Originally, these were set up as automated, e-mail forums, but they are now simply done by direct e-mail to Garlikov@hiwaay.net I am a philosopher interested in education. Much of my writing is accessible at www.Garlikov.com/writings.htm Some of that explains the purpose and motivation for offering this free service.
This is NOT a place where I will give you the (simple or short) answers to your homework or to do your homework for you; it is a place where I will try to help you understand the material so that you can do your homework well yourself. In order to do that, you need to let me know as specifically as possible what it is you do not understand, what you have tried so far, and where or why you think you are stuck. (We could entertain higher level math and science when this was a forum, but now that I am doing it myself, I cannot answer many calculus questions nor advanced chemistry questions. There are some services available on the web for those, though many of them are set up just to give you the answer, not necessarily a full explanation.)
It is my philosophy that UNDERSTANDING material is the key to being able to best apply it, and though understanding requires one's own thinking, specific explanations from someone else can often help thinking be more productive. There are some web pages already set up for assistance with some common math difficulties, from teaching math to young children to aspects of algebra II.
Students having trouble understanding the concept of mols in chemistry can read about that at www.garlikov.com/chemistry/mols.html and those having difficulty understanding stoichiometry may be helped by the explanation at www.garlikov.com/chemistry/mols2.html
There is also a page for students having difficulty understanding Physics explanations in general, www.garlikov.com/science/sciteach.htm
A way of looking at literature (using the Theban plays of Sophocles as an example) can be found at www.akat.com/Oedipus.html
Understanding "reasoning" in general and how to write "reasonably" is explained at www.akat.com/reasoning.htm
Because initial responses may require further questioning by you, with follow-up responses, it will generally not be helpful to use this service just the night before an important test or ten minutes before your homework is due. Understanding takes time and effort even when you have help. wishes.
As in everyday life, there is no way to guarantee the accuracy of
you will receive here. It is therefore important that you think about,
and try to test, the explanations you receive, to see whether they seem
to work and seem to make good sense. The entire point of these forums
to help promote the idea to students that logical and conceptual
is supposed to make sense and that students are therefore to try to
sense of it for themselves, no matter how much "help" or lecturing they
AND, AS IN ALL INTERNET COMMUNICATIONS, IT IS DANGEROUS TO GIVE OUT YOUR PHONE NUMBER OR ADDRESS TO ANYONE WHO ASKS FOR IT OR TO CALL OR ARRANGE TO MEET SOMEONE. YOU SHOULD TELL A PARENT OR OTHER ADULT IF ANYONE ASKS FOR ANY OF THESE THINGS.
Math in particular, because its material is cumulative in nature, is important to understand from the beginning, yet many students who can DO elementary arithmetic well enough to get good grades in elementary school do not have a sufficient foundation to be able to do well in higher level math. Although the Math-Help forum addresses many higher level mathematics problems, it is very important that younger students (and their parents on their behalf) also ask questions about anything that seems even mildly difficult or that does not seem to make sense to them. There may be more involved than is readily apparent, even to an adult who can "do" arithmetic. Although math practice should be sufficient for students to be able to do many computations 'automatically', it is important that students at some point also understand how and why certain conventions and procedures work. For an example of the kind of complexity involved in understanding what seems to be even a fairly simple arithmetic concept that most adults just take for granted --"place-value" (that is, columns to represent "ones", "tens", "hundreds", decimal places, etc.) -- see the long essay, The Concept and Teaching of Place-Value. That essay includes a method for helping children easily and readily understand and use "place-value", a method based on understanding the concept and all that it involves.
If you are looking for ideas on teaching math to young children.
If you are beginning algebra and feel lost already, you might find help in: (A supplemental introduction to algebra.) and in "The Way Algebra Works".
If you are having trouble with "rate" problems (such as
problems), the web page
(Pre-algebra and algebra "rate" problems and principles) may be helpful.
If you are interested in WHY equations of the form Y = aX + b turn out to be straight lines (i.e., linear) when they are graphed...
And if you want to see a complexity that confuses children about what fractions even are -- that most adults don't realize exists-- look at "More About Fractions Than Anyone Needs To Know".
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Reset June 21, 2000