Want to place a bet on that? Ever thought about having your own micro-brew beer? Do you like bread? Ever spread honey on your toast? Or put blue cheese on your salad? Or cheese on your burger? That's right - they are ALL biology based. Every last one of them - and you can't do any of them without it. No plastic substitutes need apply. Let me show you. Beer and bread require a very versatile one celled fungi that we call 'yeast'. It's a first cousin to mushrooms and toadstools, true, but a fungi it is. It is also a PLANT. We do many things with yeasts-these two just happen to make alcohol and carbon dioxide very reliably. We have also learned how to make yeasts do some pretty sophisticated things, too - like produce vaccines and some drugs. Honey? That's made by honeybees, of course, but it is how they do it that is fascinating. They gather lots of nectar (which isn't all that sweet) and put it into little wax cups. Those wax cups actually draw out the... read more
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As the school year ramps up again, I wanted to put out a modified version of a Memo of Understanding http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Memo_of_understanding for parents and students. It seems each year in the rush to get through the first weeks of school parents and students forget the basic first good steps and then the spiral downwards occurs and then the need for obtaining a tutor and then the ‘wish for promises’ from a tutor. Pay attention to your child’s folder or agenda book. A student is generally not able to self regulate until well into high school. Some people never quite figure it out. Be the best person you can be by helping your child check for due dates, completeness, work turned in on time. Not only will this help your child learn to create and regulate a schedule, it prevents the following types of conversations I always disliked as a teacher ("Can you just give my child one big assignment to make up for the D/F so they can pass"; "I am going to talk to the principal... read more
The most obvious answer is cost. If a tutor charges the same rate for one or four students, it becomes cheaper per hour as you increase students and share the costs with other families. It is often believed a tutor is best when working 1:1 with a student. In some instances it is well worth the time and money to have 1:1 tutoring and sometimes it is appropriate for students to study and do school work in small groups. What is not obvious is the dynamics of small group tutoring. In a variety of circumstances it is invaluable for students to learn how to study “what needs to be studied”. The acts of independence and self regulating behavior have far reaching benefits. Groups need to learn to share and take turns. This seems simple and yet there is the underlying tendency to allow the ‘smart one’ in the group to carry the burden of work. Assuming each student is in the class and has a different point of view/observation about what is happening in class, they should share... read more
Although I do not own a TV (and have not for pretty much all of my adult life), I occasionally allow myself to partake in mind numbing and will watch past episodes of a show via Netflix. It would not have occurred to me I could learn something helpful about studying and yet I did! Although I did not realize it at the time, Bones (cerebral/quirky weekly drama about a forensic anthropologist played by Emily Deshanel) and later Grey's Anatomy (medical drama with some elements of non-fiction starring Patrick Dempsey and Sandra Oh), subtly helped me understand how to become a better connoisseur of studying anatomy and physiology. It was not until recently, while working with a pre-nursing school student, I put the pieces together. Anyone who works with the body (living or dead) must create their own 'GPS' system for navigating the body as no two are exactly alike. Each bone, muscle, system and tissue (sometimes even cells) are just slightly different. There is a range... read more
Greetings Wyzant community, prospective students, fellow tutors: I have just returned from my studies abroad and am ready to begin teaching again. Please take a look at my profile. My education ranges from my Masters in Physics, to my undergrad degrees in physics, biology and music. I just completed the coursework for a masters program in peace and conflict resolution as well. Aside from know knowledge and experience teaching, I think I possess a very good ability to understand the different ways students learn. This helps me to engage with them in a way that is most effective for them. Not only does it help to comprehend the material for the subjects they are learning but it also helps them to develop a wisdom and intuition for further (creative) learning and a strategic approach towards test taking. I'm looking forward to working with all of you. Don't hesitate to contact me for any reason...
I have found particularly with science but with other subjects as well that the cheesier you make a memory tactic the more likely it is to stick! For example: in anatomy I always say that the brain is the controller - therefore every one else heads to talk to him (via nerves) to do their job. We know that the body is composed of a whole bunch of cells - we can think of them as a communication network holding hands to relay messages to the brain too. The easiest way to make things make sense is to have it make sense to you. If no one else understands what you are talking about but you get it and you ace that test then the easy cheesie trick works! Try it out!
It was the Fall of 2009 and the economy left many of us unemployed for the first time ever! I'm SO glad I LOST MY FULL TIME JOB. Just like that, the corporate world is cruel, they pulled the rug right out from under me! I only got 1 week of notice too!!! It doesn't matter how great your severance package is, it is no fun to have your life turned upside down without giving you time to process what is happening to you. Returning to college was the best decision I ever made. If you started a college education and put it on hold to raise a family or build a career and now you wish you were in another field--it is not too late. If you are reading this, you probably want out. If you are still reading, you definitely need to make a change in your life. Health care is booming and it is only going to get better. Why not consider attending a paraprofessional program to achieve a 2 year degree to become a medical lab technician or a dental assistant? I've known a few students that... read more
IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful... read more
I am excited today to share my experience of taking my first free online course with EdX. The course is an introduction to biology called "The Secret of Life" by Eric Lander. I have always been a fan of Eric Lander because his lectures are more about understanding biology than just knowing a bunch of facts. I am also very happy to see that many teachers and students are registered to this course and that NSTA (National Science Teacher Association) offers support and free resources for teachers. As a high school science teacher and private tutor I have always felt that the curriculum emphasizes breath instead of depth. I believe that free high quality education is going to have a huge impact for the generation to come. If you haven't taken a course with EdX you can still browse their catalogue here: https://www.edx.org/courses.
Since I am new to the site, I would like to tell you a little bit about me. I worked as a Supplemental Instruction leader for an Anatomy and Physiology course for over two years. This position is given to those who have taken the course and received a high grade and who have participated in training regarding tutoring styles and study skills. I held three sessions per week which were optional for the students. Anywhere from one to one hundred students would attend depending on the difficultly of the current material or whether or not they had an exam in the near future. I was required to submit lesson plans and create mock exams/review sessions. I love working in groups or one-on-one. I am majoring in Biology and Psychology with a minor in Biochemistry. I have finished all courses required for my minor (plus two extra). I am almost done with my Biology degree. I have taken basic psychology classes as well as advanced ones such as Biopsychology, Behavioral Neuroscience, Statistics... read more
Times are definitely changing in the world of education. Today, as with all things twenty-first century, there are no limits to a student's education. This is absolutely exciting since so many 'schools without walls' have adopted various technologies during the past few years to enable students excel academically. As an advanced tutor, it makes me dance in my shoes. Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and MIT have posted several free virtual lectures for the average student on education applications via android devices, iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Today, I want to introduce some fantastic techniques to approach tutoring that will benefit the student who cannot meet physically with a tutor, or maybe a student who is in a town on one end of the United States while their tutor is at the opposite end of the map. Yes, tutoring can now be employed with the use of fantastic applications such as Skype and Scribblar. Skype: This is a tool by which a tutor can see his/her... read more
Give positive feedback, use encouraging vocabulary Find success, and reinforce effort, in even minor accomplishment ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A tutor provides expertise, experience, and encouragement. They do not provide "answers," but rather assist in problem solving, in getting answers. The challenge is to focus on assignments within the context they are assigned. Tutors should not be expected to diagnose learning disabilities. Diagnosis should take place outside of the tutoring process by a professional academic counselor. If a larger problem becomes apparent, referral is the best strategy. Tutoring strategies: Seek out training to be a more effective tutor: This includes subject matter as well as the tutoring procedures Clearly establish expectations for your learner What are the expectations of the learner? of the teacher? and of those close to the learner (classmates,... read more
An important piece I bring to the table in terms of tutoring is the fact each student is a unique individual, which may be better reached by creative thought concerning what will help them master the material of their subject. It also matters a great deal what their personal goals are in learning a subject. The teaching approach can be tailored in a way that addresses both what they want to learn, and the best way for them to learn it. This is certainly the advantage of having a tutor. In addition to helping them with a specific subject, I also seek to imbue students with the kind of study skills that will benefit them to not only do well in the course, but skills which will benefit them through out their professional development.
Hello! This whole site is pretty new to me, but I wanted to briefly show my interests and experiences, as they are fairly diversified: Sciences: As noted above, most of my experience is with chemistry. Organic Chemistry is my specialty, but I am also familiar with Inorganic Chemistry. I've been a Teaching Assistant for college freshman level courses through upper level chemistry courses. I started off as a Biology/Pre-med major, so courses like Physics and Biology are high on my understanding. Tutoring in most of the sciences will be my highest level of knowledge/experience. Math: I was a mathematics minor as an Undergraduate, so I am very familiar with a fair amount of mathematics divisions. Calculus is fairly fresh, but I am most proficient with Algebra. I have a secret love of the mathematics, so tutoring math in some way would definitely be great. Dance: I just noticed that dance was an option for the "subjects", so I listed it. I am a Lindy Hop dancer and have... read more
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If you are in the preliminary stage working toward applying for a nursing program, I would love to meet you! I know it is hard work taking the courses you are studying and completing all requirements needed to make your application. Since 2010 I've studied biology, chemistry, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, in depth. These are not the easiest subjects to learn, especially if you are returning to college after taking time off to raise a family or pursue a career path in a different field. As a non-traditional student, I spent many late nights in Denny's drinking my vanilla lattes while reviewing difficult concepts in chemistry, anatomy and physiology. I returned to college after decades of being out of school. With my laptop and Pearson's Anatomy & Physiology, Mastering Chemistry and Cengage OWL's online chemistry resources those long nights at Denny's paid off. I began to grasp concepts that were foreign to me through the use of many computer programs, even when... read more
So I'm sure we all want to EXCEL in school! Who doesn't??? Well how can you do that? Here are a few tips! 1.) TAKE GOOD NOTES IN CLASS. When in class, be very engaged in the topic being discussed. That may require taking extra notes, side points your teacher/professor make. It most definitely includes asking questions! No question is dumb question. Don't move on unless you are clear. If needed, get help outside of class. 2.) GO OVER NOTES THE SAME DAY. After you finish class, go home and review your notes. Make sure you understand them all and write down any questions you have for your teacher/professor. 3.) GO OVER YOUR NOTES WEEKLY AS WELL. The more you review your notes the better you will be at remembering the concepts. 4.) MAKE A STUDY SCHEDULE. This is very helpful, especially if you have a test coming up! You can delegate the amount of time needed and you will also hold yourself accountable for studying. 5.) STUDY WITH GROUP. This is more reinforcement... read more
What a way to start off the New Year! First I met with a student for US History and Living Environment. She is taking the Regents exams in three weeks. When I first met with her, Cee had a fear of taking exams, and was very nervous. She struggled with understanding both subjects; the Historical Events and dates, as well as the vocabulary words for Biology. Her next struggles were understanding and answering the document based questions for US History and the short responses for LE. Now she answers them much more confidently and accurately, and has even improved in writing her document based and thematic essays for US History. I am so proud of her and is certain that she will pass both Regents exams. Then I met with my grade 4 student for Math, English Language Art and Science. He has gone from scoring 31% to 83% on his practice science exam. He is much more confident with doing Math and ELA assignments. I am so proud of him. Then it was on to my grade 6 Math student. When... read more
Would you believe that lung cancer was a somewhat of a rare occurrence until the early to mid twentieth century? This fact is due to cigarettes gaining popularity in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the UK, among all cancer deaths lung cancer related deaths rose from 1.5% in 1920 to 19.7% in 1947. Cigarettes aren’t the only cause of lung cancer, there are many causes not associated with smoking, but one fact is true: Anything you light on fire and inhale isn’t going to be good for you! Smoking causes the lungs to age at a greater rate than they would in the non-smoker. Among many of the ill effects smoking causes, lung cancer is one of the most well known. Most people don’t think of heart disease when you mention the long-term health effects of cigarettes, even though it is a leading cause of this as well. One of the reasons it results in cancer is due to the long-term inflammation that is caused in the airways, which over time recurrent smoking tends to lead to increased... read more
We've been told that each student tends to have a dominant learning style. In my experience, I would say that the Visual-Dominant Learning Style is most common (#1), then the Auditory Learning Style (#2), and then the Tactile or Kinetic Learning Style (#3). Some teachers seem to love talking a lot, so their students may get 90% of more of their information in the Auditory form. That is not good for some students. Other teachers and professors like to "put it all on the board," and let students do their own note-taking, and draw their own conclusions. There are some "teachers" who do not do very much explaining. Worst of all, a few teachers--at least-- actually discourage students from asking questions. (Amazing, but true, right?) Before I paint a picture that is too gloomy, please understand that I believe most teachers do a good job of teaching. Some teachers are great at their jobs. In typical classrooms, the visual and the auditory go together, so students don't have... read more