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Summer Will Be Here Soon Enough ... What Do With Your (Sometimes) Bored Teens? How About a Writing & Reading Camp?

For busy parents wondering how to best occupy their teens this summer, why not consider a weekly reading & writing group for them? As a former camp director (references available), and as a published writer and college English instructor, I can customize a reading and writing group to engage your teens. This will keep them in a safe environment and they will be learning and practicing their analytical skills.   I will design a custom plan and schedule for your needs. Why not contact another parent and see if their teens would be interested. We can select some appropriate books together, and I will design discussion questions and writing exercises for the workshop meetings. We can decide on public meeting places: libraries, coffee shops, etc.   Contact me here through WyzAnt and I will create a special package rate for my services. Please e-mail me if you have more questions or to discuss further!    - Tim 

Math Challenge Problem #1

You are playing a game involving three dice. You can choose to bet on any number from 1 to 6. I'll roll the three dice. If: - none shows your number, you lose $1 - one shows your number, you win $1 - two show your number, you win $3 - three show your number, you win $5 What is the expected value of this game?  Email your answer so as not to ruin the challenge for others. 

RE: Resource for Grammar and other ESL Topics

A resource I find helpful is It is very good in writing and vocabulary. These lessons only require registration--they are free. I find that they are good practice or homework that go along well with tutoring.

New Math Tutor to Wyzant

I am new to Wyzant and have just started tutoring students here this week. I have been a tutor before but I love the format here and I am very excited to meet all the new people here.  Being a math tutor and helping students who have a fear of mathematics overcome that and realize that sense of accomplishment once complete is so rewarding.  I really enjoy working with students through problems as they go through the steps from confusion to celebrating their achievements once they have conquered a problem or worksheet!  

Best tutor I ever had!

I meet with a new student this week. She had a test in Algebra 2 the next day, I do not recommend studying the day before! We went through her study guide of 20 questions, it took an hour and a half. Near the end she asked if we could meet again because "I am the best tutor she has ever had, [I] explain things until [she] understands."   I don't brag a lot, but I thought that was worth sharing!

Quality Education = Quality Employment

I agree that in-state hiring quotas are a non-starter in New Mexico. Intel missed its hiring quota because it was unable to find qualified applicants. As along as New Mexico schools continue to turn out fork-lift operators, the best way to upgrade the state’s work force is for companies to attract skilled workers from outside the state. (If enough smart people move here, perhaps they will demand better schools for their kids.) - JAM, 4/5/2014

The New SAT

On Wednesday March 5, 2014, the College Board made announcements that will change the SAT test for those students taking the test in 2016 and beyond which will, among other things, change the scoring back to what it was before March 2005. It was not that long ago that we mentioned a few thoughts in regards to a study discovering the SAT is "not correlated to college success." We had a lot to say by way of agreement, and today we will try to address those points again in the storm of discussion – and in some quarters, panic – about these changes. I'll repeat my previous conclusion that GPA is the single best indicator of how you will perform in college. It measures multiple things – not only your ability to do well on a given test, but also your ability to complete projects, do homework, and participate in class, among other things. A single 3-hour test on a number of different subjects can only measure how well you do against metrics determined by a particular... read more

Have You Checked Out Hemingway App?

A fellow writer clued me in on a great little secret on the internet. Check out Hemingway App is a site for writers that is as simple as it is powerful. Overwrite the existing text on the screen with whatever you are writing. Click the "Edit" button to the right and Hemingway App will instantly review and edit your work, finding all the usual suspects: Adverbs, Passive Voice, Long Sentences, a readability score, and more! There's no "Save" feature--check out the Desktop version for that--so be careful you don't lose what you type after you perfect your work. But once you do, just copy and paste it from Hemingway App into whatever term paper, book manuscript, or important email you are working on. Crisp, accurate writing is snap--thanks to the Hemingway App!

ACTFL Language Proficiency Levels

Learn how to rate your language ability using the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.   The proficiency guidelines are broken down into the categories of speaking, listening, reading, and writing. Each section provides an explanation of each level and sub-category as well as video examples. This is a very good tool for employers to get on board with to create a common form of language assessment.

English as a Second Language Online Resources

I want to share a web page I made years ago when working in a high school district in Phoenix. I haven't kept up on the links for years but I have yet to find any that don't work. Even if a few are broken, I think this is a useful tool for teachers and students. I have it leveled ESL 1-2 and 3-4, based on the courses we were offering and so it follows our Standards at that time.  

Guess who's back?!

I am so excited to be back with WyzAnt. I love the opportunity to meet new people and help people with their math. Can't wait to meet you!

New York City Specialized High School Admissions Test (SHSAT)

The SHSAT is an admission test for the eight specialized high schools in the city.  It is a highly competitive test offered to eighth and ninth graders.  Recently over 30,000 students took the test for approximately 6,00 seats.   A student must do well on the test to be admitted to: Bronx HS of Science, Brooklyn Latin School, Brooklyn Technical HS, HS for Math, Science and Engineering at City College, HS of American Studies at Lehman College, Queens HS for the Sciences at York College, Staten Island Technical HS and Stuyvesant HS.  A student's academic record does not count.   The test has 95 multiple choice questions to be completed within 150 minutes.  It is divided into two parts:  a verbal section and a math section.  I tutor the verbal part of the test which consists of: 5 scrambled paragraph questions, for which a student must put the sentences into their proper sequential order; 10 logical reasoning questions... read more

LSAT Resources

I wanted to write a blog post on where to find quality LSAT resources. Here's my list of material that I use with my students:   Free Materials:   Free LSAT Practice Test Free Virtual LSAT Proctor LSAT Answer Keys LSAT Score Conversion Tables LSAT Answer Sheet   Not free but worth every penny:   LSAT Starter Set - I used to use the "the next ten" LSAT books printed by the LSAC and just scan through to find questions of a specific type to review. I found this wasted a lot of time and my students didn't appreciate paying for time that wasn't spent reviewing questions. The Starter Set has every section broken down and grouped by question type so now I just work through the material and it makes my life easier and my students much happier. It costs $115.

My Favorite Online Resources for students

I love looking up information on a subject I know little about and learning something new. I love teaching what I have learned even more. I rely on reputable websites and apps to make sure the information I convey to my students is accurate. My favorite resources are from other teachers, and tutors. Educators explaining the topic I want to learn is always the easiest to understand, and then regurgitate to my own students. Unfortunately, These resources are not always available, so I have gone into the "dangerous" world of wikipedia, on occasion. Wiki's can be very tricky because they are notorious for people changing any of the information they want. But Wiki's can be useful resources if they are not taken at face value. For example, If I am learning about photochemistry, I may read some information on Wikipedia, then compare it to other information I have found. Most times It checks out just fine, as long as it's not your last stop. Also, good wikis include links... read more

Static and Sliding Friction -- Are you safe?

A popular book of physics puzzles (Mad About Physics, Jargodski & Potter, 2001) states that if a car rolling down a slippery ramp locks its rear wheels only (while not braking the front wheels) it will turn 180° to slide down rear first. The reason given is that because the front wheels are in “static friction” with the surface (because they are rolling, not sliding), they have a greater force on them than exists on the rear wheels, which are in “sliding friction” mode. What is wrong with this argument?   Consider the parallel case of a car rolling on an icy level road. As you may know from driving (or being driven), as long as you don’t accelerate, brake, turn, get hit by wind, etc. your car will continue to run straight – Newton’s First Law of Motion. If you then braked only your rear wheels, what would happen? You would slow down, i.e. accelerate backwards, proportional directly to your rear tires’ load and coefficient of sliding friction, and inversely to... read more

Northern California: from a San Diego resident perspective

I have been living in the San Diego area of California, since I left military service in 2010.  After serving for 10 years, in the United States Navy, I decided to complete my degree and to also establish myself as an independent business owner.  As a result of this decision, I have had to travel to the northern California areas of Los Angeles and Hollywood, quite often - for business.  However, most of those times were for events that helped to promote new business opportunities, as a freelance photographer, on assignment shooting various events.     On my most recent trip, I had the pleasure of being a part of one of the most memorable experiences that I have had to date, as a professional.  I was asked to meet a couple (who had been dating and living together for a long time), in Manhattan Beach, Ca., as they took one of their typical strolls along the beach - which was a block away from their home.  For this particular occasion,... read more

Get involved into activcites

It is proven that kids who are involved in activities like sports, band, art, dance, theatre arts, and so on do much better in school and tests. So if its an option get involved in activities. Being involved also helps kids learn to be in a team.

Tutor for hire!

Hi y'all!   I'm excited about the opportunity to tutor and get support you on the path of knowledge.  I look forward to hearing from you and working with you.   Here's to growing, learning, and bettering ourselves!   Jon

The Power Of Willpower: Five Tips To Strengthen Your Discipline

Willpower is unique to humanity. It is the keystone characteristic that is directly responsible for our technological advancement over the last several hundred thousand years. Willpower can be defined as the capacity to restrain our impulses and resist temptation in order to maximize our long-term success. It is the expulsion of energy to fight off innate survival based urges to exponentially increase future advantages and benefits. It is the driving force behind all civilizations, and it is what prods humankind forward to learn and grow. When we turn down a bite of cheesecake, step away from a mind numbing reality sitcom, or push off a nap to get some work done, the credit goes to willpower. It is this ghost like aura of control and discipline that we rely on to extend our existence and maximize our accomplishments. When we watch highly successful individuals exercise routinely, read voraciously, and work tirelessly, we are impressed with their ability to resist... read more

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