Many people that excel in math and science do not do as well in writing and vice versa. My experience is that following a specific formula, typical to mathematical formulas and equations, can assist students in creating a great essay for standardized testing purposes. Just as a chef would utilize a specific recipe for a delectable dessert, writers must have a writing recipe, or formula, to create a satisfying essay. In the classroom setting, I begin my lesson by showing my students an actual recipe that I use, including measurements and directions. Next, I show them the writing recipe/formula. It looks as follows: Essay Writing Recipe 1 catchy starter sentence to get your audience’s attention 1 excellent thesis statement identifying specific supporting details 3 strong body paragraphs with elaborate information regarding thesis (above) 1 summarizing conclusion paragraph outlining supporting details 1 re-statement of thesis *season with transitional... read more
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It's ChristmasTime! Can you believe another year will soon be over? As we reflect on this years events and look forward to a bright new year, keep your childs' education in mind. There are so many opportunities we all need to take advantage of. There are so many educational games, cards, books, and even dvd's that would make great stocking stuffers, events to broaden your childs' mind and time spent just talking. And of course, your weekly tutoring sessions! During this free time between the holidays, I will be available and ready to work around your busy Christmas and New Years schedules. They have been working hard, but the long haul will be coming in January. Let's not slack now. Keep them sharp and ready for new challenges. Call, text, email, we can schedule a time that is convenient for you. As always, I am looking forward to working with you and your child in the coming New Year. Happy Holidays to everyone!
To those of you looking for a tutor that has a range of possibilities, I dedicate this blog to you. Being a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, I know what it takes to use study skills to focus and remain organized in order to maintain a clean academic record. Graduating in only three years, I have had the opportunity to manage a schedule of work and school and internships, while studying and applying to law schools. Organization is one of my many skills that translates into my tutoring ability. I am currently a tutor. My focus has been editing, proofreading and college applications. However, I am a former kindergarten instructor. That opportunity fine tuned my patience, my understand that each student is an individual learner, and taught me how to approach difficult situations with younger children. I look forward to opportunities to come from this site, and look forward to your commentary. Many thanks, Davina
For reading read line by line to discover the same thought throughout the reading and for writing to discover topics through mapping and free writing.
I taught my middle school students about memory at the beginning of each school year. I quizzed them about their memories over the next three to four weeks, then reduced the reviews to once every other week. My students commented, “Why do you keep quizzing us about memory? We already know this stuff.” My response was, “Exactly! That’s why I keep quizzing you.” Students of all ages use different learning techniques that teachers and parents have taught them. Each technique is based on memory related research. This article will help parents, teachers, tutors, and all students understand the four stages of memory and how to use this knowledge to improve the quality and quantity of learning. Four Stages of Memory Human memory is a four - stage process: input, encoding, rehearsal, and retrieval. A problem at any stage affects memory and learning. When I teach these stages to my students, I use a filing cabinet analogy. Here’s how the analogy goes: Think of your brain... read more
I remember a public service announcement about reading from my childhood. I don’t remember the images, but the message said, “Reading is fundamental.” Growing up in a book – filled home with a family of readers and frequent library trips, I naively thought everyone knew this. I was saddened to learn that not everyone loved to escape into fictional worlds of words as much as we did. This article gives parents five tips for helping their kids learn to enjoy reading and become lifelong readers. 1. Let kids make their own reading choices. Young children enjoy the bonding experience that comes from hearing their parents read stories aloud. Just about anything will do – as long as it’s read somewhat dramatically. They will sit and listen intently. However, pre – teens and teenagers want independence. Parents can use this to their advantage to help get their older children to enjoy reading. This does not mean parents should let their children read inappropriate material. Provide... read more
Q. Where will we meet for tutoring? A. We will try to find a suitable place that is convenient for both of us. Though I do travel to meet you, time and distance are important factors in making this work feasible and profitable for me, so I try to find locations that minimize my travel time, while also providing convenience to you. Q. How will we decide on a time to meet? A. We will try to find a suitable time that is convenient for both of us. Q. When are you available to tutor? A. It varies from week to week, but my general availability begins at 10:00 a.m., Monday through Saturday, and ends at 9:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and at 3:00 pm Saturday. Please contact me for my current availability. Q. How long will each session be? A. The session length can vary, depending on the subject, the student, and the schedule. Unless otherwise agreed, the session times will be two (2) hours each. Q. Why do you recommend two (2) hours per session? A.... read more
Once you decide that you or your child needs tutoring, how much tutoring time do you really need? There are so many things occupying your time that you want to pinpoint exactly how many hours a week you need. You may not know how to judge you/ your child’s needs. This article gives you four tips to help you decide how much tutoring you need. 1. Grades and test scores. K – 12 students take standardized tests – sometimes more than one each year – that can tell you about how well your child is doing in school. Collect any score reports you have and review the remarks and the charts. This is especially helpful if you have more than one year’s worth. Compare the charts from several years’ worth of score reports. Is your child improving, or are scores going down each year? Are they staying the same? Declining scores indicates students are not keeping up with classmates academically. While their scores might be consistent, students should be earning higher scores to be performing... read more
I would strongly suggest that the tutee read aloud to a parent or to himself for at least l5 minutes, five days per week.
· Pre-Reading Strategies: -Question yourself: § What is the topic? § What do you already know? § What has already happened? § What do you think will happen? -Read headings: § What do you already know about the headings? § Turn headings into questions to be answered. · What is...? · Who is...? · What happened in...? · Why is...important? - Look at pictures: § What do you think the pictures show/tell? § Read captions. - Read special print: § Sentences within reading section bolded or in italics. § Read anything in the margins. - Look up unknown vocabulary. · Reading Strategies: - Visualize: § What do you see when you read? §... read more
My first tutor session was 3 years ago. I will never forget that week. :) I was contacted by a German family looking for a unique service. A vacation tutor. Basically they were looking for a tutor to host them for their stay while checking their english lessons and helping them continue their personal pursuits of psychology and sociology with a broader experience of the world. They were hoping to send their children to America for college but when they were 13 and 14, they wanted to give them a glimpse first so that they could make their own choices. :) I picked them up from the airport and they were exhausted so I was nice enough to give them the rest of the evening off before making them see what the state had to offer haha. The rest of the week we visited many places that put their studies further into light or more into question. I have always liked to make learning fun and the real world is the perfect place to bring textbook knowledge into fruition. They learned... read more
As you know, all teachers (and tutors!) were once students. So they know all the pitfalls that can cause a student to not get their homework done. The reason can be social - maybe the student wants to get his or her work done but the distraction of all the social media is too much to resist. The reason can also be academic - maybe the subject is difficult, such as challenging concepts or perhaps they're faced with an assignment that didn't get explained well enough to be done independently. Or sometimes it's the dreaded PROCRASTINATION. That can be the worst of all reasons to not get work done because the longer you procrastinate, the more the work piles up and then the student becomes "paralyzed", overwhelmed by the mountain of work that has accumulated. When procrastination has gotten the better of you, the important thing is to not let yourself be so overwhelmed that you don't do the work at all. Here's what you do: PRIORITIZE AND GET STARTED! It is a simple phrase with... read more
Welcome to Looking Good on Paper, a series of blogs on how to use writing, grammar, and vocabulary skills to give yourself a leg up in the professional and academic worlds. In this installment of Looking Good on Paper, we'll be examining the importance of that first e-mail, letter, or telephone call. In this highly competitive age, making a good first impression on college admissions officers, potential employers, and others can mean the difference between success and failure. What's more, with the increasing importance of e-mail and cell phone communication, you don't always get the chance to create first impressions in person like your parents and grandparents might have done. This means that how you present yourself verbally - that is, with how you speak and write - plays a huge role in determining what others think of you and, consequently, whether you will succeed. Employing a varied vocabulary that is appropriate for your age and situation is one of the best... read more
I never thought I would enjoy and learn so much from teaching and tutoring my students. I have had the blessings to tutor/teach students as young as 6 years old, with their driven parents wanting me to teach their child/children Spanish,English, Romanian, Beg. French, Reading, Writing and Phonetics. It never failed to amaze me the memory capacity, endurance and confidence a child can gain from simple encouraging words, your faith in their abilities and your unwavering patience. Having students of all ages, cultural backgrounds and learning levels gave me the opportunity to learn lots of ways to adapt, challenge, engage, understand and enhance the lessons to better suit and challenge the students comprehension and progress. I look forward to each and every session for it gives me great pride to see the hard work, troubleshooting and progress toward their educational, social, linguistic and emotional development. When one is confident in their capabilities there is no limit... read more
As a lifelong trainer of professional adults, it came as quite a shock to be thrown into the arena of teaching English to young children. I thought I would hate it! But to my surprise, I have found the children a joy. Currently I have one five year old from Russia and a brother/sister ages five and seven from Argentina. They are all a delight. There are times when I am reminded about how much we take for granted as native English speakers. One day, I was explaining to my seven year old student from Argentina about the circus. She lined up all her stuffed animals for and "audience" and then proceeded to pretend to be the Ringmaster. She started out, "Gentleman and Ladies" ... I broke in and said, "No, No. It's Ladies and Gentleman." With a totally seriously look on her face she said, "Why?" I had not really thought about it before... other than the fact that in polite society, ladies are first! The English lessons I use are very basic. So I have incorporated a "show... read more
I am fully aware that English is one of those subjects students tend to either love or hate. Personally, I'm a lover of all things English; literature, grammar, language arts and so on. I attained my Bachelor's degree in English with a double major in History, another of my loves. Though I am not a teacher by trade, I've discovered through the years that I'm a darn good one. I can help any type of student; children, adults, lovers and haters of English and grammar. I am very well-read and possess a strong understanding of grammar; thus, I am able to connect with students of all ages and skill sets. Whether you need help with English literature classes, grammar or learning English as a second language, I will be able to not only connect with you, but also guide you through your learning journey.
A student, young or older, must have organization skills in order to stay on track. Color coding notebooks or dividers can help with organization. Every week or so a student needs or reorganize his/her information. Secondly, use review sheets from teachers to study what he/she wants you to know. Look in your text, if you have one, or go to the teacher's web site and get the information off of the web. Write, rewrite, and have a member of your family or a friend to verbally ask you questions and see if you know the materials. The questions you did not remember lets him/her to review the material some more. Thirdly, always use other reference material, extra credit worksheets, ask for help if you do not understand. It is very hard to pass a quiz or test if a student does not understand the material. If a student is not close with a teacher, he/her might want to ask another teacher for help. A student must dedicate the time to study in hopefully in a quiet place.
I notice that a lot of people have a difficult time using "it's and its" appropriately. This is sort of understandable. But only because we are so used to slapping an 's on the end of most words to make it possessive and calling it a day. But, as always with English, there are exception. And "it" is one of them. When we want to make a conjunction of it is/has we add an 's: "It's a beautiful day out!" And when we want to make it possessive we just add an s: "The dog is protective of its owner." One of the easiest ways to remember this is take a second , look at your sentence, and think about the fact that you want to do the opposite of the norm. When in doubt, just use it is/has. It looks and sounds more professional in any case. Eventually you'll get used to doing the opposite of what you expect and it will become second nature. And you'll be on your way to having a better understanding of the English language!
The very first blog post here. I'm so excited to get to know all of you! If you don't know what TEFL stands for, it is Teaching English as a Foreign Language. I can help with that! It is highly important to me to meet the criteria of your needs and evolve lesson plans accordingly, as well as help you advance in self-confidence, motivation, and group presentation. I, myself, would use an Eclectic Approach which uses a variety of different methods of teaching. This is just the beginning. I hope you come back for more! Sincerely, Nicole
The Orton-Gillingham methodology is a method of reading instruction that focuses on multi-sensory learning. The basic idea is that some students, particularly students with learning issues like dyslexia, benefit from using their senses to activate and retrain parts of the brain that are used in reading. As a result, Orton-Gillingham based instruction features a lot of interesting hands-on activities. From my own experience as a teacher and tutor, Orton-Gillingham methodologies work very well when they are used as intended and when instruction is not rushed. Reading issues often develop over years and sometimes take years to successfully address. Students must be receive systematic instruction in phonics where they do not move onto the next step until they demonstrate mastery of the current step. Some students move through the levels in days while others can take months. Some tutors will be less than forthcoming about how long reading instruction can take, but I prefer... read more