I am a MD- and VA-certified successful secondary mathematics teacher with over thirty years of experience. I teach the style and modality that will bring a student the most success. Along with this success, I boost self-confidence so that the student will be motivated to do his/her best. Improving study skills is also a high priority for me. In my instruction, I will motivate by making math easy and fun.... [more]
Many students have problems with algebra because it is often presented by the classroom teacher in an abstract manner seemingly outside of the student's realm of experience. Translating words to algebraic symbols, in fact word problems themselves, are a challenge for any student. I am successful working with students weak in algebra because I relate each concept back to the number skill(s) it is based on; I can do this because the letters or variables in algebra simply represent numbers. Often, a student is weak in number skills, and strengthening them makes algebra easier and more realistic to them. With word problems, I teach a step-by-step procedure of strategies, including practice "drawing" the word problem situation in a student's mind, so visually he can see what equations and operations are needed to solve it.
A child's success in Algebra 2 hangs on how well s(he) understands Algebra 1 from two years before. Many students forget algebra concepts and need to relearn. Others had poor instruction when they took Algebra 1, and now are totally lost in this second year of the math. Too many Algebra 2 teachers do not review enough the previous algebra skills; some teachers do not review at all. It is confusing to students when they get increasingly low scores and feel lost in Algebra 2. They feel at fault and overwhelmed, when, in fact, I've repeatedly found that review and confidence-building will turn an "impossible situation" into new and comprehendable learning experiences. It always inspires me to see a child's smile and relief that s(he) now understands.
I have had positive experiences teaching growing minds both differential and integral calculus. Many times students have learning difficulties with calculus because some of their algebra is faulty, perhaps they don't understand their teacher, or the class pace is too fast. I always start by evaluating and correcting a student's algebra, then for clarity relate calculus topics back to the algebra and geometry the students have already had. I emphasize easy-to-understand teaching and support the students' homework and preparation for quizzes and tests.
Geometry is a logic-driven math class. Students arrive at and use properties of 2-and 3-dimensional shapes to solve problems involving them. It is usually considered by most to be an easier class than algebra, although algebra is used in geometry problem-solving. Since this kind of math is relatively new to students beginning geometry, a poor geometry teacher is disastrous to a child's comprehension of and confidence in the subject. I've worked with many geometry students who are having learning trouble because they don't see any unity in geometry postulates and theorems, and how to apply these properties to the problems. What's helpful to a student needing to improve in geometry is keeping all postulates and theorems you use together on one-two pages, and then showing carefully how they relate to each other and are used to solve a variety of problems. Particularly in geometry, I have brought success to many students by doing the above, and emphasizing good study skills and self-confidence.
As a secondary mathematics teacher for many years, as both a middle and high school teacher I've noticed how crucial a good middle school math background is to the child's success in the more intricate high school math classes. I teach math concepts clearly, relating them to the math the student already knows. Motivation is a key to a child's success in any subject; I make sure I challenge the student's intellect through imaginative kinesthetic activities, games and tournaments. I also focus on the end-of-year SOL...it's never too early to start preparing him or her for that. I've been privileged to help many kids overcome their math insecurity by showing them success from our collaboration.
Pre-calculus or Math Analysis can be a bit of a struggle if the student's past math skills are stale or forgotten, and/or if he or she had a bad math teacher along the way. I first most importantly focus on continual support of the student with his/her homework to help stabilize and bring up the report card grade. In between this, I assess what the "lost math skills" are from previous years and build them up during my collaboration with the child. Relearning these previous skills will bring with it more student self-confidence and make comprehending precalculus easier from then on.
I have quite a few students misunderstand the main concepts of trigonometry. Trig calculations involve some algebra, and this is where many students have troubles. Many times the inability of the teacher to teach the concepts at the students' level is the reason. I give clear explanations to students about the math, and many examples. After this, I give a student sample problems to build up his independence, speed, and the essential confidence he needs to improve grades.
For me writing is a good respite from doing math problems. I've worked with a good many students and have helped them prepare essays that stand out for their interesting and well-organized content. I have also taught students all the ingredients for writing the exceptional term paper. Good grammar is expected by whoever asks you to write your paper. I teach the writing student the rules to correct any faulty grammar and to not make any additional mistakes.
Statistics is not difficult to understand and use if it's taught competently by a supportive teacher. Over and over again, however, I run into statistics students who were never confident with math, and now are confused and discouraged about their math class. On top of this, many of these students take part of or all of statistics online. Internet learning is a rapidly increasing source of instruction, but it does not work without the student having a way of asking questions to a supportive instructor. In statistics teaching, online support is scarce at best. When tutoring a confused and disheartened statistics student, I explain the stat concepts clearly, answer all questions, and show him or her continuing success so I can say, "You've got math ability and you can do this!" Self-confidence is critical here.
I have been very successful preparing many students for the SAT. The difficult sections for most applicants are the math and sentence completion sections. After giving a student a practice SAT to diagnose weak verbal and math skill areas, I focus on knowledge, test strategies to effectively problem-solve, speed, discipline and self-confidence. SAT math problems are posed at five levels of difficulty 1-5 (you see these numbers next to the test answers in the blue Official SAT Study Guide by collegeboard). For a test taker to score in the 500s on the math portion, he or she must have mastered up to many of the Level 4 problems (through Level 5 to score in the 600s). I pay close attention to gradually increasing the difficulty of the problems as the student progresses to strengthen and keep the student confident.
Having worked with many undergraduate and graduate students in test preparation situations, I've noticed that many college graduates feel like they forgot their math and are scared of the GRE math test. However, there's nothing to fear: the math concepts from middle and high school are still in your memory, and only need a "wake up call." My teaching approach is simple. I initially evaluate the GRE candidate to see what math concepts he/she forgot or never understood to begin with, use the math (s)he knows to build up the skills he forgot, and build that very important self-confidence to face the test courageously and successfully. This test requires problem-solving, which is often not taught in either high school or college mathematics classes; I teach the GRE applicant effective strategies with which s(he) can successfully solve problems of all types. The Quantitative Comparison problems on the GRE are new to many graduates, and I give special test strategies to help them to break down problems and to maximize their test scores. Graduate, you have accomplished that four-year college degree. If you have the discipline and drive to get that diploma, you will definitely pass the GRE. We will make sure of that together.
Passing the GED is just as worthy and valuable as getting a high school diploma. I have been very successful preparing students to take the math GED. My teaching process is very simple: I initially evaluate (at no charge) a candidate's GED math skills to see what he/she doesn't understand, then reteach these skills as I continually give GED problems to get the student comfortable with the test. I have found that a GED student's biggest challenge is doing word problems. The key to successfully solving a word problem is to critically read it, be able to draw a picture of the situation in his or her mind, and then, when finished, the student rechecking to make sure the question was answered and that this solution is reasonable. I give problem-solving strategies and plenty of word problems to practice to build up the student's skills and that all-important self-confidence.
For the past eight years, I have prepared young people and adults for the GMAT, and have gotten a lot of positive feedback from the students. I always tell them that they accomplished the good scores, but our close, positive working relationships fostered this success.
Probability is an interesting topic. If you think about it, chance impacts an amazing number of material decisions you make in your personal life. Should I play the lottery? Do I need insurance for a catastrophic event? Should I invest in this stock? What brand of a product should I buy? It's important that you understand the chance of success from any decision that you make. If you understand quantitatively how the probability of an event is arrived at, you can make better decisions. I have taken probability and statistics classes both in undergraduate and graduate school, and I've have helped quite a few students taking both online and on-campus probability and statistics courses because, from experience and continuing practice, I've learned to teach it by breaking down and explaining the main mathematical principles of chance and giving clear examples that students can relate to. These are classes with many concepts, and I unite all this information around these main principles. Most importantly, I stress with probability students which formulas to use, how and why, for any situation you may encounter in your homework or in the lab. If you can build self-confidence in yourself as you take the class, it actually can be a fun and rewarding experience.
Elementary school children are a joy to teach. They are energetic, funny, imaginative and creative. When I taught in public schools for more than 30 years, I instructed middle and high school kids, and found that they most enthusiastically and effectively learned through motivational games, competitions and tournaments. I have tutored more than a few elementary school children in math, and, like their older peers, they learn best with games and other motivational techniques. My vast teaching experience uniquely makes me a good tutor at the elementary level, because I know the importance of motivation in learning and how the young mind must develop to comprehend the math skills in the later grades. My vantage point is unique, and I use it to help younger children through current math problems towards future successes.
As a teacher with close to forty years of instructional experience, I have taught secondary mathematics, grammar, writing, social studies, and classroom driver education. No matter what the subject is, for a student to meet all grading requirements of any class, s(he) must know how to confidently take notes, keep them organized, induct main ideas from facts, and remember these ideas. As a professional student currently with a bachelors and working on a masters degree, and as a successful teacher who has closely observed the many ways students learn and relearn what they forget, I know a successful student is one truly motivated by self-confidence. By showing young people how to listen, shape out of information the important inferences, and organize these inferences in notebook, on paper, and in mind to convincingly, accurately, and effectively communicate, I almost always show students how to function best in their classes and improve their grades.
In my over thirty years of teaching experience, I have taught, both in classroom and one-on-one situations, many students with IEPs, including those with emotional, cognitive processing, and ADHD disabilities. A teacher or tutor can help any student see success by observing his or her preferred learning modality and style, and by carefully and clearly instructing in that style. The student is motivated by confidence he or she feels with each small accomplishment. Ever-present positive rapport with the student is very important. And I am particularly inspired with the new success this student is achieving.
DISCRETE MATH covers a myriad of math topics designed often for students looking to specialize in a math, science or computer educational program. However, it is increasingly becoming an elective course in high school or college as well, because the wideness of concepts covered gives the student a stronger understanding of the vital role mathematics plays in our world. I have taught successfully students taking this class, and others in need of comprehending one or more of set theory, logic, number bases, algebraic functions, systems of linear equations and inequalities (2- or 3-dimensional programming), geometry, groups and finite math systems, consumer math, topology (graph theory) and statistical methods. Some students are scared even of the name "discrete math," but I stress clear instruction and confidence-building techniques, and they leave the subject with higher interest and a better understanding and feeling about mathematics in general.
I have successfully prepared quite a few ASVAB candidates to pass with higher scores in areas advantageous to what the Armed Forces are recruiting for. I teach an ASVAB candidate only and exactly the concepts s(he) needs for the test. I make sure the client's self-confidence improves with the knowledge learned. I provide guided home study in math and English to hasten the learning pace and completely prepare a student ASAP for the ASVAB.
In my experiences teaching and tutoring geometry, as well as tutoring discrete mathematics, I have worked with students so they can understand how formal logic works and why it's so important a part of mathematics. From presenting to students how to write conditional statements in their alternate forms (converse, inverse, contrapositives and biconditionals) to setting up truth tables and working with syllogisms and propositional calculus, I have always focused on how logic itself sets the framework for all the techniques in mathematics for proving a statement true or false directly (by argument or counterexample), indirectly (by proving a statement's contrapositive true or by contradiction) or by logical equivalence.
It's easy to prepare education graduate teachers to take the math Praxis because they already have good study skills and the drive to succeed. I have successfully steered five men and women through the math PPST, and am currently quickly readying a young lady for the Praxis II Math Content Knowledge Test. The skills tested on the PPST go no further than those a ninth grader knows. Once I get a Praxis candidate passed his/her fear of math by showing her success, I observe her gaining better comprehension of the test material and new confidence with each session. Like young people, teachers also need to achieve vital self-confidence that builds with the skills-level as well as a good relationship between teacher (the tutor) and teacher (the client). I instruct math at the secondary level so it's easy to understand, and I have found from other jobs through WyzAnt how I can also teach skillfully and effectively verbal and written skills. Good teachers are always needed in the classroom. The kids are our future, and teachers will insure a bright one.
Off and on throughout my extensive teaching career, I have helped more than a few students pass the PSAT and SAT. I assess initially questions missed on both the mathematics and verbal pretests, teach all skills the student needs to just review or to learn, give him or her test strategies to effectively apply this knowledge to solve problems and carefully coach them through as many practice tests as he/she needs to successfully put these skills into action, and, most importantly, to feel confident enough to be able to say "I've got this test!"
An SOL test measures the minimum a child knows about a subject based on a meticulous SOL-driven curriculum. For the past two years I have prepared students in all grade levels for the SOLs in addition to the remedial services they need in their current schoolwork. In many cases, the child must pass the SOL to pass the class and/or be promoted to their next grade. This can be very threatening to students. Whenever I tutor a student underachieving in math, English, and/or writing, at least several months before an SOL test is given I start each teaching session with several SOL sample questions from previous tests given. This allows me to assess where a student's learning problems may still be. I increase the number of SOL questions we work on as the test administering date nears; this both increases the child's experience with the SOL test and builds his/her self-confidence, the key ingredient to her/his continuing motivation to prepare and the ultimate good score on the actual SOL tests.
As a prerequisite for admission into some of the nursing schools, a good score on the TEAS Test is critical. This is attainable to any candidate with clear instruction on material s(he) forgot and must relearn, lots and lots of practice. Increasing self-confidence is extremely important for an optimal test score and the drive to study. I have prepared several students for the TEAS test (references available) in a one-to-one setting, and each student required about a month of preparation. With pictures, charts, gauges and graphs expressing information along with the reading passages, the Reading section has a lot of mathematically-related information; I teach critical reading for each of these informational modes. Like the other standardized tests I prepare students for, I diagnose the candidate's weak math areas and provide both easy-to-understand instruction and lots of between-session practices. I have found that getting students prepped for the TEAS test and past their fear of the math portion (in particular) gives them the incentive to "get the job done," to study and to pass the test.
Finite math is a catch-all title for any math topic using numbers and not including any mention of infinity. The main topics covered in finite math are mathematical model building, matrix algebra, linear programming, combinatorics, probability and statistics and logic. I have tutored, with high ratings, one-on-one, three college students particularly in this subject. All three ended up passing the class without additional trouble. I took this specific class in graduate school, so I know about and can bend all of this information so it is easily understandable and applicable by the many business, accounting and computer majors who are required to take this class. The students I mentioned above were a bit fearful of it because they had not had any previous experience with using functions to model quantitative real-life situations, with linear programming or combinatorics. Once I firmed up any faulty algebra and showed them that all three of these math topics were not-difficult extensions of basic algebra, the students were comfortable with and willing to learn finite mathematics.
The ACT tests, for most colleges, are accepted as much as the SAT. The advantage of taking the ACT is that, in general, it is easier to do well on than the ACT because the emphasis is more on math knowledge than on problem-solving It is said that one only needs the math up through the 9th grade to think about and compute problems on the ACT. The SAT is harder because it tests the student on how well he or she can apply math knowledge to solve unique problems and situations. The ACT has some of the same questions, but, in general, ACT questions are more direct, testing the student on math content alone. I have over the past five years successfully helped many young people to pass the math ACT with a good score. I focus my teaching on the exact concepts the student needs to relearn and give him or her plenty of practice problems to increase speed and gain self-confidence. Also, I make sure my student knows the important test strategies to use, and I gradually increase the difficulty levels of the problems he or she is practicing. The result is a maximum score the student can send to the college of choice.