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Learn Middle School Math Fast

(from someone who can actually explain it)

Chris is a Stanford-educated tutor with over 10 years experience tutoring Middle School Math to students of all abilities, from students struggling to get from a C to a B, to go-getters trying to move an A- up to an A, to struggling students just hoping to pass. In that time he got a lot of experience learning how to explain this stuff in a way it actually makes sense to normal people. Through his videos he has helped countless students, and he can do the same for you.

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Middle School Math

Pro Tip for parents: Many parents of younger students have found success with our site by watching the videos themselves and then using what they learn to tutor their students directly. If your child is self-motivated and a good student, by all means try letting them use the videos themselves. But even if your student is a self-starter, you still might find that you enjoy brushing up on these topics yourself anyways, and having a student to share your new knowledge gives you an excuse to dust off some brain cells! (Plus, Chris's "humor" sometimes goes over the head of the younger viewer, so there's another layer for "post-teen" viewers.)
  1. I. Numbers & Calculations:

  2. Adding & Subtracting Using the Number Line

    By request, these two videos cover the most important skill you'll need for Algebra and beyond: addition and subtraction of negative numbers using the number line. You can add and subtract any number with the number line, but negatives are where it's really great.

  3. Prime Numbers, Factoring, Factorization & Divisibility

    In this chapter we'll get into the basics of prime numbers and "prime factoroization", which we'll use in fractions and roots throughout Algebra and Algebra 2. I also get into divisibility rules, which show up -- among other places -- on the SAT.

  4. Fractions & Mixed Numbers

    Everything you need to know about fractions: reducing, least common denominators, addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, converting improper fractions to mixed numbers, converting to decimals. Also the tricky problem of converting repeating decimals to fractions.

  5. Decimals

    Adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing decimals (without a calculator) are all covered here.

  6. Exponents & Exponent Rules

    In this chapter we'll introduce the concept of exponents, as well as rules for combining and canceling exponents. Also, we'll talk about the special cases of exponents of 0 and 1, and what happens with negative exponents.

  7. Roots & Radicals

    In this chapter we'll learn how to reduce radicals using a couple different methods. If you have a tough teacher and you have to know how to rationalize denominators and deal with variables under the root, then you'll need our Algebra 2 Roots & Radicals page.

  8. Order of Operations (PEMDAS)

    In this chapter we'll introduce Order of Operations, often referred to simply by its ultra-useful acronym PEMDAS. We'll also get into how to do PEMDAS on your calculator, and a few common calculator mistakes to avoid.

  9. Percents & Interest

    We'll start by comping percentages using basic ratios, then we'll move on to using a decimal-based approach since that's what you'll need for more advanced problems. I also point out the most common types of trick questions about percents, including common types of SAT questions, and computing interest.

  10. II. Science Topics

  11. Scientific Notation

    This chapter covers the basics of scientific notation, both converting it to regular numbers and back again. Decimals, huge numbers, multiplying scientific notation numbers together, positive exponents, negative exponents, "base 10", etc. it's all covered.

  12. Unit Conversions & Dimensional Analysis

    The process of converting units, often called Dimensional Analysis, is one of the most important skills in science, and like sig figs you'll need it for the rest of the year.

  13. Sig Figs & Rounding Decimals

    Sig figs. This chapter will teach them to you, but it's your job to remember to use them in every answer for the rest of the year or you'll lose half your points. Seriously.

  14. Density & Buoyancy

    This chapter covers the general concepts of density and buoyancy, as well as how to calculate density and flotation forces on submerged and floating objects.

  15. Temperature & Absolute Zero

    Converting between degrees Fahrenheit, Celsius, and Kelvin. Also covered: absolute zero, and why you always want to use Kelvin for gas problems.

  16. III. Geometry:

  17. Pythagorean Theorem

    This chapter covers the basic formula and how to use it on right triangles, as well as the most common mistake students make with it. Also included is a video about simplifying radicals, since that comes up a lot with Pythagorean.

  18. Distance & Midpoint Formulas

    This chapter teaches you the formulas for finding the distance and midpoint between two points on the X-Y plane, as well as word problems using these formulas.

  19. (There's lots more geometry on the Geometry page.)
  20. IV. Variables & Equations:

  21. Variables & Expressions, and Translating Words Into Equations

    In this chapter I explain what "x" is, what expressions are, how to plug in values to "evaluate" expressions, and how to turn word problems into equations so you can solve them. We'll also go over how to check whether a number is a solution of an equation or not.

  22. Solving Basic Equations

    Solving basic equations by addition/subtraction, multiplication/division, combining like terms, and any combination of the three. Finally, we can figure out the value for x that would make 3x-4=6 a true statement. What a relief!

  23. Polynomials & Combining Like Terms,
    Distribution & Multiplication

    Combining "like terms", adding and subtracting polynomials and monomials. Also covered: distribution (a.k.a. "multiplying stuff out"), where you have a number or variable in front of a set of parentheses that has to get multiplied by each term, such as 2(x-5).

  24. Cross Multiplication, Cross Canceling

    Cross "multiplication" refers to what you do when you have two fractions across an equal sign from each other. You cross "cancel" when you are multiplying fractions. Confused yet? This chapter will sort you out.

  25. Ratios & Proportions

    Ratios are mostly word problems that lead to cross multiplication equations, and most students find them pretty basic. In this chapter we'll work some typical problems about marbles and pizzas, and I'll emphasize the one trick they always pull on the SAT.

  26. Lines, Equations of Lines, & Linear Equations

    Slope-Intercept Form, Point-Slope Form, Standard Form, Vertical Lines, Horizontal Lines, Perpendicular Lines: in this chapter, we experience the splendor of all the different types of linear functions, and master the equations and graphing of each.

  27. V. Advanced Stuff (really Algebra 1 topics):

  28. Variation - Direct, Inverse & Joint

    Ratios are mostly word problems that lead to cross multiplication equations, and most students find them pretty basic. In this chapter we'll work some typical problems about marbles and pizzas, and I'll emphasize the one trick they always pull on the SAT.

  29. FOIL (a.k.a. "Multiplying Out Parentheses")

    FOIL is an acronym that helps you multiply out parentheses in problems like (x-5)(x+2), and you've got to be able to do this before you can factor. This chapter covers the easier 2-by-2 FOIL problems, as well as 2-by-3 and beyond.

  30. Factoring Quadratics (and other stuff too)

    In this chapter we'll learn factoring, which is basically "reverse FOIL," including special cases like difference of squares and lead coefficients. If you have a super-hard teacher and this chapter doesn't cover you, check out the Algebra 2 Factoring Chapter for more advanced problem types.

  31. Solving Quadratic Equations
    Completing the Square
    Quadratic Formula
    Quadratic Inequalities
    Word Problems

    "Quadratic" means "squared", for some reason, so this chapter is about solving equations with x2's in them. You'll have to learn several tricky techniques -- square rooting, factoring, completing the square, and/or the Quadratic Formula -- but I give you tips to make them easier, and to decide which to use in different situations.

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