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Speaking with clear articulation affects the quality of one's writing - and a speech exercise.

A lot of people don't connect clear speaking with writing skills, but I've noticed that lots of students, from elementary school through college make errors in spelling and grammar because of the influence of hearing others pronounce words incorrectly. For example,  "I don't know weather I'm going" or "Could you be quite, please? or "Me and my friend are...." The first contain errors in spelling; the third has an error in grammar.  But the way people pronounce words or use ungrammatical speech can "crossover" into written language.  And the less someone reads, the more apt this is to happen.  I observe these errors a lot when I'm tutoring.   I studied voice articulation with someone considered to be the "best" teacher of this subject in the country, and proper pronunciation was drilled into me.  Here's a little exercise to practice differentiating "whether" from "weather":   'Whether... read more

Math Is Sometimes On "Real World" Entrance Exams

Discipline yourself to study a small amount of math everyday of every year. When one asks oneself how do variables, equations, and principles of math help one to get the money that large corporations pay to those that don't seem to use math?  Employees may be required to face exams with math problems when they respond to a job ad.  Many candidates might be passed because they have scored low in the math area of the entry-level exam. And one might say obvious dedication to math may be the reason for high math scores. Evident dedication to math might be understood as dedication to logic and perseverance, two desirable qualities in a worker. One never knows when a "entry level" test will appear on a job application. Solving problems at a more difficult level could get one an increase in pay. Tests for post-high school groups may include reasoning and word problems. If it is house painting one wants to be paid to do, one may take orders from the house owner... read more

Drama and Music: Interdisciplinary Harmony

One of my guitar students majored in Drama in college.  As I progress with her lessons, it is increasingly apparent that many approaches to playing music have a lot to do with what she knows as an actor.  One example would be that, much like how any script contains lines more expressive or, arguably, more representative of the plot's importance, musical compositions beg that certain notes, phrases, or harmonic motion be brought to the fore.  Much of the responsibility of both the actor and musician, then, is to study how lines and music may contain human emotion.  Not only that; the artist must make an evaluation of how the work means to create a sense of discourse and then, of course, adhere to those rhetorical conclusions.  I would be happy to discuss this and many other ideas over email and, hopefully, in private lessons.  Thanks!

Hobbies Enhance Cognitive Skills

I worked for several years as a Craft Specialist for a major retail chain.  Being allowed to use and demonstrate new products for the store gave me a wide knowledge of a variety of crafts and artistic hobbies.  I was also responsible for coordinating crafts with children, which as a teacher, was a win-win situation for me.  I also made it a point to tell parents the educational benefits of the activity we were doing.  It is incredibly important to me that a child have an artistic hobby, a creative outlet that allows them to produce something tangible.   Yes, children, really everyone, needs to get outside and be active.  I walk every single day.  However, my hobby is crafting - mostly making jewelry or knitting.  That is a stationary activity and doesn't provide physical activity for me.  So what good is it?  There are many benefits that we don't even consider!   Probably one of the earliest crafts that... read more

What students will learn from Deb Evans, My SAT Coach:

What students will learn from Deb E., My SAT Coach: · Why the test-taking strategies you use in school will NOT work on this test, and how you can "win" the test by treating it like a game · Your personal strategy for attacking the questions, including which order to answer them, and which ones to possibly skip (either temporarily or permanently) · Time-management tips for the actual test · A guessing strategy that works (when all else fails) · The top 10 grammar skills tested and how to master them · The clue to answering the grammar questions by identifying the skill being tested first · The secret to writing a winning essay, including the best ways to prove your thesis · Vocabulary-building strategies and how to answer the Sentence Completion questions by treating them like a puzzle · The best reading strategy to get through the passages quickly so you can focus on the questions (most students spend more time... read more

Microsoft PowerPoint

The ability to produce quality presentations is a must for people in various industries.  As a future Instructional Designer, I have developed numerous presentations using PowerPoint and various other presentation platforms.  Presentations are a great way to showcase your meeting agenda in a visually appealing way.  Presentations are also a great asset for teachers, as they present information to students in a more engaging way.  The use of visually appealing graphics, audio elements and narration are a great way to promote learner retention and engagement.

WyzAnt Wants to Know: Real World Use

After spending hours learning about vocabulary, verb tenses, adverbs and adjectives you're probably wondering when you will ever have use for it in the real world. I was always pretty good at grammar and spelling and have found those skills to be invaluable. Something as simple as writing an email requires proper grammar. Have you ever cringed at something written on the internet where someone incorrectly used there, they're or their? Having good writing skills and being knowledgeable about grammatical syntax will set you apart in job applications, reports for your bosses and supervisors, articles about how to perform the latest skateboard tricks, and even speeches and presentations. Incorrect spelling can be very costly for a business. I once went into a bank where they were running a special promotion. I pointed out that they had incorrect spelling on their posters. Posters are not cheap to produce and therefore it probably cost that bank tens of thousands of dollars to... read more

Using numerical integration to recreate the heart

If you're like me, and you're taking a math class that employs the use of numerical integration using something like the Euler method, you've probably wondered, "when am I ever going to use this again?" I remember specifically telling my calculus teacher I would never need to know this kind of tedious math work.    When I got to college, I started research in the field of cardiac electrophysiology. I would soon employ all those weird numerical integration schemes I never thought I would use again. The difference was, this time I was using these complicated math tools to recreate the electrical activity in the heart to predict arrhythmias! It was an eye-opening experience and made me really appreciate some of the math I had thought was boring and laborious.    Once you see the uses for math, it makes you really appreciate them and go to a new level of understanding. Never in my life did I imagine I would be able to create a model of... read more

WyzAnt Wants To Know: Real World Writing

“Students often want to know how they'll use a subject "in the real world." Pick one of your subjects and tell us why it's important outside of the classroom.” As it happens I wrote an article on this very topic as it relates to Algebra a few months back. You can check out that article here. So since I've already answered this in relation to math, I'll discuss another of my topics today: writing. It's true that once you finish college you'll probably never need to write another term paper. Unless your career path tends towards academics (or blog posting), regular paper-writing is probably not going to show up very much. But what will show up quite frequently is the need to clearly and concisely articulate your thoughts and opinions in writing. In today's text-based world, first impressions are often written rather than spoken – whether that be a cover letter for a resume, a request for information about a position, or a proposal for a new project... read more

College Essays & Applications

It's that time of year (summer) for rising seniors--applying to colleges and writing a bunch of essays, or at least it should be.   Application deadlines are typically in December or January. But don't wait to start writing essays until November, when classes, exams, and extracurricular activities are at their frenzied peak. Deadlines for merit aid consideration may be 4-6 weeks in advance of the actual application deadline, and applications that arrive hours or even a few days before the deadline may be judged to lack a serious interest in the particular college, one of the often-unspoken criteria that private colleges use to sort among qualified applicants. Furthermore, some colleges have early notification deadlines, while others make "rolling" admission decisions (4-6 weeks after an application arrives).   The Common Application essay prompts, which were thoroughly revised last year, remain unchanged for 2015 applications. Therefore,... read more

Summer Can Be Slow! But It Shouldn't Be. . .

We teach and learn what's most important during the summertime!   The real test of how committed students and parents are to improving student performance during the school year is whether they are willing to spend at least some part of the summer investing in learning. In fact, summer is the best time to contract a tutor because it allows us to help students improve their weakest skills.   No where is that more true than with PSAT, SAT, ACT, and AP study! Reading and vocabulary acquisition takes time and practice, and today's school teachers are unable to assign enough homework to give students sufficient opportunities to learn what they find most difficult or practice skills they have learned.   Why?   1. Because students who do not participate actively in class often cannot do their homework effectively and complain about the quantity of the homework they are given.   2. Because some parents still believe their... read more

Helpful ESL Study Tools!

Hi Students!   I hope you are enjoying the process of learning English. English can be a hard language to learn, even for native speakers. So here are some study tips and resources for you to use when you are studying for a test:         1. Make flashcards - write the vocab word on the front and the definition on the back. With this method,               you can quiz yourself.   2. Take practice quizzes - make a few practice quizzes for yourself using questions or information from other lessons. If you would like me to make a practice quiz for you, please send me an email!   3. Try to use English as much as possible - if you live with someone or have a friend who speaks               English, practice speaking with them. Try to speak English for at least one hour everyday outside of                 your lessons... read more

How much math do I need to know For MCAT ? (No calculator? No problem! )

A very common question I hear from my MCAT students is that "How much math do I need to know ?" On Test Day,  no calculators allowed.  The following tips will help you all identify what math skills you’ll need.   MCAT Math: The ability to perform arithmetic calculations, including proportion, ratio, percentage, and estimation of square root. An understanding of fundamental topics in the following areas (at the level of second-year high school algebra coursework): exponentials and logarithms (natural and base ten); scientific notation; quadratic and simultaneous equations; graphic representations of data and functions including terminology (abscissa, ordinate), slope or rate of change, reciprocals, and various scales (arithmetic, semi-log, and log-log). The knowledge of the definitions of the basic trigonometric functions (sine, cosine, tangent); sin and cos values of of 0º, 90º, and 180º; the relationships between the lengths... read more

Does your child have Dyslexia?

Often schools don't identify children with Dyslexia until they are in third or fourth grade, and by that time, if not properly dealt with, children with Dyslexia tend to lag miles behind their classmates in reading. If you suspect your child of having Dyslexia, the sooner this disability is either ruled out or identified, the better. Try to seek testing from your child's school district; if not, if financially possible, seek private professional advice from a pediatrician (even if the district does agree to test your child) , and/or  a  neuro-psychologist or a developmental psychologist for testing. To learn more about Dyslexia google for the International Dyslexia Association  www.interdys.org  or  Wilson Language Program www.wilsonlanguage.com, They can describe key characteristics of dyslexic children and adults. If your child is professionally identified as having Dyslexia or a Learning Disability which includes having difficulty in sounding... read more

Free ACT/SAT test - get your starting point!

You can take a free ACT test through this link: http://www.4tests.com/exams/. It is very good to understand your starting point, and only then to make the decision if you need a tutor or not, and for which of the modules. You may take this free test and score badly - don't be discouraged! Scoring low may be because of the time pressure (to respond very quickly) or because of anxiety on taking tests. When you take the test you can learn about what's in the way of getting a high score that will get you into your dream college: - is it test anxiety and skills to take a test? - is it that you can respond correctly but you need more time? - is it that you don't know how to respond to bunches of questions? Then identify if it's geometry or algebra or grammar, or what is it you need help with. You can now see how much info you can get from taking a test at home! And if you did well, congratulations, and keep on preparing to maximize your... read more

Free ACT/SAT test - take it at home to see where you stand

You can take a free ACT test through this link: http://www.4tests.com/exams/examdetail.asp?eid=13.   It is very good to understand your starting point, and only then to make the decision if you need a tutor or not, and for which of the modules.   You may take this free test and score badly - don't be discouraged! Scoring low may be because of the time pressure (to respond very quickly) or because of anxiety on taking tests.   When you take the test you can learn about what's in the way of getting a high score that will get you into your dream college: - is it test anxiety and skills to take a test? - is it that you can respond correctly but you need more time?  - is it that you don't know how to respond to bunches of questions? Then identify if it's geometry or algebra or grammar, or what is it you need help with.   You can now see how much info you can get from taking a test at home! And if you did well, congratulations,... read more

Grit: the hidden factor in school success (and life success)

I wanted to share an article that shows how "grit" plays such a major role in children's success in school and afterwards, as well as my own insights on this. You'll find the article from The Wall Street Journal at the end of this post.   I teach math and what I see over and over again is that when kids are in front of a math problem they go through the following inner process: - they are afraid of "failing" and uncomfortable with "failing" - they clam up and feel not up to task - they want to run away from it and - they hate me for making them do it (this is a joke :), but probably true sometimes).   Math is indeed one of the hardest subjects for most kids and so the way they react to math's difficulty shows how they react to other difficult times in their life.    If we teach them to persevere, to learn to be uncomfortable sometimes, and to be OK with failing (otherwise how could one progress... read more

The need to know History

The world around us can be very dangerous. People need to know what is going on here and outside the country. Some issues are connected. The price of food and fuel go up and down according to events around the world. Also, things that happened in the past can be useful to understand what is going on today. Wars that are about to erupt today can be avoided if people have learned lessons from previous wars. People need to be informed to decide what is the best decision for them to make in case a life changing event. At any stage of your life, you will be confronted with the need to know History. You have to know History to understand the past, the present and the future. Also, History will help you be smart around your immediate world.

The need to know History

The world around us can be very dangerous. People need to know what is going on here and outside the country. Some issues are connected. The price of food and fuel go up and down according to events around the world. Also, things that happened in the past can be useful to understand what is going on today. Wars that are about to erupt today can be avoided if people have learned lessons from previous wars. People need to be informed to decide what is the best decision for them to make in case a life changing event. At any stage of your life, you will be confronted with the need to know History. You have to know History to understand the past, the present and the future. Also, History will help you be smart around your immediate world.

How do I know that my child has a learning disability?

In 2013, I did this talk with teachers & parents, to explain very simply the many myths and misconceptions we have about learning difficulties. Come, watch me take you into the world of the child who struggles:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dPD77glh2Eg

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