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When working with children (especially 7 and below) it can be vital to their memory retention to take a break every thirty minutes. I have had great success with my younger students who become stir crazy after half an hour of reading by leaving the study are and going outside or in a space where we wont bother others and doing some physical activities. Since time is a concern it is important to only do this for ten minutes or so. Sometimes we run and play tag, or we will do some jumping jacks, or just do some silly dancing. When the student returns they are feeling a little more refreshed, lighthearted, and ready to continue. That being said, it is very important to make it clear that the activity is is only supposed to be for a few minutes then it's right back to studying. I hope this helps! Miss Jessica

This Spring and Summer, why not invest in yourself or your child? Effective written communication is key to success in the competitive academic and career markets. Get help with Getting Started with Writing, Discovering Writing Topics, Finding Focus Responding to Writing Assignments Reading for Comprehension and Understanding - Retaining Key Concepts, Theme, and more ... and, of course, that always challenging concept of Grammar. I teach Grammar as Tools ... not Rules. Looking forward to hearing from you and hearing about your tutoring needs. See my profile for more information and my Subject Qualifications. - Tim published writer & poet, teacher, tutor

I love to read. Reading takes you on all sorts of adventures and teaches you about the world around you. I could spend hours curled up with a good book. But lately I have started to think about WHY I read. Simply put, I read because it expands my knowledge, horizons, and especially my vocabulary. Ben Johnson, a British philosopher (among other things), once said, "Language most shows a man. Speak, that I may see thee." This is a succinct summation of how I feel on the subject: the words you choose, the speech patterns you employ, say more about your education* and thirst for knowledge than anything else you do. Therefore, I read to enhance my vocabulary. My vocabulary expands my speech. And hopefully someday my language will reflect the kind of person I strive to be. *Education can, of course, mean both formal academics as well as knowledge garnered through observation and life experience.

Hi there! This is my first blog post! I thought I would test this out before I post regularly... It comes with the tutor profile, so why not?! I just want to give my number one piece of advice which has been true for every standardized test I have come across, no matter what grade level. I wish I had known this or understood this concept when I was growing up - I was always a good student, but maybe I would've been better! Here is the scenario. You're faced with this gigantic passage and you see that it's something incredibly boring. Immediately, your brain shuts off as you attempt to crawl your way to the end of it. You also feel the pressure of the clock, so instead of reading the passage, you kind of end up skimming over it. Then there are all these questions and you have no idea where to begin because you didn't absorb a single thing you read, so in a panic, you start guessing, even if those guesses mean penalties (on certain tests). Sound like you? Here is... 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

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

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 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

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.

Recently, as I've been working with students on reading, I noticed something interesting. Students tend to want to read the material quickly, whether or not the word is being read correctly.This presents in two different ways that I have noticed so far: If it is a new word, the letters and syllables might get read out of order. If it is a root word, verb or noun, they are already familiar with, the prefixes or suffixes may be read incorrectly. This made me wonder where the drive for speed was coming from. Was it a desire to sound natural? Was it the students' way of getting through the daunting task as quickly as possible? Whatever the reason, it was not helping the students become better readers or spellers. Spellers?! How does that apply to reading, you may ask? My answer is this: For visual learners, reading is a big part of spelling. When they see words, repeatedly, they can recall the images later on when they are trying to spell them. Therefore, when students are... read more

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

This area is for students or parents, especially those that are willing to put forth the effort to learn more, and be a better student, to achieve more ;-) To help my students I normally assign them 5 new words a day. Whether they open a physical dictionary or go to the links below, the important thing is that they learn and use new words. Tools ------ dictionary.com - a handy resource with access to multiple dictionaries in one place, especially if you don't have one in the home. worddynamo.com - great website that will send you (after you sign up for free) an email of a quickie multiple choice test of new words. It's a fun way to learn! khanacademy.org - Khan's academy - this is the best resource I've found both for kids and parents. You can sign up your little learner, no matter the age, and they can go out there at any time. - they have all sorts of subjects for free, your child can go at their own pace, and it's a marvelous place to learn with videos online,... read more

I find most folks today (kids & adults) have the most difficulty in reading and comprehension of what they are reading. Much of that is due to a lack of reading, most folks do not know much in the way of vocabulary (beyond every day useage) and that really hurts them when they come to testing. I also note that most folks don't put much time into reading for pleasure. And the GREAT thing is that it can be fixed!!!! (wahoo!!! life is good) Parents, it's important to impress upon your (hopefully) college bound child EARLY on as a freshman - sophomore - junior - senior, that the better they do, the better scholarships they will receive. And the more they know now, the less painful it will be when they get to college or other higher institutions of learning. Or out into the business world. ***Scientific studies repeatedly show (statistically) that repeated exposure to specific vocabulary enhances and increases the student's utilization of the words. Basically, if your... read more

There are so many changes happening in the field of education, and teachers need to keep up with the trends. Some of the changes include: - Common Core Curriculum - 21st Century Skills - New Teacher Evaluations - New Testing Formats New York State is on the cutting edge of these changes, and there are many great resources for parents and students. I try to stay on the cutting edge, too, and I have compiled many of these resources for use by my students and parents.

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