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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Finance and Banking Education

Courses in the field can encompass a broad variety of topics relevant to the financial industry. You can get good training in finance and banking right at your local school!
In general, vocational schools will offer education leading to a certificate of completion, or a two-year Associate of Science (AS) degree. Vocational courses in finance and banking can include topics such as Accounting, Bank Operations, Banking Law, Basic Economics, Business, Business Math, Computer Technology, Communications, Human Relations, Management, and Sales.

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Finance and Banking schools may also provide specialized classes in Bank Management, Investment Banking, Public Relations, Marketing, Business Finance, Commercial Lending, Consumer Law and Lending Practices, Home Mortgages, and Real Estate and Real Property. An AS degree would be a good first step, and would qualify the student to enroll in a Bachelor degree program, and then a Master degree program, if desired.
Those who possess Associate or Bachelor degrees in Finance and Banking may acquire gainful employment as account clerks, bank tellers, budget analysts, and customer service representatives. Other career opportunities would include financial managers, insurance sales agents and underwriters, loan and credit clerks, loan officers and counselors, and real estate brokers and/or sales agents. Earning potential for those with graduate degrees, including Master Degrees in Finance and Banking, can climb as high as $100k or more per year.

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Learn Math

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Learn Math Through Poetry

Since mathematics as a whole is a difficult subject to learn, maybe different approaches are needed to enhance the teaching of this discipline. Certainly the hands-on method gives students a tactile perspective to the inner workings of this subject, while the real-life applications approach lets students see and understand how mathematics is actually used in life and in different worldly settings. Could poetry be another approach through which to teach and learn this most fascinating subject?
There is an interesting story behind the creation of my work Poems for the Mathematically Insecure. While I was tutoring one of my learning disabled students, he asked me to do something for him for pi day. For those of you who do not know, pi day is March 14 of any year (March 14 is 3/14) and the decimal approximation to the famous mathematical constant known as pi is 3.14. Every year in schools across the country, math teachers like students to do some special project involving the number pi.
While sitting there tutoring him, I asked him if he would like me to put together a poem on pi. He naturally said yes, and while he worked on some practice examples I gave him, I sat there and hammered out the lines to a poem which would be called Wonderful Pi. I decided to keep a copy for myself to use in my classrooms the next day, assigning one volunteer in each class to read the poem aloud. What came out of this experience was the idea to write a collection of math poems--some humorous, some witty, some pedagogical--which would both teach and entertain the reader. Thus during the summer of 2003, I worked on the novel collection of verse called Poems for the Mathematically Insecure. In this collection, the reader finds the humorous Help, Please Help, Teacher! and the instructive Chief SOHCAHTOA, the latter of which teaches the basics of trigonometry in a torrent of rhyming verse. Now how's that for teaching math in a novel manner!
The textbook approach to learning mathematics definitely has its place in the classroom. Indeed there is a limit and some restrictions to what math can be learned from poetry, but these limitations are mostly imposed by the confines of our minds. As educators, we must constantly look for new and interesting ways to pique our students' interest, and manners in which to break through learning barriers. Learning math through poetry just might be an instructive way to accomplish these objectives. We might churn out some good poets as well as good mathematicians. What an interesting thought.


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School Math Be More Than


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Home school parents tend to look for mastery of subjects before moving forward. This is demonstrated when parents insist on "more than normal work" in difficult subjects like math and science. Whereas public and private schools may not complete a math textbook during a school year, some home school parents will consider a year unsuccessful unless the book is finished. This can lead to an excessive number of hours spent on one subject. One mom reported to me that her son did all 344 lessons in Pre-calculus and easily spent more than 10 hours per week on his math lessons. Her question was whether she ought to give her son more than one high school credit for his effort.
Unfortunately, one complete high school course like Pre-calculus is one whole credit. One textbook is also one credit - even if it takes forever. Even if you count more than 120 hours, it's still just one credit. When we did swim team, for example, it was hundreds of hours but still just one credit a year for PE. It's a big, beefy, manly credit because it's Pre-calculus, and you can be proud of that!
Now is a good time to mention that you don't have to count hours AND count textbooks. You can measure credit value by counting hours OR by completing a textbook, but don't measure both ways. If you use a textbook, measure credits that way, and don't bother counting hours.
You may decide that your son deserves something more than just one credit on his transcript. If so, you might consider giving him honors credit to account for all the additional work he did for his class. You are in control of your child's education. I'm just here to give my opinion based on my years of experience and gray hairs.


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Overview on Degree Programs in Mathematics Education

If your answer is yes then there various options to become mathematics tutor. Either you can follow an education degree at the master's or bachelor's degree level and have your regular education training in math, or you may even earn a math degree at different levels and then have training with the necessary coursework. Nevertheless, if you are already a mathematics teacher and looking forward to advancing your career then selecting a degree program in mathematics can be the best option. These days many colleges and universities in the United States are offering mathematics education programs that may further help you improve your individual proficiency.

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Generally, a degree program in mathematics education primarily focuses on math-specific education training along with the general education necessities that are necessary for every professional licensure. The degree programs can be broadly categorized into two sub-categories, mainly the bachelor's and master's degree. The bachelor's degree in mathematics education focuses on a science prospectus along with math-focused tutor training. In addition to this, the bachelor's degree program primarily includes learning of mathematics in different areas and provides mathematics major as a specialization. Moreover, the coursework includes studies in math-centric topics and classroom administration.
If we carefully look at the employment prospects for mathematics education degree graduates, it actually seems to be very bright. As an actuary, you may use your logical skills to calculate and manage risk for banking, financial services, and insurance industries. Adding to this, in recent times a serious scarcity of math teachers exists has further created the growing demand for bright new mathematics tutors. Today as a graduate of the mathematics education degree program or being mathematics major, you can definitely pursue a great career in the education industry.




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Power Tips to Get Past the Math Barrier

Nontrads (non-traditional students) are those who do not follow the traditional path of completing high school and then immediately enrolling in college or university. They are often over 25 years of age and may have been in the job market or been stay-at-home parents prior to making the decision to pursue a higher education degree or certificate. Most of them share one common concern: getting through the math general studies requirement.
This is a valid concern. Math is developmental in that your knowledge and skills in math are added to in successive courses with each class being a critical stone in the foundation necessary for passing general studies math (often College Algebra or Finite Math). If you had a couple of bad years or if you have been away from math for some time you really won't know until you try if it is going to be like getting back on a bicycle or getting run over by a truck.
Speaking from my years of tutoring, helping, and teaching nontrads, here are some tips and suggestions:

1. TURN TO MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL MATH BOOKS TO PREPARE YOU. Problems with any math course are situated in prior courses. In other words, If you anticipate having problems in College Algebra, the problem will not be with understanding the new material as much as in not being able to pull together the foundational knowledge and skills from High School Algebra II. If you had the stuff of Algebra II at the tips of your fingertips, you would be able to draw from that to use in the slightly higher application level of College Algebra. Middle school and early high school texts will help you return to the foundations you need and will do it in a way that is simple, clear, and not as rushed as the one chapter review that is often at the beginning of a College Algebra text. In fact, it is the compressed first chapter that often contributes to a loss of hope at a critical point in the new beginning for a non-traditional student.

2. GET YOUR OWN SUPPORT GROUP. Vow from the beginning that you will encourage and support each other through the challenges ahead. Pick carefully. Avoid negative personalities that will drag you down instead of working alongside of you. Pick someone you can communicate with, someone who will listen and "speak the truth in love." Hopefully, this person will be as focused as you and will persevere to the completion of the degree.

3. ASK ABOUT THE PROFESSORS. Before you commit to a particular section and teacher, do what smart college students do: ask about the professors. Do this with a discerning ear. If you detect that the person giving you the lowdown on Professor H is a whiner, then take that information with a grain of salt. Ask several others about Professor H and put together an overall profile of that teachers style, classroom practices, and personality. As a nontrad, you really don't want the easiest path because you know by now that learning is hard and you would rather REALLY learn now so the job that you will be dependent upon is easier later. The nontraditional support group or center on campus may be able to help you. It's possible that center employees would not be comfortable with naming names and steering you away from that professor who is a real jerk. But I bet the students working and congregating there would give you an earful!

4. IF NECESSARY, DROP BACK A LEVEL. Most colleges and universities will give you a free diagnostic test to tell you if you are ready to start with the general studies math course or if you should drop back to a developmental math course that is at a lower level. If you have any doubts, take the test and find out. It's better to put in a semester firming up the foundations and then sailing through College Algebra or Finite Math than it is to fail and lose the semester and a whole lot of confidence and forward momentum.
During the Class

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5. ATTITUDE IS ALMOST EVERYTHING. I used to have students ask, "How important is this class? The class was College Algebra so my initial answer was, "How much do you want to graduate?" If you have to pass a class in order to graduate, then that class is pretty important. But I point to the question above because it indicates a bad attitude--what I call a stopper attitude. A bad attitude toward math will stop you from learning and from doing the things you must do in order to be successful. If you detect a bad attitude toward math, you must deal with it. It's just an emotion--change it.
I once worked with a nontrad who fought and railed against math on a daily basis as I tried to tutor her in the Beginning Algebra course. You should quit." "You're right," I continued. "You should quit wasting your time here and get a job in fast food." The next day she marched into the tutoring center with an expansive smile on her face and said, "I've made friends with math." From that point on, she excelled in math and I had the pleasure of teaching her College Algebra (she earned an A) and helping her through her teacher education math courses. She truly had made friends with math and it reciprocated by being more friendly with her.
6. ABSORB HOW OTHERS THINK. Similar to number two, join or create a study group that meets daily during the week. Your goal, in addition to contributing all you are able to help your friends, is to be affected (or infected) by how they think about math. Many make the mistake of using group study time to accumulate facts about solving problems and don't focus on HABITS OF MIND. You want to have your thinking change to be more like that of another student who is doing well in an area of math. Look for the categories in which their successful ways of thinking fall. For example, does this student always do well with a particular kind of problem because that kind lends itself well to drawing a diagram? 7. PURSUE MASTERY, NOT JUST COMPLETING ASSIGNMENTS. Here's the secret: the skills it takes to teach something are the identical skills necessary to master it. This is an alignment that is important if you as a nontrad are going to milk this college education for all it is worth. While the traditional students are "getting by" or even "getting good grades," you are going to master the material. You can wind up with a degree or an education. If you pursue mastery, you will learn on a deeper layer and you will have the skills and insights necessary to apply what you have learned--you will have an education, not merely a degree. So while others are completing the assigned problems, you will work additional problems and analyze what concepts are behind the problems, what categories the problems fall into, what tools you use to solve problems in each of the categories, etc. You will "teach" the math section to see if you understand it well enough to speak it out loud-even if you have to go into the rest room and lock the door to do so in private. When you teach the material out loud, new and different connections are made in your mind and you will gain insights you would never have merely from reading and working problems. Find a way to teach it on a white board or a big piece of paper so new associations will become evident to you as you feel the motion of arrows and lines that connect ideas together. To master it, you will teach it and gain the insights of a teacher.


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Math, Not Magic


Change is coming to America. Barack Obama said it, and the American people proved open to his message. Are you ready to put your mortgage on a diet? A paradigm shift is necessary. Utilizing banking tools and making every dollar either earn interest or cancel interest is the best debt buster and wealth builder.
Are you open to changing the way you pay off your debt and build wealth? Begin with changing the way you pay off your 30 year mortgage. Forty and fifty year mortgages are now being offered in both the U.S. and Canada. In fact, 50% of mortgages in Canada today are amortized over 40 years (in the past, that number was usually 25). Change continues, whether in America or Canada. The Canadian government recently said it would no longer back mortgages over 35 years. If you are near my age (55), I imagine a lot of you nodding recognition. Perhaps you recall the improved days of AAA Trip Tickets guiding you to your destination? Still younger? If you've never known anything other than a GPS for easy navigation, maps probably sound ancient, and me, old. What did we do before GPS systems? Although 40/50 year mortgages initially surfaced during the high interest rates of the 80's in the U.S., today they are a result of the rise in property prices in both Canada and the United States. They offer the only way many people can afford a monthly mortgage payment that allows them enough extra to put food on the table. The bad news is that these mortgages create, not just greater long-term debt but, life-long debt. A borrower with the 50-year mortgage builds equity very slowly. In USA Today (May of 2006), mortgage experts cautioned that they are best-suited for those who plan to stay in their home for about five years, while the loan's interest rate remains fixed. Do you desire financial freedom? If you answered in the affirmative, you must choose the best debt busters and wealth builders:
Think and perform like a bank, learning to utilize the banking tools of interest accumulation, interest float, and interest cancellation
Utilize a Personal Financial GPS that creates discipline and calculates in more complex ways
Understand the bottom line consequences of your spending habits, realizing that it can change your life
Like the GPS in your car, my Personal Financial GPS does not ask, Where have you been? Once you begin, the system gives specific directions, taking the fastest and most efficient route as it leads you to your new destination, financial freedom. I ask people questions such as, "How much are you earning from the equity in your home?" I nod my head in agreement, saying "Exactly...ZERO!" Ouch! The truth hurts. That's when you know you need the best debt buster, Mortgage On A Diet.Most people realize you can do the following:
Make large lump sum payments to your principal and pay down your mortgage sooner
Make biweekly payments and pay off your thirty-year mortgage in twenty-three years
Refinance and pull out your equity
Sell your home and keep your equity
What's the caveat with the above scenarios? Do you have "under the mattress" money or winnings from the lottery to apply against the principal balance? That would apply to number one. I don't make biweekly payments because it means pulling cash out of my pocket. That leaves out number two. Number three? Good luck with this approach in today's economic climate. You are darn lucky if the bank will do a HELOC (Home Equity Line Of Credit) at 80% LTV (Loan to Value). With almost one in five homeowners in a negative equity position, meaning they owe more than their home is worth, you can kiss that opportunity good-bye. Homes are not selling quickly, nor are they selling for what the homeowner is asking. The answer is a ditto to number three. WHAT EQUITY?

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As an investor, I like to gain by utilizing OPM (other people's money). I'm paying off my mortgages and debt in record time without taking a penny out of my pocket. I'm not refinancing, changing my mortgage payments, or altering my spending habits. I opened my mind to think like a bank. I realized there are things I can do to cancel interest and manage my cash flow, using my Personal Financial GPSto significantly alter my path to financial freedom. It's just math...not magic.
Did I also mention that investing at a very conservative 6% the money from years of "no mortgage payment" will make me a millionaire, rather than simply a bona fide home owner? That fits my idea of financial freedom better than simply dancing in the street at my mortgage burning party. Let's face it. I need some help. America needs some help. Watch out Canada. I welcome a tool that offers a financial dashboard, and shows me the bottom line consequences of my debt and spending habits, as it adapts to my real life situations. As a real estate investor, I research and remain open to tools for creating my financial freedom. Likewise, I have a responsibility to clients, such as those who lease option from me, to offer the best available on the market. Personally, I didn't want to talk about change, while continuing down the old financial path. I am excited about a system that levels the playing field and creates equality for all people. That is what the American dream is supposed to incorporate. Carpe Diem!


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Planning to Succeed With Math


Succeeding with math may seem intimidating at first. Many people are haunted by the boring math classes they took in high school. However, math doesn't have to be boring. Actually, it can be quite useful and proves to be so in the real world. Often times math is not the issue. No matter how difficult the subject a good teacher made it interesting and engaging. Here is an outline to help to succeed at math.
First, determine how math is going to play into your success. Will it help you land a job? Will it allow you more career opportunities? With the advent of calculators, many people have become dependent on such devices.
Sure, basic math is easy to do on a calculator but what about knowing how to figure out percentages? Or other complex equations?

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Next, venture to your local library for books on the particular kind of math you wish to improve on. Starting at an elementary level to refresh your skills would be the best place to start.
Use the internet, DVDs, videos etc to learn the subject on your schedule.
Once you have armed yourself with these resources, start implementing the math as soon as possible. Try doing the math manually, rather than using a calculator. It will force you to master each equation.


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How Much Math For College Admission?

Parents with home-schooled children struggling in math sometimes ask what minimum level of math is necessary for high school graduation and college admission.
One parent asked me if Algebra I and Geometry was sufficient. If your child wants to go to college, then Algebra 2 is very important. It's extremely helpful to take Algebra 2 before taking The SAT, to increase their score on that college admission test. Algebra 1, Algebra 2 and Geometry are important to most colleges, although there are some colleges without a math requirement.
There will always be time to fit in other math classes, like consumer math, either before or after Algebra 2. This may help your child feel more comfortable before moving on to the next level of math.


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For a child interested in starting an online business, you may want to point toward a business degree, just to increase interest in college. Try to encourage her interests in a home business so that you can encourage her to develop the talents she will need to run the business herself. Even home businesses have a LOT of math (believe me, I know!) and it will help her to have a good understanding of math and communication skills that a business degree requires.

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How to Prepare For Math



When you are comparing math programs, success in the upper grades depends a lot on getting good support. A good video tutorial can often make the difference between success and failure for upper level home-school math.

Once your child gets older, it is very important to make sure the video is a good fit with the student - even more important than if the video is a good fit for you, the teacher. Because at some point, your goal is for your student to be self-teaching in math.

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Preparation for the SAT will involve
1) getting far enough into math in general and 2) practicing using SAT practice tests. The SAT does have trick questions and a penalty for guessing, so a high score has as much to do with understanding the test inside and out, as it does with knowledge.
Following them into each subject can allow them to soak up learning without all the negatives.
Children sometimes learn faster and other times slower - but never at a steady pace. If you are unsure where your kids are in math, it is sometimes a good idea to give them the end of chapter test first, and then work that chapter at a normal pace if they don't already know the material. Don't waste your time teaching your kids what they already know.

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Friday, February 19, 2010

Bachelor Degree - Math

Why anybody would want to get a bachelor degree in math is a mystery. When you think about it, when you get out of college with a bachelor degree in math, what can you possibly do with it besides teach? You're certainly not prepared for any practical applications. Sure, you could get a job as an actuary but is that REALLY why you majored in math in the first place? Well, for those of you who still want to get a bachelor degree in math, hang onto your hats because the ride you're in for is far from easy. Math is probably one of the hardest disciplines anybody could possibly want to go through. The math courses alone are so hard that no other courses are needed to make your four years of college a living nightmare. Think we're kidding? Take a look at just the math curriculum itself and then decide if this is something that you think you can tackle with no sweat.
Your first two semesters of college math throw you right into the fire. This is where you learn Calculus. The courses are usually Calculus I and II. Calculus is probably one of the most difficult courses ever devised by man. How anybody even thought of this stuff is a puzzle. Talk about math that you're never going to use in your life unless you become a scientist or an engineer.



Your next two semesters, or year two, give you a break from calculus. This is where you take Advanced, or Abstract Algebra. Engineers don't even use most of this stuff.
Now you've reached year three and you're back to Calculus again. This is where you finish up your training in Calculus with Calculus III and IV. The concepts in these courses are so abstract and so far removed from any real world math, you'd have to be a near genius to understand this stuff.



By year four, if you're still a math major, you're down to what they call "Independent Research" where you basically are on your own, but under the guidance of your advisor. You'll do some kind of major paper on math principals or maybe even Newton for all you know. You still have 24 more courses to fill in your time with. Because you've chosen one of the science majors, you're also going to have to take at least two semesters of either chemistry, physics or some other related science. Yes, we are talking about some more ridiculously hard material.
So if you really want to be a math major, just remember one thing. You will most certainly earn your bachelor degree in math. If you survive it.



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Online Math Programs

Nowadays you can find a great variety of online math programs. Honestly, as a teacher, I don't believe that any subject, especially Math, can be tutored online. The only way I know to teach mathematics is face-to-face. From my point of view, the online math programs available are not good, all they do is to confuse the child with complicated charts and answers which without a teacher's explanation, would be quite discouraging and may have only a negative impact on the child.

However, there are some online math programs that have proved to be quite helpful. For instance, there are some sites offering free online multiplication games. This is a great way for your kid to practice multiplication drills and have fun at the same time. I hate to see children bored with calculating with paper and pen. I believe it's good if they also play such math games that help them learn more. Since the online game doesn't differs from the normal math, than I can only encourage youngsters to play it. But many other online math programs are simply trash. If you cannot learn your algebra in school then how can you learn it from online math setup? There is a much better way to learn mathematics than online programs - you can try the local tutorial centers. Furthermore, many schools nowadays offer tutoring and homework help. I would definitely agree that hiring a tutor is much more expensive than finding online math programs but you should consider what's best for your child. Online math doesn't give you the personal connections or the custom tailored explanations. Your child needs face to face contact. If your child has difficulty in English, history, math or any other subject, then you better consider tutoring instead of online math programs.




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Thursday, February 18, 2010

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