After several months of carrying some pretty heavy textbooks around with me, I recently decided to switch to a Kindle Fire and start using electronic textbooks. Although there are times when a good old-fashioned book really cannot be replaced, I'm very pleased with the weight of my tutoring bag now, and my students seem to be enjoying the switch as well. I'm able to download textbooks for free in some cases ("Boundless" publishing), and I also have several different dictionaries and other reference books a tap away! Any other books I might find helpful for my students? Just a few clicks away. This also frees up my paper textbooks to loan to my students in-between sessions. Using a Kindle gives me the added benefit of being able to load educational applications to use for practice and reinforcement. Since we are in the 'computer testing' age, this also gives my students some extra practice in preparing for computerized exams. I'm sure you'll notice that the... read more
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Here are some of my favorite resources that cover multiple subject areas in a single resource. Check back again soon, this list is always growing! I also recommend school textbooks, your local library, and used bookstores. (All grades) www.wyzant.com/resources/answers - homework help from real tutors and teachers (All grades) http://www.wyzant.com/resources/lessons - lessons and tutorials from real tutors and teachers (Varies) FactMonster.com – Formulas, practice, and basic information for chapter reviews or previews. (PreK-8, 12) SheppardSoftware.com – Math, Language Arts, Science, Health and History games, + SAT vocab flash cards (K-8) Softschools.com – Flashcards, practice lessons, and general guidance in all core subjects (K-6) Eduplace.com – Online textbook-based lessons and practice for elementary school students- a GREAT resource if you’ve left your textbook at school or if you need more worksheets to practice with... read more
I remember the moment clearly even now: Mrs S., brandishing the loose-leaf pages in front of my fourth-grade classroom, her wild-eyed look at odds with her precise hair and immaculate apple-printed skirt. I remember how I had quietly slipped the papers into tray of finished homework, how I had felt somehow embarrassed by the inked words. I remember her words: "Julie is going to be a famous writer someday!" And I remember the feeling: elation, pride, and a stark wonder that someone believed in me this much. Now, years later--after a college degree in Creative Writing and a few published pieces in literary journals--I think back on the powerful impact that Mrs. S. had on my writing. I was an extraordinarily shy student. English had been my second language, and I had been shuffled through ESL classes all throughout my early elementary school years. But for me, English was not a hardship—it was a refuge. I lost myself in books, and found myself in paper and pen. I wrote... read more
In my work as a teacher, I cannot help but notice that many of the reading selections written for our students include words that are beyond our students' experience. Students simply do not have & could not usually acquire the background knowledge necessary for understanding some words they encounter in subject-specific reading selections, such as social studies & science. Reading instruction in language arts classes cannot adequately address all the words students need to know, as language arts teachers have other specific concerns to address every day. This is why every teacher must be a reading teacher & consider reading an integral part of their subject. Certain subjects are the best place for students to encounter, learn, and understand some of the vocabulary they need to know, while context clues are only useful if students already have the needed background knowledge. In other words, a context clue is not really a clue at all if students do not have the background knowledge... read more
When addressing general learning - especially in K-6 - we must keep in mind that subjects cannot be separated from one another. An obvious example is science, which requires mathematics, writing, and usually reading. Mathematics word problems, of course, require skill in reading and logic. If we consider social studies, we quickly realize that reading, writing, science, and math concepts are usually necessary for appropriate learning experiences. The common element in all our learning is, of course, language, which we began learning before we were even born. As we grew and learned, we imitated our parents' oral language and learned to associate words with things we observed in our environment. Eventually, we began learning to read, which is simply associating written symbols with oral language. Reading opened us up to a variety of learning, but we had to practice reading on its own, for its own sake, as well as in the other subject areas. This is why schools nowadays often... read more
The human muscular system is not only complex, it intrigues by the amount of work it can perform, and sustain under the most demanding conditions. There are many viable contenders for determining the strongest muscle, included are: longevity, strength alone, load, lift, durability, response to pain, healing qualities, size, function, growth, suitability in recovery and reproducibility of destroyed or diseased cells. Within the human body, there are several muscles that may be considered such as the heart, jaw, tongue, uterus, the list can go on until you have covered most of the over 630 muscles in the human body. The strongest muscle is that muscle required to work all day, every day without tiring or failure. It could be a group of muscles or a single muscle. It is the one that responds to high demand and allows us to function almost flawlessly. It is the one that is mechanically, the most perfect muscle. The muscle that outperforms any mechanical... read more
Why does learning have to be boring? Most kids struggle in school because they are unmotivated, not engaged, and embarrassed. Unmotivated because they haven't found the connection to what they are learning about and their own lives. Not engaged-well, unfortunately most schools are set up in a traditional setting with desks and books; and a lot of students don't learn in that setting. Embarrassed- many are confused or struggling and are afraid to ask for help because of their peers. I've created a way for students to learn in fun and engaging ways! With a little competition, and a simple game such as Connect Four, my students start spelling words they never thought they could spell! Playing Jenga was never so serious until there was a challenging task to meet if and when that tower falls! As well as being a certified elementary school teacher, I'm also a certified personal trainer. With my business I work with families and teach them how to have... read more
Back-to-School Smart Tips It’s FINALLY almost time for school again, and I know a lot of you are excited (I know I am!), but there some excellent pointers to keep in mind as school starts back up again. Before school starts: 1. Get a really good planner you like. Most students aren’t accustomed to using planners or don’t keep up with it. Planners, whether you know it or not, are just as important, if not more important than binders and pencils. I know that all through middle school, high school, and college, I would have been completely lost without my planner. Planners are EXCELLENT for writing down quiz dates, test dates, homework, and after-school activities. Some schools will sell planners and those can be excellent, but I also recommend looking around at Office Depot, Barnes and Noble, or Wal-Mart/Target for other general planners that organize by time and day. Weekly planners typically do not work well for people with full schedules, so try to stay away from those. 2.... read more
Five tips for surviving the summer slump! 1. Spend time getting physical exercise - it keeps the brain active. 2. Read as much as possible - choose books that interest you, not just what might be on your school's summer reading list. 3. WRITE - write a journal about what you did during the summer, places you went, reflections on books you read. 4. Limit the time you spend on computer games. 5. HAVE FUN.
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
Summer means fun, no school, swimming pools and a number of other things that do not include school work. So it is important to create a routine for learning you could name something like " The Summer Fun Club". See if you can find a couple of neighborhood kids who might want to join in the fun. It is important you schedule 30 minutes every day for fun time. 1) Plan a time to play school everyday (you can call it anything your student will find interesting) for 30 minutes. 2) Echo read a passage that is appropriate in terms of level, then choral read then individual reading. 3) Retell the story. 4) Retell the story and change the ending. 5) Act out the different characters in a little play. It is amazing what a student can learn and remember if they have a gross motor connection. These are a few suggestions. All kids learn in different ways. Pay attention to how your student prefers to learn. For Example: Does He/She like to learn visually,... read more
Is there a voice activated program designed to test students proficiency at reading sight words? I envision a program of electronic flash cards that would "flip" to the next word only when the word was read correctly or they said "skip." Anyone interested in designing such a program? Could a similar thing be designed into Notebook software so to work on SMARTBoards?
For parents who are trying to do any of the following: 1. Engage your child in reading 2. Increase your child's reading skills (fluency, comprehension, rhythm, expression, tempo, etc.) 3. Increase your child's language acquisition, vocabulary, grammar skills, and spelling skills This blog post is for you!!! There are some really unique ways to help your child become a "reader." I myself wasn't a "reader" until about the age of 10. Up to that point, though I loved books and collected books and asked for books for birthdays/holidays, I was not a reading self-starter. However, I loved being read TO! At the age of 6, I took a great interest in Laura Ingalls Wilder's "Little House" books. Not only, was I fascinated with the time period (late 1800's), I also found a kindred spirit of sorts in Laura. She stood up for things in which she believed strongly, she was stubborn, and she was short! I found a heroine that was very much like me! So every night, my mom would... read more
Virtual education’s popularity is on the rise. Parents have a wide variety of schools to choose from if they decide to enroll their children in a virtual school. This can make choosing a virtual school that's right for your children difficult. This article summarizes five important things to consider when choosing a virtual school for your children. 1. Independent Study vs. Live Instruction First, review the school’s website and any literature they have to see whether they use a live, online learning environment or if students will learn content in an independent study setting. There are pros and cons to each. An exhaustive list is outside of the scope of this article. In my experience as a former virtual schoolteacher, high school students can handle independent study with the right amount of supervision from their parents, middle school students cannot. They need the structure that live, online classes provide. Live, online classes typically use the same virtual... read more
Hello fellow scholars! This is my first blog for WyzAnt Tutoring services and I just applied to my first student request! This is so exciting. I love to learn and read about new places and moving to Milwaukee has been very interesting. Let me fill you in on who I am...I grew up in Delavan, Wisconsin. After I was married my husbands job moved us all over the southern parts of the U.S.A. Our own children went to school in six different states and I was licensed to teach in each of those states as well. Each new location gave me a chance to learn more local state history and explore new cities and state parks. My children and I loved camping and hiking. I spent time being a scout leader for the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scout organizations. My profile picture was taken on a family trip to Hawaii...I'm standing on the edge of a volcano! I sure hope that I have lots of new learning experiences with my next new scholar! Mrs. B
"Stay focused!" That's what I'd say if I could go back and sit down with my 9, 12, or 15 year old self. Look at your natural skills, the gifts that 'come easily,' for clues about who you are and what you can do successfully. If you love to read, look at paths that allow you to do that, to work with various materials, to teach others to read. If you love to write, consider the MANY paths for writers. Be willing to imagine ALL KINDS of ways to do what you love, what 'comes easily,' what is 'natural' for you. That is where, when, and HOW you will find your professional bliss!
I'm an educator, photographer, family therapist, I enjoy helping others succeed. I look forward to tutoring and getting to know WyzAnt students.
If you had asked my middle school students to describe our class routines, you might have thought I was their English teacher, not Social Studies. As a teacher and tutor, I’ve tried to pass on a legacy for the love of reading to my students. I often tell them, “If you can read, you can teach yourself anything.” In this article, I will give you some tips on how to get your children to read more, and more often. It’s Not Magic! Occasionally, parents visited my classroom to ask, “How do you do it?” They were usually referring to the success of my Friday Silent Reading routine. Each fall, I explained the importance of literacy to my students and said that practice is best way to improve reading skills. I told them that I expected them to bring a book of their choice to class every day, to read it if they finished all the day’s scheduled activities I’d given them, and that the first 20 minutes of class every Friday was reserved for sustained silent reading. Parents... read more
Unless you or your child attends a year – round school, summer vacation begins sometime in the next week or so. College students have read more pages than they thought humanly possible, taken many exams, written research papers, and stayed up way too late over the past 10 months. Parents of school – aged children have helped with homework, gone to parent/ teacher conferences, E-mailed teachers, and maybe volunteered for one activity too many. This article will help you understand the importance of continuing your/ your child’s learning over the summer and lists several suggestions on how to make the fall back - to - school transition much easier! Suffer No Setbacks Educational researchers agree that students need to continue their education over the summer or they stand to lose up to three (3) months worth of the previous year’s learning. Think about that for a minute. It’s like going to class from March to May for no reason! Unless you keep learning over the summer,... read more
The end of the school year is coming very fast! We need to ensure that our children and students are readily prepared for the tests that are coming. Through extra vocabulary practice, increased reading times, as well as checking for reading comprehension is very important. It's also important to start thinking about next year. If this had some rough spots, that could be avoided next year. We need to work together! If you child was specifically having issues in one subject area, we could take the summer time and ensure that they are more comfortable and even advanced in that subject area. Contact me ASAP if you are interested in having your student tutored this summer!