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Archive for the ‘Teaching Math’ Category

The price of gas keeps going up.  In California, most gas stations now charge over $4 even for the lowest octane gasoline.  Hybrid cars cost more, but are more energy efficient than most standard gasoline-only cars.  Hybrid cars are also better for the environment.  Are they better for your wallet as well?  Let’s figure out the break-even time for a hybrid car, and how much money you could save over the lifetime of a hybrid car.

Find out how to do this problem!

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Spring break came and went so quickly.  School is back in full swing now. Students in high school are starting to prepare for the AP and SAT tests.  This is the first time I see my daughter studying seriously for a test. While testing is one way to judge a student’s knowledge and skills, it is not always so good at evaluating a student’s problem-solving methods, or the student’s ability to do things.  I begin to really appreciate the project-based method of teaching and learning.  Can math be taught using a project-based system?

Did you know that students can earn points on our site?  Once they earn enough points, they can get fun prizes, selected through our website.  I want to congratulate two students from Tennessee who claimed prizes in the past month!  Check out the prizes we offer at Points and Prizes.

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Sally wants to do a home improvement project.  Her kitchen floor is in bad shape and she wants to retile the floor.  She needs to figure out how many tiles to buy.  Her kitchen measures 15’ by 20’.  She will use tiles that measure 13” by 13”.  The tile costs $3.50 per square feet.  How many tiles does she need to buy and how much will the tiles cost?

Find out how to do this problem!

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Last month we talked about compound interest. This month we will use the compound interest concept and do a real-world problem, a kind of exercise often performed by financial analysts.

Netflix is a company that provides movies for viewing, either by streaming online or by mailing a DVD to your home. As a company, it has done extremely well. Its revenue (the total amount of money it receives from all of its customers) was $1.21B (billion) in 2007, $1.36B in 2008, and $1.67B in 2009. Here is the problem: What was Netflix’s average revenue growth rate from 2007 to 2009? If it continues to grow at that rate, how big will the revenue be in 2015?

Find out how to do this problem!

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Compounding interest is a very powerful concept. It can really hurt you, such as when you don’t pay off your credit card bill and the interest payment keeps getting bigger and bigger. It can also help you if you save money and manage it well enough to earn a steady return over many years.

If you start with $1000.00, how much will this become after 10 years if the rate of return is 5%?

Find out how to do this problem!.

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We have estimated that each year about 100 million Christmas trees are sold in the U.S.. I was wondering how much land it would take to plant and grow these trees. Can you estimate this number?

Let’s assume that it would take 7 years for a tree to grow big enough to be cut down (6 to 12 years is a reasonable range).

Find out how to do this problem!.

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Happy Holidays
Happy holidays! The first semester of school is coming to an end. Some of our students are preparing for end-semester exams, and we are getting ready for the holidays. This is a good time to relax and recharge, to reflect on the past and to plan for the future. We wish you all a happy holiday season!

Recently I had a chance to attend a meeting where I heard Salman Khan speak. He is the founder of Khan Academy. This is a website that offers many free educational videos, hosted on YouTube, covering a wide range of topics. These videos focus on teaching one concept at a time. I like the visual way of teaching. Check it out at www.khanacademy.org. These videos are good complement to the worksheets we provide at GoldStudent, which help children master a math concept.

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