previous blog posts for my recommendations on web-based resources:</div>
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<div>Math: <a href="http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249113/favorite_math_resources_k_12_ged">http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249113/favorite_math_resources_k_12_ged</a></div>
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<div>Science: <a href="http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249114/favorite_science_resources_gr_6_12">http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249114/favorite_science_resources_gr_6_12</a></div>
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<div>History: <a href="http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249118/favorite_history_resources_gr_k_12">http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249118/favorite_history_resources_gr_k_12</a></div>
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<div>Language Arts: <a href="http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249119/favorite_language_arts_resources_k_6">http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249119/favorite_language_arts_resources_k_6</a></div>
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<div>English (Gr 6-12): <a href="http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249120/favorite_english_resources_gr_8_12">http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249120/favorite_english_resources_gr_8_12</a></div>
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<div>Cross-Categorical (multiple subjects on one website): <a href="http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249121/favorite_cross_categorical_resources_gr_k_12">http://www.wyzant.com/resources/blogs/249121/favorite_cross_categorical_resources_gr_k_12</a></div>
<div> </div>Thu, 06 Mar 2014 21:16:52 -06002014-03-06T21:16:52-06:00