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Test post

posted Nov 4, 2017, 7:36 AM by Tim Isbell

This is the first line of a paragraph.

This is the first line of paragraph 2. This one has some bullets:

  • bullet 1
  • bullet 2
  • bullet 3
This is the first line of the third paragraph.

Word Problems

posted Nov 20, 2015, 7:42 AM by Tim Isbell

In the summer of 2014, some of our coaches and English speaking students helped four incoming immigrant students learn enough English and math to survive in a Cupertino high school by the fall. The new students understood math okay, but had virtually no experience in English. So our strategy was to work a lot of word problems.

To do this, Robin found a helpful tool on Math-Aids.com that helped our ESL students learn the appropriate math terms they'd need in math classes. And it helped all our students learn how to turn word problems into math equations. The strategy worked.

For a look at the chart, and a link to more like it, check out Converting Words to Math.


Browser Based Graphing Calculators

posted Nov 9, 2015, 2:43 PM by Tim Isbell

High school and university math students have used hand-held graphing calculators for years. More recently, on-line, browser-based graphing calculators are on the rise, perhaps because they are easier to embed in on-line textbooks, teaching helps, and homework helps. I have limited experience with graphing calculators, but I'll share what I have. Here's my annotated list:

Crib Sheet for factoring higher order polynomials

posted Nov 2, 2015, 9:26 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Nov 6, 2015, 11:21 AM ]

Algebra 2 is a difficult subject for most high school students. Factoring, graphing, and otherwise working with polynomial functions is an important part of Algebra 2. Early in the course, students revisit quadratic equations and then move on to higher order polynomials, meaning functions like this one (yep, that's the graph for it over there): 
  • f(x) = x5 - 3x4 + 5x3 - x2 - 6x + 4
Click the link for a crib sheet on Factoring Higher Order Polynomials.

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Math Equation Families

posted Oct 27, 2015, 10:23 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Nov 2, 2015, 11:43 AM ]

This time of year Algebra students learn to manipulate linear, quadratic, and other equations in a wide variety of ways. Common Core math especially pushes students to develop an intuitive grasp of how all the little parts of an equation impact its graph. These are important concepts when we need to create an equation to best model some measured data. So I've prepared a web page to help students, from Algebra 1 on, gain a better grasp of this important area. To view it, click on Equation Families.

SAT or ACT... which one to take?

posted Mar 19, 2015, 4:21 PM by Tim Isbell

by Tim Isbell

Here's an excellent and simple comparison of these two standard college-entrance tests:
SAT Vs. ACT: Understanding The Differences. It seems like a must-read for every high school sophomore or junior! For example, if you lean toward the sciences or English is your second language this article will lean you towards the ACT. If you are more into the humanities or the legal profession then the article leans you towards the SAT. So far as I can see, most colleges accept either, but you'll also want to be sure to check the admissions requirements for your favorite schools!

Play DragonBox; Learn Algebra

posted Oct 14, 2014, 7:52 PM by Tim Isbell

DragonBox is a fun game that is available on Android and Apple phones. Players enjoy playing while the game secretly teaches them the principles of solving algebraic equations. It's available in two versions: 
  • DragonBox 5+ is for children from 5 years old and up.
  • DragonBox 12+ is for students from 12 years old and up.
For more about this game, click on Play DragonBox; Learn Algebra.

All the best,

JDS Math - a source for math solutions

posted May 9, 2013, 10:06 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated May 9, 2013, 10:07 AM ]

I'm discovering a second way to learn math. It's also a fast way to refresh math skills I haven't used in a while. At its core is the JDS Mathematics website, a free site offering an unlimited number of math problems and their complete solutions. It spans arithmetic, algebra, coordinate geometry, calculus and statistics. All the problems/solutions are all organized by problem type, sub-type, and difficulty level. And there's even an Android version.

For more about this second way to learn math, including an example of how I used it in a recent Tuesday night Math Coaching session, go to JDS Mathematics.

All the best,

Tim Isbell

College Strategies update

posted Apr 27, 2013, 8:18 AM by Tim Isbell   [ updated Apr 27, 2013, 8:21 AM ]

I just added a few items to the College Strategies webpage:

  • Blue + Gold Opportunity Plan offers substantial additional support for particularly under-resourced students who get admitted to a University of California school.
  • University Opportunity Program (UOP) offers substantial additional support for particularly under-resourced students who get admitted to a Cal State University school. 

The bottom line is that if an under-resourced student can get accepted into a UC school, they can combine a Cal Grant, Pell Grant, and the Blue + Gold Opportunity Plan to finance their education without incurring too much debt. 

Similarly, if an under-resourced student can get accepted into a Cal State University school, they can combine a Cal Grant, Pell Grant, and the University Opportunity Program to finance their education without incurring too much debt.

All the best,

Tim Isbell

Does today remind you of something?

posted Mar 14, 2013, 8:58 AM by Tim Isbell

It's March 14. Sometimes written as 3/14. Occasionally known as 3.14. 

Does this remind you of something?

It should.

All the best, Tim Isbell

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