Month: May 2014

Essay writing: the thesis statement

When you tutor high school English, essay writing is a key topic.  Therefore, the thesis statement is often a focus during English tutoring. Let’s imagine you write an essay about why camping is great.  (I don’t happen to like camping,

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Arc length: the proportion method

Tutoring math 12, you cover arc length.  The math tutor describes a method students from a generation ago might appreciate. Arc length is distance along the circumference of a circle.  Following a 360° angle, you of course travel the entire

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Math: the pigeonhole principle

Tutoring math, you might see this topic from a university student.  The math tutor offers it as a point of interest. The pigeonhole principle is used to solve counting problems.  A simple example: In a ten day stretch, how many

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Math: the fourth root of 80

Questions about roots – especially higher order ones – are commonly asked during math tutoring.  The tutor offers a quick example.   Example: simplify 4√(80) Step 1: Realize that 80=16(5). Therefore, 4√(80)=4√(16)4√(5) Step 2: Realize that the reason we break

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English: defense vs defence

Tutoring English, you can’t help but notice nuances.  Here’s one the English tutor has thought about since elementary school. About 35 years ago I asked my elementary teacher whether to use defence or defense.  She was sporting; we looked in

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English: what is a verbal?

Tutoring English, you need to be on your toes.  The tutor is glad he found this term before he was asked about it:) English is different from the other school subjects in one key way:  the student probably learns more

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Math: a mean question

Continuing from last post, the tutor gives an example of a question involving the mean. You will often find a question such as this on a qualifying exam: Bill writes six math tests. They all have equal weighting towards his

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Mean, median, and mode

Tutoring high school math, you deal with introductory statistics.  The tutor introduces measures of central tendency. Let’s imagine you have the following seed counts from eleven different apples: 15 9 8 10 8 10 8 5 7 14 12 We

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Math: simplification with a rational exponent

Tutoring math, this topic is perennial.  The math tutor works an example. Imagine you are posed the following question: Simplify 32^(6/5) First, realize the following: 32^(6/5)=5√(32)^6 5√(32)=2, since 2*2*2*2*2 = 2^5 = 32. Therefore, 32^(6/5)=5√(32)^6=2^6=64 So 32^(6/5)=64. I’ll be saying

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