June 2010 Archives

6th Grade Math - Volume of Cylinders

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We've explored finding the volume of prisms and now it's time to work our way to cylinders. Cylinders are somewhat like a prism with its parallel congruent bases. However, instead of a nice polygon as the base, we have a circle.

Remember that when talking about the volume of a cylinder, we are really talking about how much it can hold, whether it's soup, concentrated orange juice, or just water. How do you find the volume of a cylinder? It's the same idea we used for prisms. However, now we have a different formula. For all you pi fans out there, this formula utilizes pi.

In today's free 6th grade math video, Volume of Cylinders, Prof. Burger explains the formula and then demonstrates it with several different variations. Today' video contains 3 different lectures, so don't forget to click the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lecture. Keep up with us because on Friday we'll be posting a worksheet covering this week's videos.


6th Grade Math - Volume of Prisms

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Now that we know about three-dimensional figures and prisms, it's time to learn how to find the volumes for the various different types of prisms. Volume can be tricky enough for some students, but throw in a triangular prism and suddenly it's a bit more difficult.

Learn the basic formula for calculating volumes with today's video. Understanding volumes will enable you to figure out how much water you can put in that aquarium or pool. You might want to calculate how much cereal could be packed into a cereal box and compare that to how much is actually sold in the box.

We've got you covered in today's free 6th grade math video on Volume of Prisms. To make it even better Edward Burger demonstrates how to find the volume on a rectangular prism, a triangular prism, and then gives a real world example where we can see volumes happening around us and how to calculate them.

Today's video contains three separate lectures. Make certain you click on the forward button to move to the next lecture so you don't miss anything!


6th Grade Math - Three-Dimensional Figures

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Let's look at the world all around us and see that, in fact, we are in three-dimensional space. There are three different directions we can move. We can move front and back, up and down, and side-to-side. When you put all those dimensions together, we can build really neat three-dimensional objects. Now we have seen a lot of these things, they are sort of familiar, like the cube for example, which as you can see has faces and edges and vertices, the sharp corner points. We can actually count these things.

We've jumped to the Volume and Surface Area subchapter in our 6th grade math videos. Today's free video covers three-dimensional figures. Edward Burger explains counting faces, edges, and vertices and the different types of three-dimensional figures you'll encounter. This video contains two different lectures, so make certain you click the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lecture. Keep following us as we post the entire subchapter on Volume and Surface Area this week. Then test your skills on Friday's subchapter worksheet covering this week's video lectures.


6th Grade Math Worksheet - Percents

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This week we covered percentages with Prof. Burger. Not only did he demonstrate the basics of calculating percentages and determining the quantity of items from percentages, but he also used several real world examples to show how important this concept is.

I have personally used percentages on a daily basis. Whether I am utilizing them when reading nutritional labels or estimating the cost of something including sales tax, percents are a constant in my life. You too will use them when calculating a tip for someone who provided you a service, as Prof. Burger does in one of his examples.

I enjoyed refreshing my knowledge of percents and I hope you did too with this week's free 6th grade math videos. Now check out the accompanying worksheet for our Percents subchapter. See how well you have retained the knowledge we've been sharing. With Edward Burger teaching the class, we're sure you'll pass with flying colors!


6th Grade Math - Using Percents

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Because percentages are so important and something we use on a daily basis, we've got a video covering Using Percents. Whether it's determining the tip for a waiter in a restaurant or calculating sales tax on a purchase,  percents are used constantly. We don't want to pay too much or too little because we don't know how to calculate the percentage.  Edward Burger discusses several real world applications of percents and how to calculate them in today's free 6th grade math video. In these examples, learn how to calculate the price of something that is on sale, how to figure a tip, and how to determine the sales tax on an item.

Today's video contains 3 lectures covering the different examples. Don't forget to click the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lesson. Try out the videos and see what you think. Don't forget our courses come with exercise, worksheets and tests in addition to the videos. Tomorrow we'll be posting the subchapter worksheet covering all of this week's videos.


6th Grade Math - Percent Problems

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Percentages are used in a variety of situations from salary raises and paying taxes to nutritional information on food. As it is such a widely used math concept, it is important students see the relevance of percentages so they will appreciate what is being taught. Now that we've given you lessons this week on Percents, it's time to explore real world applications of percentages.  Today's 6th grade math video contains 3 lectures that do just that. Learn how to determine how much longer you have to wait to download a file based upon the percentage. Or maybe you just want to practice a few percentage problems. Prof. Burger will take you through several real world examples to practice your newly gained knowledge. By the end of today's lectures you should be able to see the connection among percentages, fractions and decimals.

Today's video has a total of 3 lectures, so make certain you click the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lecture!


Percents, Decimals, and Fractions

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Percents are a great way of measuring how much we have of something or how little we have. Fifty percent gives us an idea of being half of whatever the things is. But how do we generate percentages if we are given a decimal number? What about converting fractions to percentages?

Moving forward in our study of percents, today's 6th grade math video focuses on Percents, Decimals and Fractions. Prof. Burger uses his signature style to make these concepts easier for students. The video contains 3 different lectures, so click on the forward button to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lecture.



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Percents are an important and fun math concept. We are inundated daily with statements like "30% off" and "10% down" and this makes percents important so that we understand what exactly those statements mean. Basically, a percent is a ratio whose second term is 100. So, we're using our ratio knowledge to determine percent. 

Today's free 6th grade math video covers the definition of percentages, how to express a percentage as a fraction and as a decimal. Prof. Burger has some great examples to demonstrate and explain percents. In fact, this time there are a whopping 5 lessons on today's video. Again, don't forget to click on the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lesson.


Applications of Proportions

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We've spent all week exploring different applications of proportions with Prof. Burger. Whether it's a scale map, similar figures or indirect measurements, we utilize proportions often in our daily life. Knowing how useful this concept is, you should all be thoroughly excited to test out your knowledge. While you can easily grab a map, plot two points and then use proportions to determine the distance (and you should!), recommend our free 6th grade math worksheet to truly test all the concepts in this weeks' videos.

If you haven't checked out the videos this week take a look at our previous posts and then print out this worksheet!

ws_proportions.gifHave a terrific weekend!

Scale Drawings and Maps

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One of the ways we use proportions in our daily life is whenever we view drawings and maps that are created to scale. In today's free 6th grade math video, we cover these scale drawings and maps. Using two examples, Prof. Burger will show how using a map and its ratio we can set up a proportion, solve with the cross product and determine exactly the distance between two points. See what it means to have a scale map and be able to ascertain information about distances regarding the map versus real life.

Since this video has two lectures, please don't forget to click on the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next lecture.


Indirect Measurement

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Today's free 6th grade math video is once again demonstrating practical applications of proportions. It's important for students to be able to see the real world uses of math and Prof. Burger does this with two examples.

Want to measure the height of a telephone pole? It turns out that using mathematics, the notion of similar triangles and ratios and proportions, we put all those ideas together, and we can find the height without doing anything dangerous like going up there with a yardstick. The idea is to realize that we can actually produce two similar triangles. Imagine that the sun is shining down way up here somewhere and it's casting a shadow. So it is easy to count, because it's on the ground, and we are safely on the ground. And so we begin the process of computing indirect measurements.

Don't forget there are two lessons on this video. Just click on the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to go to the next lesson.


Similar Figures

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Moving on to actual applications of proportions, we're checking out Similar Figures in today's free 6th grade math video. If we have two geometric figures, we say they're similar if they have the same shape. They might not have the same dimensions, but corresponding parts, when we form their ratios, will yield a proportion with other corresponding parts.  We'll be covering corresponding angles and corresponding sides as Prof. Burger compares two similar figures and utilizes proportions to determine the missing length on one of the figures.

There are actually two lessons in this video, so once you finish the first one, please click on the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move to the next one.


Ratios and Proportions Worksheet

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Hope you had plenty of time this weekend to watch last week's free 6th grade math videos. We are posting the accompanying worksheet today. 3 pages of questions testing students' knowledge on Ratios and Proportions. Work through these problems and then get ready for more videos starting tomorrow!



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A proportion is an equation that shows two equivalent ratios. In cooking, proportions come in handy when you are either increasing or decreasing the serving amounts of a recipe, as Edward Burger demonstrates in the third lecture from today's free 6th Grade Math video.  He also shows this concept can be useful when gardening, which proves how useful math is in our daily life.

Today's video covers using cross products to complete proportions, writing and solving proportions, and using equivalent ratios to solve proportions. Don't forget to click on the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp to move forward to the next lecture! There are a total of 3 lectures in today's video.

We'll post the accompanying worksheet on Monday. So study up this weekend and learn proportions so you're ready to ace the worksheet!

Applying Rates and Ratios Worksheet

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Worksheets are such handy ways of quickly testing a student's knowledge without the pressure of a test. We know you guys love them so we've got another free 6th grade math worksheet for you. This one covers yesterday's video on Applying Rates and Ratios. Make sure you caught all 3 lectures (click the forward button directly to the left of the time stamp) and then try your hand at today's worksheet.


Applying Rates and Ratios

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Ratios and rates are things that are going to be with us always. Because we're always looking at the relative proportion of one thing to another, and we're also looking at how things are changing, which is a rate. Today's free 6th grade math video covers applying rates and ratios. Using several examples, Professor Burger explains equivalent rates and ratios and how we use them in our everyday life.

Don't forget to click the button directly to the left of the time stamp in order to move forward through the 3 lectures in this video! Then come back tomorrow for a free 6th grade math worksheet covering the entire video.


Ratios and Rates Worksheet

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Did you get a chance to view the entire video we posted yesterday? Please don't forget that yesterday's video had three different lectures on it. Once you reach the end of one, click the button directly to the left of the time stamp and it will forward you to the rest.
If you saw them all and are ready to test your knowledge, we've got a free 6th grade math worksheet covering the Rates and Ratios video we posted yesterday.


Ratios and Rates

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Ratios and Rates are some of the most important ideas in mathematics because they allow us to compare two quantities. This means they are often utilized in our day-to-day routine. Next time your student asks how math is used in real life (and they seem to always ask this question), you can refer to Ratios and Rates. Show them how maps and scale models work, how chefs scale up and down recipes, and even how doctors determine the proper medication dosage for a patient based upon their weight. Further their knowledge with this 6th Grade Math video on Ratios and Rates.  This video has a total of three lessons on it, make sure once the first lesson ends you click on the button directly to the left of the video timer in order to progress to the next one.


Newest Member of Thinkwell's Canine Cadets

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It's been awhile since we talked about the Canine Cadets that keep an eye on the office and ensure everything runs smoothly. As the leader of this important group, and Chief Canine Officer, I'd like to share the latest addition to our group: PJ.

PJ is what is often called a "Puggle" and he takes care of Thinkwell's Office Manager, Andrea. All the rest of the Canine Cadets love PJ as he is a rough and tumble member who takes his duties seriously.

What does PJ do? PJ's job at the office is to alert everyone about everything at any time. The other day someone brought a strange dog in the office and PJ was quick to howl and let the rest of us know about the intruder. Thankfully, the threat level was low and after checking out our visitor, we determined Thinkwell was not under attack.

Where does he like to spend his time? PJs favorite place in the office is either under Andrea's desk or in Mark's office. This keeps him close to anything going on in the office so he can be the first response.

What is PJ's favorite thing to do in the office? He has become very proficient at begging for treats. He then enjoys chasing Canine Cadet Emma to work off those treats. Sounds like a good day!

PJ's best trick? PJ is quite adept at rolling over. And when we say roll over, we mean all the way, none of this silly just-show-your-belly business. Although, he's good at that too.

PJ's Favorite toy? Anyone else's toy is his favorite. Can't say I blame him with all of the great toys at the office.

PJ's hobbies? PJ enjoys being awkward, sleeping (a pre-requisite for all Thinkwell Canine Cadets!), playing with Andrea's two cats and going to the dog park (does any dog not like this?).

PJ's best friends at Thinkwell? It's a tie between Hank and Mark. They are suckers for us cadets! From the Cadet ranks, it would have to be Emma.

As leader of Thinkwell's Canine Cadets, I can say with certainty that PJ is a welcome addition as long as he doesn't steal any of my treats.

Scout has been CCO of Thinkwell since 1999. Treats can be sent to Scout@Thinkwell.com.

Mixed Numbers and Improper Fractions

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When dealing with fractions, you eventually have to face that there is such a thing as an improper fraction. This might seem weird to kids who see a fraction as "just a number over another number representing a partial quantity". But sometimes you end up with a fraction that needs to be simplified into a mixed number. The idea of simplification has returned once again to show it is an important concept in mathematics.

Today's free 6th Grade Math video explains in an easy-to-understand manner how to recognize an improper fraction and how to turn it into the mixed number it should be.

Because of our late start, we went ahead and added the free 6th Grade Math worksheet that covers this week's lessons. Watch the videos and I'll bet you will have no problem breezing through the worksheet.

Everyone have a great weekend!



Equivalent Fractions

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Why would we ever want to rewrite a fraction to represent the same thing in an equivalent number? It turns out the reason is that sometimes we can actually take a fraction that looks complicated, and we can simplify the fraction to an equivalent fraction that is less complicated. Whew! Sounds complicated right?

Simplification is a theme that is recurring all throughout mathematics. We all know fractions are one of the more difficult areas of math for kids while being very important as we often use them in daily life. Thank goodness for Prof. Burger! He's got the right idea when it comes to using visuals and humor to demonstrate these concepts.

Check out our latest free 6th Grade Math Video and see if you don't come away with a stronger understanding of equivalent fractions.


Decimals and Fractions

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Fractions can be a tricky area of math for kids. Throw in the concept of decimals and converting them to fractions and you might find blank stares when trying to teach the subject. Worry no more! With our 6th Grade Math series, Professor Burger explains decimals and fractions in a manner that kids not only understand but also enjoy.

Check out our video on Decimals and Fractions and find a much better way to engage students and teach them the difficult concepts they need to learn.


Gordon Yee Is a Chemistry Rock Star!

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We've talked before about one of our many wonderful Professors, Gordon Yee. In addition to teaching our Chemistry courses, he is an Associate Professor of Chemistry at Virginia Tech. Recently, Professor Yee was awarded the 2010 Alan F. Clifford Faculty Service Award for his outstanding contributions to the Chemistry Department. And, apparently he's a big star with the students too!



A few weeks ago, Professor Yee was invited to visit Victor J. Andrew high school, which happens to be the "Home of the Thunderbolts". Seems like a perfect match to me.  Anyways, like most high school kids, it takes quite a bit to get them excited over anything "school-related". Yet, Gordon experienced true star treatment with kids calling out his name in the hallways and asking for autographs. Apparently, the students are huge fans of Thinkwell and Professor Yee's videos!



While there, he led the students in building a potato cannon and then firing it off. He then did the classic Coke/Mentos demo. We're certain everyone involved had a blast, literally!

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from June 2010 listed from newest to oldest.

May 2010 is the previous archive.

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