## Vocabulary: some “-ibles”

When you tutor English, you still need to discuss spelling – believe it or not. When I was a kid, I often wondered which words were “ible” and which were “able”.  In time, I realized that I used more “able” words …

## Essay Writing: Some practical considerations

Tutoring English, advice can be more important than “how-to”.  Here, then, are some practical pointers to help your next essay. Talking to my sister yesterday, she told me she’s had a flood of essays to mark this semester.  When your essay is amongst many …

## Significant Figures: Adding and Subtracting

We continue our commentary on significant figures – aka significant digits – with how to add and subtract them.  A chemistry or physics tutor deals with this topic periodically. If you look over my last few posts, you’ll see the accumulation of articles …

## Significant Figures: Multiplying and Dividing

When you tutor physics or chemistry, most calculations require management of significant figures (aka significant digits).  Today, we’ll look at multiplying and dividing. We know from earlier posts (see the previous one here) why significant figures are needed and how …

## Significant Figures: Zeros

Tutoring physics or chemistry, significant figures are part of the landscape.  Knowing when zero is significant can be tricky. In this, our second installment on significant figures (see the first one here), we start on the practical question,  “What digits are significant?”  …

## Significant Figures: Genesis

When you tutor chemistry or physics, significant figures are a constant theme.  Some people call them significant digits.  We’ll start our explanation today. Bill:  How heavy is that boat? Joe:  Maybe 30 tons, give or take a couple. Bill:  Then …

## Recombinant DNA

Tutoring Biology 12, you sometimes talk about recombinant DNA.  We’ll briefly look at what it is and why it’s used. Recombinant  DNA (rDNA) contains DNA from more than one organism.  The industrial uses I know of involve inserting specific genes from one species into …

## Number Sets: Naturals, Wholes, Integers, etc

Tutoring math, you often get asked about sets of numbers.  Let’s sort out what belongs where. We’ll make this story as short as possible: Naturals (N):  {1,2,3,4…..}  These might be referred to as counting numbers. Wholes (W):  {0,1,2,3,4…..}  These include all the naturals, plus zero. Integers (Z):  {….-3,-2,-1,0,1,2,3….}  …

## Multiplying two binomials: the FOIL method

Tutoring math, the FOIL method is used daily.  We’ll explain it here. In math, the distributive property is used constantly.  An illustration: 3(5x-7)=15x-21 To see what’s really happening here, look to the following: We see that we take the outer number (in this case, …

## Physics: Newton’s First Law

Tutoring high school physics, you get the privilege of retelling Newton’s three Laws.  They can’t be discussed too often. Newton’s First Law: If no unbalanced force acts on an object, it either continues moving in a straight line at constant speed, or else remains in its …