The purpose of these problems and solutions is to further
empower you in your role as mentor and ease your workload by making
materials available. The solutions are for you, but you are welcome to
share them with your student at your discretion.
Math is an important part of your student's current academic
responsibility. That's because as a society we know that math is part
of being a knowledgeable consumer and citizen, as well as a capable
and flexible job candidate. Beyond that, let's hope that some math
will be mastered in a way that makes it part of each student's
heritage as an educated human being.
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Using the Problems & Solutions
Notes for Mentors
You can click Problem Sets &
Solutions (or scroll up) to get to the links to all of them,
through the current week (or possibly beyond). New problem-set numbers
(1, 2, ...) will appear as the academic year goes along. These
materials are intended for use as part of your Site get-together with
your student, where other mentor-mentee pairs will be engaged in the
same activity and ideas can be shared around.
Please choose one or two problems. The hope is that you and
your student will look over the three problems provided each week and
find one that is accessible and another that is more challenging. In
each weekly set, problem #1 is written with 8th graders in mind,
though others may sometimes find it useful or interesting. I hope
seniors and juniors can often handle #3 which may be a modified or
actual SAT question. Problem #2 is at an intermediate level. If all
three are too hard or too easy, please let me know. If all three are
related, perhaps you'll do them all.
Alternative methods, applications, and pedagogical notes are sometimes
featured in the solution sheets. These may be of use to you whatever
level of math you're at, or you may think of one to tell me about, so
please have a look at the solutions each week, even if you can solve
all the problems on your own.
Some students are not fond of math. That can come from being
confused and then getting bad grades which are an implicit
criticism. Who wants to be confused and criticized?! So they avoid it
and fall further behind, which leads to more confusion, criticism,
avoidance, and the cycle continues. We need to break that cycle by
improving understanding, thereby (let's hope) dispelling the fog of
confusion. A student who has had a "Eureka!" moment may even have the
exciting realization that there will be more of them to come.
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Problem Sets & Solutions