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“Master the Graphing Calculator” Class Starts Soon!

As a math tutor and instructor of remedial students at the college level, you would think I would have thought to teach my homeschooled high schooler to use the graphing calculator. But when life happened, that skill was never addressed and she struggled through without mastering that skill. Don’t make that mistake.

It is hard to teach what you don’t know and I see almost no resources for teaching this skill in homeschool curriculums, so I pulled a few materials and created some of my own and put together a mini-course that will teach these skills in 3 classes starting May 18. And I’m offering it this first round for the discounted price of $45 (or $40 with the early registration guide).

Thanks to a crazy virus, I shifted my plans and will now be teaching virtually, so you don’t have to be local to take advantage of this opportunity!

Help your student master the graphing calculator BEFORE they take standardized tests or college classes! Scroll down for class details and for my calculator recommendations.

WHAT: A 3-day mini course to teach calculator skills with TI 83/84 plus.  Students with other similar TI calculators may be able to follow along with class, but instructions will be given on the TI-84 plus CE.  Students may want to learn on a computer app with that model and then with a bit of self study learn to transfer skills to a different model. 

WHEN: Mon., May 18, Wed. May 20, & Wed. May 27     

1/2 hours in the afternoon


WHO: Students with little to no experience with a graphing calculator who have completed (or will soon complete) Algebra 1 or higher. Students should be self-motivated to learn how to use a calculator to make math quicker and easier.


WHERE: Online. We will have password protected meetings and I will close access when all students have logged in.

COST: Introductory price: $45 (Full price is $60)
Includes: Class notes, 16 pages of guides for various functions, and additional pages of practice material. 

Early Registration Discount: only $40 (deadline: 5/10)

To Register: Message me on Facebook or e-mail: Waco Math Mentor (spaces removed) at gmail (dot) com and ask for me to send you all details. Payment in full required to hold spot.


Class size:  max. of 16 students


Type of calculator::  I chose to teach TI-83/84 Plus because it will be able to be used in most college classes, ACT, and SAT. 


Comparing a few selected university classes, SAT, and ACT, all of these allow the TI 83/84 plus. At least one of these does not allow the TI Inspiron, TI-89, or TI-92. One of the university classes I referenced did not allow a TI 84 CE, but the CE is a much better model of 84 overall (improved screen with color and size). 

In my experience, TI-84 plus (in any edition) is the most commonly used graphing calculator. 83 and 84 plus are almost identical. Do your own research based on your plans before you purchase.

Students with other similar TI calculators may be able to follow along with class, but instructions will be given for TI-84 plus and demonstrated on a TI-84 Plus C computer app.

Once registered I will send instructions for downloading TI-84 plus C onto Android devices or a touchscreen computer (free). Students with different calculator may want to learn on a computer app that matches mine and then with a bit of self study learn to transfer skills to a different model.


Topics covered will include basics, common mistakes, how to save time by typing less, fractions on the calculator, graphing lines, graphing quadratics and finding special points, solving equations, SAT tips, and how to learn more, such as Stats or Matrices.  

About Me  I homeschooled my oldest who is now in college. I have been a private math teacher for many homeschoolers as well as a tutor in all settings. I have taught math in public middle school and high school and community college for about 7 years. I taught homeschool co-ops for 9 years. I specialize in tutoring students with learning disabilities or math anxiety.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links (through Amazon) and if you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something and if you buy it there is up to you.

crisis schooling, Homeschooling

Free Math Workbooks!

Amazon has free Math Workbooks for ages 5-10. These are a great way to keep kids learning. Colorful and a variety of topics. Here’s the workbook for 5-6 https://amzn.to/2xIqGzK You will see links to other books on this page.

Many of these pages you will want to write on. I personally would do this in the following way:


1) a Kindle reader on my laptop

2) My Window laptop’s “Snip and Sketch” app. Once the page I want to cut is open, you push the Windows key + shift+ s. Then you drag to highlight what you want to copy. It could be one problem or the whole page. Screen shots work too!

3) Open Bitpaper.io and paste (Ctrl + V) the picture and then write on! Save it as a PDF to show mom. See my video on using Bitpaper. Super easy to learn. Hint: Do not use the erase function…it will erase the worksheet too. Use “z” or the undo button to undo the last mark instead. This can also be done in word.

NOTE: In just a few days, bitpaper will become a paid platform, but the free student account can create one free paper per month, with many tabs (over 30) and that can be erased/reset.

One advantage of Bitpaper is that you could have a grandparent or friend watching their work and commenting from across the country. If they are bored and you have to work from home…it’s win/win!

It’s not to complicated for seniors! Have them call on a phone and then at the same time, get on their e-mail and click the link you send them that opens up a webpage. They might need to login, but I don’t think so. They can just watch if that’s all they know how to do, or they can write on the paper too with a bit of tech skill.

oliTo my American grammar police friends: I learned today that “practise” is the British English word used as a verb, while they use “practice” as a noun. Also, “Maths” is appropriate in England as well. There may be other differences in the book as well, but for the most part, math is math (or maybe “maths” is “maths”!)

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links (through Amazon) and if you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something and if you buy it there is up to you.

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Organizing Weekly School Work

I’d like to share my newest freebie: a weekly schedule planner! It’s designed to be filled out in two colors. One is due dates. The other is planned work time. Some classes have all the work due at the end of the week, so students need to plan daily time to work on assignments. Fill in the boxes at the top with your color system and then fill in assignments! Cross off each box as it’s completed.

There are places for 8 classes plus chores and personal goal. Download here:

Want to say thanks? Come back and let me hear, or even better see, how you use this tool! Share in the comments or on my Facebook page.

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Minimalist Education at Home

So your child is learning at home (either crisis schooling or homeschooling or doing summer learning) and you know you aren’t going to be able to accomplish much, but you want to feel like you hit the educational basics and make sure your kids don’t backslide. Here’s how to hit the 4 essentials in as little as an hour and some resources to make it easy:

1) MATH

Practice Math Facts. Here’s a site you can do that easily (and for free): https://www.factmonster.com/math/flashcards And here’s the log I created so you and your child can see his or her progress (free to download): https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Fact-Monster-Math-Fact-Practice-Log-5373801 Remember, seeing progress is great motivation! Facts should be practiced if they are not automatic, which means even high schoolers may need practice!

Bonus: Practice 10 math problems on https://www.ixl.com/ (10 problems free in each subject/day).

2) READ

Pick up a book and read from 20 min to 1 hour (depending on child’s age and attention span). Too hard? Listen to a book on audible, free as long as schools are closed: stories.audible.com Studies show listening to stories light up all the same parts of the brain as reading them.

3) WRITE

Write in a journal. It can be a story, a list of goals, or a diary entry. Younger kids can write letters or draw or doodle. I suggest setting a timer for 15 minutes and requiring only moving the pen or pencil for that length of time with no checking on what they wrote unless they ask you to look. Tell your kids that you have never lived through this before and they may never live through it again, so a diary might be something to pass down to future generations who will ask what it was like.

Or make a mini book each day. Here’s how to easily make a mini book with only one sheet of paper and a pair of scissors: www.youtube.com/watch?v=21qi9ZcQVto

4) MOVE

Send your kids to play outside or go for a walk or have them dance to music, a video game, or a Tic Tok dance (not recommended for young kids independently).

**STOP HERE and congratulate yourself! You have hit all the basics!**

BONUS ROUND:

Learn something…Do an internet search on a insect seen outside, pick up an Usborne-type non-fiction book, watch an instructional video, or watch an episode of Magic School Bus or a TV show in a foreign language. See my previous post for LOTS more ideas.

Online Tutoring

An Intro to BitPaper …interacting online

I’ve recently learned of a tool that is so helpful for online math tutoring, but could also help anyone who wants to write or draw and share it over the internet. Your grandchild could send you a picture. You can help your child practice handwriting on a 5 minute break at work. Your uncle could help you with homework (you snip parts of the assignment and paste it on the board). You and a friend could make a collaborative sketch. You could play Pictionary with friends while in quarantine!!!! And so on. It’s super easy to learn and free.

It’s online (nothing to download) but you will probably want to set up a free account.

https://www.bitpaper.io/

Here’s my video tour of BitPaper. For some reason (maybe because Zoom was glitchy…I’d assume because of quarantine overuse!) when I share my screen, it is black for a while. You miss me clicking “Create Paper” and the buttons at the bottom as I push numbers on my keyboard, but it will pop up soon, so be patient.

I only use 2 tools…one is earbuds so I don’t risk any feedback or echo on Zoom. And a fine-point stylus that makes it so easy to write on a touch screen with BitPaper. Mine has two ends, but I like the end with the clear, flat disc that lets me see what I’m doing. Surprisingly, as useful as these are, I’ve never seen these for sale in person. Here’s what I have:

So let me know how you decide to interact with this shared white board! I think I’m going to try Pictionary! 🙂 Enjoy.

Updated: Because of being overwhelmed with new users, Bitpaper is going to a subscription service to keep itself running, but you can create one free paper per month on the free subscription and you can open a lot of tabs (more than 30) and erase or reset to reuse.


Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links (through Amazon) and if you go through them to make a purchase, I will earn a commission. Keep in mind that I link these products because of their quality and not because of the commission I receive from your purchases. The decision is yours, and whether or not you decide to buy something and if you buy it there is up to you.