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Math Games - A Big Hit

I have been very pleased to find that all of my current students are enjoying a game I've had for years that uses math skills. I purchased it nearly 20 years ago at a Homeschool Conference. It's made up of a wooden board with holes carved out for marbles. One side has a game called MUGGINS and the other side has a game called KNOCK OUT. Math skills have to be used for both games and the level of difficulty can be increased by using dice with 16 sides rather than 6 sides. I have an elementary student with Asperger's Syndrome and he loves the game more than anybody. My students are so pleased when they win and I keep a bag with packs of gum of various flavors and candy bars for the winner to choose from. I use the game when all of the material has been covered and we have a few moments before their parents arrive to pick them up. Sometimes the student requests to play after the hour is up so as long as the parent is willing to wait, I am so very pleased that they are doing math... read more

Building a strong vocabulary for ESOL and Elementary Children

I have found that many students know the words because they understand it by using it. However, they often do not know how to read the word. Please check out this amazing site that will use videos in sentences to teach over 1,000 words.  There are so many ways this site can prepare your child for reading.   http://www.gcflearnfree.org/featured/learnenglish/simpleenglish   ESOL see below   http://www.gcflearnfree.org/learnenglish

Start off the Year Strong

My advice for students heading back this fall is be willing to ask for help.  Nobody expects you to have all the answers right away.  Remember you are the captain of your learning--be willing to get through the choppy waters, but don't go it alone!  Your goals are within reach...

What Happens if You Try to Write Without Transitions?

Transitions! They can make or break your essay. You may have some great ideas that you write down, but if you don't connect them, it's hard for your reader to follow. People forget how your ideas are interrelated, and they therefore forget your main ideas.   The point here is: DON'T try to write without transitions. Here is a list of transitions to help you keep your ideas well-organized: first next then after after that afterward finally in conclusion in summary to start with in addition additionally second third moreover furthermore    

How do I prepare my kids for college?

These days, high schools tend to defer to parents. If there's a family event, kids are pulled from school. If Bobby gets a bad grade, Mom launches herself into the teacher's office to give her a piece of her mind! Parents track their kids through the day, texting and calling multiple times.   College is different and not just because your kids are away from home, perhaps for the first time. It's different because your kids are expect to behave like adults. That means reading the syllabus, showing up for their classes, not making excuses for work not done, staying clean (yes, clean!) and sober (absolutely sober!) and taking real responsibility for their behavior and work.   Parents need to be aware that the "helicopter parenting" they have done for years not only isn't welcome by colleges, but most often is not welcome either by their kids. Besides being a time of academic preparation, the high school years need to a time when parents start... read more

Free Logic Games Course

All students who tutor with me will have access to the following Logic Games Course free of charge:   Free Logic Games Course    

Oh, Calculus!

To whom taking Calculus, it has been a long journey to finish all the prep courses successfully.  Smart, intelligent, so they get excited for this new challenging subject.  There are some students who heard about its difficultiness from their seniors, having trouble of making decision of whether taking or not.  But it is a mandatory subject you have to take to get in any important majors in the colleges.   Yes, Calculus is not an easy subject, and many failed.  However, it is not difficult if you understand well.  It is not the subject that you just memorize the formula and replace numbers to get answers.  It requires a lot of thinking.  Take time, read the topics, understand by trying to get the meaning behind.     For example, when you read the first part of Calculus, it is about the Limits.  It looks easy and they just go.   There are a lot of explanations but seem to be not much things in it.  Then... read more

Advice for starting the new year strong

If you are like me, you want to get a head start on things -- "hit the ground running," as they say. What better way than to get started on the new year in academics! I always found that when I was in high school or college, summer reading was very enjoyable. There were no deadlines -- I could nestle up by a tree and read for hours. I recommend giving it a shot.   When it comes to chemistry, what better way to get started than reading some basics. One of my favorites is Bill Bryson's A Short History of Nearly Everything. It is a great overview of science in general. I also recommend John Gribbin's In Search of Schrodinger's Cat. It is an amazing story about the discovery of quantum mechanics and is a must for all explorers of science.   It is also a good idea to get a chemistry set and do some basic chemistry experiments. It is a fun and interesting activity! A lot of chemistry experiments can even be done in one's own... read more

Math and Science Help

I have found many schools unable to expose students to math and science in the laboratory environment due to costs. I have found a great place fro students to work on all kinds of math and science activities on line. I have all of my students work on the speed drill under arithmetic. Fluency in math is critical.  Please take a look at this website and let me know what you think.   http://phet.colorado.edu    

Mathematical Journeys: Zeno's Paradox

Suppose I place you at one end of a long, empty room. Your task is to get to the door at the other end of the room. Simple, right? But what if I told you that this simple task is actually mathematically impossible? Think about it – in order to traverse the whole room, you first have to get to the halfway point, right? You'll have to travel one-half of the way there. And before you can get to that halfway point, you have to travel one-quarter of the way there (halfway to the halfway point). And before you can get to the one-quarter point, you have to travel one-eighth of the way there (halfway to the quarter-way point). Since you have to go half of each distance before you can go the full distance, you'll never actually get anywhere. The task requires an infinite number of steps, and you can never complete an infinite number of steps since there will always be another one. Furthermore, in order to even start your journey you would need to travel a specific distance, and... read more

Organization and balance it the key!

The key to starting school strong is organization and balance. First, organize your materials. Use color-coding, blank calendars to fill in, map out your daily schedule, and be sure to leave time for ALL interests. Look ahead on the calendar to see when tests like MEAP and ACT are happening. Provide plenty of preparation time from the beginning of the semester. As you create your daily schedule, look also at your syllabi from your classes. Anticipate major assignments and exams by balancing study time appropriately. Early planning will prevent or reduce last minute writing papers or cramming for exams.   Yes, school work is a priority, but so is socializing with friends, reading for pleasure or exercise and yoga routines! If you are going watch your favorite TV program every Thursday, plan ahead by being sure to have homework done either Wednesday night, or before the program. Then the program becomes a "reward" for having your homework finished... read more

First Week Back to School

For many students in the surrounding Richmond, Columbia and Burke counties welcome back to the classrooms! if you have any difficulties in class, do not hesitate to let your teachers or your parents know so that they can find you the most appropriate level of help before it is later in the school year and you end up being in failure of being promoted! I can't wait to see how I am able to help this school year!

Start Fresh This Year!

Hello Students!   Start this year off strong with good organizational and note taking skills. Make sure you understand the material and are not just taking notes aimlessly. Try to take in what your teacher is saying and don't be afraid to ask questions!! If you start taking the initiative to learn and understand now, college will be a much more pleasant experience for you. Trust me!   Stay organized and plan your homework and study schedule!   Quiz yourself!   Study with friends!   READ YOUR TEXTBOOK! :)    Remember, homework isn't busy work and a chance to copy down your notes, it is part of the learning process. This is especially important with math, as it builds on itself and understanding the basics will make the other subjects easier!   Have a fantastic and fun year!

Remain positive

No matter what, go back to school this year with a positive attitude and everything else will fall into place. Just try your best! 

Words for the wise

Often students complain about the words they have to learn for the SAT. I get that. Some words such as "ossified" and "treacly" are extremely obscure, but others such as "equivocal" or "ambivalent" they should know  and use. I point out to them that in life, you will be judged by how you speak and how you write. So, don't be myopic. Take some of the wordsyou've studied and put them to practical use. 

How to start the year strong!

My performance during the year may have waned after a month or two, but I always started off strong. Here's how I do it:   - Get your supplies set up early!      Nothing is worse than having your last days of summer vacation tainted by that nagging thought of "Oh man, I still need to get my school supplies ready to go!" Get your binder and backpack set up now; that way you can just pick it up and go on your first day. Doing this leads directly into the next step:   - Make the most of your remaining vacation time.      Time won't stop just because you don't want to go back to school. That's why, after you get your stuff ready for the first day, you try to have as much fun as you can before then! No matter what you like to do, just do it a lot! At this point, you should barely be thinking about school (although you should have some kind of reminder so you don't forget entirely!). After all that fun, one thing... read more

Owning the I in IEP: Empowering Students to Advocate for Themselves

When children have food allergies, we typically start educating them at a young age on what to avoid. We as parents will go out of our way to tell any adult who is coming into contact with our child that they have a food allergy. By the time most children with allergies hit kindergarten, they are quite confident in sharing their allergies with adults or anyone else who may benefit from this information. Many of us have heard of peanut free tables, classrooms and even schools. Unfortunately, when it comes to learning disabilities or other diagnosis’ that differentiate your child, we tend to teach our children to quiet down. We don’t want people to know our child is “different” and that they require the additional support of an IEP (Individualized Education Plan) As parents, we advocate for our children’s needs with school administration, but are we educating our child on what they are entitled to in the classroom? I think we should. I am not saying let’s start making bracelets... read more

Be positive, ask when in doubt and aim higher.

Once you have your schedule in place from the first week of school, you need to have a goal for every class you will have. You should walk into class with a positive attitude, and that is to succeed in that class. The teacher is there to teach, be asked questions and to guide you on how to be successful, counselors  and tutors are there to help as well, but you need to give it your best shot by yourself. Remember, every assignment, quiz or test counts, so you need aim higher in each of them. Do not forget to revise for a quiz or a test, you do not come out a winner without practice.

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