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DOORSTEP & ONLINE SERVICES

• New York
• NYC (New York City)
• Manhattan
• Brooklyn
• Queens
• Staten Island
• Bronx
• Long Island including the Hamptons
• Westchester
• New Jersey
• Connecticut
• and remote to any location!

CHECK US OUT

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MEET OUR FOUNDER AND STAFF

THEMBA AND THE COMPETITION

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## What is Algebra I?

Algebra I is the math course taught in middle school (either 7th or 8th grades for some students) and in high school. It guides students through among other things expressions, systems of equations, functions, real numbers, inequalities, exponents, polynomials, radical and rational expressions.

This includes:

• Discovering expressions, equations and functions
• Exploring real numbers
• How to solve linear equations
• Visualizing linear functions
• Formulating linear equations
• Linear inequalities
• Systems of linear equations and inequalities
• Exponents and exponential functions
• Factoring and polynomials
• Quadratic equations
• Radical expressions
• Rational expressions

ALGEBRA BASICS: WHAT IS ALGEBRA? – MATH ANTICS

Do you need Algebra Tutoring Service? Contact us!

## Why Do Students Struggle with Algebra?

It can be argued that learning algebra is akin to learning a new language. Language in itself is the combination of symbols (such as the alphabet) to express and communicate a coherent idea and message. Algebra, similarly, uses a new set of symbolic notation to communicate Mathematical expressions, introducing alphabetical letters to represent variables in a calculation. Juxtapose this to arithmetic, which is about the absolute computation of specific numbers.

To the middle and high school students, Algebra is an entirely new concept. It represents their first foray away from mainstream Mathematics. It is their first departure from arithmetic. Not surprisingly, there has been considerable resistance by students when it comes to learning algebra.

Some students fail to see its practical purpose, saying that it “has no real use in daily life”. “I’m not going to use algebra when I’m washing the dishes or when I’m playing football,” said one secondary school student. Further up in junior college, another student said, “It won’t be relevant to what I want to study in university or my future job for that matter.”

In these casual, preliminary assessments of attitudes towards Algebra, we see a skew towards dismissing algebra for its lack of real-world applications. There are, however, more latent and intrinsic problems in the study of Algebra. Teachers across the country, and abroad, have reported students in secondary school with difficulties in grasping the fundamentals of Algebra.

In order to help our students cope with the learning of Algebra, let’s shift our focus to the following three possible reasons that hinder their understanding when learning Algebra.

Abstract Nature of Algebra

With Algebra, students have to visualize multiple possible answers for a given algebraic expression. Where “24 + 7 = 31” used to be the brand of calculation students would work with every day in school, they now have to contend with a new approach to Mathematical expression.

Now, they have “24a + 7b = 247” – with “a” and “b” representing an entire new dimension in calculation – one in which identifying the algebraic expressions of “a” and “b” can be a range of numbers, inclusive of both integers and rational numbers, as well as rational and irrational or complex numbers. Where arithmetic uses real numbers to find an absolute answer, algebra uses symbolic notation to represent the wide Mathematical possibilities of an equation.

A 2004 study on Algebra students by Koedinger and Nathan found that their (the students’) biggest struggle was understanding the letter symbolic form of the algebraic equations presented to them. It stated, “The language of symbolic algebra presents new demands that are not common in English or in the simpler symbolic arithmetic language of students’ past experience.” This is also the root cause of several other problems, such as difficulties in understanding the equal sign.

Do you need Algebra Tutoring Service? Contact us!

Difficulties Understanding the Equal Sign

At their first exposure to Algebra, most students would see the equal sign as a sort of invitation to perform calculations. When they see “3 + 4 = “, they understand it as the beginning of an additional process that ends with the expression of the number seven to close that equation. However, the equal sign is foremost a sign of equivalence, and many algebraic equations utilize it to hint at the Mathematical characteristics of its variables.

Use of Symbols

First-time learners find it difficult to grasp the concept of symbols used in algebra. In many ways, algebra invites a sort of reverse-engineering style of Mathematics. First-time learners of algebra tend to have difficulty in mentally approaching a problem such as “7 + x = 24”.

While this is related to their difficulty in understanding the equal sign, it is also a matter of students finding the use of symbols in Mathematics rather alien. More students were able to process the equation when x is replaced with a blank (i.e., 7 + ___ = 24). While it does not take too long for students to get past these issues with algebra, it does account for disillusionment or a poor attitude towards the concept.

If educators can get students to embrace the use of symbolism, and the intricacies of algebra, we might be able to produce a new generation of Mathematically inspired learners.

What Can Be Done When Your Child Is Falling Behind In Math?

One-on-One Algebra Tutoring

For middle school and high students, Themba Tutors offers targeted one-on-one learning that covers all aspects of:

• Pre-Algebra
• Trigonometry
• Algebra I and II
• Calculus (pre-calculus)
• Geometry
• Physics
• Statistics

Our tutors also cover standard and common core math concepts and Regents Diploma examinations. Math concepts, such as integer equations, polynomials, quadratic equations, graphing, functions, and linear equations can all be addressed during sessions.

College Undergraduate Assistance

Themba Tutors can also be of great help to undergraduate students who are struggling with the required math elements of their studies. Our experienced tutors know how to make the subject matter relatable to the student, hugely increasing their chances of absorbing the required information. College is an extremely important time for your child’s academic development and future and one-on-one tutoring gives him or her the support needed to excel.

Test Prep

As part of our Algebra tutoring services, we can prepare your child for upcoming standardized tests, providing hints and tips to master the concepts the examiners are targeting. This support leaves a student feeling prepared and confident about what to expect.

Our Tutors Approach

At Themba Tutors, we service the New York City Metro area, and we can come to your home and help build the foundations of your child’s future. Our tutors are highly experienced and positive role models who employ an extremely flexible approach to learning that is specific to the individual.

Students seek to solidify their math foundation skills and instill a belief that they can overcome that which they have previously struggled. With our help students are able to master both old and new math concepts and disciplines, and their confidence grows with each new element mastered.

A Friendly Mentoring Approach

All of our tutors are experienced and adept at identifying the best ways to engage your child in math and in assisting in the absorption of the concepts in a fun and stimulating way. The social connection is the first and most important step to help engage students. We understand that no two students are the same, so we use a friendly, flexible approach that is tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each particular student. At Themba, we also want to know what interests your child, and how we can best engage their active learning.

Our staff is fully invested in driving your child to achieve academic success. So, if your son or daughter is struggling in math and experiencing the fear and demoralizing effects this can cause, talk to us and we can provide you with all you need to know to start on the journey to meeting your child’s educational needs. We can start tutoring your child immediately.

Invest in your child’s future now, and who knows what levels of achievement will be reached in the future.

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At Themba Tutors, we will let you know what kind of help you need once we set up a free intake. Knowing the student’s strengths and weaknesses is vital for helping the student with the challenges they’re facing. We offer services that include academic coaching and tutoring based on the student’s needs. We also offer a hybrid model for those students who need help with content and improving their underlying study skills.

HELPFUL LINKS

RATES

MEET OUR FOUNDER AND STAFF

THEMBA AND THE COMPETITION

FINDING A QUALIFIED TUTOR

STAFF’S BIOS

SCHOOLS WE WORK WITH

TESTIMONIALS

Contact Themba Tutors!

Themba Algebra Tutoring is customized for all grade and skills levels!

Call: (917) 382-8641, Text: (201) 831-9848

Email: info@thembatutors.com

(we respond to email right away!).