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Chalk Dust Company
PMB 256
16107 Kensington Dr
Sugar Land, TX 77479-4401

800.588.7564 (USA)
281.265.2495
281.265.3197 fax

sales@chalkdust.com

READ ME FIRST
with your student(s)
30-day Evaluation and Warranty. All returns require an RMA (return material authorization) number; call 800-588-7564; all returns must be shipped back in original box by UPS. If the product you purchased is not working for your child, please return it at your expense within 30-days. Books must be unused and no more than one tape from the complete program may be opened. You will receive a refund less the shipping and handling charges(refunds are processed twice a month). All refunds are limited to 30-days from the date of purchase on your invoice/receipt (even if tapes are unopened), and all returns must be via UPS. All videotapes include a one-year tape replacement warranty. All DVDs include a 30-day replacement warranty. The VHS warranty for tapes used in "program sharing" is 30-days. If you purchased this product from a reseller their terms apply (should you wish to return the product to them), and the 30-day warranty direct from Chalk Dust does not apply.

IMPORTANT! Please review the attachments "How to Use Videotapes to Study Math," and "Homework Reference Guide" before beginning in order to understand our recommended learning methodology, program specific suggestions, and corrections and clarifications of specific problems.

Technical Support. If your student gets "stuck" or begins to experience trouble with a particular topic in the program, please contact the on-camera instructor immediately - Dana Mosely (Uncle Buck) via "www.chalkdust.com". When the home page appears click on "Technical Support" on the left margin and follow the instructions. Dana will usually respond within 24 hours. His direct business number is 407-851-0444.

Technical Support is not available to people who purchase books without tapes. If you bought a complete used program technical support is $50 per student per year, but is not free.

It is a privilege to work with you. We encourage your comments regarding the progress of your children and the effectiveness of the programs.

Featured Calculator for Each Program.
Basic Math Four Function
Prealgebra Scientific (TI30 or similar)
Algebra 1 TI 83 (new since Sept 2000)
Geometry None
SAT Math Review None
Algebra 2 TI 83 (new since Aug 2000)
College Algebra TI 82, 83
Trigonometry TI 81, 82, 83 or 85
Precalculus TI 83
Calculus I TI 83 or 86

Sincerely,
Dana Mosely, Richard Mosely, Minerva Mosely


STUDENT SUGGESTIONS - HOW TO USE A VIDEO PRESENTATION TO STUDY MATH
[applicable for all VHS and DVD led instruction programs]

A math text is beneficial as a source of practice problems when learning math for the first time. Practice is necessary to shift understanding from short-term memory to long-term memory.

Be actively involved in the learning process by working out examples along with the videotape - working with one section at a time. When you feel comfortable with an explanation on tape, and as additional problems are presented, stop the tape, attempt a solution, then play the tape to verify your method.

Avoid skipping steps by showing your work as though it must be understood by another person - consider your presentation as important as the answer. Also use good penmanship. Continue to practice with the tape until you can do problems all on your own. Do not rush, simply rewind the tape and repeat troublesome sections.

Concentrate on understanding concepts or general ideas rather than memorizing specific problems or definitions. When faced with a particular problem, think first about the concept used in solving that type of problem.

Avoid attempting several hours of study in one sitting - one hour is enough. More frequent concentration for shorter periods of time usually results in more focused attention and more effective learning.,p. Do not become discouraged. Learning math is a progressive process. Your interest is the vital first step, and the most effective way to learn math is at your own pace, a condition inherent in using videotapes.

How to use VHS or DVD presentation with the companion Text and Solutions Guide.

The parent is the "supervisor of the learning process" but not the primary instructor. Dana Mosely (aka Uncle Buck) is your student's instructor. The student will usually work on math about one hour per day.

Day 1 Getting Started:
Place your first VHS tape or DVD into your player and review Chapter 1, Section 1 one or two times before attempting any problems in the text book.

A. Suggestions if you view the presentation one time:
Your objective is to understand the concepts, and to work sample problems with the instructor before working textbook problems. If you finish early, before one hour is up, you may start working problems in the text (see next paragraph below).
Some students find it helpful to look at examples in the text as well as examples on the video program for greater variety. [In the unlikely event that there is difficulty understanding the video presentation, consult the text for clarification and repeat th video segment.]

B. Suggestions if you view the presentation two times:
The first viewing is to understand concepts (ie what is going on and why).
On the second viewing, the student will pause the presentation each time Uncle Buck presents a problem and attempt a solution on their own. Then play the presentation and compare their approach to the problem with that of Uncle Buck.
If a third or fourth viewing is needed that is fine. Stop working after about an hour.

Day 2 Getting Started - and time to continue with the assignment:

After viewing a section one or more times to understand concepts and work sample problems with the instructor, you may begin working the problems from the text for the remainder of the time allotted to math for that day. On the next day finish the assignment. If you have a student solutions guide work about 30 odd problems. If you have a complete solutions guide you will work problems from each problem set in the section until you have worked about 30 problems total. After each group of 5-10 problems, check your answers with the answers at the end of the text. Review any problems that are missed with the step-by-step method of solution in the student study and solutions guide, or the complete solutions guide. Getting the answer is not the most important goal. It is just as important to show the work properly and understand the general idea (ie concept) involved. You see, every topic in these math courses have more difficult forms, and it is increased organizational and conceptual understanding that allows one to tackle the most difficult problems.

At the pace described above, each section will require two days of work (or more). Allow for flexibility in that schedule. Some sections are more difficult than others for all students, and most students will require a bit more time to understand the more diifficult sections.

For All Programs:
1. Please read the attached Homework Reference Guide before beginning (except for SAT* Math Review).
2. Work every problem associated with the mid-chapter, end-of- chapter, and cumulative quizzes and tests. Every chapter will have a quiz, test, or review exercise built into the textbook (except for SAT Math Review ).
3. Parents should view themselves as "supervisors of the learning process". Our objective is not to teach the parent(s) to be teachers, but to connect the teaching style of our instructor Dana Mosely (Uncle Buck) with the learning style of your student, and to support that directly through "Technical Support".


Homework Reference Guide

Background for All Programs.
Authors and publishers of broadly distributed textbooks try to include an extensive variety of problems at the end of each section of their textbooks. The author is trying to meet the needs of a wide variety of teachers who in turn have a wide variety of ability levels and learning styles in their classrooms. Teachers like to have a variety of problems so that they may choose the specific problems that are appropriate for the students in their class. Very few, if any, teachers will assign all of the problems listed at the end of a section.

In addition, some classroom teachers have come to expect publishers to provide them with test questions. As a result, publishers sometimes deliberately provide about twice as many problems as needed so that teachers may assign the odd-numbered problems and still have plenty of problems from which to select as test questions. That is why some of our solutions guides are entitled "Student Solutions Guides" and contain the solutions to only the odd-numbered problems for each section.

Also, there is an emphasis today for authors to include "real-life" problems so that students may see a real-life connection with the topic being studied. The value of a real-life connection is to answer familiar questions like "Why do I need to know this?" and "When will I ever use that?"

All of the factors above impact homework assignment decisions for homeschool students. This homework reference guide is provided to assist with those decisions. It can be thought of as a supplement to the "How to Use Videotapes to Study Math" article previously published. Please understand that these are only suggestions, and that the final decision should be based on the individual needs and abilities of the student.

At all levels, students should use lined paper [unless using a workbook] and a pencil. If you student writes crooked try writing on graph paper with blocks [and put each number in a separate block]. Except for word problems, each textbook problem being worked should be recopied on the homework paper. The student should be demonstrating how to get a solution as though explaining it to someone else, rather than just working toward a quick answer. If a math session must go beyond 1 hour, give the student a break, preferably including exercise.

The primary objective in having students do homework is to transfer the knowledge of some skill from short term memory to long term memory. The transfer is accomplished through repetition. Secondary objectives include improvement of penmanship and improvement of organizational technique.

Note: DVD Player ...How do I get my Panasonic to work? Turn the power on. Open the DVD door, and insert a disc face up with silver side down, and close the door. The DVD will load (long pause), then lead-in music will play. When the music stops playing, press the "Play" button on the remote control (or with your mouse). Sometimes you may have to press "Play" two times. "Pause" as needed to work sample problems. You will need to be aware of the number of your Disc, Chapter, and Section to choose where to begin. If you experience difficulty please use a DVD cleaner disc and try again. If necessary call 800-588-7564. If you use a desk top open the DVD player and press play.

Basic Math. New program since October 2002.
[This program has a hardbound textbook, complete solutions guide, and 6 VHS tapes (or 2 DVDs).]

Age level and individual abilities are more diverse for Basic Math than for any other Chalk Dust program. As a result, it is impossible to suggest a single guide for homework policy. However, here are two situational scenarios that should help with the homework decision.

Situation 1. The student is having great difficulty. Math is not a favorite subject. Self-confidence is low. There may be a mild learning disability involved.
Suggestion: For students in this profile math achievement is as dependant on the student's emotional condition as it is on ability. Assure the student that the situation is not unusual and that your love for him/her is not based on math accomplishments. [I know this may sound ridiculous, but that is the kind of thought process that some children have, and it can send them into a tail spin of math anxiety and general stress.]

A most important first step is for the student to experience success, and you may have to slow the pace to a crawl in order to achieve that. Repetitions and positive re-inforcement are important. But take heart, once students gain a measure of confidence they often catch up and even forge ahead of the prescribed schedule.

These students sometimes need extra help with reading. Problems at the end of each section usually begin with instructions regarding what the student is being asked to do. Please insure that your student can read and understand what he/she is being asked (it may regard a math problem, or a word problem). Most word problems are really reading comprehension problems.

Have the student work at most 5 probems at a time. In addition to right answers, look for opportunities to (gently) suggest penmanship and organizational improvement. Let the video program examples be the guide to penmanship and organization. Generally, students need to write larger, use block print, and show the result of just one operation in each step. One effective technique to improve penmanship is to have the student work on graph paper with big squares, carefully putting a single digit in each square.

Be flexible in the assignment of problem sets marked Application Problems and Applying the Concepts. Those problems are the most intimidating for the student, often due to difficulties in reading comprehension. Either choose those problems one at a time or have the student choose which one of 5 to work. Check those problems one at a time. The notion of "more is better" is true up to the point of tedium and frustration. It is okay to do just one (or two) of those; you can always come back and work more problems as ability and attention span increase. Encourage the student to utilize "technical support" as needed.

Situation 2. The student is pretty good in arithmetic. The student likes math (okay, not as much as roller blading); but makes careless mistakes and often skips steps. You may hear something like, "But I got the right aaaaanswer; why do I need to show any more work?"

Suggestion: Explain (often) that good organizational skill (rather than more math knowledge) is the student's strongest asset in dealing with more difficult problems - at all levels. The student will want to wait until the difficult problems are encountered to implement organizational skills. But it doesn't work that way. Unfortunately, we are creatures of habit; we do what we have done; habits change with conscious thought and extensive practice and the time for that is now when the problems are easy.

Assign about 30 problems spread throughout each section. It's okay to limit the Application Problems to about 3 per section. Omit the Applying the Concepts problems altogether. Those problems consume a great deal of time and provide only marginal additional understanding. In fact, for some students they tend to erode confidence and contribute to frustrations.

Be sensitive to penmanship and organization. Let examples on the video program be a guide in those areas.


Technical Support for any Chalk Dust Company program.

In general, technical support is available to the family who originally purchased a product from Chalk Dust Company, or an authorized reseller.

Used Programs: People who buy programs from other homeschoolers may purchase a "technical support contract" at $50 per student per year by calling 800-588-7654; BUT technical support is not free to people who purchase a used program.

Program Sharing. Technical support is only available to one person if more than one person purchases a complete program.

Please contact Dana Mosely (Uncle Buck) for technical support.

Website: When the home page appears click on "Technical Support" in the left margin and follow the instructions. Dana will usually respond within 24-hours.

Email: If you do not have access to chalkdust.com you can use Email "dana@chalkdust.com" or Phone: 407-851-0444, 9am - 5pm: Include your name, phone, program title, chapter, section, problem number(s), original invoice number, and your state. Dana will respond by email; if you request a call-back specify the best time to call.

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