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There are two keys to good writing. First, you must know the 8 parts of speech. Second, you must know the 4 kinds of sentence structures possible. 8 parts of speech: 1) noun-- Names a person, place, thing, or idea. (ie: Jack, car, Michigan, bird) 2) Pronoun--replaces or refers to a noun (subject pronouns: he/ she/ it/ we/ you/ they) 3) Verb--shows action or state of being (ie: action--run, walk; am/is/are/was/were/be/being/been) 4) Adverb--Describes or modifies a verb, adjective, or another adverb (ie: brightly, very, quickly, yesterday) 5) Preposition--shows the relationship between two things (ie: in, at, on, over, around, above) 6) Adjective--Modifies a noun (red bird). 7) Conjunction--Connects words, phrases or clauses. (Coordinating Conjunctions: and, but, or, for, yet, so, nor) 8) Interjection--interrupt (ie: wow, upps) 4 kinds of sentences 1. Simple I eat pizza. = I.C. S + V + O 2. Compound I eat pizza, and... read more

The 2013 AP Exams will be administered over two weeks in May: May 6 through 10 and May 13 through 17. Click on the following link for more precise dates: http://professionals.collegeboard.com/testing/ap/about/dates For those taking the AP European History, AP US History, AP World History and AP English Language and Composition, the dreaded DBQ section is upon you! Are you ready? Rather than demonstrating extensive knowledge, a confident time management strategy is key to succeeding on this particular part of the test. Because there is so much to do in so little time, students without one may find frayed nerves and draw blanks in the examination room. Receiving a packet containing three-to-sixteen original document sources and an unfamiliar essay prompt question that requires those sources to be organized in response around a sound thesis is enough to make any high-school kid break into a cold sweat. But you don't have to worry, here are some quick tips for developing... read more

What is a Thesis Statement? Almost all of us—even if we don’t do it consciously—look early in an essay for a one- or two-sentence summary of the topic, argument, or analysis that is to follow. We refer to that brief summary as a thesis statement. Why Should Your Essay Contain a Thesis Statement? · to test your ideas by distilling them into a sentence or two · to better organize and develop your writing · to provide your reader with a “guide” to your paper or story How to Generate a Thesis Statement? Almost all assignments, no matter how complicated, can be reduced to a single question. Your first step, then, is to distill the assignment into a specific question. For example, if your assignment is, “write about whether or not you think living forever is a blessing or a curse.” Turn it into a question... Q: “Is living forever a blessing or a curse?” Then answer the question... A: In my opinion, living forever is a curse and in this essay I will... read more

Do the terms "preposition," "verb," "article," and "modal verb" sometimes stump you? Typically, students are taught the word "preposition" in 1st grade. I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that if I had seen that long word at the top of a worksheet in 1st grade, I would have skipped right over it, coding "preposition" as a long word that simply did not fit in my schema of the world. Fast forward to middle, high school, and college, and I see that many native speakers often find one or more grammatical device or structure challenging. Grammar lessons learned in elementary school can easily slip from one's mind, leaving students to struggle when applying their skills to essay writing, earning them phrases such as "wrong modifier!" "run-on!" and "awkward!" splattered in red ink all over their graded assignments.   It is one thing to not remember rules of grammar... read more

The amount of pressure being placed upon students in the 21st century is increasing everyday. Pressures can include students who struggle with a learning disabilities, pressure to get into a good college, even poor teaching professionals who have lost their desire to teach our youth, which can lead to struggling in multiple academic subject areas. Put yourself into the shoes of a primary school student in the 21st century. Hormones are taking over and a plethora of emotions are showing their ugly faces. And your child probably has a glazed look every time you are trying to provide some guidance. As a parent, you must be pulling your hair out...right? This is the beautiful thing about having a tutor come to you! In a comfortable environment, and an outside perspective will open the door to a whole new world. I promise you will see the benefit sooner than you may think. So who is the right tutor for you? There are many tutors that offer their services in similar subjects... read more

I love sandwiches. In fact, to say I love sandwiches would be an understatement. Sandwiches are a staple for me. I occasionally like to buy them from a deli or bakery, as it’s important to me to experience the work of a fellow sandwich connoisseur; however, I do spend a great deal of time making them in my own kitchen. I like to use a variety of breads – dark Jewish rye, croissant, focaccia, rosemary olive oil. The choices are endless, but once I’m finally able to decide on what type of crust I’d like, I’m usually much faster at choosing the meat and cheese. I like to keep it simple. Honey ham, bacon, grilled chicken, or herb turkey. If I’m feeling fancy, I’ll pull the Havarti cheese out of the refrigerator. If I’m feeling ordinary, I’ll choose pepper jack. Sometimes I’ll add banana peppers or jalapeños if I’m feeling especially risqué. And then there’s the ultimate question: romaine lettuce or spinach? Both are healthy for you, but you usually don’t get the crisp texture... read more

Close your eyes. Now let yourself dream, but do that whole conscious dreaming thing that the psychedelics talked about where you put yourself into an Inception like world that you have created for your own nocturnal pleasure. Put yourself into the job that you love to do, that you have decided you may be meant to do for the rest of your life. Feels good, right? Wait. Now practice speaking to the people around you. As much as you explain to these people, they still look at you like you are from another planet, and even though this is the dream that you have chosen for yourself, you can’t make them understand everything you are saying. If you had to guess you would say that maybe they gathered half of the words coming out of your mouth, something in this world not so dream-like. Now open your eyes. Do you see what you have been dreaming of? No, of course not. But I do. I stand in front of them, their frozen expressions immediately melted as I exude the warmth and excitement... read more

Recently I had the opportunity to meet with a parent/business owner who hires/places tutors for high end families in my area. It was a wonderful opportunity as once again I heard the mantra, "Parents just want the grades to go up." I asked what this meant, how I could measure it (quantitatively and anecdotally) and if this was indeed proof of my skills as a tutor or a momentary 'save' on a reversal of fortune. This parent does not use Wyzant. I was hard pressed to accept from this parent the reason I wasn't being contacted by high end parents for tutoring was my lack of guaranteeing grades would go up, a promise I can not make in good faith as there are too many factors involved. Honesty and integrity should be important, not my sales ability. In my years as a teacher and tutor, I have found once I have parents on board, the rest is EASY. Parents are the elephant in the room and I can run myself ragged (knowing full well very little if anything changes without parental... read more

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful... read more

How many of you, and be honest, still have trouble deciding which is correct there, their, or they’re? I know from experience that many students, even adult ones, still struggle with this. Well, let me see if I can clarify the situation just a bit. There: This is used to indicate a place or a location, where something goes or belongs. Examples: The store down the street sold candy for a penny. Stan went there to buy some candy. Mary dropped her books on the table and mother told her not to put them there. Their: This is a possessive. To be exact, the possessive form of they. It shows ownership or belonging. Example: Mark and Marion are going with mom and dad to the airport. Their grandmother is coming to town. They’re: This is a contraction for they are. The apostrophe shows where the letter “a” has been left out. Example: The boys are straining to see out of the window, because they’re very excited to see the beach. So, you say... read more

When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too. I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER make the child feel "stupid," no matter what.) It is most important to have a safe and quiet place for studying, without distractions. I like to find a quiet table at a library, and work with students there. I welcome suggestions from parents, and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching skills.

So, you have this big test coming up, it could be the ACT, SAT, MAP, End of Course Exams, or just a final and you are getting a little freaked out. Well, don't be. Here are some tips and tricks to taking a multiple choice test that work for any subject. Just realize that these tips and trick are not hard and fast rules, but just tips and tricks. Multiple Choice Test Taking Tips: - Read the question before you look at the answer. - Come up with the answer in your head before looking at the possible answers, this way the choices given on the test won't throw you off or trick you. - Eliminate answers you know aren't right. - Read all the choices before choosing your answer. - If there is no guessing penalty, always take an educated guess and select an answer. - Don't keep on changing your answer; usually your first choice is the right one, unless you misread the question. - In "All of the above" and "None of the above" choices, if... read more

In my experience working with learners from various education levels and backgrounds, I understand the feelings of frustrations and concerns that many have when struggling with a subject or studying for a test but not receiving the results you would like or expect. It creates a feeling of helplessness or the sense that you can't overcome or you'll never get it. That's not true. With the right study skills, you can improve your confidence, preparedness, and ability in any area. The keys to learner's success include having clear goals about what you want to achieve, learning effective study tips and strategies, pacing yourself, organizational skills, time management, academic planning and preparation, step-by-step instruction, committment (good work ethic), practice, and building confidence in your ability to improve and achieve your goals. It's said, if you want to succeed, try and try again. That's the only way to do it. If you have questions about assignments or... read more

In teaching children in this our millennial age, I have observed that a great number of students find it painstaking to sit down and write a proper essay or poem. While the computer can help to expedite the process of publishing the work, the quality is not of a high stand ard. I wish to emphasize the need for more creative writers of today. Most students are unable to keep pace with classroom teaching of reading and writing skills, especially when the school system is geared towards curriculum completion and preparations for state tests. The need for a good tutor is therefore essential. A student may fail in math or science. This only means that he is deficient in those areas. But if he fails in the English Language, he is fundamentally uneducated. Language defines our personality, who we are , and it is a gateway to learning the other subjects. Without analytic and critical thing skills, we are unable to make proper choices and judgements, and establish personal or national... read more

When I began applying to graduate schools three years ago as part of my plan to make a major shift from corporate America into the world of education I quickly realized that developing and articulating a “teaching statement” or a “teaching philosophy” was going to be an integral part of the academic application process. According to the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning (Writing Teaching Statements and Philosophies, 2011), a teaching statement serves as a summary of the methods and approaches that an educator plans to take in helping students achieve their academic goals. There are scores of websites and articles on the subject of writing effective teaching statements. Many of these sources also provided examples of so-called “model” teaching statements. While all were undoubtedly carefully considered and masterfully crafted, there was one aspect of all the examples I read that struck me as odd: almost without exception, the teaching statements focused on the teacher’s... read more

When working with a students’ reading levels and progress towards their comprehension, I am learning that you can’t do the same type of activities over and over again with them. They get bored and even though they may be struggling, they still want a challenge. You need to have them involved in engaging activities all the time. One of the second graders I work with on reading doesn’t mind reading different books as the main activity of her tutoring sessions – in fact, I think her parents prefer it. Well, that’s just not good enough; she needs more of a challenge with her reading so that she can grow and develop with her class. After each reading, or sometimes even after a chapter, we go through the events of what happened, then discuss the setting, the characters, the conflict, and so on. We now incorporate a vocabulary lesson. I pull out vocabulary words that she struggled with and clearly didn’t know as we were reading and make a list. She then defines the word and uses... read more

Hello everyone! Or should I say kazoozampola! That is Dzongkha (the national language of Bhutan) for HELLO! After a few months away in the Land of the Thunder Dragon, the Kingdom of Bhutan, teaching at the Royal University of Bhutan, I am back and ready to see you. I am ready to apply some of the insights into teaching that I gained on this last adventure. Every year or so I try to freshen my approach to teaching. Subjects don't change that much. Let's face it - spelling stays pretty much the same, as does the pronunciation of words, and the structure of a sentence. But HOW to teach these topics -whether to a high school student struggling with essay writing or a business executive getting prepared for a presentation, or a non-native speaker hoping to improve his job prospects - refreshing teaching methods keeps me fresh, and keeps you interested (and helps towards better results). A few years ago I took some ASL (American Sign Language) courses to help inform my... read more

Give positive feedback, use encouraging vocabulary Find success, and reinforce effort, in even minor accomplishment ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A tutor provides expertise, experience, and encouragement. They do not provide "answers," but rather assist in problem solving, in getting answers. The challenge is to focus on assignments within the context they are assigned. Tutors should not be expected to diagnose learning disabilities. Diagnosis should take place outside of the tutoring process by a professional academic counselor. If a larger problem becomes apparent, referral is the best strategy. Tutoring strategies: Seek out training to be a more effective tutor: This includes subject matter as well as the tutoring procedures Clearly establish expectations for your learner What are the expectations of the learner? of the teacher? and of those close to the learner (classmates,... read more

Salvete Omnes! (Greetings all!) This post is to inform all potential students that I am currently about 35 weeks pregnant and will not be accepting new students until April 1st. Current students should be advised that my schedule may become severely limited in the next two months. During this time, I may be available for short sessions or for one-time-only students. I will not be able to make any long-term commitments until April 1st.

According to Grigg, Daane, Jin, and Campbell (2003), more than 8 million middle and high school students are struggling readers, and among those, many are at a high risk of dropping out of school. A longitudinal study conducted by the U.S. Department of Education National Center for Education Statistics (2009) revealed schools with a higher percentage of minority students had a higher dropout rate, which increased as the school poverty level increased. Hispanic students and Black students had the highest dropout rates (11% and 10%, respectively) of all racial groups. According to a local public high school’s AYP report (Florida Department of Education, 2010b), 320 of 743 Hispanic students were on track to graduate. The 2010 AYP results revealed that 38 of 107 Black students were on track for graduation. In accordance with the Florida Legislature (2010), students aged 3-21 who have a disability and gifted students in grades K-12 are eligible for exceptional student services... read more

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