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Consumer behavior is key to economics. In economics, it is assumed that each consumer will make rational decisions when it comes to their consumption of goods and services. A rational decision is one that maximizes a consumer’s satisfaction (Utility) with the combination of goods and services he/she purchases. However, a consumer cannot consume an infinite amount of goods and services; he/she can only consume what he/she can afford according to his/her income. In other words, the consumer’s demand for goods and services is constrained by his/her income. As noted in the previous blog entry, prices of goods and services are, in part, determined by their scarcity. Knowing this, it makes sense for the consumer to purchase that combination of goods and services that have prices that allows them to maximize their total satisfaction (total utility). For a consumer to truly maximize his/her total utility, a rational consumer must allocate his/her money such that the last dollar... read more

This post will be the first in a series of posts on economics. I have decided to do this series based on the needs of my students. If you have any questions, please post a comment and I will get back to you ASAP. Economics is basically the study of how society makes choices about the allocation of scarce resources (i.e., good and services). Goods and services all have value. This value is determined by how scarce the good or service is. The two factors that determine scarcity are supply and demand. The supply of a resource is how available it is to people; the demand is how much people want it. The more there is of a good or service, the easier it is for people to get it and the less scarce the resource. The less scarce it is, the lower its value and thus its price. The converse is also true: the less there is of something, the harder it is to access it, the more its value and the higher its price. There are two principle things to remember here: 1. The value of an item is... read more

Playing the Angles Soccer is a beautiful sport that has millions of followers around the world. It teaches sportsmanship, team play, and individual skill. It also teaches us about geometry. How, you may ask. Let’s breakdown the game and we will see. The Field The field (pitch, as it is called overseas) is rectangular and has boundaries that form halves, penalty boxes, corners with quarter circles and goals. The center circle has a specified diameter that separates the circle into semicircles. Player Formation There are several formations in which players can be set. These formations all form geometric shapes—squares, triangles, and diamonds—designed to enhance the ability to score a goal, stop a goal, maintain possession of the ball, or to slow the pace of the game. The Ball It is spherical and at any touch by the foot of a player has its own curvature, angle, and speed. Player Passes We can look at the passing of the ball from player to player.... read more

When writing a short (1-3 page essay) you want to use your space wisely. To do that it is best to organize your essay first. Traditionally, I follow the FIBS process. FIBS is a way of organizing your essay such that your essay answers most questions about your topic. The “F” in FIBS stands for focus; “I” stands for inform; “B” for benefits; and “S” for summarize. F – Focus is the introduction of your essay. It includes your topic statement, your stance on your topic and a hint as to what your essay is going to tell your readers. Make sure your topic statement is concise but informative. I – Inform is the beginning of the body of your essay. This section of your essay can be several paragraphs long depending on how much you need (not want) to tell your reader about the topic. B – Benefits is part of the body of the essay. It provides you an opportunity to talk about the benefits and problems with your topic. If you are writing an essay comparing two or three policies... read more

Let’s say it—standardized tests are a BIG pain in the rear! But, unfortunately, we have to take them whether to enter college/graduate school like the PSAT, SAT, ACT, or GRE or for other reasons. We simply cannot escape them. I assess the needs of all my students at our first meeting but there are a few additional pieces of information you can provide that will help me in that assessment. First, if you have taken the test before (or if you have taken the PSAT and are preparing for the SAT), please provide me not only with your previous scores but also the analysis provided by the test scorers. This will help me better identify your needs. Second, tell me the exact date you are planning to take the test. This will allow us to put together a tutoring schedule that maximizes the time we have prior to the test. Third, complete a timed practice test. Provide me with the test, your scores and your answers. By providing me with the above information, we can make your tutoring... read more

Educational Background and Tutoring Philosophy FAQ Q: What is your educational background? A: I graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biological Sciences from Mount Holyoke College and continued my education with a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan and a PhD in Social Welfare (Mental Health Policy concentration) from Brandeis University. Q: How long have you been tutoring? A: I have been a WyzAnt tutor for more than two years. Prior to that, I provided tutoring under another rubric. Q: What is your teaching philosophy? A. For me, teaching and learning are reciprocal processes; neither ever ends and one cannot reach its full potential without the other. I strive to create a mutual learning environment where the student is empowered to share his/her knowledge while gaining knowledge from me. The student is a key part of developing the tutoring plan and he/she is encouraged to take responsibility for engaging fully in the... read more

Why Write a Blog? I have come up with three potential reasons for writing a blog. First, it helps my students and their families learn more about my teaching style and me. As time goes by, I will provide more and more information that will, hopefully, help students and their families select me as a tutor. Second, it provides a place where I can connect with other tutors to learn best practices. It will also help me brainstorm additional ways to help my students—especially those with special challenges. Third, it supplies a place where my students can go to learn more about the subjects they are studying. I intend to place shortened summaries or previews of what may be taught in a tutoring session on-line so that students can obtain additional information about the subjects I teach. Feedback is always welcomed!

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