Thursday, December 27, 2007

The Web Makes it Easy to Get Math Help

When you or your child needs math help, it's sometimes hard to know where to turn. Schools have limited resources for helping students with mathematics, and tutors can be incredibly expensive. Thankfully, the Internet has made it possible for students of all ages to receive innovative and affordable math lessons. Using video lessons that are interactive and cost-effective, students can essentially receive one-on-one instruction while working through problems at their own pace. Here are some circumstances in which online math help can be effective.


Math is one of those subjects that requires a solid foundation, since concepts build one atop the other as a student progresses. In the absence of basic math skills - such as how to multiply a fraction or how to express an exponent - it's impossible to move on to algebra, polynomials, or logarithms. Middle school or high school students often need practice with and reinforcement of basic math skills in order to move forward into grade level appropriate mathematics classes. Online video lessons can help with pre-algebra skills that are necessary to succeed in algebra courses.


Unfortunately, because the No Child Left Behind Act focuses on moving low-performing students toward proficiency, schools are forced to concentrate heavily on remediation. As a result, students who are accelerated in math are often not given the opportunity to do so. They may be ready for trig or perms and combs, but are instead forced to work at the pace of the rest of their classmates. This can result in frustration and boredom, as well as in the student never reaching his or her potential. With online video math help, accelerated students can move through lessons at their own pace, and experience the satisfaction of exploring their capabilities to the fullest.

Home Schooling

Although there is wonderful curriculum for students who are home schooled, parents are often not well equipped to teach their children middle school or high school mathematics. After all, when it's been years since you've been exposed to the material, it's very easy to forget. Video math lessons can help fill in the teaching gaps for homeschoolers, while allowing students to learn at their own pace.

Tuning Up Math Skills

There are many times when a person might need a math tune-up. Perhaps college entrance exams are coming up, or maybe it's time to sit for a professional certification test. Being able to watch math tutorials and work through problems can shore up confidence and help develop even advance math skills.

What to Look For

When you decide that you want to take advantage of Internet-based math help, you should look for those designed by a certified teacher who has extensive experience teaching math and tutoring students. Look for lessons that are downloadable, and that you can view over and over again at no additional charge. Each lesson should cost less than ten dollars, and the videos should contain all of the information you need to understand the lesson. In other words, you should have to buy any textbooks.

Thanks to the Internet, it's never been easier to get math help when you need it.

Chris Robertson is an author of Majon International, one of the worlds MOST popular internet marketing companies on the web. Learn more about Math Help on the Web or Majon's Education directory

Slide Preparation Tips for Interactive Whiteboards

1) Keep your slides as clutter free as possible. Don't add unnecessary graphics to your slide, just to decorate it. Any unnecessary addition will only create distraction from the information you want the learners to retain.

2) There should not be more than 5 lines on a single slide and not more than 5 words per line. A slide should contain only main points and should be used as a supplement to your verbal presentation. Don't try to write everything you wish to say on your slides.

3) Prepare your slides in such a way, that it covers at least one topic or a part of a topic. This is important to retain the attention of your students to you. When a slide is changed, students' attention goes to the slide. During that time, students can't hear what u said during the slide transition. If this is not possible, then pause for a while, during slides change.

4) Keep font size, font color, background color and background image in mind while slides preparation. The font size should be such that, even a student sitting in the last row can read the text clearly. The font color and background color must be in contrast with each other. Use those color combinations which make a text readable without putting any strains on the eye like combination of black, white, red, green, blue or yellow. Use background images which contain a light graphic and don't create any sort of distraction. Many teachers use such visually appealing background images, that it takes the eyes off the slides contents and thus ruin the whole purpose of the slide.

5) Use same font color, background color or image for each slide to minimize distraction during presentation.

6) Use interactive panels if you have to read the contents of the slides on an interactive whiteboard. This will free up the board for the class to see.

7) Don't' emphasize all the text by using bold or italic. Making all the text bold or italic is equivalent to a simple text with no emphasizes. Reserve bold or italic only for key points.

8) Use laser pointer only to draw attention of students to a given point. Once you have drawn the attention, then switch it off. Continuous use of laser pointer will cause distraction.

9) Each slide should have a title and well labeled tables or graphs. Don't include anything which you are not going to discuss.

10) Prepare your presentation well in advance. Decide how much time you should spend on each slide, how you will start and switch to other topics. Also reserve some time for queries from the students. Check all your slides on your interactive whiteboard for WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get).Use high resolution images, animations, sound and video clips to make your presentation interactive and fun.

This Read Along Technique Increases Comprehension

Once your child can read most words at a reasonable pace, have her read to you in the following way:

  • Choose a book that is somewhat challenging, but not too difficult. One way to make this judgment is to have her read a page; if there are more than five words she does not know, the book may be too difficult. You want to challenge, not frustrate.
  • Now have her read a page. As she is reading, take a pencil or other pointer and point to each word as she reads. If she mispronounces a word, tap your pencil on the incorrect word. If she doesn't get the word on the second try, tell her the beginning sound of the word. If it is a multi-syllable word, break the word into syllables and sound out each syllable with her.

This technique allows you to give a gentle reminder when a word is not correct without interrupting her or breaking the continuity of the story. It is better than her reading on her own because she is corrected when she misses a word; otherwise she will just skip the word or think her incorrect pronunciation is correct.

For difficult words, consider making a word card. Just write the word on a 3x5 or other blank card. For young children it is important not to overwhelm with too many words, 7-12 words seems to be a good number, depending on the student.

Practice these words from the word cards for just a few minutes per day. A few minutes per day on a consistent basis is much better than longer sessions with less frequency. Remember not to study too many words at a time. When she knows a word right away without any help, toss the card.

Educator Don Jones has taught reading and math in a 1-to-1 environment for many years. He learned the methods from his father who started The Arcadia Reading Clinic in 1956. For more information, please visit

Reading Comprehension Strategies

Comprehension should always be the chief concern when teaching reading. What good is reading if the child has no understanding of what is read? In this article I will outline key reading comprehension strategies and show how they should be used.

Before reading you should allow children to make predictions about what they think the book will be about based on either the title or the picture on the front cover of the book. Children can also make predictions about what they think will happen based on what they read on the back cover of a book. Discuss with them their predictions and ask them to justify why their predictions are reasonable based on what they have read. Create a prediction chart that shows titles such as: WHAT WE PREDICT/WHAT HAPPENED IN THE STORY. List everything students predict will happen under the "WHAT WE PREDICT" column. Once the story has been read you can write what actually happened in the story in the "WHAT HAPPENED IN THE STORY" column. Students should be allowed to adjust predictions so the "WHAT WE PREDICT" column can be changed as the story is read. Older readers must be taught that while they are reading they should be looking out for the setting of the story, that is, the time and place the story takes place. The characters and plot are also essential elements they should be focused on as understanding of these story elements is at the heart of comprehending any story that is read.

Allowing children to do research on a topic before it is presented in a story format is highly effective for improving reading comprehension. This strategy however, works better with older readers. Children will feel more in tune with the content of the text if they are allowed to develop previous knowledge.

Another reading comprehension strategy that I have found to be highly effective is to do vocabulary work before hand. You can introduce children to new words. Have them break them up into syllables. Put the new words on flashcards. You can also have children find out the meaning of these words in the dictionary, with all this groundwork, once you get to the text it will be smooth sailing.

After reading, children can do written and oral retelling of the story. Engage children in answering questions. These may be in the form of traditional written comprehension questions or oral comprehension questioning. I mentioned using research as a pre-reading strategy but this can also be done after reading.

Encourage children to act out stories in groups with each child taking turns playing characters from the book.

Completing a story map is a good activity for students to do after reading as they get a chance to summarize and to zero in on what happened at different points in the story. A good story map is one that asks students to tell what happened at the beginning, middle and the end of the story.

Make an art-literature connection by having students draw and paint or color their favorite scenes. They can also write something about what they have drawn so that a writing connection is also made.

Simone Mary is a teacher, writer and artist. She is the author of the eBooks TEACHING READING AND WRITING, WRITING A STORY? WHAT EVERY WRITER SHOULD KNOW and RAMCEN'S ASSIGNMENT her first work of fiction, for more reading strategies visit her website at

Honor School Staff During Teacher Appreciation Week

When children are not at home or on the soccer or baseball field, they are at school. At least for nine months of the year. Outside of their parents and family they probably spend more time in a classroom with their teachers than anywhere else. Teachers help mold young minds and build the foundations for children's futures.

Teacher & School Staff Appreciation Week on May 4-10 is the time of the year to say thank you. Every team member at your school works hard, and often for a salary that is far below the standard salary of other professions. Teachers want to know they are valued for the time and efforts they take to help their students. A recognition event will let them know they are appreciated.

The theme of Teacher Appreciation Week has gone beyond just honoring teachers. It takes a lot of talented people to run our schools and education departments. Superintendents, administrators, nurses, guidance counselors, maintenance staff, teacher aids and volunteers all are vital links to our schools.

Most schools now hold Teacher and School Staff recognition parties. Sometimes a different event is held each day of Teacher Appreciation Week. Often, different teams are honored on each day. From an ice cream and coffee hour to a full luncheon, there are numerous ways to hold an event to fit any budget.

Kick off Teacher Appreciation Week with a breakfast. Serve bagels and coffee in decorated commemorative mugs. Continue the week with a school assembly in your gym or auditorium and invite all of your students to show their praise by singing songs and giving their teachers and the staff a standing ovation. Hand out flashlights so they can shine a light on their teachers to let them know they are in the spotlight.

Continue the week with a luncheon. Serve pizza, sandwiches or have each staff member prepare a dish to bring in. A Teacher Appreciation Chocolate Bar makes a great place setting. On other days you can stage fun theme events. Have teachers and school staff bring in baby pictures and hold a guess the staff member contest. Hand out apple shaped die-cut picture frames for them to take their photos back home in.

If you don't have time to have a daily event, a simple and economical gift left in mailboxes or desks will be appreciated just as much. Note pads, monthly academic planners, pens and desk organizers with a message of appreciation will serve as constant reminder that your community supports and appreciates its school staff members. No matter your budget, a small gesture can go a long way during Teacher & School Staff Appreciation Week.

Michael Lerner is a recognized expert in the field of promotional products and logo marketing. Promos On-Time offers teacher appreciation week gifts for every school staff member.


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