I'm certified in Secondary Math, which includes all math topics from grades 6-12, but I've also worked with students in various college courses as well as test prep in SAT, ACT, AP, and FSA.
More significant than my credentials is my passion for mathematics.
Below you'll find an overview of each subject I tutor and my overall approach to working with students in that specific topic.
/ ALGEBRA 1
Algebra 1 is the foundation of all other math courses to come, and therefore it covers a lot of information very quickly. Not only will students learn to manipulate and solve various types of algebraic equations, but they will also be expected to graph these equations, identify properties of these equations, and interpret these relationships to represent real-world scenarios. Moreover, this course also includes the basics of statistics and geometry. When tutoring Algebra 1, the name of the game is making connections- I help students identify patterns to establish rules and practice using these rules until they are internalized and become second nature.
Geometry is a rare bird because this math course is less about calculations and more about logic and relationships. Sure, there are plenty of formulas and equations to provide mathematical models of spacial relationships, but in order to use these a student must have a clear visualization of the relationships they're representing. Interestingly, students who excel in Algebra 1 often struggle in Geometry because of this shift, which can challenge their confidence in math, so that often compounds any misunderstandings. For Geometry, the key is repeated exposure- students must constantly see the formulas, equations, diagrams, and vocabulary they need to know in order to apply the effectively.
/ ALGEBRA 2
Algebra 2 expands on the basics covered in Algebra 1 but introduces new, more complex types of equations including rational and logarithmic functions. Students will also more actively manipulate functions by factoring, expanding, and dividing polynomials and they will graph functions not only using transformations but also using end behavior and zeroes. The issue that students run into in Algebra 2 even if they succeeded in Algebra 1 is that the functions are much more complicated and intimidating. That's why I focus on conceptual understanding when tutoring Algebra 2- if students understand the overall concept, they can apply that idea no matter how complex the specific question.
Precalculus, as the name suggests, lays the groundwork for college-level Calculus courses. It is, on the whole, a review and reinforcement of Algebra 1 and 2 with two notable additions- trigonometry and conics. Although the basics of trig are taught in Geometry, Precal students will dive deeper into radian measure and the Unit Circle which are crucial foundational knowledge for Calculus. They will also come to understand the different types of conic sections and their similarities and differences. When Precalculus students have problems it is almost always related to the overwhelming amount of material they are required to remember and consistently keep in mind. So, my strategy for Precal is streamlining- keeping the whole in mind but focusing on the current issue at hand often through outlining and review sheets.
I am a self-proclaimed math nerd namely because of my love and appreciation for Calculus. Its structure and logical connections are a thing of beauty to me, but I can absolutely understand why many students have issues in this course. The sad fact is that many Calculus instructors go straight into the hard-core mathematics of Calculus without first establishing the overarching concepts which can provide the connective tissue students need to understand how these ideas relate to one another. When tutoring Calculus, I make sure my students can not only follow the necessary procedures but also that they know why those steps are taken and their significance.
/ SAT & ACT
My approach to test-prep is two fold. After an initial assessment of a student's skill I identify subject areas of weakness and prepare practice materials to target those topics. However, I also provide test-taking strategies and tips to help students reach success. Unfortunately, mathematical knowledge is not the only thing being tested by these assessments, and problems like test anxiety, time management, question presentation can all seriously affect performance even for the highest achieving students. So, I seek to prepare students mathematically and mentally to realize their true potential.