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Erica S.

18 years Experience in Practical Mathematics and Problem Solving (i.e. Logistics)

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Basic Math

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Question:

What does two plus three equal?

Erica S.

Answer:

OK, so if we are asking what two plus three equals that means we are going to add them together and see how many there are total. Adding means we take something and put it together with something else. Does that make sense? it's like if your mom gives you two dollars and your dad gives you three dollars. That means all together you have two PLUS three, you ADDED two to three. Can you give me another example of adding? yes, that's exactly correct, you were five and you had a birthday so you ADDED a year to your age, that is a great example. ok, so we want to add two to three, so let's take two of these apples and set them on the counter. what do we do next? we add three, right! so let's put three more apples next to the two apples. Ok, we've got our two apples and our three apples, now let's get the two and the three closer together, so they're one big group of apples altogether. we just added three to two, didn't we? So now that we have the two and three added together let's see what they equal. To do that we are going to count them and see how many we have. Want to count? It's ok to be shy, would you rather count on me? Awesome, I would love to count on you, and as I count I'm going to move each one aside so we know we counted it. Ready? One apple... Two apples... Three apples... Four apples. What comes after four? close! Try again... no, less than seven... right, five! We have five apples all together, so our two apples plus the three other apples equal five apples. Great job!

English

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Question:

Why do I come after e except after c?

Erica S.

Answer:

That is a great question. The English language has a lot of rules that apply most of the time, but not all of the time and they allow our language more flexibility, which is a good thing! These "most of the time" rules can be as simple as a letter being pronounced differently depending on how it's used, to completely changing the spelling of a word depending on a specific context. Context is what the word means when we are using it in a sentence. So, with "i", "e" and "c", the order of the letters in "i" and "e" generally determine how the two letters combined are pronounced, which makes it easier for you to spell the word. "ie" is usually seen in words like "believe" where it makes an "Eee" sound, and other words like "friend" where it makes an "Eh" sound, or "Science" where you get an "Aye" sound. When you flip the letters to "ei" it usually makes an "ey" sound, just like in the examples in the saying, "neighbor" and "weigh". This rule isn't right 100% of the time, but it's a good rule of thumb to keep in mind to help you spell words containing "i" and "e" next to each other. Can you think of another example of "i" before "e"? What about after "c"? How about "ei"? Good! Now take five minutes to brainstorm all the words you can think of with "i" and "e" next to each other, either as "ie" or "ei". Write them down a let me know if you're done before the time is up so we can discuss.

Algebra

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Question:

What is fifteen percent of 160?

Erica S.

Answer:

In a problem like this, the words in the sentence can give us clues to help solve the problem. Words like "is" and "of" usually can be transformed into the equation itself, for example, where the word "is" appears in a sentence you can replace it with an equal sign, so our sentence would now look like "What = fifteen percent of 160?". The word "What" is the thing we are trying to find out, so let's turn "What" into "x". Does that make sense? Now, the sentence looks like this: "X = fifteen percent of 160". To further transform the sentence into an equation we take "of", which means multiply, so we're going to now write the sentence as "X = fifteen percent x 160". All clear so far? Ok good! Now, let's turn "fifteen percent" into a number so we can work it into the equation, as .15. We do this because when we say a number is a percentage we mean a percentage of a whole, and in this case the number 100 always represents the whole, so we divide 15 by 100, which gives is .15. If we were saying "sixty percent" then how would we make that a number? Right... we are going to divide 60 by 100, yes you can use a calculator :) exactly! 60 divided by 100 is .60, so sixty percent is .60. OK, so what was our sentence turned into an equation looking like now? ... close! Remember, "What" is the word we are solving for, the number we are trying to find. So, what did we call "What"? No worries, try again :) Close! It was "X", usually we in math we make the unknown thing we are solving for an X. So the sentence, try it with me... "X=.15x160". that looks a lot less confusing to figure out that a sentence full of words, huh? Ok, so time to figure this out! To get the answer we are going to multiply .15 by 160, which comes out to... that's exactly right! 24 is correct, great job! Do you have questions?

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