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The primary student baseline communication skills a student should learn from their tutor are the following: Precise use of vocabulary  Express complete thoughts Asking questions Interpreting and following instructions These baseline communication skills are common in academia, particularly Mathematics.  Any behaviors, thoughts, attitudes, philosophies, etc. that hinders these baseline communication skills presents learning hindrances for the students and tutors. Let me know your thoughts.

Tutors have a new role if they will help students reach their fullest potential.  Why?  Students spend considerable more time on and using technology that involves less practice with face to face communication.  With less practice, students have unseen, unspoken and unknown challenges with face to face interactions in class and tutoring sessions.  Give this challenge is in fact a real one, where will students get support to make up for this communication practice deficit?  Tutors are the answer.  For example, in class educators have their hands full with the delivery of content to large class sizes of diverse students.  Teachers do not have the time necessary to adequately facilitate effective face to face communication with their students.  Parents are in a similar situation with working longer hours.  During one on one tutor sessions, they have multiple opportunities to model and facilitate effective communication with... read more

Purpose:  This series shares tips on how to identify, manage, and overcome Mathematics Negative Self Talk (NST).  We cannot avoid NST totally because the NST about Math skills in general is a widely accepted habit. So what is Mathematics NST anyway?  Mathematics NST is when we speak in our minds or to others about an inability to learn, do, and/or understand Mathematics in general.  Focus here is what we cannot do or have never done in Mathematics.  For example, "I hate Math."  "I  can't do Math!"  "This is too complicated!"  " I could never do Math!" "My parents aren't good at Math either." "What can we use Algebra for anyway?"  "The teacher is confusing me."  The NST phrases list is endless, but also popular in today’s culture. Downside of NST: NST in Math is simply a bad habit of thinking and attitude.  This habit limits learning... read more

  Reading Formulas can make or break how a student comprehends the formula when alone - outside the presence of the teacher, instructor, tutor, or parent. Formula For Perimeter of Rectangle:  P = 2l + 2w How To Read:  The Perimeter of a Rectangle is equal to two (2) times the Length of the longer side of the rectangle (L) plus two (2) times the Width of the shorter side of the rectangle (W). When is reading formulas like this necessary?  At three particular moments, reading this formula in this manner can be effective.  When students are initially learning what the formula means When student are learning what it means when they should already know (remediation).  When students want to remind themselves (basics learning study skill habit) Remember, Formulas at their introduction are complete statements or thoughts.  Students cannot and will not recall complete thoughts or statements... read more

Reading Formulas can make or break how a student comprehends their formula when alone - outside the presence of the teacher, instructor, tutor, or parent. Formula for Area of Circle:  A = π * r^2 Ineffective ways to read the area of a circle formula are as follows: Area is π times the radius squared. Area is π times the radius of the circle squared. Area of a circle is π times the radius squared. A equals π times r squared. >>>> Why are these ways NOT effective ways to read this formula? <<<<< 1.       Students will recall and repeat what they hear their educators say. 2.       If students recall letters (A) versus words (Area of a Circle) they will not realize the connection with word problems. 3.       Half way reading the formula (radius versus radius of a circle) creates empty pockets or disconnects in... read more

1. Every class should be different, create an environment where the target is the student interest. 2. Meaningful, that has to do with the student motivation to learn  3. The student learns through songs and participate being part of a Spanish family 4. Classes are designed to be through games and activities that help the student to learn (TPR, Natural Approach, Communicative Approach) 5. The student is threated as a good friend that is willing to learn a second language

People say everything takes work work work...   The only thing I can see that takes that kind of work is trying really, really hard to NOT have fun! When we are engaging with our own brilliance, when we are opening up to learn more about ourselves and our world, that's the doorway to the most fun EVER! It's just that the conventional systems don't teach that way.    When you know you're on the right track, how does that FEEL? Doesn't your body feel awesome? Doesn't the anxiety just melt away? Isn't there just this open sense that all you want to do is keep moving forward? When you are educating yourself for the purpose of knowing your own brilliance and capacity, rather than educating yourself to perform a task, rather than to be the "best" or satisfy what someone else thinks you "should" have it made.  When your own brilliance is your number one priority, magic happens. All of your tasks... read more

It is a cliche, however first impressions DO set the tone for the tutoring relationship.   1.  I arrive 15 minutes early to the tutoring location.  I prefer a neutral setting (bookstore, coffee shop, library) away from distractions.  ALWAYS in a public place.  The student is more relaxed knowing I'm eager to work with them.   2.  Print out information on the test (GRE, SAT, etc) or the subject matter that you are to be studying.  Put this in a folder for them to take away.  It shows you are on your game and there for THEM.   3.  Spend some time asking about their most successful academic experience and their least successful academic experience.  You can glean what does and does not work for the student as well as find their best learning style.   4.  Review past work in the subject.  See what they easily achieved and find out why.  Discover why they did not succeed on previous... read more

Five major tips to making learning a foreign language fun:   1. Make it applicable to your life. Learn stuff that you think is important to you, things that you'll use the most often, and things that will stick.   2. Integrate the culture. Learning a language is more than just learning how to speak. You want to learn how to understand other people, and how they think.   3. Make it a part of your routine. Try to do something that you normally do in English in your target language, though you should keep it simple in the beginning. Read a short story in Italian, instead of a novel in English. Follow a recipe for a simple cake in French instead of a recipe for a cake with fondant decorations in English.   4. Get your friends in on the fun. Learning a language is undeniably a social activity. There's nothing more entertaining than trying to learn a language with your friends, and messing up while you do... read more

Dyslexia is one of the most misunderstood learning styles in today's educational landscape. It literally means "difficulty with words," and most people associate dyslexia with letter reversals and reading problems. However, dyslexia actually stems from a creative thinking style and encompasses a much larger umbrella of learning challenges often labeled as learning disabilities in schools. They include, but are not limited to: Attention Deficit Disorders (ADD/ADHD) Language-Based Learning Disability Auditory Processing Disorder Visual Processing Disorder Reading Disability Specific Learning Disability Phonemic Awareness Disability Dyscalculia (math) Dyspraxia (coordination/balance) Dysgraphia (handwriting)   At one time, Dyslexia was defined as deficiency in brain function - a disability. We now know, however, that Dyslexia is not a result of a genetic flaw - or brain, eye, or ear malfunction - it is a difference in... read more

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Tutoring can be a lot of fun for both the tutor and the student. The most crucial aspect of tutoring is developing a positive relationship between the tutor and the student. Getting to genuinely know the student is the first key to making tutoring fun. Once a tutor develops that relationship with the student and vice versa, a tutor can then personalize the learning to meet the needs of the student. Incorporating educational games, videos, and hands on manipulatives can also make tutoring fun. As a tutor, I try to incorporate what a student likes into which ever subject we are covering. It is also important to let the student know that it is okay to make mistakes and know he/she will not be looked down upon. Giving the students that confidence and knowledge to take risks will ease the stress of learning and allow students to grow in their area of need. 

Writing seems to have originated in the Bronze Age, dating from 3300 B.C. to about 1200 B.C. During the Bronze Age, multiple forms of writing emerged. These included cuneiform, hieroglyphics, and multiple scripts originating in Greece. Writing began as a way to keep accounts of trade and slowly blossomed into literature. The people of the Bronze Age evolved the use of their writing from trade records, to medicinal records, to recipes, to prayer and song, to written law, and finally to stories. In today’s society, writing is seen in poems, songs, laws, books, video games, instructions, traffic signs, menus, nutrition information, and even on TV. Writing is so universal now that we don’t even think twice about all the things we read on a daily basis. All of these words that we are constantly reading are actually written by someone who put thought behind it. In ancient Egypt, only Scribes, one of the highest ranking classes of people, were allowed to learn how to write... read more

If I could only give one tip to help a student power through your his/her college essay, it would be this: write about something you love to think about.  As you consider topics, don't ask yourself whether something will make you sound smart, or motivated, ask yourself: "Would I enjoy writing about this?"  If the answer is yes, you've got a potential topic.  You'll have more to say, you'll naturally be more interesting, and you will be your best self, if you just start with what you love.  

Have you ever asked your child: "How was school today?" Did you get "The Evil Eye"? Did he/she change the subject quickly?    Well, something's not right at school. Often times it's in the classroom. Want to know which class? Keep an eye on those progress reports. Or better yet, register for your school's Parent Portal, a real-time update of how your child is fairing in each of her/his classes.   Some warning signs that It's Time for Tutoring: HW completion rate is 0-50%; Low test scores or falling test scores; You used to see her/him doing HW at home but not any more;   Tutoring in fact provides students with something that many students crave while in school: Structure and Attention!   Students often get lost in the fast pace of day to day lessons, lectures and labs. Once they miss a concept, grades begin that slippery descent down hill and fast.   So catch the warning... read more

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