The perfect answer

So you have answered all your homework, handed it in and are anticipating getting it back with full marks.  However, when you get back your grade it is lower than expected.

full marks!

This may be because you only wrote the answer down and did not show your working or did not justify your answer. You have the right answer written down but not the perfect answer. Why is this? Teachers want to know how you got to this answer or why you think it is a particular answer.

To do this you should show all your working or reasoning, here are a few examples.

Calculation questions

Evaluate 2(3+5)/4

= 2(8)/4

= 16/4


Note each calculation is on a separate line and the equal signs are aligned.

Your teacher can see what you have done and why you have done it, and how you arrived at that answer.

Written Question:

What is the structure of the atom?

Atoms are made of protons, neutrons and electrons. Protons, which are positively charged, and neutrons are found in the nucleus (center of the atom).  Electrons are negatively charge and are found in shells outside the nucleus.

This answer starts with the minimal amount of detail needed to answer this question. Additional details show the teacher that you fully understand the subject.


An important benefit of showing all of your work is that you have a good set of notes and examples that can help with revision as well as increase your mark in your home work and test.

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Flipped teaching. what is it and how to use it?

Flipped teaching makes use of online resources and allows the teachers to post videos and notes online for the students to watch, usually for homework. This free up class time to allow the students to work on practice problem with the teacher.

It was initially started at a university and college level and has seen a shift from students sitting for an hour listening to the professor talk before doing required coursework at home to the student listening/watching the material at home and coming to the lecture with questions that are worked on collectively with the professor and the rest of the 9class.

Flipped teaching is making its way into high schools and middle schools and giving students a new method of learning. Like with the traditional learning method some students excel using this method while other have problems getting used to it. Flipped teaching encourages students to learn basic skill independently and then come to school prepared to apply and develop those skills. In theory it allow the teacher to have more interactive time with each student.

If you or your child is using flip teaching then here are a few tips that may help them to get the most out of this method.

  1. Watch the video in a quiet room with no distractions
  2. Have a pen a paper so that you can take notes about key methods, techniques or facts
  3. If you don’t understand rewind and watch it again (and again)
  4. If you still don’t understand write down a question for your teacher’s next lesson. Don’t be afraid to ask the question.
  5. Try a few questions at home (maybe the examples) so that you can confirm that you understand.

If you or your child is struggling with this style of learning speak to you teacher for advice. You can also find a study group or partner where you can discuss the topic and learn to skill in a face to face setting.





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Working with fractions

Fraction question can confuse many people.

When you see questions like

Evaluate 7/8 + 4/6 or Solve 4/5*2/7

you don’t know where to begin and what to do.

This is a decision chart that may help. Look at the operation and decide from there.


Once you have the right operation just follow the steps.

Evaluate 7/8 + 4/6

This is an addition so find the lowest common multiple. To do this see if the smaller denominator can be multiplied to give you the other denominator . If it does then the highest multiple is the LCM.

If you can’t do this then try multiplying the two denominator together – this will give you a common denominator (it may not be the lowest but it will be something you can work with)

in our example L.C.M. is 24

8*3 is 24 so multiply first fraction by 3/3, 6*4 = 24 do multiply the second fraction by 4/4

21/24 + 16/24



This can be simplifies to a mixed fraction

1 13/24

Solve 4/5*2/7

this is a multiplication



This is the final answer as it cannot be simplified.


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How to excel at Word Problems

Word problems are most students worst nightmare, shivers a run down there spines and cringes crawl across there faces when they are mentioned. (They may even turn into the walking dead!)

Work problems can often be confusing but there are some strategies that can be used to help you to deal with them simply and without two much stress.


  1. Read the question – it may not make complete sense but it will start your brain thinking about the situation
  2. Highlight key information – Look for numbers/rates and math words and what it is that you are trying to find. You may need to translate the math word to find the mathematical operation that you need, here are some common words seen math problems

math words


3. Read the question again so that you can remind yourself of that you are trying to find. – It is easy to forget the purpose of a question when there are so many words so rereading will remind you.

4. Use the information to find a formula or strategy to solve the problem – this may involve sketching it or writing out the steps needed to answer the question

5. Solve the problem – This should now be the easy part

6. Answer the question – This should be a short sentence including the appropriate units.

7.  Read the question again and make sure your answer makes sense.


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Benefits of Tutoring

Here are some benefits of having a tutor.

tutoring benefits

We aim to turn you into confident independent life long learners.

Check out our website,, for more information.

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Home Learning Ideas

The B.C. public school system is not going back to school this week and nobody really knows how long it will be before an agreement is reached. We are keeping our fingers crossed that it won’t be too long.

Many student may have been eager to get back to school learn new and interesting stuff. They still can, here are some great online resources.

Science – This is a link to some of the most popular science websites

These are great websites that will suit all ages, and should find some interesting topics to learn about.

Math –


khan academy

These are my favourite websites for Math. Ixl can be searched by province and grade to find suitable questions and you do 20 questions a day, which is a good amount.

Khan academy has video and practise questions, you can track your progress and earn avatars and badges. You need to get 5 correct in a row to finish a topic.

Other Subjects.

This is a UK site but is good for other subjects, except for social studies. It is split in to ‘bitesize’ topics and is interactive.

I haven’t found a good social studies site yet, please share if you know one.


Grade 10, 11, 12

You may want to take one of your course online so that you can focus on the other when you go back to class and two private online schools that you may want to look in to.

If you have any questions, ideas or tutoring ideas please contact us via

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Organising your work

Here is my earlier article on organisation, it is perfect for back to school season

Now is the time to get organised!

Why would this be useful, I here you saying?


1.  You will know where your notes, homework and assignments are.

2.  The unit summary will jog your memory and help you to link old topics to the current topic.

3.  You will know what homework and assignment you have and to what unit they belong to and where to find the answer

4.  You spend less time doing homework.

5.  You will be able to work on revision as soon as need to



Simply:  Get all subject work in the same place.

One way to do this is have a Binder with subject dividers and one subject in each section. Gather all of your notes for each the subject.  Put them in unit order and keep them in this file. Write each unit on the divider and update it each time you have start a new unit.

Another is to have binder for each subject and have an index at the front this binder for each subject and dividers for each unit. This will allow you to have more information on the dividers including subsections, assignment.

To save you from carrying too much, it may be easier to have a binder for school that you can take to the current lessons (for the week or 2 or even for the unit in)


It is best to prepare this before your classes begin however doing this at any time will improve your productivity and spare time which could lead to improving your grade.

It is never to late to get organised and you feel the benefits, immediately and see the benefits in the long term.




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Summer Science Fun

Wow! it is hot


When not hiding in the shade or swimming at the beach (or pool) here are some great outdoor science activity and generally fun things to do.

the balloon rocket car and the butterfly feeder.

The Ultimate Balloon Rocket Car!


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Summer Learning activities for Teens

1. Create a blog, website or other internet content.

            2. Explore career options through a job, internship or volunteer opportunity.

              3. Contribute to family summer plans.

Teens love to feel independent, and as a parent, you can capitalize on this by giving your teen an active role in planning your family’s summer.

             4. Download fun and productive apps and games

                There are some games, not run around shooting game, but MMOs such as Minecraft, which tech investigative skills and can help develop problem solving skills

             5. Check out library summer reading programs.

           Adapted from

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5 things all Students Should do in the Summer Vacation


1. Read a book (or 2 or 3…). Yes it can have pictures, but should have some words,

Reading will increase your vocabulary and inspire your imagination and creativity.

2. Build, create or grow something. You have 8 weeks you could make something amazing, such a Video, or a model or grow a plant.

This will give you some to monitor over several days and give you a great sense of achievement when it is complete.
For extra credit monitor and record what you have done or just watch the flowers grow.

3. Write a journal or a blog or Facebook post. Include one gratitude and your highlight from today.

This will show you what have done today and put you in a happy mood.

4. Do some Math – It doesn’t have to be much, 10 minutes 3 times a week×450.jpg

IXL or Khan Academy are good online sites.
Adding up the shopping bill, calculating how much food you need to cook for tea or how far your need to travel for your vacation are, also a good math practice.

5. Get outdoors

It is summer enjoy the great weather go explore, investigate and have fun.

BONUS: Do something nice for your parents/ grandparents, they are looking after you all summer!
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