Math Refresher

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Description

About This Course

Math isn't about plugging numbers into formulas. It's about knowing enough to make the numbers and formulas work for you. Math can be incredibly useful - but only if you understand how and when to apply it in your everyday life.

This course will show you how to use math to your advantage. You won't find any theory or memorization here. The lessons that make up this course are filled with practical exercises and information that you can put to immediate use. You'll find out some very interesting things about how calculators work, and then you'll discover how best to get a handle on your income and expenses. You'll be able to check your paystub, invoices, and bank statements…

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Didn't find what you were looking for? See also: Microsoft Visual Basic 6/.NET, Microsoft Excel, Programming (general), Microsoft Visual C#.NET, and C/C++.

About This Course

Math isn't about plugging numbers into formulas. It's about knowing enough to make the numbers and formulas work for you. Math can be incredibly useful - but only if you understand how and when to apply it in your everyday life.

This course will show you how to use math to your advantage. You won't find any theory or memorization here. The lessons that make up this course are filled with practical exercises and information that you can put to immediate use. You'll find out some very interesting things about how calculators work, and then you'll discover how best to get a handle on your income and expenses. You'll be able to check your paystub, invoices, and bank statements for errors and overcharges, and you'll become more skilled at handling money and comparing investment opportunities.

You'll learn how to calculate percentages, including the proper amount to pay in tips, commissions, taxes, and discounts. You'll find out how to calculate interest rates and you'll develop a better understanding of mortgages, credit cards, and other types of loans. You'll discover a handy method for converting one type of measurement to another, and you'll be able to calculate areas correctly so you don't overspend on your next home improvement project. You'll become adept at interpreting graphs, calculating the probability that something will (or won't) happen, and understanding the statistics embedded in test results, polls, and even news stories.

About The Instructor

This course includes a knowledgeable and caring instructor who will guide you through your lessons, facilitate discussions, and answer your questions. The instructor for this course will be Ivy Bishop.

Ivy Bishop has been teaching math for eight years. Her work in inner-city schools has given her the opportunity to work with a wide range of students at different academic levels. She has a bachelor’s degree in math education, which has allowed her to combine the logic of math with her love of teaching.

Syllabus

A new section of each course starts monthly. If enrolling in a series of two or more courses, please be sure to space the start date for each course at least two months apart.

Week 1

Wednesday - Lesson 01

In this lesson, we're going to revive some childhood memories about math by reviewing some basic number properties. You'll learn about integers, exponents, roots, and multiple-step problems. Doing these types of problems just for practice can be tedious, but you’re going to take what you learn and put it to use in every other lesson in this course. Once we’ve talked about the mechanics of doing these problems by hand, you’ll learn how to put them into the calculator. I believe that once you know how to do the math, you should use every tool and shortcut you know to make math easier. I’m also going to show you a few interesting things that you may not know about how calculators work.

Friday - Lesson 02

Whether it's discounts, taxes, or a tip, most of us deal with percentages every day. In this lesson, you’ll learn about the percents you'll find in retail from both a consumer and a managerial perspective. We'll go over discounts, sales prices, and sales tax. And last but not least, we'll talk about tipping, markup, and handling money in the retail work environment.

Week 2

Wednesday - Lesson 03

Today, we'll be talking about income. Are you paid hourly, are you a salaried employee, do you receive a commission, or some combination of these? In this lesson, you’ll learn how to calculate your paycheck no matter how you're paid. But wages don’t stop there. You also have to pay taxes to the government, and you may choose to pay for insurance and save for retirement. All these deductions have to be calculated before a paycheck is written. Once you receive your check, you need to know how you spend your money. In the last part of the lesson, you’ll learn how to find out where your money goes once you have it.

Friday - Lesson 04

Now that you have your paycheck, you need somewhere to put it. It’s time to talk about financial institutions; banks, credit unions, and savings and loans. In today's lesson, you’ll discover what to look for in an institution and what questions to ask about checking, savings, and other accounts. Plus, we'll look at ways to keep a check register in order and how to balance a bank statement.

Week 3

Wednesday - Lesson 05

Investing is an ominous word for most of us. Financial professionals can sound like they’re speaking a foreign language. Today, we’re going to unravel some of this terminology and the math that goes with it. You’ll learn the basics of earning interest and find out what questions to ask the professionals. I’m also going to walk you through the features and terminology of several types of interest earning investments; bonds, certificates of deposit, and money market accounts.

Friday - Lesson 06

As you probably know, you can't just earn interest—you also have to pay interest. Credit cards and loans cost you money in interest and fees. Do you know why it’s so difficult to pay off a credit card over time? Not knowing the answer to this question has caused financial heartache for many. In this lesson, we’ll study what happens when you pay only the minimum balance on a credit card each month. And then you’ll see what happens when you pay as little as $10 or $20 extra each month. I think you’ll be shocked and amazed at the money you can save.

Week 4

Wednesday - Lesson 07

Interested in buying a home, but not sure where to start? There are realtors, attorneys, and loan officers to get you through this process. But I never feel comfortable signing documents unless I understand at least some of the terminology and math. That’s our goal in this lesson. We’ll explore the different aspects of a mortgage payment (principle, interest, taxes, and insurance or PITI) and the amount of money you’ll need up front.

Friday - Lesson 08

This lesson is a student favorite. You'll find out that you can solve most problems you come across, including conversions, with some sort of ratio. I like to call ratios "fractions with a purpose." Many students find the thought of fractions disconcerting, but I’m going to give you step-by-step instructions for setting up ratios and then proportions. And after today's lesson, you’ll be able to convert even the most complicated measurements.

Week 5

Wednesday - Lesson 09

Enter the world of geometry, or at least the practical side of it. In this lesson, you’ll learn how to calculate area in different units of measurement and how to convert between them. This will let you figure out how much carpet, paint, or tile you need for those home projects. You don’t do your own projects? You’ll still want to be able to check your contractor’s measurements and calculations. You’ll also learn a little about metrics, and I'll teach you a very simple conversion method.

Friday - Lesson 10

You’ll learn all about probability in this lesson. It’s used in the gaming industry, in forecasting weather, and in determining insurance rates. How does the insurance industry know there’s a 10% chance I’ll be in an accident? Or how does a casino predict a 3% chance I’ll win at blackjack? You have to know which numbers to divide and how to find them. I’m here to guide you through this fascinating topic.

Week 6

Wednesday - Lesson 11

Our society is bombarded with information and statistics all day, every day. We're going to start this lesson by discussing statistical data and how it's chosen. Next, I'll teach you about the four most commonly used statistical measures: mean, median, mode, and range. We'll calculate a few of these measures and discuss what each means, individually and as a group. Last, we'll discuss standardized test scores. If you've ever taken a standardized test, you've probably received a very confusing report with lots of statistical terminology and not much explanation. In this lesson, you'll learn how to read and interpret a test score report with confidence.

Friday - Lesson 12

A great way to understand all those statistics you learned about in Lesson 11 is to put them on a graph. Graphs can help you look at the big picture by summarizing information. Just as there are different types of information and relationships, there are different types of graphs. Each one is best suited for displaying a particular type of information or relationship. So in this, our final lesson, we'll talk about the best use of each type of graph and how to read each one.


Requirements

A basic calculator with the ability to add, subtract, multiply, divide, and calculate square roots; Internet access, e-mail, the Microsoft Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox Web browser, and the Adobe Flash and PDF plug-ins (two free and simple downloads you obtain at http://www.adobe.com/downloads by clicking Get Adobe Flash Player and Get Adobe Reader).

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