Browse F.A.Q. Topics
Is a calculator necessary? If so, which one?
Scientific calculators are helpful beginning in upper-level arithmetic, but you want to avoid calculator dependence.
Teachers typically determine how much emphasis to put on calculators. It’s important that students are strong in a technique (such as multiplication, or graphing a linear inequality) before they are allowed calculators that do the technique for them.
In general, calculators should be used only to save time, after the relevant concepts are learned thoroughly. Basic formulas should be memorized.
With the above guideline in mind, seek scientific and graphing calculators with functions that are appropriate for the course or grade level. Keep in mind that AP tests, ACT and SAT, and other standardized exams have “prohibited models” of calculators and very specific rules concerning calculator use.
Is learning math using video harder than a class with an in-person teacher?
First, math content is the same either way. Every kid needs to learn the same concepts, no matter where they go to school or who their teacher is. What makes a difference – getting through difficulty on to success – is the teacher’s style of delivery and the kind of help students get when they’re stuck.
You can get a feel for Cool Math Guy’s teaching style by looking at the free sample videos. Preferences will of course be subjective, but you can hear how Dana’s delivery is clear and conversational no matter the topic.
When students get stuck on a problem, they get help by asking questions in class; asking classmates, parents, or tutors; or by finding other examples in their study materials. All of these options are available to students who learn by video – with the added option of replaying their video teacher’s explanation.
When a test is worth, let’s say, 82 points, how can I assign a grade?
Divide the student score by the total score, then turn the decimal into a percent.
Suppose a student scores 75 out of 82 on the test. Think of it first as a fraction expressed as 75/82. 75 divided by 82 is 0.9146… which is 91%. The grading scale at most schools for 90%-100% is an A.
I am going to teach math next year because I want to help out at my school, but I don’t have much experience, so I don’t have much confidence. Can you help me?
Actually, yes. We know a math teacher in Georgia who started the same way. She had an engineering degree, so she understood how to do the math, but she had no experience teaching and, therefore, not much confidence. She used the Cool Math Guy videos in her class, and by watching the videos herself, became a very accomplished and confident teacher. She now teaches AP Calculus AB at her small private school.
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Do you offer sample problems or course books with each course?We do not offer any supplemental material at this time. However, the instructor does cover several example problems in each video segment and we do have a list of corresponding textbooks and solutions manuals that you may optionally purchase on your own.
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Can a school sign up for access to your program for students and teachers?Yes. Just call the phone number on the website and we will set you up. You may also purchase group packages for your students using the "Educators" products on the site. You might be interested to know that some schools use the video to train their teachers and many teachers use video to brush up on topics or to learn new ways to present them. Some schools even use the video as their primary teacher. Upon purchasing one Educators Package, the teacher gets unlimited access to our entire Math library.
How do I know your video instruction will work with my child’s textbook?The Department of Education in each state produces a list of standards that students are expected to achieve in each course. Those standards are remarkably similar from state to state and the major textbook publishers produce books that address those standards. Therefore, the scope and sequence of math topics are remarkably similar from textbook to textbook and the video elements on this site address those standards as well.
What results can I expect if my kids use your video?There is no guarantee, but experience indicates a one letter-grade improvement or better for almost every student that uses the videos, even those with special needs. That performance expectation is not unreasonable when you consider some of the differences between classroom instruction and video instruction:
- Video instruction can be repeated
- Video instruction has no distractions
- Video instruction is available at any time of day
- Video instruction is available when the student is ill or on vacation
I’m considering a Math Tutor but they are expensive. Will your program be as effective?Video instruction is just as likely as a tutor to make a difference for students and it is much less expensive. When watching the video, try to create a setting with few distractions. Complete quiet is not necessary, but try to avoid any loud outbursts from other sources. Apart from watching video, encourage the completion of homework in your classes.
I like your presentation method, but how do I get my kids involved?
Ask your children to watch one or two free sample sections with you. Watch them as they watch the video. You should know within moments if the video instruction is engaging them. Ask if they follow the conversation and enjoy the presentation style. [You are way ahead if they are onboard with the video instruction idea.]
With their help, find where they are in their book. Click on “Courses, Lessons, Prices and Checkout” and navigate to a course and table of contents. Select the corresponding topic in the table of contents and follow the simple instructions for checkout. Encourage your children to watch the video more than once for reinforcement.
What is the best way to get the most out of your video instruction?Although most students will seek help only when confused or behind, the most effective way to utilize the video instruction is to become proactive. That is, watch video corresponding with classroom topics before the topics are presented in class. Doing so will make math seem very easy and will enhance long-term memory of topics.
Can your programs replace a tutor?For many students, yes, but a good tutor, like a good teacher, is invaluable for some students. It depends on the needs of the student so it might be wise to experiment a bit. That is, try the video without a tutor at first and if you are not getting where you want to be, bring on a tutor. If a tutor is needed for your child, you will find the videos will reinforce the tutor’s instruction, making both more effective. By the way, some tutors already recommend our videos and use them to help their students.