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There are many great texts, blog posts and other resources to help students prepare for the SAT, ACT and similar examinations. For my own part, when working with a student who is trying to prepare for a test of this nature, we approach the battle from two fronts; test-taking strategy and subject skill.   The first thing to do -- and this should be done at least a year in advance -- is to visit the website of whichever test one is taking and learn about the test, itself. The testing organization sites contain important information about the test content, sample questions, as well as general advice for successful testing. Many either contain or at least link to complete (and free) practice tests.   When preparing for a test of nearly any kind, the preparation should mimic -- and, if possible, exceed the difficulty of -- the anticipated test. Time yourself strictly, working through sample tests with realistic questions. That is, do the practice sessions... read more

There are two basic levels of study skills with which I attempt to help people. The first is what we might call basic or rudimentary skills. These have to do with establishing good habits that lead to successful study. The latter is more advanced and has to do with conducting research, discerning the authenticity and value of sources, and so on. The purpose of this article is to provide basic advice to those struggling with basic study habits.   Difficulties with basic study habits are usually rooted in a lack of understanding of the subject being studied -- leading to frustration -- and general distractions. If you are having trouble progressing in your studies consider trying the following:   Study at the Same Time Every Day Find a time of the day when you typically feel calm and there aren't a lot of interruptions. Make that your routine study or self-improvement time. With practice, this will condition your mind to go into "study mode"... read more

In response to the question about making lessons fun, here are some thoughts (not sure how far "outside the box" they are).   First, try to set the student at ease by assuring them that you are not there to judge them. You are only there to help them, therefore, there are no foolish questions, and it's ok to say, "I don't know" or "I'm not sure."   Second, sit beside them rather than opposite them. Not only is it easier for you and them to read what the other person is reading or writing, but it also fosters a sense of "we're in this together" rather than opposing each other.   Lastly, have some fun. Don't be afraid to mix in a little humor, laugh at yourself (not them, of course), or be light-hearted. While helping a student is serious business, it's not brain surgery. It's also not life or death, even though they may think the next test holds the key to their existence.   For what it's...

I am a lifelong learner nearly completed with my PhD.  Originally from Northern NY, but recently relocated to Mid-TN. I love learning as well as sharing that love with students, helping them to become the best they can be in any given area.  I tend to be a bit strict, but the time spent in tutoring should be spent to provide the best instruction possible to the student within the timeframe allotted.  My goal is to see every student succeed, while providing a sense of confidence and pride.  My areas of specialty are in the field of psychology, but have experience and taught an array of classes as a homeschool educator and state representative for L.E.A.H.  In addition, I am a published author.  My knowledge is vast in many areas of study from preschool to university levels.  Strengths include English, grammar, spelling, writing, literature, religious studies, psychology, sociology, philosophy, and many more.  Homework assignments... read more

To everyone out there in WyzAnt Land,   I've been doing SAT/ACT test prep for many years, and I've developed some techniques that are helping my students increase their scores by an average of 30%. I've done research and found that these techniques are supported by studies done by neuroscientists. They are also unique, in that I've not been able to find them in any other SAT/ACT study guide or help book on the market, so I've written my own book.   Now the fun part begins. I've published magazine articles, but I've never published a book before now. There are a ton of options out there, so my question is, have any of you published a nonfiction book? If so, what would you recommend regarding self-publishing versus traditional publishing (or something in between)? Can you share any experiences that will keep me out of trouble?   I would very much appreciate any and all feedback. Thanks!

A parent of one of my students asked me the other day what I thought of Khan's Academy.  I have to admit I was caught off guard.  Khan's Academy is a collection of YouTube videos designed to "teach" math to students.  I say "teach" because (after thinking about it) I take issue with the notion that someone can truly learn a skill such as mathematics by merely watching someone else do it.    According to Bloom's Taxonomy, there are six levels of thinking:   1.  knowledge (or rote) -- remembering basic information 2.  comprehension -- understanding the basic information, being able to phrase it in one's own words 3.  application -- using the information in a concrete way to solve a problem or complete a task 4.  analysis -- breaking apart the information, sorting out facts, and drawing conclusions 5.  synthesis -- putting together knowledge in novel, creative... read more

S., aged 14, invested a bit less time for homework last week, as she was very busy. However, she did experiment with pen-and-ink and has purchased markers and graphite pencils, as well as two sketchbooks of better paper. She is going on vaction soon and I hope she will take her sketchbooks along. I suggested she start to think about drawing portrait and figure. I brought along "Anatomy for the Artist" by Jeno Barcsay and showed her how the artist breaks down human anatomy into components. The book is informative about the skeleto-muscular structure as well. We also discussed the problems of foreshortening while viewing objects (and bodies) in space. I suggested she draw a self portrait sketch or a portrait sketch for homework. Later, I emailed her links to figure sketches by great artists, from Durer and Da VInci to Singer-Sargent and Giacometti. I also brought some small pages of good textured papers of various colors for her to try out, as newsprint... read more

I remember going to school and feeling like something was wrong with me because I was good at mathematics. Especially, since nearly every teacher felt the need to re-iterate how girls were not as good at mathematics as boys based on what ever random statistics at the time.   However, I excelled and kept going. I got a degree in mathematics. So, what made me different from all the other girls that got discouraged. Natural ability for mathematics; however, when I reflect that's not the whole story. As I went to college, there were other girls that were great at mathematics, but once again got discouraged. So, what made go on to pursue degrees is Computer Science, Mathematics, and Computer Engineering.   I got the same discouraging information as everyone else, but I kept going. Why?  1) "Fighter" Personality My personality is such that when someone tells me that I can not do something, then I wanted to fight that much harder to prove... read more

Toni Morrison's “Beloved” is a beautiful, poetic, and haunting work about love, motherhood and the lengths to which a mother will go to protect her children. The runaway slave woman Sethe kills one of her children (and attempts to kill the others) in order to save its life, and in doing so destroys the beautiful world she's tried so hard to create for the rest of her family. The baby's ghost haunts Sethe's world through the enigmatic character of Beloved, a character with at least three distinct possible interpretations. Is Beloved the ghost of the “already-crawling? baby,” or a simple runaway slave who just happens to call herself “Beloved,” or perhaps not even there at all? The novel is intentionally written to keep our interpretations vague, and each interpretation comes with its own commentary on the relationships in the novel. On the one hand, Beloved could be a real, physical girl, not related to the family, who ran away from an abusive slave owner and found... read more

Structure is necessary, it keeps things organized but unplanned topics can also present great learning opportunities. If the student is excited about something, we talk about it! There are always chances to learn new vocabulary words and even hit up some practice with grammar. After all, conversation is just that, going with the flow and seeing where things go. Be spontaneous amidst the structure.    Another aspect that is helpful and fun is to center lessons around my students. It's their life and their experience they'll want to share, so we work around that.    Kids games are fun even for adults! It's okay to play "Ispy" (Yo veo) when we are learning colors or talking about specific vocabulary. We even play scrabble for those who really want a challenge. It's a wonderful opportunity to see how many words you already know and learn new ones when I play words you don't recognize. Jeopardy is also another great game I like to include... read more

If your students are anything like my students, they need to get up an moving. They sit in their desks at school from eight to two almost straight. In order to make tutoring meaningful and on the students' level incorporate these five tips into your tutoring lessons. First, make the skill a game. Kids love games. They come up with their own crazy games a recess or even at lunch. Build your tutoring lesson around a game. Teach the skill, then reinforce the skill with the game. You can use a simple game like tic-tac-toe for any type of subject matter, as well as, game shows like "Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader" and "Jeopardy" helps those of a competitive nature to beat their "teacher." Most of the game show templates are free online, and you just have to manually enter the content you want to assess.    Second, make your tutoring lessons kinesthetic. Students learn best when all three types of learning styles are incorporated... read more

what are tips anyway? I did the searches for you. Maybe I shouldn’t have because it totally changed what I was going to write. Here’s why. Youtube “public speaking tips,” and you get 241,000 results. That’s a lot of tips. Google the same and you’ll see 45,800,000 results. Ditto times 190. And then I thought, “Just what is a tip?” So, I did dictionary searches and my jaw hit the couch like Wiley Coyote blown away one more time by the Road Runner. Couch? Well, I write on my left elbow (the same way the Last Supper actually happened; see Roman tradition). Not a single dictionary listed “a hint or help on how to do something.” Nope. Not in a single one. Urban Dictionary had a cool one, though. “When someone dyes the ends of her hair a different color than the rest of their hair. “Look at that girl. She just got her tips done.”   Alright. Let’s get to to the “tip” you probably haven’t heard or seen anywhere else. public speaking is play... read more

The structure of the NCLEX is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the  different phases of the nursing process and the needs of the client. Each question on the NCLEX incorporates a phase of the nursing process and an area of client needs.  The nursing process consists of five basic steps - assessment, analysis, planning, implementation and evaluation.  In answering your NCLEX questions it is important to understand which step of the nursing process you need to apply  in order to successfully answer the question and pass your exam.  Good luck.   Dr. Harriette

Games- trivia and guinness records make for great reading material and can also incorporate other subject matter too.    student interest: whether its a clothing item, jewelry, or sports team, remember something about each child and ask him or her about it.    Real-world connections- help students see the subject area topics in use- bring a phone bill or other item that adults need skills for so students know how/why the subject is important.    Biographies- another way students make real-world connections is to hear about how role models use/have used the topic on their lives. 

In common conversation "se rappeler" and "se souvenir" are most of the time used with "de" after, and most of French people use undistinctly one for the other. So most of the people won't even notice if you do the same. That been said, you can stop your reading now.   Or if you want to look at it through a microscope, let's have fun!   "Se rappeler de" is mostly used for action you have to do( or you'll have to do), and for relatively short term and factual memories: "Rappelle-toi de jeter la poubelle demain matin!" (Don't forget to take the trash out tomorrow morning) To a policeman who shows you a picture: "Je me rappelle de ce type. Il est passé hier à la boutique." (I remember that guy. I went to the shop yesterday.)   "Se souvenir de" is more charged with feelings, is about something you keep from a past time and/or you'll keep for ever (think "souvenir... read more

In common conversation "se rappeler" and "se souvenir" are most of the time used with "de" after, and most of French people use undistinctly one for the other. So most of the people won't even notice if you do the same. That been said, you can stop your reading now.   Or if you want to look at it through a microscope, let's have fun!   "Se rappeler de" is mostly used for action you have to do( or you'll have to do), and for relatively short term and factual memories: "Rappelle-toi de jeter la poubelle demain matin!" (Don't forget to take the trash out tomorrow morning) To a policeman who shows you a picture: "Je me rappelle de ce type. Il est passé hier à la boutique." (I remember that guy. I went to the shop yesterday.)   "Se souvenir de" is more charged with feelings, is about something you keep from a past time and/or you'll keep for ever (think "souvenir... read more

A new focus on my advance science and mathematics tutoring, especially in engineering and medicine is to try and educate students on how to minimize injuries and diseases such as those listed below.  It has taken me several thousand hours to master the process of health and safety training as part of curriculum, but if young tutors start with one topic area such as Diabetes then after a decade they will have advanced knowledge that even highly trained professionals do not have.  This process requires years (decades) of dedication and logical developmental stages.    I believe with more experience tutors we can help decrease the following diseases and disabilities.  Remember all accidents are preventable as are many diseases.   Disabilities include, but are not limited to: -Blindness -Deafness -Cancer -Diabetes -Epilepsy -Autism -Cerebral palsy -HIV/AIDS -Schizophrenia -Muscular dystrophy -Bipolar... read more

Creating documentaries is tough--not because of the funding, the talent, the crew, the possibility of distribution or no distribution, but because of the infinite number of questions that an investigative documentary can raise. Look at Bill Maher's "Religilous." To cover the entire scope of what religious people believe, it would take an entire lifetime and millions of hours of footage. Call me crazy, but it would be hard for audience to sit through that (without a few intermissions). When examining a phenomena such as energy healing or life after death, or any of the other questions that have existed practically since humankind came into being, the temptation to go 'big' is there and the leads you may get from one interview can lead in about a billion different directions. Everyone who has had an NDE has a story to tell, and a slightly different one. Everyone also has a slightly different belief because of it. Similarly, everyone who has ever performed... read more

1. Relate materials to the students preferred interests. For example, if the student likes animals, you can teach categorization and counting by having a student count all the horses in a farm full of animals, teach paragraph writing by letting the student choose an animal to write about, teach volume by having a student discover how many square feet an animal needs for a pen and then have them create a pen of that size, etc.    2. Mix it up. Sometimes too much of a routine can be a bad thing. Always be willing to find new ways to teach the same topic. Use crossword puzzles to teach vocab instead of just having students write out definitions, teach simple math skills with color-by-numbers sheets (e.g. color sections red whenever the answer is 2), use white boards and race your student to see who can do the problem first (obviously the student should be first often!), let younger students doing writing exercise with a crayon of their favorite color... read more

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