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The best question you can ask yourself with regard to tutoring is: Does tutoring encourage independence in the student, or does it undermine self-reliance by making the student feel as though he/she is incapable of learning?   Parents should consider what is actually going on with their child; is the child really stuck or are they simply in a temporary bind that they will most likely fight their way out of given some time?  If it's possible for a student to find their own way through issues, then tutoring is probably counter productive because it may create a sense of dependency where there previously was none.  If a student is genuinely stuck and needs a boost to help them find their way, then tutoring should be about reaching a point of self-reliance.  Much like parenting, if done correctly, tutors work themselves out of a job.  As parents, our goal is to raise our children in such a manner that eventually we're not needed...such is the... read more

This year, many new teachers have come to me for help with the Praxis. I would like to hear if anyone else tutors these tests and if you have any tips. I took all Praxis requirements without studying or preparing, so I am frustrated with those who do not pass their tests. I see many of them only need some test taking strategies, while others seem to lack the abilty to apply the knowledge. In order to help the learners, I need some ideas!

So many of us are wondering how we could learn quicker, with a longer retention span, and just plain better. The answer is simple. The way to learn and absorb the most content faster is by employing your personal intelligence style. So what styles are there? There is music, visual, interpersonal, nature, auditory, spatial, intrapersonal, and more. However, so many of us have been boxed into one method or structure of learning that we spend double the amount of time on learning a subject when it could take us only a few minutes if we learned it according to our true learning style.   A child that is auditory may not need to see the same vocabulary word ten times over if he just hears it spelled out once and repeats it. A student may find sudden success in learning that tricky multiplication table if he or she tries it to a song he or she wrote. Another restless person may find sudden focus when practicing a new activity outdoors.   Whatever ways we... read more

My first blog post, coming during my first month of tutoring. I guess it is a time for firsts, huh?    Some general thoughts and reflections on my first student interactions and sessions...   First, the best students are eager students. A tutor can only do so much; we can plan and prepare, but the student has to be receptive. I'm lucky because the persons with whom I've worked in the last month are all wonderful, eager, and ready to learn. They put in the work, so they get the results.    Second, time is what we make it. Tutors, prepare! Come with a plan! Work on that plan, then implement that plan. Don't waste your student's time; it's valuable, just like your time.   Third, be enthusiastic. When we share what we love (or in some cases, have a high emotional disdain for...but still that's an emotional response) with others, our work is made easy. Be passionate about the subject, or, at the very least, be passionate... read more

I used to ask myself that all the time when I was growing up.  I was a horrible student all the way into the second semester of my 10th grade year!  I had a difficult time concentrating in school and to be honest, there were just more important things going on in my life at the time.  I have always struggled with weight issues and being bullied, teased and tormented in school was a daily battle.  It's hard to concentrate on learning when survival is your priority and invisibility is your dream.  I did well in high school though, and eventually graduated college with a degree in Criminal Justice.   What changed?  I got involved.  I had a teacher that recognized a potential in me and fostered that by inviting me to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself.  I LOVED sports.  I know, sounds silly coming from the fat kid huh?  I did though.  I loved baseball, hockey and football the most and my teacher... read more

I am taking from The Official Hunter College High School Test: problem 76 on page 20. We read the following. In the expression below, each letter represents a one digit number. Where the same letter appears, it represents the same number in each case. Each distinct letter represents a different number. In order to make the equation true, what number must replace C?    AAA    AAB + ABC   2012 A great start is to decode each AAA, AAB, and ABC. It helps to look at this problem wholly; particularly we look at the leading sum on the left wall (of the same types). We glean that either: (1) A + A + A = 20, (2) A + A + A + 1 = 20 or (3) A + A + A + 2 = 20: its very important to remember that given three numbers each less than ten, the sum of them which is great, is at most 2 in the tens place. This means that each row can only donate a 1 or 2 to the next. We can conclude that our line... read more

  There are many components to learning a language, especially to learning the nuances of that language. We agree that the primary four are reading, speaking, writing and listening. Here, we will focus on reading, and tell you a bit more about a wonderful learning tool you can access from your computer, at any time. To begin, when reading French, choose according to your level. At best, passages should not be too long so as not to confuse you. French newspapers are a highly effective means for applying your knowledge of the language to active reading. If you have any doubts at all about the content, you can always go back to reading the English version of the newspaper.         So what’ s available? Lets have a look by level. Level of French: Beginner to Intermediate: 20 minutes 20 minutes is the most recent of the French newspapers that... read more

When in a French speaking country, here are 20 simple sentences that will help you understand and be understood.   Enjoy!    Please S’il vous plait Thank you very much Merci beaucoup You’re welcome De rien Excuse me Excusez-moi OR pardon My name is Je m’appelle I would like... J’aimerais... I need ... Je voudrais ... Do you have ...? Avez-vous…? Please give me…? Pouvez-vous me donner …? Could you help me please? Pouvez-vous m'aider s'il vous plait? Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais? I speak a little French Je parle un petit peu de français I don't understand Je ne comprends pas. Please repeat? Pouvez-vous répéter s’il vous plait? What did you say? Qu'avez-vous dit? I'm lost ! Je suis perdu! I am looking for ... Je cherche... Where is the bathroom? Où sont les toilettes ? Where... read more

I know how they told you to write it. Now let me tell you how it's really done. Popular misconception is that because you read a paper from start to finish, that the best way to write it is from start to finish. This is, of course, nonsense. The best way to write a thesis paper is as follows.   Write your conclusion first. That's right... the easiest way to write a 5-paragraph thesis paper is to start with your conclusions first. This is how we think, anyway. When we read about a subject,  we are thinking while we read, so that by the time we've finished reading, we already know what we think about it. Those are our conclusions about what we just read/watched/experienced. We're already there, so why not start there? When you start the conclusion you should say something specific about your topic. By then end of your conclusion, you should show how the specific nature of your topic says something large, say, about the nature of life itself. Write... read more

Whether you choose tutoring or taking a class to improve your knowledge of a subject depends on what you want out of the experience.  A classroom environment gives you personal interaction and the accountability of regularly being part of a group devoted to learning a subject.  A personal tutor will still give you that accountability, and you get to set the pace of the course and personalize the content.  The learning is communicative, interactive, and focused on what you need.  Classroom-oriented courses can be convenient and fun, but tutoring offers more flexibility for both the tutor and the student.  Pacing, content and course materials can change, depending on what both people agree on.  If you are looking for a way to to personalize your learning experience, move at your own pace, and choose your own learning content, find a tutor who can work closely with you to advise and help guide you through your learning journey.     I... read more

It was once said, while I was still young, "if you build it, they will come."   Fast forward to the future, which is today, and those age-old words still reverberate truth - with far more twists of ambiguity.   I extend an open invitation to all those bold enough to take me up on the challenges and adventures only found in Math Club. Accompany me along the Abacus Path where together we can truly build it - a community where the love of numbers and how they mold and shape nearly every aspect of our lives takes us to new plateaus of rich learning experiences!    

I recommend Wolfram Alpha to all of my math and physics students, and to many others. It calls itself a Computational Knowledge Engine which doesn't do too good a job of describing itself but it is very useful as i'll explain below. It does quite a number of things that aren't comparable to other search engines. Wolfram Alpha First, one of its central components is based on Mathematica which is a mathematical programming language. Because of this it can solve problems in algebra, geometry, calculus, statistics, matrices and many other subjects. This is largely what I use it for; as in if I want to quickly solve or check a problem. If i can't remember exactly what the half angle integration of tangent is, or if a problem results in an answer to large for my calculator to display.   Second, it has large data sets available to it. These vary from current and historical weather data, i.e. what is the current temperature/chance of rain and what was the temperature... read more

Fish is good brain food;   it elevates your mood.   It's healthy for your heart   and helps to keep you smart.   So, eat fish twice a week   and watch your brainpower peak.     Fish is just one vital part of the "Maximum Mental Health Diet," which will help boost your brainpower to improve academic performance and also smooth your mood.  PLEASE REQUEST A COMPLIMENTARY COPY AT ONE OF OUR TUTORING SESSIONS.

     Kindergarten to graduate school curriculum has benefited me consistently by empowering me with self-reliance. I have an appreciation of the tools offered to us by educators. I learned to depend on structure and self-initiative as some of my tools, and education taught me to call these and any developing qualities just such, tools! Educators connect tools to presence to responsibility. Dentists, carpenters, and welders are among the millions of professionals who make ample amounts of money each year. Tools are what they have so I’m very enthusiastic about having mine.      The passions around us, fires kindled by print, ensured my pursuit of scholarly material, a long, fur coat in this world of ours that gets called “a cold world”. When my circumstances have required me to extemporaneously speak, close the money-obligation gap by gaining job experience, or travel alone into a foreign nation, I haven’t demurred but instead run to these... read more

There are several points in grade school that involve a critical shift in the thinking that is required in the school work.  Parent's should be aware of these points as they navigate through the abyss of raising a school-aged child and supporting the child as he/she moves forward through the grades.   3rd Grade - The third grader is transitioning from whole number thinking into understanding the concepts of parts.  They are exposed to fractions, decimals and percentages.  This is a major paradigm shift.  Students are also exposed to long division at this point.  Supporting children in this phase requires an emphasis on helping the child conceptualize whole things being split into parts.  In addition to homework support, tutoring, and supplementary work, parents should introduce cooking chores to children at this time, and make them follow a recipe that has precise measurements.  Reading comprehension and writing is also an issue... read more

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