## The double ‘l’ controversy

The other day my wife Diane got on my case about my spelling of “canceled”: Diane:  You spelled canceled wrong.  It only has one l.  There should be two. Jack:    You can spell it either way. Diane:  I’ve been a …

## Exponential Growth

Good morning from Jack, your tutor from Campbell River.  It’s brilliantly sunny here, with a high of 27 (or 81 F) expected.  This kind of weather can be so hard for kids just returning to school. The people entering math 12 …

## Algebra: basic

When you tutor math, you see various approaches to algebra.  Here’s my interpretation: 1)  Decide which side you want “x” (or whatever variable you have). 2)  Get all the x terms to that side, and all the numbers to the …

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## School Supplies: A tutor’s point of view

Last year, listening to French radio, I heard a surprising report:  school supply shopping is the second most stressful occasion for a great many parents, second only to Christmas shopping. If that’s true, it doesn’t need to be.  What’s more, I can explain why: 1) …

## Reasoning: Inductive vs Deductive

A couple of years ago, a new topic came up during math tutoring:  deductive reasoning vs inductive reasoning.  What’s the difference? There are many ways to explain how the two are different.  I’ll explain it this way: With inductive reasoning, you notice a few similar situations that …

## Story Elements: Setting vs Character

During English tutoring, elements of story creation are sometimes explored.  Among them are plot, setting, character, symbol, and irony. When I was in English 12, I was taught that great writers don’t develop a story by plot, but rather, by character.  The real story is how the …

## Can an Endless String of Numbers have a Sum?

If you tutor math 12, you’ll have come across the premise 1 + 1/2 + 1/4 + 1/8 +…. Before we go any further, a reminder on how to multiply fractions: (2/3) x (4/5) = 8/15.  You just multiply the …

## Julius Caesar: Cassius, V,iii

Caesar, thou art avenged, even with the sword that kill’d thee. –Cassius, Act V, scene iii, Julius Caesar In Act V, scene iii, of Julius Caesar, Cassius commits suicide.  Having been misled that his dear friend Titinius is slain, Cassius …

## The Semicolon

Welcome back. While tutoring English, punctuation is a constant concern.  Using a variety of punctuation leads to sentence variety – something that always impresses English teachers. The semicolon can be used in many ways, but its simplest use is to join two short, but complete sentences. …

## Divisibility by 3, Divisibility by 9

During math tutoring, no matter what the level, the front line is arithmetic. In that spirit, here’s a handy trick to tell if a number is divisible by 3: Add up the digits.  If the sum is divisible by 3, then so …