This fall I (Kathryn Gomes) am teaching Algebra I for AIM Academy and one of the highlights of the class will feature Drexel University’s Problems of the Week.
Here is a sample of one of the pre-algebra problems…give it a try because doing some math in the middle of summer is good for you (or call over one of your kids and promise them an ice pop if they can get the answer before you.)
Raul and Esteban just started working at their uncle’s farm on the weekends. Their first task was to count the ostriches and llamas. When they reported to their uncle,
“How many are ostriches? How many are llamas?” asked their uncle.
“It’s getting dark and I promised your mother I’d get you home for dinner. There’s no time to count again. You’ll have to figure out how many ostriches and how many llamas there are from that information when you get home. Can you give me a call after dinner and let me know your answer?”
How did Raul and Esteban figure out how many ostriches and how many llamas there were?
Got your answer? No giveaways here…you’ll just have to use the information in the problem to check your answer (because it is July and I know we’d all just scroll down to read it.) But here is the best part. It is not about getting the answer, but how did you get it? Did you take a guess? Make a table? Write an equation? Did you spend time trying to draw a llama or wondering why llama is spelled like that? And if someone else in your family tried it too, did they do it the same way as you?
All of these questions open up the process of problem-solving which is a very personal thing. Many students get completely stuck on word problems because they are focused on trying to remember how they are “supposed to start” instead of just following their intuition. In the problem above they might spend 30 minutes trying to decide what x should represent when guess-and-check could get them to the answer with no problems. Learning how to hone and sharpen your own problem-solving strategies is the real beauty of mathematics.
This Algebra 1 class is aligned with the newredesigned SAT math section. You can find out more here. Register for Kathryn Gomes’ Algebra 1 class here.
Teascript — designed by an entrepreneurial homeschool grad, this is an elegant online tool that will produce a sufficient transcript for all your needs for free. For a modest price, you can add more detail.
You will also find sample transcripts in a variety of forms in the appendix of The Ultimate Guide to Homeschooling Teens.
Janice Campbell over at Everyday Education is a veteran homeschool mom who has put together a helpful resource as well in Transcripts Made Easy.
This is our second installment in our series of teacher interviews. Susan Spivey currently teaches British Literature and will be adding American Literature for the 2016-2016 school year. In this video she describes her teaching style and many of the projects in her class.
Over the next couple of weeks we will be featuring video interviews with Aim Academy’s teachers. Below is an interview with Beverly Graybill who teaches some of our middle school English classes. In this video you can find out how she got involved in Aim Academy and also here more details on her classes.
Someone else fought tirelessly a generation ago to secure homeschool freedom for you and me—now it’s our turn to pay it forward. Homeschoolers around the globe need our help—and the power to give it is in our pockets. All it takes is a small donation to the “Pay It Forward for Homeschoolers Worldwide” campaign today. Your contribution will help rising homeschool champions from Europe, Asia, Africa, South America, and beyond to attend the Global Home Education Conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in March 2016.
In Rio, home education leaders will be equipped to improve their laws, to educate their fellow citizens, and to defend their liberty in their courts. In Rio, homeschool families from around the world will come together to advance a global movement that we started and fought for in America 40 years ago. Together we can advance the idea that home education is a fundamental freedom globally.
Your contribution will help homeschool champions like Edric and Joy Mendoza in Manila, Philippines (leading a homeschool group of 1,000 homeschool families) and Thomas and Hedaya Mundia in Nairobi, Kenya (helping to pioneer homeschooling in East Africa).
Will you pay it forward today?
Your tax-deductible donation of $25, $50 or $100 will help us bring more leaders fighting for more families in more countries to Rio in March 2016. (Donations are tax-deductible for US residents.)
Simply click here to donate now. Thank you for your contribution.
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Paying it forward together,
Writers in Residence, Vol. 1, Apprenticehas arrived! You can order it now at our special introductory price here. You can try a FREE sample here. And join my private Facebook group here.
This is the first volume in a complete language arts program for 4th-8th. Writers in Residence teaches kids to write (and love it!) while also presenting grammar, punctuation, and capitalization in the context of high-interest writing assignments. I’ve taken 30 years of teaching experience and distilled it down to the best activities and most effective writing instruction I’ve gleaned from mentoring homeschool students over the years. I can’t wait to hear what you think of it.
The new test launches March 2016.
The PSAT aligned with the new SAT this fall. Students can take the current version of the SAT until March (and if you are a senior, it might be wise to take your last SAT exam before then). Beginning with the March test dates, the SAT returns to the 1600 point scale and the essay becomes optional. The change is major—the content and the format will change so educate yourself now and start making a plan.
You have to complete one math test without a calculator.
The test is short with only two math sections; however, one of them prohibits the use of a calculator. This section is no joke. . . I was shocked when I took the practice test. The test makers didn’t shy away from fractions, decimals, and really large numbers on this section. Don’t sit for this exam without brushing up on your basic arithmetic skills.
It is an exam you can prepare for.
The College Board hasn’t just revamped the test; they’re reshaping the way we think about test preparation and college-ready assessment. With their twitter campaign #skilledit, they repeatedly emphasize that anyone can succeed on the test if they put in the time and the hard work. There are practice problems, full length tests, and details on the College Board’s website. If you sign up through Khan Academy, you will be given videos to watch and practice problems to work through that are tailored to your needs. And all of this is now free.
My redesigned SAT math prep course, which incorporates all the changes, begins January 4, 2016. Registration is open now. After a pretest, students receive a customized study plan for the course. In addition to the helpful tools at Khan Academy, my students have access to more than twenty of my own videos that address all math topics in depth and review foundational skills students may be lacking. Additionally, the weekly live sessions provide students with immediate feedback and help them pinpoint their weaknesses. With 7 weeks of accountability and guided study my students are confident when they sit for the test. For more information and student reviews visit my site: