Mathline offers free homework help for East Tenn. students

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. Everyday we all use math in some way. Maybe it's balancing a check book or measuring ingredients for a new new recipe. 

Mathline show on East Tennessee PBS

Sometimes there is a problem that just makes us scratch our heads. It can happen to kids with their math homework, too. 

There's a free tool to help students get help when they need it with a simple phone call. 

Every week night at 6:00 p.m. on East Tennessee PBS you'll find the Mathline live on the air. 

Long time Knox County math teacher Ernie Roberts hosts the show, and answers math questions live. He can tackle just about any problem.

"We have calls come in everything basically some adding and subtracting, all the way up through calculus," Roberts said.

When a student calls, they work through the problem giving them trouble together. Roberts guides the student along looking for the solution. 

"I always ask does this make sense along the way, is this working for you, that kind of questioning because I like them to keep interacting with me," Roberts said. "I'll ask them sometimes to do this operation for me, so they are part of the solution so I'm not just preaching at them."

Knox County Schools Mathmatics supervisor Gary Petko said the show can help both students and parents at a time many are already doing homework. Other resources might not be as easy as picking up the phone. 

"Here it's free," Petko said. "You've got credible teachers helping out, teachers that are from this area, that know the curriculum, and know what its like to learn math in East Tennessee."

For Roberts, answering calls gives him the same feeling he got when he was still in the classroom

"When I see somebody see the light, and understand that's the joy of teaching," Roberts said. "It's the same thing here, it's a little different I don't see their face, but I hear it in their voice."

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