Friday, November 1, 2013

Teen Brain Boot Camp by Steve McCrea

The purpose of this course is to give you:
a)      A higher score on the SAT
b)      The skills to succeed while in college and later in life.  Some people calls these “life skills” and others call them “emotional intelligence”

The higher score on the SAT is earned by focusing on the following three areas:
Essay --  you will be asked to write several essays.  This is not done during the course.  Some students claim that they lack the self-discipline to write while they are outside the class.  In that case, time during the course can be allocated for essay writing.
Math – numerous examples of SAT style questions will be presented.  The aim is to get you to respond quickly to a variety of skills.  There are approximately 95 types of math problem.   We aim to show you all of the types. is a good place to start.
Verbal – learn a lot of words.  You will be asked to start with words on “hot lists” and    Spread the Words mobile app is especially recommended.
TYPICAL HOMEWORK:  Make sentences with words from
Find questions for the next day (going through the previous tests and using
Using the mobile apps.

In the Social Skills side of this course, the focus is on exposing you to the skills that have been shown to be useful.  The list is flexible and instructors can add materials that give additional tips.
Automatic Negative Thoughts (and how to eliminate them with ANTeaters).
12 ways to support your brain (Dr. Amen’s list)
Readings from Daniel Pink, Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell
Know Your Type personality quiz 

Computer Skills
How to build a free website
How to create digital portfolio
How to use projects
Build a resume (to give a list of skills)
The Personal Learning Plan (PLP)
Learn how to monetize your youtube account and website
Learn how to use the power of one click --  
Dr. Deming’s list of 14 Points  (to understand systems)

The course materials  include
Personal Learning Plan sheets (what are your goals?) for math problems and typical verbal problems, as well as essay questions. for vocabulary words.
Mobile apps, including “Spread the Words”
Readings from Daniel Pink, Thomas Friedman, Malcolm Gladwell
Know Your Type personality quiz 
Readings from Dan Pink, Malcolm Gladwell, Thomas Friedman
Wikipedia articles, such as Deming’s 14 Points and  The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People
Tips for instructors
When you read through the “teacher talk” you will see that there are easy ways to introduce each of these topics.

How to put your work into a digital portfolio.
“I’m more than a letter in the alphabet.”
Monetize your youtube account.

How to benefit from these skills  (you can share what you learn by volunteering to share with the next group of students in this course).

 Learn more  (954) 646 8246

Sunday, October 27, 2013

To prepare for PERT, SAT and GRE exams, is a safe place to review math procedures -- Teachers show you STEP BY STEP how to PREPARE for the PERT test

If you are looking for a free way to review math, go to

If you are studying for PERT, you can focus on the following topics

If you are worried about your skill-level, you can improve your math skills by looking at these videos.

If you want to try some tests, you can go to my PERT page

You can download this book
(download here)
This post is dedicated to the Rescue Church in North Miami and to Gus, who found me at Broward Central Campus and told me about his plans to study at Broward College.  "I know dozens of people who are afraid to take the PERT test because they fear they will fail."  
Order of Operations

He told me, "They just need to know where to go to prepare, to learn the procedures."

For example, there is the ORDER OF OPERATIONS.
Please Excuse My Dear Aunt Sally
You can find the Order of Operations explained on  Look for the list on the left of the menu.

One of the best ways to get started is to go to take quizzes.  Find problems that you CAN'T do and take a photo.  Send the photo to me at (954) 646 8246 or to my email address  Then I'll create a short video and post the answer on YOUTUBE

My channel:

Notice the problems
listed here: Inequalities
 One of my students, Fernanda Fortunato, went to a website connected to a Daytona college and did EVERY MATH PROBLEM on the site.  She took notes and brought me questions and her notes are now part of a PERT workbook (available FREE to download from

You can also download the file here

Here is the FREE DAYTONA WEBSITE that Fernanda used.

The challenge for many students
is to find a video that answers the SPECIFIC need ... and it can take hours to find the right video.   How do I find the right words to describe a particular problem.  
That's why I like -- you can look down the list of sample problems and find a problem that looks like a typical problem that you are having trouble with.

Can you cancel items on the TOP
and Bottom?  Are you FL___X__BLE?

These are typical problems on
the PERT ...

You can try the TRINOMIALS


I've been teaching PERT classes since 2011 and students often ask me, "Where can I go to see step-by-step explanations?"  I have placed several problems and videos on my youtube account and I encourage you to visit  "PERT MATH REVIEW STEVE MCCREA" at my Mistermath account on Youtube, .... but there are more-organized websites.

Look at to find a SELECTION of teachers.  You don't have to listen to "him" or "her" ... you can avoid a teacher with an annoying voice.   You can select someone who explains a procedure clearly.

Yes, I love to hear students say, "I really understand this problem now.  I watched your video and the penny dropped."  However, that's just one problem.   We know that standardized tests like SAT and PERT require LOTS of different problems and the best thing a teacher can do is recommend

You can also go to and sign up for their tutorials.

Here is a 10-minute video about the Order of Operations

If you want to push yourself, connect with with your Facebook account.   then you can win "prizes" ...  I have earned over 60,000 points.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Students in Highland Park High School in Los Angeles use art in school to personalize their learning

The key appears to be the Personal Learning Plan, where the goals of the student are captured.

In Broward, we have the following idea:

We ask our students to develop a Personal Learning Plan ("What do you want to learn?") and a Digital Portfolio ("Show us what you have learned") as well as a Personal Digital Library ("Here are ebooks, videos and poems that are important to me."").  Eventually the students will have a resume that lists the skills and experience that they will bring to future projects.   do a search on "teen brain boot camp broward" and see what we're doing in Florida to personalize learning

Take a moment and click on this video

Here's another video about the brain

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

I encourage my students to try the Magoosh GRE Prep Video Tour

The program is clear, the videos are easy to watch and well organized, and the explanations are thorough.

I'm a fan.

Steve McCrea
GRE Prep coach
Continuing Education Department (sign up for our classes at
Broward College
Fort Lauderdale FL  

(unsolicited testimonial)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Three Things for Students to do: (1) Learn more words at; (2) Prepare for tests at and (3) Keep in touch with old teachers (it's a good exercise)

(1) Learn more words 
One of the best ways to prepare for university is to study words.  You can find a good list of words at

Here is a technique for "killing words that you know"  (the last line of the video is "killing the words that you don't know."   The correct sentence is "you are killing the words that you know, leaving the words that you don't know."

  (2) Prepare for tests at and learn some techniques at and
There are many things that teachers and students can learn from each other.

(3) Keep in touch with old teachers (it's a good exercise)
When I move to another school, I tell students that they are NOT losing a teacher.  They are gaining another teacher (the next teacher).  You can often find a teacher by looking for a YouTube channel that the teacher maintains.

I recently left a school in Florida.  I met 182 students and saw their work.  I hope each of them will take time to contact me in the future.   I am happy to continue to give advice if they send me math exercises. 

We had a special class in my school in Florida.  We said five things in our classes:

(a)  we're here to prepare for the future.  We are "practicing to be adults."  We don't ask permission to leave the room.  We say, "I'll be back in five minutes."... the way adults tell each other.

(b) We are here to stimulate blood flow in our heads.     
When we learn new instructions, we stimulate blood flow to the brain.  When we repeat actions and when we do activities that are known, then blood flow to the brain decreases.  See the work by Daniel Amen in youtube.

(c) Courage comes from the soul within...
It's a poem by Edgar Guest and we say it to make us stronger. 

(d) The purpose of education is... to see a world in a grain of sand....  it's the poem by William Blake...
send tips to

(e)  The musician's approach to academics:  practice, practice, practice, practice.... to master the mechanics of the academic work.  Usually I ask students to UNDERSTAND a procedure.   But I don't want to bore my students, so I usually give them no more than three exercises...  Now I know that it is better to get more and more practice... Richard E. Clark talks about the need to "automate" the procedures.

We want to do three boring things each class.   As adults, we know that doing the boring things are part of the musician's approach to academics.  I have learned from Alfred de la Rosa that the Musician's approach will lead to mastery.

You can send comments to

And remember...  the power of one click.  you can recommend some videos and websites.  You have "net" impact.

The following information might go over the heads of my students, but I hope someday they will return and look at it.

Watch Dr. Clark's talk and listen particularly to these sections of his six-minute talk...

Here are the key phrases

Dr. Clark's warning to teachers:   We teachers need to help students automate their
knowledge -- and repeated practice is part of the solution.
"Fully guided instruction" is described in the article
written by Dr. Clark, Kirschner and Sweller in the Jan. 2012
issue of American Educator

You can learn more by going to this YOUTUBE

Friday, October 4, 2013

Click here to get more information about our dancers

Click on the Miami Arts Charter School Dancers

It has abeen a pleasure and delight

we practice being adults.

we worked freely (than in other classes)

we could use the computers


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Our students want to travel and they hope you will go with them on this video tour

In our search for interesting places and looking for math in many parts of our lives,  our class has selected some videos for travel.

(a) what time is it in that countrty when it is 1 p.m. in Miami?

(b)  How far is it to travel to that country at 500 mph (800kph) by air?

(c)  how many hours is it to fly there?

Here is an advertisement for one of our plays

One of our students recommends this video from Rome, Italy

"I want to try the pasta." -- Abika

another student recommends Canada

"There are many cool places to visit."  -- Laura

Here's a video that shows a tour of Paris.

If you live in these places and want to practice English with our students, write to

We hope you will visit and learn about ways for U.S. students to give conversation help to people in other countries.

Monday, September 30, 2013

Period 5 makes excellent suggestions

Here are more suggestions by my students

Phil Hansen: Embrace the Shake
TED Channel

Brain Teasers

TED   Eric Whitacre Virtual Choir on TED

More links recvommended by my students.... including the remarkable images of KaiKai

Natascha recommends StudyJams at Scholastic.

At least one person thinks that this design should be on our school's t-shirt.  Gabriela M. says, "This is a really pretty design.  It should be our school t-shirt."

The image is copyrighted by Kailah.  Please contact her if you want to use it.

Plus give her wordpress some hits and subscribe and leave a reply.

Here is an example of the form that you can use to
increase your net impact

list of recommendations from students

Sewanee Summer Music Festival 2010 Philharmonia Orchestra Tchaikovsky March Slav

Channel:  hunetr thomas
this amazing video has beautiful waltzes.  
I find that the most beautiful things are not seen but heard.

What videos inspire you?

What videos are amazing?

What have you seen that is beautiful?
Internet love story: CTFxCC Charles and Ally

10 Great Brain Teasers and Riddles
by Sweet Sanity 79 (channel)

Epic funny cats zomin on youtube 

Khan Academy
jacksgap on youtube
One Direction Miami concert on youtube

Roger Rabbit by Sleeping with Sirens 

Mental Floss is good because it has interesting facts and it is educational without pain. 

If you have websites or videos that you want to recommend, please send your suggestions to

By the way, increase your clout with

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Look for patterns, symmetry and other math principles when you are on a field trip

When you go to a museum, look for patterns.  Our students are headed to the Morikami Museum in Boca Raton, Fla., and we hope this announcement will bring new focus on math in the real world.

"Students are encouraged to bring photos to show Mr. Mac because he visited the Morikami 24 years ago and he'd like to see what you find is interesting.  He'd like to ask you to describe the patterns and the math that you see in the grounds of the museum.   This offer is for all participants in the field trip, even teachers, and even if the students are not in my class.  Mr. Mac wants to encourage the hunting for patterns.  He has a blog and he'll post their photos if they want to show them to students in other schools."

Send your photos to

Friday, September 27, 2013

We recommend these videos and websites (suggestions from my students)

What is the power of one person? One person can recommend a video or website and then hundreds of people can click. Let's increase our "Net" impact by sharing the links of websites and videos that inspire us.

A wonderful violin... recommended by Serena Color World Origin (recommended by Colon)

Sticy ninja Academy (a cool math game)

Children of the Night (channel: duo Cartoonist)

April suggests GoPro: Fireman Save a Kitten on the GoProCamera channel

We have shared this list in the hope that students and teachers in other schools can visit these sites and videos (and we invite you to recommend some videos for us to look at, too). This list was sent to Jodie Woodruff at, an excellent school in Providence, R.I. Send suggestions to Steve at

We also invite you to see some SAT math prep at

Please go to "people to people" on google (a suggestion by Serena)
www.PeopletoPeoplecom    Another organization:

Here are some more suggestions Cool math game

4 seasons hotel in BoraBora

Halloween horror nights videos at Sharp Productions

We also clicked on my video about Big Picture school

And we Looked at the Met Center

We looked up the Entrepreneur Center at

We look forward to seeing the suggestions by Jodie's students (and others)

April likes GoPro:  Fireman Saves Kitten on GoProCamera channel

How to make $20 per month (or more) with your own Youtube account
I'm a teacher of math. I think it is a good idea to practice maing money because then students will get interested in math. I have a youtube account that is linked to adsense. That's the key.

1. Get parental approval.

2. Set up a gmail account.

3. set up a blog so you can point people toward your youtube account.

4. set up a youtube account to receive your movies

5. set up adsense by foloowing the steps on eHow at

If you have questions, please write to me at or you can text me at (954) 646 8246. Good luck.

Cazadores Del Red Tyler and Juliano have identified several MULTIPLICATION PRACTICE activities

The National Council for Teachers of Math have a site called "Illuminations" with activities to grow the brain power.

CLICK HERE for Illuminations

For Grades 6-8

You are invited to visit the following locations for additional preparation for rapid math calculations.

we also recommend TYPING PRACTICE like

These sites were found by Tyler and Juliano, who are "hunters on the Internet" (cazador del Red).

Sasha and Franchesca found 
Lemonade Stand
Crazy Taxi
Coffee Shop  

I recommend only these activities on Hoodamath and because we are looking only for math games that involve MENTAL MATH calculations.   

Learning new instructions will increase the blood flow to the brain, but after the instructions are learned, a skill game is usually just a way to relax.  To build new synapses (connections), please look for multiplication and division games.

Special thanks to Marcos for his work with Mr. R. and organizing the videos and photos for the dance department.

Monday, September 9, 2013

"WEIGHT" and "MASS" appear in the Critical Thinking about Math Class.... with a comment from a teacher (from 1974).

The mass / weight exercise  bubbled up some memories of this work in my high school.    so I wrote to my teacher from 35 years ago.   HE WROTE BACK...
(LESSON:  keep in touch with your teachers)

I thought it might be fun for our students to see that even high school graduates have a memory for this important work....


From: Tony Hyde <>
ISS    Visit
Date: September 9, 2013 6:32:28 AM EDT
To: Steve THE EBOOK MAN McCrea <>,
Subject: Re: Help with Math 
Reply-To: Tony Hyde <>

Hi Steve,
  The difference between weight and mass is NOT easy since, in everyday language, there is a misuse of the words.  One says my weight is 65 kgs.  The kg is a unit of mass and weight is a force - the pull of the earth on a mass.  the other classic example is that one will hear there is no more power when one really should be saying there is no more energy (electrical).  Anyway the easiest way to differentiate between mass and weight is this.  The person in orbit in the ISS is weightless - the reason for this is also quite hard to understand/explain - but it would be highly embarrassing to be massless since then the person just would not be!!!!  There would be no matter/material to make up the person.  No one minds being weightless but do they heck want to be massless, i.e. non-existent?!!  I am impressed that Mr McCrea remembered my Physics lessons!
Kindest regards and I hope my little idea helps.
Tony Hyde.
teacher from Aiglon College

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Some videos for students to watch (here are some tips)

Part 1:  Here are some quotes to motivate us to find the power inside us to move ahead.

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 6

Part 7

Part 8

Part 9:  Listen to 91.3 FM   National Public Radio to listen for extended arguments and for the use of math to analyze situations.

Send me your opinions about these

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Altar of the Non Working Computer is a silly way to attract students to make recommendations.

Erik Erikson states that children need to feel "industrious" and they need to feel that they are contributing to the community.

Students can help by clicking on useful websites and by recommending sites.

See the program.

If you want to submit suggestions, write to

Thank you.

Here is a quote from WIKIPEDIA about Erikson's stages

Competence: Industry vs. Inferiority (Latency, 5-12 years

  • Existential Question: Can I Make it in the World of People and Things?
The aim to bring a productive situation to completion gradually supersedes the whims and wishes of play. The fundamentals of technology are developed. To lose the hope of such "industrious" association may pull the child back to the more isolated, less conscious familial rivalry of the Oedipal time.
"Children at this age are becoming more aware of themselves as individuals." They work hard at "being responsible, being good and doing it right." They are now more reasonable to share and cooperate. Allen and Marotz (2003) [7] also list some perceptual cognitive developmental traits specific for this age group. Children grasp the concepts of space and time in more logical, practical ways. They gain a better understanding of cause and effect, and of calendar time. At this stage, children are eager to learn and accomplish more complex skills: reading, writing, telling time. They also get to form moral values, recognize cultural and individual differences and are able to manage most of their personal needs and grooming with minimal assistance.[7] At this stage, children might express their independence by talking back and being disobedient and rebellious.
Erikson viewed the elementary school years as critical for the development of self-confidence. Ideally, elementary school provides many opportunities for children to achieve the recognition of teachers, parents and peers by producing things- drawing pictures, solving addition problems, writing sentences, and so on. If children are encouraged to make and do things and are then praised for their accomplishments, they begin to demonstrate industry by being diligent, persevering at tasks until completed, and putting work before pleasure. If children are instead ridiculed or punished for their efforts or if they find they are incapable of meeting their teachers' and parents' expectations, they develop feelings of inferiority about their capabilities.[1]
At this age, children start recognizing their special talents and continue to discover interests as their education improves. They may begin to choose to do more activities to pursue that interest, such as joining a sport if they know they have athletic ability, or joining the band if they are good at music. If not allowed to discover own talents in their own time, they will develop a sense of lack of motivation, low self-esteem, and lethargy. They may become "couch potatoes" if they are not allowed to develop interests.