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...
There are several points in grade school that involve a critical shift in the thinking that is required in the school work. Parent's should be aware of these points as they navigate through the abyss of raising a school-aged child and supporting the child
as he/she moves forward through the grades.
3rd Grade - The third grader is transitioning from whole number thinking into understanding the concepts of parts. They are exposed to fractions, decimals and percentages. This is a major paradigm shift. Students are also exposed to
long division at this point. Supporting children in this phase requires an emphasis on helping the child conceptualize whole things being split into parts. In addition to homework support, tutoring, and supplementary work, parents should introduce cooking
chores to children at this time, and make them follow a recipe that has precise measurements. Reading comprehension and writing is also an issue...
Draw a hopscotch outline with chalk or tape and write the letters of a spelling word in the squares. Your child says the letters out loud as he hops. Erase one letter at a time until he can successfully spell the word without hopping, and then move onto the
next spelling word.
2. Ball Toss
Toss a ball back and forth to reinforce spelling in a fun way. Each time your child catches the ball, they say the next letter of the spelling word.
3. Hide and Seek
Write their spelling words on note cards, and tape them in unusual places, such as on the back of cabinet doors, in your child's closet or in her pencil or jewelry box. When they find a word, they bring the card to you and spells the word.
4. Street Signs/Store Names
Have your child learn to read street signs and store names around your neighborhood. This will help them learn where they live, colors and sight words all at the same time!
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...
A great new grammar book, "The Essentials of English Grammar in 90 Minutes" by Prof. Robert Hollander [Dover, $4.95] bridges the gap between basic grammar books (for both children and adults) and higher-level books such as the recommended "Essential English
Grammar" by Philip Gucker, also from Dover Publications. This grammar book has almost no quizzes or charts, etc. but
will give you an over-all picture of not only basic, but higher level grammar. Please see my Amazon Review of this nice little addition to the grammar teacher's and learner's bookshelf.
The answer: Let them read what they like. Most kids have a preference. For instance, some children will not read chapter books, but they love non- fiction text with pictures and captions, great vocabulary, and scientific or historic content. Standards
actually encourage this type of reading. Some kid's love reading dictionaries, encyclopedias, magazines, and even religious stories. Video games have manuals and books on tips and strategies. Many include complex organization. Let them read! Rarely, I have
met a child who completely repels all literary content.
Watch what texts your child naturally gravitates towards; then feed that interest with diverse literary texts.
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...
"Phonemic awareness is the ability to hear, identify, and manipulate the individual sounds in spoken words." In order for a student to be able to read words off the page they must understand how words are made up of individual sounds called phonemes. Phonemic
awareness is not something that comes easy for all children but if a student has a strong foundation in their phonemic awareness it will propel them forward in reading and writing. Playing with words and their sounds, for example, substituting sounds, deleting
sounds, and adding on sounds will help students build that foundation.
"Change the n in nap to c. What word do we get?" "cap"
"take away the s in slip. What word do we get?" "lip"
Adding on sounds:
"Add a s to the beginning of mile. What word do we get? "smile"
Make sure you model...
I am very excited about the opportunity to work with your child or children. I love to take students from where they are and bring them up from there! I have over 10 years elementary teaching experience from prekindergarten to fifth grade! I love working
with math and reading with students. I love watching a child's eyes light up when they learn something new! I always try to use different strategies with students to match their learning style. I would love to add your child to my tutoring profile! I have
availability this summer and fall during the weekdays and can also on some weekends! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.
When working with children (especially 7 and below) it can be vital to their memory retention to take a break every thirty minutes.
I have had great success with my younger students who become stir crazy after half an hour of reading by leaving the study are and going outside or in a space where we wont bother others and doing some physical activities.
Since time is a concern it is important to only do this for ten minutes or so.
Sometimes we run and play tag, or we will do some jumping jacks, or just do some silly dancing.
When the student returns they are feeling a little more refreshed, lighthearted, and ready to continue.
That being said, it is very important to make it clear that the activity is is only supposed to be for a few minutes then it's right back to studying.
I hope this helps!
Parents consider home schooling their child(ren) for a number of reasons. Some may be dissatisfied with the curriculum offered by local public and private schools. Others may travel a lot and want their children to experience other countries and cultures.
Whatever your reason for considering home schooling, this series of articles will teach you basic steps to take to begin home schooling your child(ren). Today’s article teaches you six important first steps to ensuring a successful and legal transition from
traditional school settings to home school.
1. Review state home schooling laws. The first step you should take is to research your state’s home school related education. These regulations are easily found on the internet by entering “home school” in the search box on your state’s department
of education website. This will tell you everything you need to know about needed documentation, deadlines, how to withdraw your child(ren) from public school to begin home schooling,...
Should I get a tutor? Will it help my child? These are some of the most common questions posed to tutors by parents of students struggling in school. Tutoring can be expensive and difficult to schedule so parents must decide whether the time and money will
be well spent. Instead of relying on a crystal ball, use these factors to help make the decision.
1. Does the student spend an appropriate amount of time on homework and studies?
While it can help with study skills, organization, and motivation, tutoring cannot be expected to keep the student on track unless you plan on having a session every night. If you can make sure the student puts in effort outside of tutoring, she will be more
likely benefit from it.
2. Does the student have difficulty learning from the textbook?
If this is the case, the student will probably respond to one-on-one instruction that is more personalized. A tutor will help bring the subject to life and engage the student. A good tutor will...
I am excited about adding new student to my tutoring profile. I am available now and in the summer to work with your Preschooler and Elementary child(ren) . I can teach all subjects and have loads of experience with
Phonic ,Reading and Math .
May is a busy month for schools. Standardized tests, field trips, and graduation planning takes center stage. Teachers meet with parents of struggling students as well as those who would benefit from summer enrichment classes to discuss summer school enrollment.
This article will help parents/ guardians decide whether or not to enroll their child(ren) in summer school.
A "Bad Rap"
The words “summer school” tend to stir negative thoughts. Many parents and students falsely believe that going to summer school is a bad thing. Some cite teasing as a reason for not sending their child to summer school. Others think that their child will
become overwhelmed without a summer break.
In truth, research has shown that students who do not participate in any school – related activities during a two – month summer break can lose up to three months of the previous year’s learning! Teachers always include nearly a month’s worth of “re-teaching”
(reviewing the previous...
The first two articles in this series covered how to prepare to home school your child(ren). If you’re following along, you’re probably asking yourself the most logical question: how do I know what to teach every day and how do I teach it? The simple answer
is, “By pre-planning using unit and daily lesson plans.” This article explains unit and lesson plans, why they’re important to home schooling parents, and how to write each of these plans.
What are unit and lesson plans?
In part two of this series, I defined curriculum as “what is taught”. While that’s true, this definition can also be used for unit and lesson plans. Unit and lesson plans are written as a series of step - by - step instructions that explain exactly what
you will teach, how you will teach it, the state or national academic standards that say you must teach it, and a list of books and materials you will need to teach the lesson successfully. Both lesson and unit plans state how you will check (or “assess”)...
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...
Probably the hardest thing about doing word problems is taking the words and translating them into a workable mathematical equation. For this reason many students fear and hate doing them. It can be confusing to know where to start and how to go about figuring
out the answer. However, there are ways of breaking down a word problem that makes it clearer and easier to solve. The following is a list of helpful hints and strategies in tackling these challenging word problems.
1. Remember that when you are doing a word problem you are looking to convert the words into an equation, so read through the entire problem first. Don’t try to solve the problem when you’ve only read one sentence. It’s important to completely read the problem
in order to get the whole picture and effectively translate and solve the problem.
2. Go back to the beginning. Reread the first sentence. Write down what you know and what you don’t know. Use variables to stand for the unknowns and clearly label...
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...
Some schools have strict policies about Christmas gift giving. These include dollar limits, “acceptable” gifts, or a “no gifts, please” policy. Parents often become anxious if their child’s school allows Christmas gifts for its teachers. Some may worry about
how others might perceive the gift. Others may worry about what teachers will think if they don’t give their child’s teachers a gift. This article will give you some insight into teacher’s thoughts about student gifts and provide a few tips on gifts teachers
need and will use quickly.
What Teachers are Saying About Christmas Gifts
First, let me say that this article is based on my personal experiences at schools where I’ve taught. This includes Catholic, virtual - hybrid charter, and public schools – a wide variety to be sure. It is based on conversations I’ve had with other teachers
over the years.
One universal sentiment is that teachers don’t care whether or not students give them Christmas gifts. That is...
Your brain has “cheats” and shortcuts to make it work more efficiently, just like some video games! There are things students can do to “glitch” their brains so they soak up information like a sponge. All of these “cheats” are things we should do to keep
our brains healthy to ensure they keep working at maximum capacity throughout our lives. This article lists four brain “cheats”, how they help students learn, and a brief explanation of why they work.
When I started playing video games in the 1980’s, gamers were nothing like they are today. The Internet (GASP!) didn’t exist. We couldn’t look up articles or videos on how to finish the hard sections of the video games we played. Some gamers did learn “cheats”
anyway: ways to get advantages you could use to make it easier to finish all the levels. For example, the cheat for “Space Invaders” on the system I played had (Atari 2600!) was to hold down the “reset” button while turning your console on to get 99...