Math teacher creates videos to help students

Emma Banks, Pitchfork

Math teacher Sam Holthe utilizes his website by posting videos for the students to learn how to do their math assignments if they missed the lesson. His website can be accessed by going to, then finding him in the faculty directory and clicking onward to his website.

Cool beans. Ya ya? Factor!!

These are some of the phrases you might hear on a daily basis in any one of math teacher Sam Holthe’s classes. Not only are these phrases mostly unique to him at school but so is his teaching strategy. Holthe is the only teacher in the school to put tutorial videos on his school website as well as accept homework through it.

Holthe began teaching at the school in 2005 and currently teaches Algebra 2, Pre-AP Algebra 2 and Trigonometry. Holthe began making videos on DVD to help students prepare for the end of instruction tests five years ago.

“It all stemmed from the fact that I wanted to get these videos out to the students so that they can have help at home,” Holthe said.

Those DVDs turned to online videos last spring, when the teachers were told about websites that were set up for them to use. The websites are run through a company called Gabbart Communications, a website and communication management program that provides schools and teachers with the means to make their own websites. Although every teacher has the option to use Gabbart to create one, and several have websites, Holthe is the only teacher to use his to put videos of lessons on his website.

Students can get help by going to his website and continuing to learn the lessons by watching these videos. He began to make videos to help those students who didn’t have anyone to help them outside of school.

“A big issue was that a lot of people didn’t have help once they got home,” he said.

Junior Sydney Kidd is in Holthe’s Pre-AP Algebra 2 class. She thinks that his website is a positive part of Holthe’s class. Kidd appreciates the option to use his website if she ever needs help.

“It’s a good tool to help people that need help in math,” Kidd said.

His website can be found by going to the faculty directory and clicking on the link to Holthe’s website. On it, one can find not only math and EOI tutorial videos, but his daily class schedule, his classes’ syllabi and an online homework submission form, among other things.

The online homework submission form is a way for students to turn in work to Holthe outside of school, even if they are out of the state.

Sophomore Mady Wilson was out of town, and on her phone she turned in her homework online through the homework submission form.

“On my phone I just went to his website, took a picture and filled out the info,” Wilson said.

So far, there are more than 2,765 hits on Holthe’s website. Some hits are even from other schools around the state. Holthe hopes that when students go online to watch his videos, their parents will watch them as well, which will help the students even more when their parents are there to assist them.

Holthe also has tutorial videos for other teachers about how to set up their own website.

Whether a student is listening to Holthe talk math in class or on his or her device, Holthe’s students always have the opportunity to learn.