Month: July 2014

Is Your Child A Math Genius?

How many of you think that your child may be a math genius? Is there really any such a thing as a child math genius?

Of course there is!  🙂

Here is a video I want to share with you that shows a group of children who have been classified as math geniuses.
Unbelievable Footage of 6 Year Old Math Geniuses
You won´t believe what these 1st and 2nd graders can do without a calculator! Learn more about Mike and the Brainetics system: http…

Pretty good, right!

If your child isn’t a math genius, or maybe is struggling with trying to learn math, we can help!

Visit our Mathnasium site and give us a call today!

Have a great day!

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Learn Algebra The Right Way

Learning math and then algebra can be a difficult progression for many students in today’s public educational process. It should be a natural progression if done properly. I whole-heartedly agree with this article I found by Mr. VanNoy, where he gives a good explanation of how he believes children should be taught algebra. Check it out and see if it makes sense to you?

Embedding Algebra For Young Learners

My students have told me often that in the upper elementary school years, 4th or 5th grade, they started to learn Algebra. Usually, this memory evokes shudders of pain. Some explain that they never really “got the hang of Algebra”, and that it looks like “just a bunch of letters, numbers, and mixed-up rules” jumbled together. This has been a common discussion over the years with students who somehow got moved on from the comfortable levels of Arithmetic into the strange world of Algebra before they were really ready for it. How young is too young for us to teach our students algebraic concepts?

The answer — kids are never too young to learn algebra; they just need to be introduced to it in the right way, when they are ready. So, if it looks like algebra is next in your child’s curriculum list, what do you do?
This question is actually part of the problem . . . Algebra should not be handled as a separate unit at a certain time. It is actually best taught as an embedded idea as soon as children know how to count and can use elementary mathematical symbols. In short, if they can count, add and subtract, then they are ready.

Algebra quite simply is the study of arithmetic structure. . . So, how does the teacher introduce algebra concepts to the young student? Even at the youngest ages, our children can be ready for the following lesson sequence:

  • Build on the arithmetic strategies the student knows already. Introduce algebra ideas in a natural, comfortable way, linking from the natural, mathematical ideas of counting and basic numeric operations. Discuss money exchanges, adding and subtracting objects from piles and groups.
    “If I have $16 in my pocket and pay Shari, and I am left with $9, how much did I pay her?”
    “Jeff has three pieces of gum in one pocket and five in the other. How many altogether? If he has three in one pocket but eleven total, how many in this pocket . . .”
    “Jeff has three pieces in this pile, as you can see, but 12 in total. How many are in the pile I am covering?”
  • Make it interactive and fun. You want your student to be engaged and participate in the situations you present orally. Use “mystery numbers” and unknown numbers of pieces as the stand-ins for variables. Use funny sounds to represent the variables in a different order to create aural representations of equations. Let your kids make up their own examples and create funny sounds. Make it a hands-on experience whenever possible.
    “I am a number. When I add 6 more, I have 13. What number am I?”
    “15 plus (oooomff) makes 28. How much is (oooomff)”
    “(arrrrrrgh) groups of 8 makes 32. How many groups is (arrrrrrgh)?”
  • Introduce rules and properties in the student’s own language, and then move into the proper math vocabulary of “rules of equality”, “equal operations”, and “distributive property”.
    Use the concepts of fairness and balance. You want the concepts to be learned before students are required to label the procedures formally.

To start talking about the concept of variables and equations, the learning sequence is extremely important here. If the developmental stages are skipped, students will try to memorize procedures and the understanding is lost. Orally introduce situations where there is an unknown quantity or mystery number, then represent the variable a funny sound or gesture, then move on to written symbols. Avoid using letter variables until your students are ready. In summary, algebra is the study of the arithmetic structures of our world, and is a toolbox we use to solve problems. The abstract nature of variables and equations and properties can only be understood after a proper developmental sequence of hands-on and oral examples, moving into the symbolic realm, and then progressing into pencil and paper exercises. Make it fun and interactive; allow your students to create their own examples and tap into their own curiosity. Embed these ideas into their basic curriculum lessons, not as a separate unit. Students of algebra need to be able to see how variables and equations are used to do any type of problem solving, and are tools to unlock mysteries in the world of numbers and patterns.

By: Terry VanNoy

Terry VanNoy’s class sessions, Math with Mr. V are by appointment only . . . Call toll free 1-877-317-3317 to arrange a free consultation! Help your child feel more successful in his or her math classroom.

I like Mr VanNoy’s approach to teaching math and algebra. Too often the students are thrown into algebra without taking the time to know that they have a good general understanding of the concepts behind algebra. I hope this helps you when looking for a tutor to help your child learn algebra and math.

Visit our Mathnasium site  if you are in the Cherry Hill NJ area and are looking for some math help for your child.

Have a great day!

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Trigonometry and Calculus

Why do those two words bring fear to the minds of most people?

Have you ever had a trigonometry course or a calculus course? If you were a science or math major in college then you almost certainly have taken those courses! Did you like learning that type of math? Was it fun for you or does it evoke bad memories?

Hopefully if you’ve had those courses, they were fun for you. I was thinking about that as I was reading this article I found below.  It briefly describes the history of trigonometry and calculus. Hope you enjoy it!


Discovering Trigonometry
Trigonometry is a category of mathematics that studies triangles, as well as the spatial relationships between triangle sides and degree angles between these sides. Trigonometry is used to define trigonometric functions.

Trigonometric functions describe the relationships between the angles and sides and are also applied to cyclical phenomena, such as waves.

Trigonometry itself is very similar to geometry, but is slightly more complex. It utilizes functions such as sine, cosine and tangent to analyze areas of angles. These and other functions of trigonometry are used in a variety of career fields including but not limited to: acoustics, architecture, astronomy, biology, chemistry, civil engineering, computer graphics, metrology, medical imaging, music theory and several other fields.

Trigonometry is taught starting in middle and high school. It can be taught as a separate course, but is also taught as a preliminary course for calculus. Trigonometry develops student’s knowledge of both pure and applied mathematics. College level trigonometry is required for several different career majors to help students develop a further understanding of angles and spatial relationships.

Trigonometry was first developed in the 2nd century BC by the Greek mathematician Hipparchus. Hipparchus developed what is known as the first trigonometric table. He used trigonometry, and other mathematical functions, to develop lunar and solar theories. He also used trigonometry to study the motion and orbit of the sun and moon. Though trigonometry was developed by Hipparchus, the study of triangles can be traced all the way back to Egyptian mathematics and Babylonian mathematics.

The Egyptians and Babylonians used trigonometry to develop theorems on ratios of triangle sides. The Babylonian astronomers used early trigonometry to measure the angular distances on the celestial sphere. They used this to detail records of rising and setting stars, planet motions, and solar and lunar eclipses.

During the Hellenistic period, the Greeks took the early Egyptian and Babylonian trigonometry and developed the chord, which developed the use of arcs. A chord of a circle is the geometric line segment whose endpoints are on the circle’s circumference. The chord joins two points on any curve, but it is not limited to an ellipse. The chord that passes through the center point of the circle also functions as the circle’s diameter.

The trigonometry that is currently used today was developed by European mathematicians, Sir Isaac Newton and James Stirling in the 17th century. Newton and Stirling created the general formulas that are currently used to solve trigonometric functions.
By: Dennis McLynn
Article Directory:

Dennis McLynn is the Vice President of Strategic Marketing & Business Development for High Points Learning. HighPoints Learning (HPL) is a leader in Web-based math education and instruction. HPL offers an online math tutoring program that helps raise participants’ math scores an average of 15 points in pre and post testing. HighPoints Learning services the 3-12 grade market. For more information visit:

So with all of this history under your belt, you’re ready to go hit the trig books right?  😉

Have a great day!

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Using Technology To Help Learn Math

I wanted to share a video with you, where a professor from the university of Washington is changing the way students learn math!

Yes, I know it’s an Intel commercial, but there is a lot of good information in the video!

And it’s encouraging to see that professors are utilizing the technology at hand to more quickly and easily help students learn math!

So without further ado:

Classroom of the Future from Intel on Vimeo.

So what do you think. Maybe your children would like to learn math this way?

Have a great day!


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