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Upcoming Test Dates

Summer is a good time to prep for the ACT. The pace can be regular but relaxed, there's time to cover all subject areas, and practice tests can be spaced out. You can get results from the September ACT just in time for most early decisions! Upcoming ACT Dates: September 8, 2012 (register by 8/17/12) October 27, 2012 (register by 9/21/12) December 8, 2012 (register by 11/2/12) Upcoming SAT Dates: October 6, 2012 (register by 9/14/12) November 3, 2012 (register by 10/5/12) December 1, 2012 (register by 11/6/12)

The Secret Life of a Tutor

Sundays are days to be lazy, to hang out with friends, to read books or swim in pools or play outside. Today is an exceptionally hot Sunday in early June. Since I got up, I've been holed up in my home office, working on tutoring. Even though I've spent the past nine or so hours (with breaks for shrimp tacos, diet Coke, and ice cream) working, I haven't actually had any students today. I realized that not many people are aware of the "behind the scenes" of tutoring (well, at least of good tutoring), and it's gotten me to think a bit about the concept of having an "hourly rate." Realizing that mine is one of the higher rates on WyzAnt, I thought I'd share a bit of the "secret life of a (good) tutor," so you might have a better idea of what you're getting for your money. Although I work very hard during our tutoring sessions to make them as productive and educational as possible, it's everything I do when you aren't around that helps me do that... read more

It is not too early to begin preparing for the SAT and ACT!

School is finally over. You are looking forward to some well earned rest and relaxation. You are not focused on the fall PSAT and the spring SAT and ACT. BIG MISTAKE! The summer before your junior year is the time to start preparing for the SAT and ACT. It is important to recognize that the single greatest advantage to early preparation is the repetitive nature of SAT and ACT questioning. The greatest predictor of score improvement on the SAT and ACT is practice. While it is important to learn the most efficient techniques for attacking questions, practice will ingrain these methods and good habits in a student so he or she can develop the necessary intuition to perform well. Only sufficient time and experience will allow a student to develop this intuition to the point where it becomes second nature. By beginning your SAT and ACT preparation early, you will avoid the last minute anxiety that besets many students who are forced to take the SAT and ACT 3, 4, or... read more

Flexible Summer Hours

As a public school teacher on a traditional academic calendar, I will have flexible day-time hours available starting June 14! I am willing to work with students in all areas of English language arts on middle and high school levels. I can also help with writing and proofreading for college work! Don't forget that I can also work with students who need help with MLA format and other research skills!

Maintain skill and knowledge during the summer, start to master upcoming subjects

Some students forget their skills and knowledge of subjects during the summer because they do not practice and receive tutoring. Other students maintain or increase their skill and knowledge during the summer by practicing and receiving tutoring on their subjects(s). To help maintain skill and knowledge level, many parents and students are having me provide tutoring during the summer for one or both of the following reasons: 1. tutoring for reviewing current subjects for practice and maintenance or enhancement of knowledge and skill levels 2. tutoring on upcoming subjects for learning so that when the student starts back after the summer, not only are they still at an enhanced skill and knowledge level for current subjects, but they can master the upcoming subjects from the beginning because they have received a preview and practice during the summer. Starting on May 30, the parents are having me tutor their student(s) in various subjects on one the following... read more

Standardized Exams - Tip 4

This post is for most if not all standardized exams. The number one issue I see with the majority of students who are preparing for these major and critical exams is that they do not spend enough time prepping. For example, obtaining a tutor a week or even three weeks before the test date is probably not going to do much to increase your scores, especially if you are meeting up with a tutor for only an hour or two per session, given your current score (pre-test). Here's my take. If you know that you will take one of these major exams (All High School AP exams included), please start months if not at least three months ahead of time. This is when you should start thinking seriously about what you need to obtain a 5 on most AP exams. What you should do is get a pre-test of how you're doing, thus you would know your strengths and weaknesses as it pertains to the test you plan to take. From here, I would work with the student to create a schedule to fit their time/financial... read more

Most Important: Customizing the tutoring and approach to the student's learning style, needs, learning objectives, questions.

Recently, after I tutored two of my favorite students to prepare them for upcoming tests in Pre-Algebra and Geometry respectively, I received positive reinforcement for the importance and value of customizing the tutoring approach, information, knowledge transfer, and tutoring style. After the first tutoring session, I was approached by three people as I was waiting for my next student: 1. An elementary school teacher – she complemented me on my knowledge and tutoring style, and asked me for my information to refer students to me for tutoring. 2. A parent seeking a tutor for their daughter – he complimented me on my tutoring style, my patience, and my problem solving ability, He said, “I saw how you tutored him and I want you to tutor my daughter the same way” He booked a tutoring session for the next day. 3. An adult student preparing for a standardized test – she worked at the café, came over and said that she saw me tutoring the student and saw how he was excited... read more

Read 20 Minutes Every Day

A lot of students have trouble in school because they have a hard time understanding text books, written instructions, reading assignments, and test questions. Although they can read, they may get facts wrong because they don’t know how to read in depth. Often, teachers and professors don’t realize their students don’t really “get” what the book is trying to say. Telling a student to just go “read the book” doesn’t help. These students aren’t lazy. Embarrassed, they do not seek help when they should. Even in high school, students are often given study sheets of simple facts needed for exams. “I don’t need to know that. It won’t be on the test,” is an excuse often given for not reading the book. And with homework, sports, and after school activities taking up so much time, students won’t read unless they have to. Unfortunately, good students may end up with poor grades because of an inability to process difficult written material. Students need to read enough to have a... read more

ACT and SAT prep

Test are just that...tests. Just because you don't perform well on a test doesn't mean you don't read or write well, it indicates that you don't test well. It's important to know if you actually don't understand the material or if you just need to learn to be a better test-taker. One of the most important things for standardized testing is to read the question first, THEN read the section where you will find the answer. Good luck, test takers!

Those Perplexing Prepositions-Part 1.

This afternoon, I found myself writing to one of my ESL students: ______________________ Hello, XXXXXX--- I am imagining you and your dog having a fine time at the cabin as I write this. I bet you are in the cabin as well. In the first sentence at the cabin is correct, just as you would say "I am at home" rather than in home. It would also be correct to say "I'm in the house" rather than outside in the yard. When you are at home, the yard is included. When you are in the house, the yard is excluded. With cabin, the same word is used both ways. When you are at the cabin, the exterior property is included, but when you are in the cabin, it is excluded. By the way, while you might be in your yard, you would be on your property. ______________________ Preposition problems are common to all but the most advanced English language learners, including many native speakers. After sending my student this email, I realized the word office... read more

Success Rx No. 2: Check your Energy Level

Today's success prescription: Check your energy level. Energy is key to effective studying. Some causes of tiredness may be inadequate sleep, hunger, poor diet, thirst, or overwork. Other health problems may also be the cause; if fatigue is a chronic condition not solved by taking care of the factors mentioned above, you should consult your physician. This will be a short post, but it's just a reminder that you don't always have to blame yourself if studying is going by slowly. Often a health factor is the cause.

Standardized Exam - Tip 2

Tip #2 for Standardized Exams Students who plan to sit for any standardized exams should do the following: 1. Take a diagnostic exam. It does not have to be a full-blown exam but a mini-version in order to get a idea as to your strengths and weaknesses. 2. Thoroughly evaluate and understand your diagnostic scores - every breakdown, not just how many wrong or right you got in each section but also understand the type of questions you are getting wrong. Also, if possible record those lucky hunches or guesses. The key is to maximize study time and effort. Why waste precious time reviewing topics in which you are comfortable in as opposed to spending your time on the tougher problems. Take Algebra - manipulation of equations. Yes, you might get the problem(s) correct but for each type of problems, there are different levels of difficulties, thus, check to see if you are truly comfortable with manipulation of equations. Most students get a few correct and think that... read more

SPRING BREAKTHROUGH!!!!!

Wow!!!!!!! I just cannot believe that Spring Break is almost here!!!!!! Ready...Set...WRITE!!!!!!! Yeah, you heard right! WRITE!!!!!! It's great practice and will strengthen not just your writing skills, but also your reading and grammatical skills. Write about anything - places you visited, people you met - maybe even a Spring Break crush! Write a poem or collection of poems, or keep a journal where you can write and draw - HAVE FUN WITH IT! Writing is not just a job...IT'S AN ADVENTURE!!!!!!!!!!

Basic Strategies for Standardized Testing

While many concerned students or parents shell out large sums of money for test preparation services, the real key to success on a standardized test is simply practice. Barrons sells an exceptional set of prep books that give solid strategies besides having sample tests to practice on. However, it is better to work from multiple books to get more sample tests. An easy way to save money on solid test preparation is to go to your local public library and check out books on test prep for your particular test. More important than your expertise on the subject material is how you prepare. Test-taking is itself a skill, and more often than not the difference between average and exceptional performance is a matter of how well your mind is functioning on a particular day (which can be controlled to some extent by eating a healthy breakfast, getting enough sleep each night for the week before, exercising regularly and controlling stress) and preparing to deal with the time constraints... read more

Can't make it to a tutoring session? We can have an online session!

For the past five years, I have worked in multiple online areas: social media, graphic design, web development, etc. I discovered that online collaboration tools are a very unique and diverse way to keep up with and practice different activities. I would like to motivate students to participate in online tutoring sessions. I am not saying this should be a substitute to face to face sessions, but it a nice little way for students to get their online "fix" during the week and be reminded about what they are learning. If you are interested in adding an online session to your student's weekly tutoring, let me know. There are many ways to have video chats and also interactive tools for completing different tasks.

Introducing me!

Hi everyone! I am waiting for my first customer I would love to be the one helping your loved one succeed and reach their full potential! I have great flexibility as I am transitioning into becoming a stay at home mom and working as a private ABA therapist and BCBA. I have a true passion for helping those with special needs and I love blending my two favorite fields---psychology and education. I would enjoy the opportunity to show you all my capabilities! Give me the chance and I won't disappoint. I am friendly, patient and encouraging! I believe everyone is capable and there is hope for all...we just need the confidence, support and understanding that we all work at our own pace.

Success Rx: Do a "Gut Check"

Do you really want to succeed in your studies and tests? Here’s the key: a Gut Check. Simply put, when the going gets tough, keep going. This is what differentiates the Good from the Great. We were not created to merely exist. We were created to thrive and fulfill our potential. It’s the consistent overcoming of obstacles that breaks down barriers to success. When you’re lifting weights, it’s the last three extra reps that you did that really bring in the results. It’s the extra mile that you ran, the extra sprint that you did. Let’s apply this principle to academics. Decide today that you will keep going when things get tough.

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