Ralph Schatzki has taught basic math, pre-calculus, algebra, and geometry, as well as trigonometry and statistics.
Referred to as "Mr.Ralph" at Ruamruedee Internatioal School Bangkok, a prestigious school where he taught for many years, he prides himself in being able to identify areas on which students need improvement and in giving them the tools they need to succeed at math.
"This tutorial is for pre-Algebra and Algebra. Sign up now for one-on-one math tutoring with Ralph Schatzki."
A firm understanding of concepts is enhanced by a firm understanding of the vocabulary used to describe them. While true understanding ultimately goes beyond the words, it is also true that words are an excellent way by which to gain understanding. Certainly, teachers use words to convey ideas, and even though you might be able to intuit the ideas, knowing the vocabulary never hurts. Of course, if you can't figure out concepts on your own, words become even more important.
At their basest level, words are random. Why is blue "blue," or dog "dog?" They could just as easily be "florp" and "toobye," in which case you might walk your florp under the clear toobye sky. A lot of mathematical terms make just as little (or, just as much) sense, and you'll need to put a little effort in in order to know what the words mean.
For instance, the difference between a "coefficient" and a "constant" is subtle, but when your teacher is explaining something and rattles off one of these words, you don't have the luxury of stopping time in order to make sure you understand. You have to know what it means, and I don't mean simply memorized. If I say "blue," you instantly imagine the color, and if I say "dog" an image pops into your head. The same thing has to happen when I say "coefficient," and this means you have to be diligent about achieving a thorough understanding of the terms used in your class.
Now, I know you have better things to do with your life. Who doesn't? We'd all like to be playing a video game or going out for soft-serve. But when you are on solid ground, work becomes anything but, and your life is full of sunshine. That's better than a video game, and probably even better than soft-serve.
So, what's the difference between "coefficient" and "constant?" Well, a constant is simply a value that doesn't change- hence, it is constant. 6 is always 6, -41 is always -41. So, 6 and -41 are "constants." A "coefficient" is the constant portion of a monomial (uh-oh, there's another word I don't know!). For example, in the term 3x, 3 is the "coefficient" of the term, 3x.
Hey, don't blame me: I didn't make all this stuff up!
A lot of the words you should know - not simply memorize - are: integer, rational, real, natural, whole, cardinal, ordinal, equation, expression, term, monomial, polynomial, constant, coefficient, solution, variable, prime, composite... The list goes on and on.
So, when your teacher uses a word you don't know, or if you come across one in your textbook, stop to make sure you know what that word really means. It's extra work now, but it will pay huge dividends later on.
If you have particular questions, then, what's most important is for you to be able to explain to me your understanding of it so that I can see where you are. That way, I'll know where your Point A is, and I can direct you to Point B.
Contact me, and we can set up an appointment to get you on the track to success!
Math-Made-Easy 1 2 3 4Tutoring Service with Ralph Schatzki.
With 20+ years of math teaching experience, he now offers one-on-one tutoring. -Grades 1-12. Basic math, algebra, geometry, trigonometry, and pre-calculus.
Please contact me to set up an appointment so we can get to work as soon as possible. Whether you want to ensure your child a strong foundation in math, if he is struggling and needs some help to get back on track, or even if he wants some enrichment to move ahead, I am ready to do whatever it takes to apply my expertise and help him reach his potential and excel. I can promise that each and every student I teach benefits from my attention and experience.