a busy week…then Thanksgiving!

Only one more full week of school before Thanksgiving! Which also means you probably have lots of tests and quizzes coming up. Teachers like to squeeze everything in right before you have time off don’t they?!



My AB Calculus students are actually having their huge test over derivatives TODAY! I’ve wrapped up the derivative chapter by explaining inverse trig, logarithm, and exponential derivatives here…



My BC Calculus students have recently been taking integrals which require u-substitution. I’ve shown a shorter method (fewer steps) than the traditional u-substitution method. It’s always nice to have some shortcuts in Calc :)



Good luck navigating your way through what I’m sure will be a busy week!

math favor friday

So why did I title this “Math Favor Friday”?? Well, I’d like to reserve Fridays not only for Algebra 1, but also to answer one of YOUR math questions that you might have had in class during the week! I didn’t have any takers for this Friday, but I’m going to keep the offer open. So if you come across my blog and don’t see your specific question in any of my current videos…just leave me a comment, send me an email, or find me on one of my social accounts¬†(those buttons at the very top of my page and let’s use #mathsaverfavor)¬†and ask away! If I get too many requests I will pick the most-asked question for that week…otherwise I will answer everyone’s questions each Friday!!


For Algebra 1 this week, a lot of my students are learning how to write the equation of a line using slope-intercept form and point-slope form. They always have the most trouble when asked to write the equation of a line that’s parallel or perpendicular to another line…especially if it’s a vertical or horizontal line! Watch the following video to see a few examples of how to do this without making any of the common mistakes.



Have a great weekend, and I’ll see you next week!

Proofs, proofs, proofs

Proofs…you either love them or hate them! The whole first semester is proofs, proofs and more proofs for you Geometry students. The second semester is not however, so you can look forward to that if proofs are stressing you out!


For my regular Geometry students, CPCTC is the name of the game right now. Just keep it simple, find triangles that you can prove congruent first and then CPCTC will be the step right after that. The red flag that you will end with CPCTC is if they are NOT asking you to prove triangles congruent. You still have to prove the triangles congruent, but CPCTC will be your final step.



My honors Geometry students have been doing proofs using parallel lines, corresponding angles, alternate interior angles, and same side (consecutive) interior angles. The connection between parallel lines and the different types of angles works both forward and backward. Parallel lines give you congruent angles AND congruent angles give you parallel lines! I’ve included 2 proofs to show you both types…



Next stop Friday! I’ve put a shout out asking you all to send me any math questions you’ve had this past week. Leave me a comment or use one of my social links above…I’m going to post a video TOMORROW answering the most-asked or all questions (depending on the number of responses). Don’t miss your chance to get in on a #mathsaverfavor!!

Better late than never

Talk about down to the wire…my Veteran’s Day ended up being filled with 10 hours of tutoring so I’m just now able to get to this post! I hope you all enjoyed your day off if you had one. My own daughter was pretty unhappy with me since I told her all week that she had today off of school, but she didn’t! Woops!


Anyway, let’s get these videos posted. My regular Advanced Algebra Trig students are still doing the chapter on quadratics so I decided to do a few examples of completing the square. I also included my own advice on which method you should use to solve each type of quadratic. I think that’s one of the hardest things about this chapter…all of the problems start to look the same after awhile and it’s difficult to know what to do for each. This video will help, and I will do even more with quadratics next Wednesday too.



My honors Advanced Algebra Trig students are getting to the very end of the chapter on rational equations. One of the final sections is on solving rational equations (getting an LCD is a huge part of this). Here is the video with a few examples…



Goodnight and here’s to a great tomorrow!

Our favorite precalc word problems

My students have a lot of tests this week including both my regular and honors Precalc students. Most of them have the day off tomorrow for Veteran’s Day so all their tests have been crammed onto Monday or Tuesday! Their books typically save the word problems for the end of the chapter so that is what they’ve been doing a LOT of lately. And I know students usually have the most trouble with word problems so let’s dive right in!


My regular Precalc students are finishing off the trig chapter that has been mainly graphing sin, cos, and tan curves. The chapter ends with word problems like ferris wheels, high tide/low tide, heartbeats…basically anything that can be modeled by a sin or cos curve. Here are two of the most common examples…



My honors Precalc students are finishing of the logarithm chapter. It has a big section with exponential word problems like half-life, continuous compounding of money, population growth, etc. I’ve worked out and explained a few common, but difficult examples…



Best of luck if you have tests this week too! And have a great day off tomorrow if your school observes the holiday!