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Here's an idea for listening and speaking skills. Have ESL students watch (or record and watch) the TV show Jeopardy. (Channels and times will vary depending on where you live.   The benefits?     1) Since it's a quiz show, the prompts are spoken clearly and somewhat more slowly than normal conversation.     2) The prompts themselves are displayed on the screen and can be read.     3) Since the show is pre-recorded, close captioning for prompts and responses is accurate, complete, and well-synchronized with the spoken matieral.     4) Responses to the prompt must be phrased as QUESTIONS. Many ESL speakers have difficulty with forming questions in English and here they are hearing that done correctly over and over.     5) The material may expand students' knowledge of U.S. culture.

Does your child struggle with reading, basic math, writing, spelling, or other academic areas? is homework an every evening battle? Is your child on an IEP, but could benefit from some additional help? I have over 20 years of teaching students with learning and behavior challenges.  Grades K-5 in all areas that need help. Invest in your child's future now. 

Si necesita aprender Ingles, you puedo aydarle. Tengo mi certificaciòn del segundo nivel para enseñar Ingles a personas que no hablen Ingles. Mis lecciones son en Ingles, pero ofrezco algunas explicaciones en Español. No hablo español fluidez, pero la familia de mi novio es de Mexico y en mi iglesia, se hable Español. Yo puedo comunicarse, pero mi Español tiene errores. Si mis lecciones le interesan, puede mirar a mi profile or puede escribirme por mas informaccion en Español.

Starting at the age of 3 parents should begin introducing toddlers to the alphabet.  Sing the song with your young children over and over again! Throw Sesame Street on at least once a day.  It's all about numbers and letters and along with letter sounds.  This is such an important skill to have already in place once kindergarten starts.  Talk with your young child all day, the more you communicate the more they will learn simply through your interactions with them.

I recently read an article which reported the favorite books of 50 celebrities (actors, musicians, politicians, etc). I noticed that several of them mentioned that they started out hating reading because it seemed to always reminded them of schoolwork and school until they made a special connection with a particular book. After that, reading became a joy!   I've long found this attitude surprising because I can't remember a time (after I learned to read, of course) when I didn't love to read. Weird, right? I'm pretty sure I'm in the minority here, but I think I can explain why reading has just never felt like a chore:   1. My parents never placed restrictions on what my siblings and I could read.   This may seem like a terrible idea to parents wary of their children getting their hands on "Fifty Shades of Gray" and similar age-inappropriate material, and I can't blame them. While my parents did not place formal restrictions, they... read more

Have you ever been assigned a paper and then just sat there staring at a blank page or screen because you didn't know what to write?  Many of us have been there at one time or another.  My son (whom I will probably write about quite a bit) struggled with ADHD throughout his childhood and still battles it occasionally.  One thing I had him try when he was in 5th grade was to write just like he spoke because he never seemed to be at a loss for words around me! You can edit and revise your paper to fix grammatical errors or to make it sound more formal, but to get your ideas down on paper, just relax and tell your story.   Even though he loved to talk, he had a difficult time getting the dialog he had in his head onto paper so I suggested he use a recording device and record his rough draft.  He felt kind of funny talking into a recorder at first so I recorded him telling me a story about pirates.  He had read a few articles online and a... read more

Bored with your everyday use of the French language? Are you looking to add un peu de variété (a little variety) to your daily discourse? Language is often limited by the extent of our vocabulaire (vocabulary), our grasp of proper grammaire (grammar) and, to a lesser extent, our knowledge and application of colloquialisms. People’s ears always perk up when an expression befitting the topic of conversation is carefully inserted. If you’re a native English-speaker learning French, judicious use of expressions can make quite an impact on a native French listener. You may have a terribly thick accent or your grammar may be a little weak, but driving home a point with a serious or humorous saying can place you in the category of étrangers (foreigners) who have cultivated a deeper appreciation of French by studying its aphorisms. **Phrase in parentheses is the literal translation, or as close to it as possible.** Travailler pour le roi de Prusse (Working for the... read more

We all want things to last. People always got photo albums handed down to them. With everything being digital and possibly cloud-based, what is there to actually "hand down?" Just ones and zeroes. The data itself needs to be archived.   Archiving is permanent storage for safety and posterity, as opposed to backups which are for safety and short-term storage. When I say short-term, I mean a single person's lifetime. What then? The data gets bequeathed and downloaded to the next person, while storage formats and devices constantly change? Do we just think the "cloud" is everlasting? Where's the real permanence? Data would last much longer stored on paper than on any kind of tape, hard disk or flash based devices we have today.   Only optical discs offer that kind of potential timescale for storing digital data. While it's true CD-Rs don't hold a lot of data (less than 700MB), the formulations that use gold are as permanent... read more

If you've ever run into an issue with Safari where it stalls and never loads a web page, yet other browsers work okay, then this just might be the answer to your dreams.   Since Safari tries to load a page and then immediately fails, and you've verified you do have Internet access with another browser like Firefox, it's safe to assume there's a DNS issue (if DNS breaks, you simply can't find web pages by their name). Specifically it's a switch for something called DNS prefetching.   I have personally seen this issue under OS X Mavericks 10.9.5, but it's been a known problem since at least Safari 5.01 under OS X 10.7 Lion. DNS prefetching is enabled by default, and on some machines, with some routers, it can break Safari completely. Disabling prefetching isn't something you can do in Safari's preferences, but you can still tell OS X.   There's one command that needs to be run in the Terminal. You can find Terminal in Applications/Utilities... read more

The best question you can ask yourself with regard to tutoring is: Does tutoring encourage independence in the student, or does it undermine self-reliance by making the student feel as though he/she is incapable of learning?   Parents should consider what is actually going on with their child; is the child really stuck or are they simply in a temporary bind that they will most likely fight their way out of given some time?  If it's possible for a student to find their own way through issues, then tutoring is probably counter productive because it may create a sense of dependency where there previously was none.  If a student is genuinely stuck and needs a boost to help them find their way, then tutoring should be about reaching a point of self-reliance.  Much like parenting, if done correctly, tutors work themselves out of a job.  As parents, our goal is to raise our children in such a manner that eventually we're not needed...such is the... read more

This year, many new teachers have come to me for help with the Praxis. I would like to hear if anyone else tutors these tests and if you have any tips. I took all Praxis requirements without studying or preparing, so I am frustrated with those who do not pass their tests. I see many of them only need some test taking strategies, while others seem to lack the abilty to apply the knowledge. In order to help the learners, I need some ideas!

My first blog post, coming during my first month of tutoring. I guess it is a time for firsts, huh?    Some general thoughts and reflections on my first student interactions and sessions...   First, the best students are eager students. A tutor can only do so much; we can plan and prepare, but the student has to be receptive. I'm lucky because the persons with whom I've worked in the last month are all wonderful, eager, and ready to learn. They put in the work, so they get the results.    Second, time is what we make it. Tutors, prepare! Come with a plan! Work on that plan, then implement that plan. Don't waste your student's time; it's valuable, just like your time.   Third, be enthusiastic. When we share what we love (or in some cases, have a high emotional disdain for...but still that's an emotional response) with others, our work is made easy. Be passionate about the subject, or, at the very least, be passionate... read more

I used to ask myself that all the time when I was growing up.  I was a horrible student all the way into the second semester of my 10th grade year!  I had a difficult time concentrating in school and to be honest, there were just more important things going on in my life at the time.  I have always struggled with weight issues and being bullied, teased and tormented in school was a daily battle.  It's hard to concentrate on learning when survival is your priority and invisibility is your dream.  I did well in high school though, and eventually graduated college with a degree in Criminal Justice.   What changed?  I got involved.  I had a teacher that recognized a potential in me and fostered that by inviting me to step outside my comfort zone and challenge myself.  I LOVED sports.  I know, sounds silly coming from the fat kid huh?  I did though.  I loved baseball, hockey and football the most and my teacher... read more

I am taking from The Official Hunter College High School Test: problem 76 on page 20. We read the following. In the expression below, each letter represents a one digit number. Where the same letter appears, it represents the same number in each case. Each distinct letter represents a different number. In order to make the equation true, what number must replace C?    AAA    AAB + ABC   2012 A great start is to decode each AAA, AAB, and ABC. It helps to look at this problem wholly; particularly we look at the leading sum on the left wall (of the same types). We glean that either: (1) A + A + A = 20, (2) A + A + A + 1 = 20 or (3) A + A + A + 2 = 20: its very important to remember that given three numbers each less than ten, the sum of them which is great, is at most 2 in the tens place. This means that each row can only donate a 1 or 2 to the next. We can conclude that our line... read more

When in a French speaking country, here are 20 simple sentences that will help you understand and be understood.   Enjoy!    Please S’il vous plait Thank you very much Merci beaucoup You’re welcome De rien Excuse me Excusez-moi OR pardon My name is Je m’appelle I would like... J’aimerais... I need ... Je voudrais ... Do you have ...? Avez-vous…? Please give me…? Pouvez-vous me donner …? Could you help me please? Pouvez-vous m'aider s'il vous plait? Do you speak English? Parlez-vous anglais? I speak a little French Je parle un petit peu de français I don't understand Je ne comprends pas. Please repeat? Pouvez-vous répéter s’il vous plait? What did you say? Qu'avez-vous dit? I'm lost ! Je suis perdu! I am looking for ... Je cherche... Where is the bathroom? Où sont les toilettes ? Where... read more

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