Teacher Appreciation Giveaway!

It's easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life and forget to tell those around you how much you appreciate them. Teachers work hard all day, every day to impact the lives of their students. As a small thank you, I've collaborated with other great educators to give a token of our appreciation.

A Teacher for All Seasons

A teacher is like Spring,
Who nurtures new green sprouts,
Encourages and leads them,
Whenever they have doubts.

A teacher is like Summer,
Whose sunny temperament
Makes studying a pleasure,
Preventing discontent.

A teacher is like Fall,
With methods crisp and clear,
Lessons of bright colors
And a happy atmosphere.

A teacher is like Winter,
While it's snowing hard outside,
Keeping students comfortable,
As a warm and helpful guide.

Teacher, you do all these things,
With a pleasant attitude;
You're a teacher for all seasons,
And you have my gratitude!

By Joanna Fuchs

Thank you for all that you do to develop and changes the lives of the students and educators that cross your path. Go ahead and enter the raffle here to win $50 TPT gift card below.  Thank you again for all that you do!

How to Merge Math and Art:

Here is a super fun way to introduce art to math lessons! It's incredible to see students light up as they make the connections between art and mathematics.

This is one of my favorite activities! As an amateur artist (you can view my paintings at ) and a full time math educator (B.S. Mathematics), I truly believe that art and math are very closely related. Attention to detail, pattern recognition and synthesizing data are qualities found in mathematicians and artists alike. Breaking down a large task (weather a difficult math problem or complex art project) into smaller parts is an important skill for all students to master.  

As students begin drawing the pieces into the appropriate location in the frame they will enjoy connecting the lines to complete the painting. When they complete the painting, they can research the title and artist. Students can even color in the picture for a more complete look. Who knew fraction conversions could result into a Math Masterwork?!

Check it out here!

Winter FREEBIE for Unit Circle Trig Values

I tell my students that they should know them almost as fast as their multiplication facts.  The ones who succeed always do well with the remainder of trigonometry.

Enjoy this free winter snowstorm themed review of the unit circle trig values. 

When teaching the unit circle I always begin with special right triangles, but once that foundation is laid, I use this left hand trick. You can find the notes here
This is SO much quicker than drawing tiny special right triangles for every problem. 

Quick tip: I also emphasis that tangent (opposite/adjacent) is really just slope.  Every student should know the slope of a vertical, horizontal and 45 degree lines, so they really know tangent of the quadrantal angles and all of the angles with a reference angle measurement of 45 degrees. 

My Favorite Halloween Math Treats!

Do my students think I’m too nerdy???  We will see... I hope that they will enjoy these fun Halloween treats!
Brownie Formula Graves:
I used small baking trays from Marshalls (you can also find them at Michael's or Hobby Lobby) and an adorable grave decorating kit! I love making these fun treats and I hope it helps my students to retain their formulas!

Pumpkin Pi:
You can find reusable foam pumpkins at your craft store. I simply sketched the pie shape and cut it out with an X-acto knife. Don't forget to cut out a small hole on the bottom for an electric tea light!

Top 10 SAT & ACT Tips and Tricks!

Students often come to me needing to improve their SAT/ACT score to get into their top choice school. Many students can feel nervous about sitting through such a lengthy exam and forget their basics! These tiny tips and tricks will up EVERY student improve their math scores on both the SAT and ACT. To subscribe to more tiny tips click here!

1.   There is no substitute for good, basic algebra and geometry knowledge. If you don’t know the sound a letter makes, how can you read a sentence? If you don’t know basic math rules, how can you solve a simple equation?

2.Practice only from “official materials” from or 

3.Practice ALL of the official problems until you can do ALL of them easily and correctly.  Only after that, should you entertain using other materials. 

4.Back solving or plugging answers choices back to see which one is correct, almost always wastes too much time.  Learn how to solve the the problem “straight up”.

5.You must be able to complete each problem under a minute.  Most problems take about 30 seconds. 

6.Always glance at you answer choices before completing the problem.  For example, if your answers choices are in terms of pi, don’t bother multiplying by pi. 

7.Make sure you answer the problem completely.  Always quickly reread the question to make sure you gave the correct answer. 

8.Eliminate answer choices first, only if it can be done quickly and easily. For example, you cannot get a real solution if you take the square root of a negative number. 

9.Choose the best (and fastest) way to solve a problem.  This is the HARDEST thing to do.  It will come with practice. 

  1. 10.If a problem is drawn to scale, sometimes you can make a reasonable guess if you are totally lost.

Converting Logs and Exponents

As a private full time math tutor, most of my students come to me confused when they start learning how to convert logs into exponents and vice versa .

All I have to say is...

You just "Keep the Base" and "Flip Flop".  It's THAT simple.  

For more logarithm tricks you can try my comprehensive guide here.

Foil - Using the foiling method for multiplying two binomials.

I ALWAYS use foil when teaching students how to multiplying binomials.  I am not a fan of the box method.  If students still have a difficult time remembering the steps, I'll say just "distribute twice". Here is a cool gif that shows each step you can bookmark it or check out my poster here.