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East Portland Journal - Jan. 12

Savvy teacher's gift makes math a snap
by: David Ashton, Math teacher Bradley Heintz shows an example of just one of the free high school

Do you know of a high school student who is struggling with a math courses?

Bradley Heintz, an East Portland high school math teacher and resident, says he's dedicated to stripping away the mysteries of math for all students in the greater-Portland area.

'There's no reason that students, who are taking classes ranging from pre-algebra through pre-calculus, shouldn't have a 'road map' to guide them through their courses,' Heintz says in his home office.

Heintz, who's been teaching math for 17 years, calls his math road maps 'note cards.'

'Each subject's note card lays out the basic concepts for a course, all on two sides of a notebook-paper-sized sheet,' he says. 'There's no reason why each student can't have a summary of math class. Why make it a secret?'

Gives away 'math secrets' cards

And here's the best part: Heintz is giving away his math note cards for free - no strings attached. Anyone can print them from his Web site.

When asked why he's giving away such a valuable resource, Heintz says, 'I created them to make my life easier as a math teacher. There's no reason not to share this information.'

Free online math help

In addition to the note cards, Heintz lets anyone access math lessons on his Web site.

'Most of the time, kids don't know what they don't know. If they have a problem with 'systems of equations' they don't know where to look,' Heintz says. 'On this site, you run your mouse over a list of concepts and an example of it pops up.'

Once again, Heintz stresses that this information is free - there isn't a catch. There are no ads, pop-ups or hype on his site. There is a link to his other site, which promotes his Savvy Minds summer 'math prep' courses offered in the Portland area.

Developed for tutoring

'Much of this information came from doing math tutoring earlier in my career, and from the summer math prep programs I've developed to prepare students to do better in their next year's courses,' Heintz says. 'I found that many students were actually afraid of math courses. Inadvertently, many students' math teachers make the subjects unnecessarily difficult by teaching only one concept at a time, without giving kids a 'roadmap' that connects the concepts.'

Maybe a lot of people could have used that when they were in school.

'That's what I hear from many adults,' Heintz says. 'Hardly anyone gets it right the first time through.'