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Who is Beth Cof?

Many of my students second guess themselves or tend to speculate. So I devised the Beth Cof strategy to help students eliminate wrong answers.   There are five possible answer choices on the SAT; four on the ACT. Therefore, it's crucial to be comfortable when choosing the right answer.   B stands for too broad. E stands for extreme answers. T stands for true for the passage as a whole but not for the lines in question, and H stands for half-right, half-wrong.   C stands for could be true but not enough info. O is off-topic, and F is factually true but not stated in the passage.   Students who applied this strategy tended to get the answer right. The only downside is it can be time-consuming, so don't use it for every single Critical Reading question. Be selective - and be right!

My Teaching Philosophy

Over the many years I have been tutoring, I have time and again found myself hating the teachers that assign the homework and tests my students have to work on. Of course, this doesn't happen every time, or even most times, but it happens often enough that it prompted me to write this.   The reason I dislike these teachers so much is not related to how much work they create for me (I love my work!) or how much they make my students suffer (they don't), but rather to the fact that I consider some of the things they do to be the mark of a bad teacher. A lazy teacher. A complacent teacher. A teacher more intent on getting a grade from their students that on actually teaching them. A teacher, in short, who should not call themselves 'teacher'.   Naturally, this led me to think about my own teaching style. If I have things to complain about in others, surely I know exactly what I'm doing? A little bit in horror, I realized I had never truly thought about... read more

Student teaching

I'm currently student teaching at a high school in Chicago, which is why I cannot take new students for a while. For those of you unfamiliar with student teaching, it's a ten week bootcamp for beginning teachers. You take over a current teacher's full classload and teach as a fulltime teacher, with all the responsibilities that come with it such as attending meetings and meeting parents, all the while being supervised both by the current teacher and a state-mandated supervisor.   What's been especially tough for me is two areas. First is lesson planning. In my tutoring sessions I always spend looots of time trying to think of the best lesson apt for that student. Then I implement it and see if it works. But because everything is one on one, I get feedback easily. Not in a class of 35. Not only do you have to teach a lesson to 35 individuals, you need to master the dynamics of class management, something that is not easy because it always changes with each class.... read more

5 Tips to Make Your Tutoring Dollars Go Farther

Before we get to the 5 Tips to Help Make Your Tutoring Dollars Go Farther, let me set them up for a minute. Trust me, they'll make more sense if I do.   I'm a "bad news first" kind of guy. I'd rather receive the bad news first so that I can better appreciate the good news that follows. And I like to give the bad news first to get it out of the way and move on to the more helpful good news. The bad news: You have probably already paid for a class and books, and now you are looking at spending money on tutoring too. Well, here's the good news: Tutoring really is an investment in yourself! And your WyzAnt tutor wants to help you succeed as much as you do.   Tutoring is a partnership. It's two people--you and your tutor--looking at a situation and working together to overcome it. "I need to pass my Calc final." "I have a paper due." "I'm taking the SAT next month and I need help."   Whatever... read more

Reach for the Resources!

My favorite resources are...wordreference.com, studyspanish.com, duolingo, spanishdict.com and easy readers by Blane Ray.  My students have enjoyed the realization that they can actually read Spanish...and understand it!!

Teachers are the problem when a child does not learn?

         After 30 years of tutoring special education children, I have decided that all problems are mine, not the child's. Thus, I analyze what has already been provided in detail to determine what does and does not work. For example, children have different learning styles that are not rigid, but flexible. Each of us may be good at a tactile sport but not efficient at a sport requiring gross motor skills. Or a student may read silently better than aloud, yet prefer to read aloud to younger siblings. Another child may draw a concept better than listening to a teacher's lecture. Learning by both visual and auditory processing may be best for others, who do not prefer writing.          I was consistently talking with a student about his needs who listened attentively, yet was not making progress. I switched to a visual approach, placing my directions on 3 x 5 cards taped to his folders and some on his desk, and the shift... read more

Fractions

A brief history of me: So, usually I teach older students -- freshmen in high school through college kids. That's worked out really well for me, during the school year when lots of college students needed help. Unfortunately, it's summer now. My main job working as a backstage tech at the Chandler Center for the Arts had no calls for me to work, so I was dead broke, needing to pay rent and be able to eat. That's when I really started to use my good star rating to my advantage. :) I ended up contacting somewhere around thirty students who asked for tutoring! Right now I tutor six students (seems like more to me xD ) and spend as much time tutoring as I do driving to meet those who I tutor. Anyway! So whilst student 1, student 2, and student 3 needed help in GRE prep, Geometry (HS), and College Anatomy respectively, students 4, 5, and 6 were a bit of a scene change. They needed help with elementary math. So, Fractions: Students 4 and 5 are both girls in the fifth... read more

My favorite Websites for learning English as a second language

When I think about learning English as a second language, there are several tools I like to use. Some of them are linked with vocabulary acquisition, some of them are related to grammar, some of them are for writing.   I usually browse the internet whenever I need help, but we need to be really careful with the information we find online; some of them may be wrong.   The website I browse the most and refer to all of the students I see at the writing center is the Purdue Owl. This site provides grammar, style, and format help. I usually use this site to help writers with their research paper, since it provides very accurate citation  explanations from both APA and MLA format. This website also provides grammar rules, including punctuation rules. Purdue Owl is a modern reference book. For vocabulary and reading I usually use Voa News - Learning English. This website provides current news in two levels of English and you will also have... read more

First Tutorial Session Elementary Math Completed

I am new to this organization and I just completed my first tutorial session for math 5th grade.  My student is preparing for the CRCT proficiency tests which will be in a couple of weeks.  At first I was really kinda nervous like you are the first day of school when you teach in a regular classroom setting.  I found the process easy and I was already tutoring students independently.  I think I'm going to like this! QueenV in the house!   Victoria

2013 College Admissions for My Clients

This was another banner year for my client admits: Amherst, University of Alabama, Arcadia University, Art Institute of Chicago, Barnard, Coastal Carolina University, Columbia College Chicago, University of Delaware, Drexel University (multiple admissions), Fordham University, Guilford College (multiple admissions), Hofstra University, University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign (multiple admissions), Ithaca College, Johnson & Wales University,LIM College, Loyola University Maryland, University of Maine, Marist College (prestigious freshman year in Florence program), University of Maryland-College Park (multiple admissions, including honors college), University of Baltimore County (all honors and Meyerhoff winner), University of Maine, University of Massachusetts-Amherst, University of Massachusetts-Boston, University of Massachusetts-Lowell, McDaniel College, Miami University -- Oxford, University of Miami (multiple admissions), University of Florida, New York University... read more

Using website for enhancing skill.

Even I worked with students 2/3 times a week, my students need more practice at home. I usually ask them to practice more at home to enhance their skill.   For language practice, www.bussu.com helped my students. They have free section and it is pretty good for beginners. Paid section is even better for advanced students.   For elementary math students, I use www.nekopy.com. Which is developed by Japanese school teachers and it is very useful to improving basic calc. skill with animation and fun games.   I will update when I find more useful sites for tutoring.

5 Steps To Help You Learn Arabic, Faster

The Arabic language is a language spoken officially in 28 country, it could be difficult and hard to learn because it has its appropriate signature, and also its charm. There are many techniques to help you learn the Arabic language, but here are 5 of them that can be very effective to learn Arabic as fast as possible. 1- Every work needs a strong willpower to start and to carry out. 2- It is necessary to learn the 27 arabic characters with their right pronunciation. 3- It is necessary to try to listen to Radio, and NOT TV!!! because The Radio helps enhance your listening skills. 4- Consecrate 15 to 30mn everyday to speak about any subject in Arabic, in order to familiarize with the language. 5- Get an Arabic to English Dictionary and Learn every day at least one word and use it during the day to memorize it well. also underline it on the Dictionary. to keep track of how much you learned, and test yourself every month on vocabulary

NIC and State Board of Cosmetology Test

Why most people have a hard time on there first try to pass the State Board Exam?  Nerves has been the number one answer that seems to come up when asked that question.  Answer:  It's extremely important to prepare for exam day; be on time, to figure everything out.  Its a fact that being on time is 90 percent of the stress reduction. 

The New SAT

On Wednesday March 5, 2014, the College Board made announcements that will change the SAT test for those students taking the test in 2016 and beyond which will, among other things, change the scoring back to what it was before March 2005. It was not that long ago that we mentioned a few thoughts in regards to a study discovering the SAT is "not correlated to college success." We had a lot to say by way of agreement, and today we will try to address those points again in the storm of discussion – and in some quarters, panic – about these changes. I'll repeat my previous conclusion that GPA is the single best indicator of how you will perform in college. It measures multiple things – not only your ability to do well on a given test, but also your ability to complete projects, do homework, and participate in class, among other things. A single 3-hour test on a number of different subjects can only measure how well you do against metrics determined by a particular... read more

The perfect language textbook: the quest is ongoing

In my growing experiences in tutoring and from my time teaching at UVA, I have a greater appreciation for the painstaking labor required to publish a language textbook. I am also fascinated by the paradox that regardless of the plethora of choices out there for each language, every book has its strengths that somehow make other areas of it weaker. For example, a book that is strong on grammar exercises would often spend its energy focusing on grammatical accuracy but would contain less communicative/conversational practice. There was one book that I have encountered that tried to do it all, even including pronunciation- yet somehow in trying to "do it all", nothing was truly given in too much depth. My solution as a tutor? Bring a stack of different textbooks with me and switch between them according to the needs of my client! ;) It's tough to make a resource, and in the end though none is perfect, they can all work together as a "team" to help strengthen... read more

Literature Spotlight: Nora Grows Up

Since I've been tutoring English literature students, I've noticed a pattern: every time we read a book that I remember reading in my high school classes, I enjoy it far more as an adult than I ever did as a teenager. Time and time again I pick up a book I remember hating in class, resigned to slog through it and discuss metaphor and symbolism with my student, only to find that I thoroughly enjoy it. Each time I come out of the unit with a fresh new appreciation for the work in question. As this happens more and more I've come to the conclusion that there are whole worlds of theme and subtext in many novels that are only apparent to a reader who has reached adulthood, because they require the reader to have experiences beyond those of an average high-school student. In today's Literature Spotlight I'd like to illustrate this point using a recently-transformed work for me, A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen. One of the main themes in A Doll's House is the idea of Nora's reluctance... read more

What happens when the challenge becomes more than you thought it was?

I have a wonderful student and the parents are fantastic.   They are very patient with me and understanding, which I appreciate. However the progress of the student is evolving. Certain disabilities have been uncovered that the parents didn't really know she had. This causing me to re-evaluate my teaching on a weekly basis.    This poses an interesting question. What do you do when you hit a block in the road?   I think the most important thing you can do is to communicate with the parents of said child. Often times, we think of tutors and parents as different entities. We don't do that at school though. That's why there are conferences. Parents and teachers work together to give the child the best educational support possible. So why would tutoring be any different?   I constantly work with the parents of my student. When the student is tested, they have a meeting with me. When there are things going on with the school,... read more

Writing Rundown: Prewriting Techniques

Prewriting often gets the short end of the stick with students rushing to get that paper written before its due date. Since many teachers don't require prewriting to be turned in with the paper, many students feel that it's a corner they can cut to save time and launch straight into writing a first draft. In reality, prewriting is actually a great time-saver, particularly when you don't exactly know what you're going to talk about. It helps you to organize your thoughts, as well as make sure your points are clear and your concept isn't too broad or too narrow. Prewriting is especially helpful in situations where you're given a very broad prompt – or even no prompt at all (as was the case with my IB World History term paper, whose prompt consisted of 'Write a paper about something from 20th century world history'!) Prewriting is usually defined broadly as anything you do before writing your paper, and can take many forms. This blog post will discuss a few of the most... read more

How Do I Know If My Child Needs an Educational Therapist?

Who is an Educational Therapist? Children who benefit from combining their visual (perception), listening (or auditory perception) and tactile (fine-motor) abilities to practice, retain and recall for future tasks, usually do well with an professional educator. An educational therapist usually has a Master's in Education or Special Education from a well recognized college or university. Their experience includes visual-motor integration, auditory processing, and other perceptual skills. Short-term sequential memory, working memory, use of mnemonic and other strategies are combined with the best-evidenced reading, writing, and math programs, as well as all language-arts remediation and enhancement. A professional educational therapist may be a Board-Certified Educational Therapist by "The Association of Educational Therapists", for example. Many educational therapists have Ph.D.'s, and/or psychotherapy licenses. Thus, self-esteem and other emotionally-related... read more

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