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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

Preventing Silly Mistakes On The SAT And ACT

The “silly mistake” is quite possibly the most mischievous and irksome of the math demons. It is a sly beast that lurks in the deepest recesses of your mind, emerging only periodically to sully your scores in a most disturbing way. Because of its crafty nature, it is able to lull you into the false belief that your thorough understanding of mathematic concepts will keep you safe from its clutches. But, as I’m sure you know, “silly mistakes” afflict even the most soundly prepared students. What exactly constitutes a “silly mistake?” Here are some common examples for standardized tests: Misreading the question (or failing to read the entire instructions) Filling in the wrong bubble on your answer sheet Making a slight arithmetic error Incorrectly copying down the original problem Turning a negative number into a positive number (or vice versa) I don’t care who you are, what your educational background is, or where you go to school… you have been... read more

Holidlay Tutoring

During the School Holidays such as Spring Break, an ideal time presents itself for some special tutoring sessions for students who need some extra help with their school work.  There is no pressure from school assignments or tests, only the opportunity to advance in reading, math, vocabulary work, or geography.  Too few parents recognize this opportunity for their children to make educational advances.  It would also occupy the children during a time of unusual excitement -- holidays.  Tutoring would be a calming as well as educational experience during any holiday season off from school. 

Tutors wait! Why study skills should make up part (maybe most) of every session

(This is actually a modified version of an article I posted a while back - Parents wait! Why a study skills tutor is what your child REALLY needs. But I think tutors should consider this idea of study skills even more than parents should.) After a dozen years as a classroom teacher and private tutor, I know the routine well. Like clockwork, October and March bring new report cards and parents start to get nervous. “An F in chemistry? I’m afraid I can’t help you there; let’s find you a good chemistry tutor.” This is the kind of dialog I imagine taking place in many households around this time. And chemistry is just an example – insert subject here and the reaction is the same. But that low letter grade on a report card can indicate many things – maybe the teacher is bonkers; maybe one major assignment was weighted too heavily; maybe the student can’t see the board and is afraid to say anything; maybe that particular class is a source of social anxiety; etc... read more

New to WyzAnt

Hi, So, obviously I'm new on here and want to hit the ground running.   ...Electrical Engineering student at UTC...   I have tutored students, whether it be classmates, college kids, or adults, since about 6th or 7th grade.  My mother and grandmother are both teachers, and our family jokes that we all walk out of the womb carrying a laser pointer and wearing glasses.   I am super outgoing and willing to go through just about every unorthodox way to teach something so that the student understands it fully.  I have numerous subscriptions to teaching sites that provide me with many different types of tools, worksheets, and methods of teaching. I truly enjoy this sort of 2nd job of mine and hope that I bring a little more enjoyment into students lives. No one like doing or learning difficult things.  If you're reading this chances are you're having a hard time too.  Well, it doesn't have to be that way with me.  I like to bring... read more

New Math Tutor to Wyzant

I am new to Wyzant and have just started tutoring students here this week. I have been a tutor before but I love the format here and I am very excited to meet all the new people here.  Being a math tutor and helping students who have a fear of mathematics overcome that and realize that sense of accomplishment once complete is so rewarding.  I really enjoy working with students through problems as they go through the steps from confusion to celebrating their achievements once they have conquered a problem or worksheet!  

Writing as teamwork

I am a reluctant writer sometimes. Sometimes I find myself wanting to edit rather than create or preferring to do more research rather to start analyzing what I have. At moments like these, it helps to go find a muse. Last week, I found a glorious essay called " Good Writing and Editing is part of Great Design", on the blog Design Shack   Yup, the blog itself is for graphic designers, but wait--don't click off yet! The author, Carrie Cousins, rounds up some fantastic advice for any writer who feels stuck or who has forgotten who they are writing for. In brief:   Use plain language. (George Orwell was right.) Only put one space after periods. Hire me and we can talk about why. Vary sentence and paragraph lengths. All writing requires design because humans are aesthetic creatures. Add plenty of elements to break up long blocks... read more

pronunciation practice

Look at the Youtube video I found at this website- it's about "th": I found these: This is a good website. You can practice any of these difficult "minimal pairs" here: ---> including especially the TH v. Z like:

Time Management vs. Self Management

When we talk about time management we are inevitably thinking externally. There is this thing called time, which hangs out in the corner of your eye, always present yet elusive. Strategies for time management are thus often externally focused: Use software like Leechblock, an add-on to Firefox. This software blocks access to social media and other websites that tempt us to waste time, so that you can work without distraction on the computer. Keep a Master To Do List. I use Draft, a simple text editor for Android, but you could also do a legal pad or a dry erase board. Write on it anything that you’re concerned about forgetting. Turn off notifications on your email or phone. Then, block out an hour or so a day specifically devoted to correspondence and catching up. This saves you time wasted on interruptions. But what about the internal? What about when you decide to open up Internet Explorer instead, bypassing the well-meaning inflexibility of... read more

Tutoring Reading

The ability to read well is the most basic of academic pursuits. A person’s reading ability will determine both the progress of their academic endeavors and the level of education which he or she is able to attain. Accordingly, the ability to read well will also largely determine one’s level of employment and the position they attain in life. Today’s technological market place demands a high level of reading ability. The ability to read well means reading with understanding or comprehension. Reading with comprehension is a multi-dimensional task that requires considerably more than the ability to pronounce words. While it is true that the most fundamental aspect of reading requires that one can pronounce word properly, reading with comprehension requires an understanding of grammar and sentence construction, a knowledge and understanding of the function of the various forms of punctuation, and an appropriate vocabulary as well as the ability to pronounce words... read more

Getting Started As A Tutor

Hello All,        I am new to the tutoring community and I can't wait to get started. My fiance and I recently relocated to Georgia, so I am in the process of getting my teacher certification here. I am also applying to graduate school in order to further my education. As a teacher, I love getting to watch concepts click for students. Everyone learns at their own pace, and it is so rewarding to watch a child who has struggled as they grasp a new idea. I look forward to tutoring because I know that one-on-one interactions will allow even more of these moments. Without constant classroom interruptions we will be able to work at whatever pace and level suits the student best. In short, I am just really looking forward to helping students find understanding and confidence in troubling subjects. Please contact me if you need a tutor.  

Spring brush up!

Hello, all  WyzAnt viewers, keep in mind  the Summer is  around the corner, a perfectly relaxing time of year to brush up on all areas of study . Hopefully, I can help you achieve your goals ....Patricia L.   

Biology Study Techniques

I just began tutoring a new student in 10th grade Biology.  Biology is my favorite subject and as we were going over terminology and concepts and processes in each section I thought it might be helpful to outline elements that can help in the general study of biology.  I thought this would be a great time to reference some good study techniques from a biological perspective:  I organized my notes into list of 4 valuable concepts.   1.  Take notes:  Obviously right? of course but listen... More than any other subject taking notes in biology is crucial.  Almost all the information that is introduced each lesson is packed with new terms, new concepts and new images of the material.  Taking notes in the form of term definitions, paragraphs describing a process, or drawings is a way to stay on top of complex new material.  I recommend taking notes on a white piece of computer paper without lines, this helps the student to learn... read more

LSAT Resources

I wanted to write a blog post on where to find quality LSAT resources. Here's my list of material that I use with my students:   Free Materials:   Free LSAT Practice Test Free Virtual LSAT Proctor LSAT Answer Keys LSAT Score Conversion Tables LSAT Answer Sheet   Not free but worth every penny:   LSAT Starter Set - I used to use the "the next ten" LSAT books printed by the LSAC and just scan through to find questions of a specific type to review. I found this wasted a lot of time and my students didn't appreciate paying for time that wasn't spent reviewing questions. The Starter Set has every section broken down and grouped by question type so now I just work through the material and it makes my life easier and my students much happier. It costs $115.

Tutoring Online? Anyone tried it?

Hello,    Recently, I had the opportunity to tutor a student through Skype.  I was such a great experience, I wanted to try to promote more online tutoring sessions with students.  I have been looking around and researching different online tutoring platforms that would allow more interaction between myself and my students.  I don't feel like I am finding exactly what I need.      This is really a two part Blog      A) Does anyone have any experience with tutoring online and could suggest any online platforms that are really conducive to student learning?     B) I find that there is a lot of resistance to online tutoring, do you have any suggestions for getting students more on board with online tutoring?  

Escape The Rut: Free Your Creative Mind

Have you ever felt like you have fallen into a rut, stuck doing the same things, with no noticable improvement in the quality of your life, career, or relationships? Falling into a rut means you are following tried-and-true but well worn steps instead of taking a chance or exploring new areas. What is the primary reason we do this? Fear.   Most people make their decisions based on some level of fear. “If I try that, I might fail.”, or “If I do this, others will think poorly of me.” or the big one: “If I take a chance, I might end up living in a van down by the river.” Fear is the biggest factor that holds people back from trying new things and fulfilling their dreams. I better not chance it; it’s just too risky. Don’t get me wrong; we live in dire economic conditions right now. There are millions of people in this country out of work or under-employed, so there are real-world consequences to going off on a new path on a whim. The fear of losing... read more

ACT Prep - The Friday Before Test Day

ACT Prep - The Friday Before Test Day For those of you taking the ACT in the next couple days, your fastidious and dedicated preparation routine is coming to an end. Whether you studied five hours a day for three months, two hours a day for one month, or merely crammed the last week and a half, it doesn’t matter anymore. All of that is immaterial now. Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and exhale. Release any lingering rumination about what you could have done, should have done, or might have altered within your study routine. Let. It. Go. It’s nearly game time, and the only thing left for you to do is get yourself ready for the big test. Over the years, I’ve worked with a number of students preparing for both the SAT and the ACT. For some reason, I routinely encounter students possessed by the urge to study relentlessly the day before the test. This is NOT advisable for a number of reasons. First and foremost, the likelihood that you will absorb anything... read more

SAT / ACT Test Taking Tips

Be Prepared! The night before, collect: plenty of sharpened #2 pencils an eraser a small pencil sharpener (in case your pencils break during the exam) a watch (you cannot rely on the proctor and there may not be a wall clock or it may be on the wall behind your seat) your calculator your admission ticket your identification  directions to the testing center tissues medicine (if necessary) disposable earplugs (if you find the background noise of people coughing and fidgeting distracting)   (   ( It may be helpful to collect these items in a clear plastic (Ziploc) bag that you can grab and go in the morning. If you have to search for these items in the morning, you are likely to forget something or become frazzled. Eat a substantial breakfast that will provide you with sufficient energy throughout the test... read more

Pre-School: What is Learning Readiness?

Learning readiness refers to the process by which children under the age of 6 prepare for direct instruction in reading and math. Prior to the age of 6, it is developmentally inappropriate for most children to receive any kind of direct instruction in reading or math. Instead, children should be exposed to rich vocabulary (through songs and stories) and build social skills as well as fine and gross motor abilities.    According to child development specialists, “Learning progress may actually be slowed by overly academic preschool experiences that introduce formalized learning experiences too early for a child’s developmental status.” —Rebecca Marcon, Developmental Psychologist   Furthermore, "Early learning programs that are appropriate for a child’s developmental level provide opportunities to learn through play and hands-on exploration. Through this type of learning, children test new knowledge in a relaxed setting and then naturally... read more

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