Guest Guru: Meet Elizabeth Celentano!

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What even IS a "Guest Guru"? Let us tell you! There are so many amazing people with so many incredible voices out there, that we wanted to dedicate a part of our blog to giving these voices a platform. Our new "Guest Guru" feature is our way of showcasing the amazing awesome people and places that we've had the chance to discover, to create a community of shared experiences. You know what they say: two minds (or like, a million minds) are better than one! Our Guest Gurus might be featured once, twice or on an ongoing basis if they want to share as much as possible with you! We know that we don't know EVERYTHING, and we're excited to collab with people that know stuff that we don't so that YOU, in turn, can learn from them as much as we can. We hope that you enjoy our very first Guest Guru post! If YOU have a great idea for a Guest Guru that we can feature on our site - email us at info@themathguru.ca! The more the merrier - enjoy the ride!

Women in enginnering are super cool

Hello TMG readership!

To my knowledge, I am the first guest-blogger to join the TMG family! I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am to share this space with you all.

My name is Liz. I am a full-time chemical engineer, working in a manufacturing plant. More importantly, I am a lifelong lover of math and science. More accurately, I am a 100% geek. Put whatever you want in front of it – math-geek, science-geek, music-geek, theatre-geek, board game-geek – I am EXTREMELY passionate about a lot of things.

That being said, I wouldn’t have loved math and science as much as I do just from my teachers at school. I was lucky enough to have an amazing tutor outside of school from grade 5 until I graduated high school that went above and beyond the normal school topics. He taught me to LOVE math contests and actually get pretty good at them (did you know you could get medals for MATH?!); he shared his love of astronomy with me (did anyone else see the recent super moon????); but most importantly he would teach me math in a way that made it relevant to me. He taught me that before Pythagoras existed, Ancient Egyptians would use knotted rope to create the right angles needed when building the pyramids using known ratios (later known as Pythagorean Triples). And in an unforgettable moment, he brought this demonstration to my house, and almost got my entire living room wet – but to this day I can recall the formulas for spheres, cones and cylinders without hesitation!

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I am hoping through these semi-regular blog posts that I can bring some relevant news or related topics to your attention to help get YOU excited about math and science! I’ll even talk about my work, what I’m getting excited about day-to- day, and I can even answer questions!

Stay tuned, and get excited for this collaboration!!!

Self-Care Tips for Studying

Whether or not you had a valentine this past Valentine’s Day, HOPEFULLY you noticed that it’s MOST important to be your OWN VALENTINE and LOVE YOURSELF! Although we think it’s SUPER important to love and take care of yourself, this can be extremely difficult – especially while studying! Studying can sometimes overwhelm us, stress us out, and completely take over our lives. To avoid having school-life completely take over, it’s important to practice loving yourself by using different self-care tips. By practicing the following 5 self-care tips you will be able to avoid unnecessary school-related breakdowns, you will be able to keep calm and carry on - trust us.

  1. Take a bubble bath

If work is starting to make you go crazy, STOP whatever you’re doing and pour yourself a warm and luxurious bubble bath. Want a TMG trick? Using lavender soaps and Epsom salts in the tub will help to relax the muscles in your mind AND body. Try spending JUST 15 minutes in the bath soaking your body and quieting your mind - that's all it takes, and it makes a huge diff in terms of how you approach your work after giving yourself some soaking time to chill out!

  1. Write in a journal

Get out ALL thoughts clogging your mind and inhibiting you from doing your schoolwork by writing them down. By getting out all your feelings on paper, it will be easier to compartmentalize the thoughts as they continue to flow through your mind. And who knows, maybe now that you’ve written down all your thoughts they might not come back – at least until after you're done focusing on the work you have to do RIGHT now!

  1. Exercise

Exercising is one of the best ways to focus on something other than schoolwork. While running as fast as you can on the treadmill who even has TIME to think about school? Aren’t you just focused on putting one foot in-front of the other and BREATHING to stay ALIVE? Not only does exercising actually rejuvenate you physically, it actually causes your brain to release endorphins which amps up your mood! Science in action guys!

  1. Take the day off

Sometimes you’ve been working SO hard that you just need a day off to do next to nothing. On your day off do NOT even THINK about doing schoolwork. This day off is COMPLETELY for you! Take time to sleep in, stay in your PJ’s and curl up on your sofa with the latest Netflix releases (or like, read a book - FOR FUN). Sounds like the perfect day, right?!

  1. Plan something to look forward to

Sometimes all we can think about is school, school and MORE school. If you have nothing to look forward to besides school, it can be difficult to be optimistic about the future. To make you excited about something other than all of that homework that lies ahead, plan something to look forward to. Whether it’s a smaller outing like a movie with a friend or a bigger excursion like a vacation, planning events (whether big or small) in the future will allow you NOT to ONLY focus on school work; with events planned you will now have other things to think about and motivate you to get work done!

We never said it was easy to take care of yourself. However, we DO know that it’s EXTREMELY important. So, the next time you’re feeling out of control, like the world is going to end if you don’t ace your math test, try implementing one of these many self-care tips - you've got this, we know you do!

How to re-create our vibes at home

It's totally undeniable that the space at TMG has a unique and special vibe. Making you feel right at home with plush sofas and colourful throw pillows, it's almost impossible not to feel super comfy at TMG. From the twinkly lights to the yummy aromatic teas and candles, the vibe at TMG helps students chill out during what can be stressful times. So, my question to you is this: don’t you want these super cool vibes to ALWAYS be surrounding you when doing your homework? If your answer to this question was “YES”, let us take you through the 5 steps needed to re-create TMG's sweet sweet vibes, anytime, anywhere.

  1. Tea

Warming you up from the inside out, tea is a staple at TMG. You don’t need TMG’s crazy tea selection to steep your very own cuppa - although, hey, variety IS the spice of life. We recommend a good chai, a solid flavoured black tea (vanilla, caramel, chocolate...something decadent), a soothing herbal tea (think ginger or lemongrass), and a zen green tea blend. Ask anyone who's savoured our selection, and they'll tell you that the FOAM is what makes the tea. Trust us. Invest in a good frother or go cheap and grab a handheld one!

  1. Candles

Helping to create a cozy atmosphere and making any room smell AMAZING, candles are a TMG signature. Watching a candle burn can be incredibly peaceful and help get you into that super focused study zone. Our fave? The amazingly almost-edible selection found at Bath & Body Works. EVERY season they switch it up so that you can be surrounded by yummy warm scents in the winter, and vibrant tropical scents when the weather gets hot hot hot. So, nestle up with your textbook, light a candle, and get in the zone!

  1. Fairy Lights

Who said that fairy lights HAD to be a seasonal thing? Totally disagree! Making every room both comfortable and bright, fairy lights at TMG are found all-year-round. Ambient lighting can set the mood while avoiding the eyesore that comes with awkward reading lamps and sharp yellow light. Sorry if we’re breaking any classic décor rules but for the purposes of getting in the mood to study in style, this tip RULES.

  1. TMG Apparel

Making you feel like good-luck is always with you, why wouldn’t you want to rock TMG apparel? Comfy, cozy, chic – check, check and check. With items ranging from sweatpants to t-shirts, to necklaces and more, there’s a little TMG for everyone to wear. Oh, and bonus: you get to spread the math-love to anyone and everyone cool enough to notice that you're actually making math math trendy. Go you!

  1. A Positive Attitude

Have you ever noticed that our tutors are ALWAYS looking on the bright side? Whether it’s encouraging you to try your best on a test or re-assuring you that success is just around the corner, we're always trying to lift your spirits and help you gain confidence. So whether you’re at home studying for your next evaluation, or freaking out in class in confusion, try to channel TMG's positive vibes – a little bit of sunshine goes a long way!

To get more inspiration from TMG, see more photos, and get more ideas, check out our Instagram page!

 

 

 

Super Chill Coffee Shops To Study At

Tired of always doing your homework in the saaaaame spot? If you’re feeling like the answer is “YES”, it’s time to ditch your typical digs and grab a change of scenery by hitting one of our fave coffee shops! Diversifying your study station makes studying a little more new and exciting and is one of the best ways to keep motivated. Tasty snacks? Check! Fancy drinks? Check! Chill vibes? Check! These five local coffee shops will keep your thirst quenched and your brain fueled!

  1. Istanbul Café

Located right at Eglinton & Redpath (right near you NSS kids!), Instanbul Café transports you straight to the super chill Middle East with its décor, traditional Turkish food and coffee. Creating a warm and cozy atmosphere for its customers, this space will make you feel totally at home without actually being AT home. Comfy chairs, big tables, and a laptop friendly environment, this is one of our fave coffee shops to study at!

  1. Boxcar Social (Summerhill)

Conveniently located right outside the Summerhill subway station, Boxcar Social is super-easy to access even if you’re not within walking distance. The interior’s rustic vibes make the space feel lived in and comfortable. Fitted with an upstairs, this shop has ample seating, making it easy for you to study with or without your squad!

  1. Crosstown Coffee Bar

A hidden gem off of Eglinton near Avenue road, Crosstown Coffee Bar is simply adorable. The shop’s comfy window seat receives tons of natural light that will definitely make your study sesh pleasantly bright. The shop’s three c’s – cookies, coffee and cuteness - make this tiny shop one to visit sometime soon!

  1. Rachel’s Coffee House

On Yonge street just steps away from Davisville station, Rachel's Coffee House is another cozy coffee shop that you should definitely check out! Equipped with coffee and snacks of all kinds, this shop will keep you well-nourished while you’re cozying up in their ultra-comfy armchairs.

  1. De Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters

Located just down the street from TMG, this is the perfect place to kill some time studying before or after your tutoring sesh. Walls covered in artsy murals, this spot is super-hipster but like, not in a bad way:) All of their pastries made in house, De Mello Palheta Coffee Roasters has some seriously yummy (and healthy!) snack options to fuel your homework session!

 

5 Solid Songs to Study To

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Need to spice up your studying? Who doesn't. We're not normally a fan of distractions, but music can actually help you get into the study groove...IF you choose the right song. Try listening to music! Although listening to music can be extremely beneficial to some, for others it proves to be quite the distraction. If you want to experiment, we've got a few songs that might float your study boat. Check 'em! 1. Skinny Love, Bon Iver

Whether you’re having a freak-out about schoolwork and need to calm down or you’re simply looking to chill out while studying, Bon Iver’s Skinny Love is the perfect song to add to your study playlist. Soft and whimsical Indie folk, Skinny Love is a TMG favourite.

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2. Four Seasons, Vivaldi

Vivaldi’s Four Seasons is a CLASSIC. Get it? It’s old-school classical music. Ready to put you in the study zone, this lyricless masterpiece will help you crank up your concentration.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GRxofEmo3HA[/embed]

3. Starboy, The Weekend

Need a bit of encouragement while you study? A little pep talk maybe? Get a pump-up pep talk from The Weekend by listening to the smash-hit Starboy. Worried you might get distracted by The Weekend’s lyrics? Don’t worry, you can barely understand what they are so you’ll most likely be paying attention to the background beat.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34Na4j8AVgA[/embed]

4. Closer, The Chainsmokers

The light and airy beat of The Chainsmoker’s Closer will make you want to shimmy in your seat while studying. If you’re looking to make studying fun, The Chainsmoker’s Closer is one that will totally give you good vibes while hitting the books.

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PT2_F-1esPk[/embed]

5. Let it Go, James Bay

James Bay’s beautifully smooth voice will make you want to listen to this song on repeat. Feeling like getting a little cozy with your math textbook? This song is DEFINITELY the song to do that to!

[embed]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsPq9mzFNGY[/embed]

Now it’s time to download these songs (legally, please), grab your headphones and hit the books! Good luck everyone!

5 Super Awesome Online Resources for Extra Math and Science Help

Do you ever miss what your teacher said in class? Do you ever fail to understand your chicken scratch handwriting and piece together the notes you took? Do you ever completely forget the lesson given? Do you ever need further clarification on concepts explored? Do you...love Youtube?! If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, you could SERIOUSLY benefit from watching online videos that focus on teaching math and science concepts explored in the classroom. By watching online videos after class you can cover the material that you missed, forgot or failed to understand. Not only do online videos help fill the gaps in your knowledge, they help to consolidate and enhance your knowledge too. Math and science websites are information goldmines that can help you in SO many ways BUT can be SUPER overwhelming because there are so many options out there! In order to help you navigate the big wide world of math and science websites, here’s TMG’s guide to some of the best.

1. Khan Academy

Salman Khan, the voice and teacher behind Khan Academy, is simply incredible. Seriously, he’s THE best. Khan explains things SO clearly and concisely while using plain and accessible language - it’s almost impossible to miss what he’s saying. Plus, Khan often uses real-life examples that make the information given relevant.

2. Tyler DeWitt

Super energetic and enthusiastic about all things math and science, Tyler DeWitt’s YouTube channel is actually AMAZING. Covering topics that may seem basic but are actually complex (like significant digits and conversions), DeWitt takes you through these concepts slowly and surely while using extremely appealing visuals. Not only does DeWitt have written visuals, but he films himself doing the problems. This added visual of Tyler DeWitt explaining the problems makes it feel like you’re in a classroom listening to a real-life teacher. How awesome is that?!

3. MooMoo Math and Science

Using fun graphics to explain concepts like quadratic equations and the area of an isosceles triangle, MooMoo Math and Science is taught by certified math and science teachers. Geared more towards a younger audience, MooMoo Math and Science has an entire section of their channel dedicated to middle school science teachings.

4. LearnCOACH

Because LearnCOACH is based in New Zealand, the website divides the material featured on their website into 3 levels that correspond with their education system. Despite this difference in the New Zealand schooling system, LearnCOACH covers plenty of math and science topics. From chemistry, biology and physics, LearnCOACH provides you with material that is similar if not the same as what you would be learning in class.

5. MathHelp.com

With a section devoted to getting you back on track in school, MathHelp.com is the perfect resource for remedial help. Featuring a wide range of material from grade 5 math to college math, MathHelp.com can aid you with so many of your math needs no matter the stage of your academic career.

Next time you feel lost in class and need some extra help clarifying topics covered, turn to these amazing resources to get you through the material. Always presented in a way to better help you understand, there’s no chance that after watching these videos you won't understand math just a LITTLE bit more...at the very least!

 

 

New Year… New You?

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HELLO 2017 HOW MAY I HELP YOU (MYSELF)?!  With an entire year ahead of you, it's the perfect time to dust off those ambitions and bring them to centre stage. An opportunity to start fresh, a new year means new goals, new habits, and...well, a new you! However, even though you may be super into achieving your goals, it not necessarily an easy feat – how often do we write down New Year’s resolutions and simply NOT stick to them? To help you achieve your goals and make 2017 the best year yet, this week’s TMG blog post is all about the S.M.A.R.T. goal-setting model. Let's DO THIS. S – Specific 

When setting your goals, be specific. The more specific you are with your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. To make a goal specific, try and answer the following questions: who, what, when, where and why? To give you a better idea of what we mean, an example of a vague goal is: improve my performance in school. A specific goal is: increase my mark in each course by 5%.

M – Measurable

To create a measurable goal, establish exactly what you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. By doing this, you're breaking your goal into measurable elements which can actually be quantified. Like, you can actually TELL if you've accomplished them. To help figure out whether or not your goal is measurable, ask yourself: how will I know when my goal is accomplished? If you actually have an answer, it's measurable:)

A – Attainable

Do you have the resources to make this goal attainable? Do you have enough time, money or talent to make this goal part of your reality? Ask yourself whether or not you’re setting the bar just a bit too high – what’s realistic for you? So in terms of school, saying "I'm going to do 10 hours of math a day," while ADMIRABLE, is totally unrealistic...since you probably want to eat. And sleep. And like, have a life.

R – Relevant

Before proceeding, it is important to ask yourself whether or not this goal is important to you – do you really care about running a marathon? If your goal is not something that you truly and deeply care about, the chances of you achieving it are much less. Pick a goal that’s important to you, that way you are more likely to stick with it!

T – Timely

The year is long and there is a ton of time within it to achieve your goals. However, if you don't set deadlines for your goals, there more likely you are to NOT achieve them. No matter how small, deadlines give you something to work towards by helping you to keep up your momentum. Break down your goals into small chunks and actually put deadlines IN a physical calendar so that you can see them approaching! If your goal is to raise your mark by 10%, set a deadline for the first 5%, and another for the remaining 5%. That way you won't feel like you have to do EVERYTHING at once!

Most importantly, try and stay positive when working towards your goals. A strong-willed and positive outlook will get you much further than you can even imagine. And remember - most people are capable of WAY more than they give themselves credit for. How are YOU going to blow your OWN mind this year?

5 Awesome Gifts for the Math and Science Lover in Your Life!

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The holiday season is officially here and we could NOT be more excited about it. At TMG we go ALL OUT for the holidays. Right now our tutoring spaces are covered in beautiful lights and candles that smell like candy canes and gingerbread and learning and math. Sort of. The “24 days of TMG” (an advent-calendar of brain-teasers and math and science related problems) is in full-swing and the overwhelming response is a sure sign that people SECRETLY love math:) Our space is SO incredibly decked out that it feels as though we're basically in the North Pole. And it's freezing outside, so that helps. For me, gift-giving is so much fun because I LOVE giving someone the perfect gift!  For others, though, I understand that gift-giving can be stressful because oftentimes it's difficult to figure out what someone wants. If you’re having trouble thinking about what to get that math and science loving person for the holidays, look no further! We said we were pumped about the holidays and we mean it. We want to help YOU find the BEST, COOLEST and CUTEST gifts for that math and science loving someone. And so, we're pumped to present....5 Awesome Gifts for Math and Science Lovers!

  1. The Perfect Mug

Who wouldn’t want to drink their coffee out of a mug that displays its chemical properties? While getting your daily dose of caffeine, study this super cute mug and learn all about caffeine’s chemical molecule. This mug is a great gift for a coffee-addicted, anecdote-loving individual.

  1. The Science of Spice

Spice up someone’s kitchen with this super-cool spice rack. By turning cooking into a mad science experiment, this gift can totally be the perfect laboratory for the person who loves cooking AND science.

  1. This Totally Adorable Tote

The cuteness of this tote is just CRAZY. An adorable image of an angle, coupled with a stellar pun, makes this tote a great buy for anyone who loves a good math pun.

  1. The Cutest Curtain

Have I mentioned that we LOVE puns at TMG? Well, we do. We love them A LOT. Perfect for your special someone, this shower curtain adorably displays your affection for your perfect ten.

  1. The Sassiest T

Perfect for the math genius know-it-all, this t-shirt says it all. Andddd...also perfect for the person who needs a little self-esteem boost, this t-shirt is a great test-taking good-luck charm.

6. Bonus bonus bonus

Okay so we said this was our Top 5, but there's a sixth! We've JUST opened up our TMG Gift Shop! The perfect one stop holiday shop, we've got cozy sweats and cute totes, but best of all...math-inspired chokers and necklaces

TMG Gift Shop