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Recently, I was given the delightful opportunity to substitute teach for a Music Appreciation class at a local high school. The students were to critique their experiences from the previous day's music performance.   One student was struggling with this assignment. He wanted to write that "the concert was good." I suggested that he expand upon this. ...what made the concert good....what reaction did the audience have? He looked up to the ceiling a moment,  in thought....    What he next wrote on his critique actually "warmed my heart:" The music student wrote: "The audience was moved to smiles when we sang. They applauded our music."   That one student; his two sentences! That truly made my day! :-)

This was taken from Language Magazine, and I found it very relevant to my work on Wyzant: "Learning and actively using a second language, whether done from childhood or later in life, can not only improve language processing but benefit the brain in a more general sense. In a study published in January 2015 entitled Effects of Bilingualism on the White Matter Structure of the Brain, it was found that actual bilinguals (those who regularly use both a first and second language) had higher fractional anisotropy values (structural differences) in white matter that are linked to language processing.   It was found that bilingualism has cognitive benefits found beyond just language processing, specifically in regards to executive functioning, which corresponds to things like memory, reasoning, task flexibility, problem solving and planning. These numerous benefits are  accompanied by, and possibly related to, clearly seen structural changes in the brain, such... read more

S.'s still-life homework shows increasing control of proportion and spatial relationships. In addition, she had done some sketches of figures and faces from photographs. Continuing in my efforts to encourage both freedom and accuracy, I decided to lend her an old easel so she can get a feeling of mobility and relaxation while drawing. She liked the flexibility of the easel and we worked on some figure drawing from photographs. I briefly introduced her to a new tool, "Nupastel", which is more dense than chacoal. The work focused on sketching in a light charcoal drawing, using directional lines, areas of tone, establishing darks and lights and grey tones, measuring, and making compositional decisions. All of these things are incorporated into her homework for next week, using imagery from photographs. She will produce a few sketches - up to 10 depending on time available - that take no more than 5-7 minutes each, using newsprint (a cheap paper). When she finds a composition... read more

Greetings!   Are you preparing for the PSAT, SAT, & ACT quantitative exams?   So are we!   My name is Paul J. and currently I have 3 students in Vero Beach, Florida who are preparing for these exams this summer. We are looking for motivated students to join us for private lessons. A limit of 6 students has been placed, so there are only 3 positions available.      The group rate will only be $30 an hour, and we plan to do 2 one hour lessons a week for 5 weeks starting in mid-June to early of July (we are have some flexibility).   Our goal is to score well enough to compete for scholarships such as Bright Futures and the National Merit Scholarship.   If you are interested, please message me on my WyzAnt Profile.   Best regards!

After 4 tutoring sessions with my first client, who struggled most of the year in his 9th grade Algebra 1 course, he earned a 92% on his Algebra quiz! Until this point, his grade average was less than a 60%. I am extremely proud of him and this victory! While it is only one assignment, I believe that he is starting to develop confidence in his abilities. He is an extremely bright student who just needed an extra push. In a traditional classroom setting it is very difficult to have your individual needs tended to, especially when you have not yet learned to advocate for yourself, but I am glad that I can provide that for him during our sessions.    During the last quarter of the school year, we are working hard to ensure he passes Algebra 1 and matriculates to 10th grade on time. I know that it will not be an easy task but I am looking forward to our next session!

     We're all familiar with the famous quotation from Jerry McGuire "Help me help you!!!". Jerry got it right. In order for me to invest in you fully, you have to let me know (as your tutor, teacher, mentor, what ever you wanna call me) what you need from me. It can be shaky process initially - getting the student and tutor to communicate to one another - but it's an entirely crucial part of the transaction. I can teach you what I think you need to know, but I could potentially be teaching things you already know how to do - that's such a huge loss of time!        Also, I encourage students to take learning as an experience like going out to dinner or watching TV with your friends. It's supposed to be fun, and that is something I strive for. I like to joke around, make you laugh, find hilarious mnemonics for you to use, as well as get to know you.        Another thing I keep in mind is how you're feeling... read more

In order to learn how to sing it is important to get to know our body, particularly our respiratory and voice production systems. Just as instrumentalists know the their instrument’s parts and their functions and how to take care of them to prevent damage, singers should also have a good understanding of their instrument, which is our own bodies, in order to use it correctly and keep it functioning in an efficient and healthy manner. Contrary to instrumentalists who, if their instrument gets damaged, can just exchange it for another one, singers do not have that luxury. Using our instrument incorrectly can lead to short-term and long-term damage and some of it might be irreparable. In this series of posts I will talk about the parts that make up the respiratory and voice production systems as well as their functions and how they integrate together to produce sound. I will also touch on the subject of the proper use of the voice and the problems that might arise if one doesn’t sing... read more

EDUCATION IS THE PROCESS BY WHICH PEOPLE ACQUIRE KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, HABITS, VALUES, OR ATTITUDES.  EDUCATION SHOULD HELP PEOPLE BECOME USEFUL MEMBERS OF SOCIETY.  IT SHOULD ALSO HELP THEM DEVELOP AN APPRECIATION OF THEIR CULTURAL HERITAGE AND LIVE MORE SATISFYING LIVES.  THE MOST COMMON WAY TO GET AN EDUCATION IS TO ATTEND SCHOOL.  BUT MUCH EDUCATION ALSO TAKES PLACE OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM.   EDUCATION INVOLVES BOTH LEARNING AND TEACHING.  SOMETIMES, PEOPLE LEARN BY TEACHING THEMSELVES.  BUT THEY ALSO LEARN WITH THE HELP OF OTHER PEOPLE, SUCH AS PARENTS OR TEACHERS.  PARENTS ARE A CHILD'S FIRST AND PERHAPS MOST IMPORTANT TEACHERS.  THEY TEACH THEIR  CHILDREN ATTITUDES, HABITS, AND VALUES THAT HELP SHAPE THEIR CHARACTER AND REMAIN WITH THEM THROUGHOUT LIFE.  BUT FEW PARENTS HAVE EITHER THE TIME OR THE ABILITY TO TEACH THEIR CHILDREN EVERYTHING THAT THEY NEED TO KNOW.  THEREFORE, THEY TURN OVER MANY EDUCATIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES...

I always stress the importance of organization and preparation with my students. Being consistent, clear, concise, and on time, are vital steps that will lead to a more effective and fulfilling learning experience. Ever sat through a class that was so boring you couldn't pay attention? Ever listened to an extensive lecture from a teacher with a dull, monotonous, voice? Aside from individual success, my main motive is to help others raise their self-confidence and self-esteem as much as possible; I plan to do this in an exciting manner that will keep your attention because it will be fun! Be open-minded, hopeful, have a sense of humor, and stay motivated! I look forward to meeting with you and syncing our experiences in a spontaneous manner! 

Does this look familiar? SOLVE IF YOU ARE A GENIUS! 99% OF PEOPLE WILL GET IT WRONG! 8 = 56 7 = 42 6 = 30 5 = 20 3 = ? No doubt every time you've seen this on Facebook, it's followed by thousands upon thousands of responses, each indignant that other people are getting the wrong answer. Generally there are two or three different numbers that keep coming up, with nobody able to see how anyone else could have gotten a different answer from their own. I hate these things. These things are designed to be vague. There is no answer, or rather, there are an infinite number of answers. The crux of the issue here is that they don't define the rule. So these things are basically a weird way of presenting a function. You remember functions from my previous blog post, right? Well, essentially what this thing is saying is “you take 8, do some mystery function to it, and... read more

“We consider these truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable writes that among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.” This statement is the most well known quote of the Declaration of Independence. That document embraces the Enlightenment of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries; the Enlightenment philosophies of “Tableau Rasa,” in the figurative sense as we now know it is applicable, were borne out of the Renaissance philosophy of Humanism in the sense of human beings being born capable of and inclined toward doing great good and being free from inherent evil. Our Nation’s Founding Fathers did not believe that institutions were necessarily corrupt; they believed that people are inherently good, as do I. Furthermore, I believe that history is progressive, as is humanity; moreover, our founding fathers rejected the notion of “Original Sin,” as do I. The Founding Fathers thought... read more

Ah, summer.  It's almost here!  Once the end-of-school bell rings, most students are ready to be done with any form of schoolwork until August.  But summer is a very valuable tutoring time, and I'd like to advocate for summer tutoring.    Seeing a tutor in the summer is a great opportunity for those students who passed their current level of French (or another subject) with a low grade and/or are not feeling confident of success in the next level.  A tutor can help review the material, catch the student up, and help him/her get ready for the next level.  A tutor may even be able to work ahead to give the student a running start once school starts again.   Summer tutoring is a great opportunity for AP/IB students (even lower-level IB students) to keep their skills fresh during the long summer break.  Often, there is summer homework to be done, and a tutor can help with that.  Even more valuable is the speaking & listening... 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 them... read more

I just  wanted all of my prior students in the Katy area  know that I have moved and I will no longer be able to teach in that area. I am now located in zip code 77042 I am willing to travel 10 inside inside this zip code. Nothing else has changed. Parents and /or students may continue to expect the same great results they have been recieving thus far. As my profile will testify to, I have long record of helping both adults  and children achieve their goals. I would love to continue this record in this area of Houston as well!  Come learn with me!

Yesterday I received in the mail my first Wyzant paycheck. Woo hoo! I only have one student so far, so it's not much money but I'm having fun, and I'm learning a lot. I was thinking, though, that it would have been great to have something like this when I was working on my BA. College students could make some pretty good money and at the same time, get good experience to put on their resumes. College of Education students could get class credit. Maybe some could even count their tutoring hours toward their student teaching. I was also thinking that retirees might also find something like this fun to do for a little extra cash. I started looking at sites like Wyzant to find ways to earn a little money myself as I start my nonprofit. I now want to refer my students, and instructors, to sites that can help them, too, and Wyzant is a good one. It all fits into my big picture for my nonprofit, Live and Learn New Mexico!, which provides free instruction to adults... read more

Whether it be one of my academic students or one of my youth fitness students, I always stress being prepared and organized.  Being consistent with these simple steps will lead to a more effective and fulfilling learning experience.   But I also stress approaching each tutoring/coaching session with an open mind and a sense of humor.  Whether it be a sharing funny joke or an interesting story, I believe that this helps to keep things loose and the mind open to learning.   Whenever possible, I also encourage a change of venue, such as conducting a tutoring/coaching session outdoors (i.e., back yard or a local park) or at the local library to occasionally break away from our usual tutoring location.   I look forward to meeting with you and sharing in a FUN and Effective learning experience! 

 I know this subject sounds a little different than what your accustomed to. The point is to concentrate on the fact that having no real life applications integrated within your lesson plan leaves a lot behind. You may think that this is common sense or something that every tutor, teacher or mentor does for their students. This is not the case. I have seen time and time again quality rogue memorization. Most fail when attempting to apply their knowledge to the real word. This is not the fault of the teacher, tutor, or student. It takes a team effort to ensure that this type of skill can be developed.     I will add more to this blog. Before I go into more detail, take a moment to think about how you have done this for your students. Please share if you would like. 

I know this can be confusing for more advanced students, here is a simple tip to differentiate both:   We say : -"se rappeler quelque chose" and - "se souvenir DE quelque chose ou DE quelqu'un".   There is no such thing as "se rappeler de" in French...   Examples:  - je me rappelle mon voyage en France - je me souviens de ce village   I hope this can be useful to some of you in their practice!

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