When we talk about time management we are inevitably thinking externally. There is this thing called time, which hangs out in the corner of your eye, always present yet elusive. Strategies for time management are thus often externally focused: Use software like Leechblock, an add-on to Firefox. This software blocks access to social media and other websites that tempt us to waste time, so that you can work without distraction on the computer. Keep a Master To Do List. I use Draft, a simple text editor for Android, but you could also do a legal pad or a dry erase board. Write on it anything that you’re concerned about forgetting. Turn off notifications on your email or phone. Then, block out an hour or so a day specifically devoted to correspondence and catching up. This saves you time wasted on interruptions. But what about the internal? What about when you decide to open up Internet Explorer instead, bypassing the well-meaning inflexibility of... read more
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Hello! My name is Heather, and I'm a sixth grade English teacher in Arlington, Mass. I've never had a blog before, but this seems like an awesome place to put all my loves in one place: writing, education, and providing useful information. So here goes! Each blog post will feature helpful hints & resources for teachers, tutors, and students alike. Everything I put up will be tried and proven effective by me, my colleagues, or my students. Happy learning! Love, Heather So begins blog post #1: A few years ago, I swore by flash cards as a way of drilling myself on memorizable test material. I would spend hours slaving over stacks of color-coded index cards, carefully inscribing the name of the concept on the blank side, the definition and other useful material on the little blue lines on the back. Fast-forward to today. Nobody has time for that-- not when Chrissy has three hockey games and then soccer practice... read more
I have used this website for years. It is a free source of tutoring for any student wishing to understand Spanish grammar. You can read or print out the explanations. There are several quizzes to help your comprehension. It is also very USER FRIENDLY. www.studyspanish.com
Spanish is becoming more and more important with regards to business. Learning Spanish will enable you to better communicate with Spanish speaking employees or co-workers. Wouldn't it be nice to be able to offer your product or service to the 350 million people whose mother tongue is Spanish? In North America, Hispanic consumers are the fastest-growing market segment. As for job opportunities, it certainly wouldn't hurt to have Spanish on your resume. In the United States, knowing Spanish can be particularly helpful if you work in healthcare or education. Increasingly, the building trades are employing more and more Spanish speaking workers. One thing is certain. If you are bilingual, you will be more marketable and have more career choices than your monolingual counterpart. Globalization, with it's accompanying free trade agreements is shrinking the business world, and those who know more than one language will definitely have the edge.
Let me guess… the question that is currently floating through your brain is as follows: what the heck is “math anxiety?” While it may sound bizarre and made up, math anxiety is an actual condition that is quite common amongst students. It is similar to other sorts of anxiety or fear a person might encounter when doing something that is personally terrifying such as public speaking, interacting with strangers, or being around scary animals. The symbols and the operations can feel overwhelming for some, and that can trigger a subsequent anxiety reaction that completely stifles one’s brain and prevents a person from properly absorbing any material. The Cause Of Math Anxiety Math anxiety is a learned reaction. Students who have negative experiences with math early on tend to have bad emotions and limiting beliefs tied to mathematics. Once these reactions and beliefs are established, students will subconsciously return to those bad feelings whenever mathematics... read more
So you just took a practice test and you’re devastated by your results. You thought you would net more points, but lo and behold, your score is painfully below your expectations. Your math score is especially poor, but you’ve never been good at math. What is a good plan of action? Let the math score linger at a subpar level while focusing all of your energy on the verbal portion, right? Wrong. First of all, even if you’ve historically done poorly in math, you can easily turn that around with a few months of devoted practice. Second, math is the area where you can see the most marked transformation as far as testing abilities. You can certainly improve your score in the verbal section, but the base of knowledge for both the writing and reading sections is far broader. The English language is highly complex, and it takes most of us a great many years before we learn and understand all the intricacies. Math, in comparison, is much simpler. The rules and terms are... read more
Math can be a puzzling and often frustrating subject for students. Some pupils seem to effortlessly pluck A+’s from the heavens, while others grind away to earn average grades at best. Why the discrepancy? Are some brains simply predisposed to math success, while others are hopelessly misaligned? Of course not. If I believed that, I wouldn’t be teaching math. So what’s the deal? Why the blaring gap in math performance? One key factor is learning styles. Despite what your folks might say, people learn in different ways. Some students naturally thrive in standard Prussian style classroom settings; others, however, only truly soar in different environments that are better tailored to their particular strengths. If a student is struggling in math at school, it could be because the standard curriculum is not in sync with his/her learning style. This article will (1) run through the seven learning styles, (2) explain how to identify where students fit on the learning style spectrum,... read more
Finding an excellent tutor can make a tremendous impact on a child’s ability to succeed academically. While some kids are able to independently digest in class lectures and textbook explanations, others benefit greatly from an additional system of support. Parsing through the material after school with a guiding hand can fully illuminate subjects that are otherwise difficult to grasp. Translation: with the right set of mentors, all students can develop into confident adults with healthy GPAs. Most parents are well versed in the art of finding a nicely fitting academic institution, but very few are aware of the highly nuanced process for vetting a tutor. Here are six key components that parents should evaluate when searching for a tutor: 1. Experience Tutoring Or Teaching – it goes without saying that experience is critical in any field. It is particularly important in teaching, however, because there are a wide variety of students and respective learning styles. Some... read more
A new student of mine came to me with a difficult problem: “how can I go from an ‘A’ to an ‘A+?’” Now, I know what you’re thinking… she needs to get a grip. An “A” is an excellent grade, right? Certainly. But my student yearns to jump to the honors mathematics section, which is only reachable via an “A+.” So now that I’ve established that this is a totally valid request, how do I make it happen? How can someone, who is already achieving a high level of success, bridge that final gap to test taking perfection? Here are six ways an “A” student can modify their routine to grab the highly coveted and often elusive “A+.” 1. Master Mental Math – yes indeed, mental math will come in handy here. For most students struggling to nab that 100%, speed (or lack thereof) is often the culprit. One of the key reasons why students can’t get through an exam quickly is because their mental arithmetic is lagging. They spend an unnecessary amount of time either writing out arithmetic... read more
When imagining the types of people who love math, your brain likely conjures up images of coke bottle glasses, pocket protectors, suspenders, and personality types riddled with social awkwardness. I totally get it… math is lame and only complete weirdoes enjoy it. But just for the record, I love math. There, I said it. You can judge me all you want, but believe it or not, I’m a relatively normal guy. All subjects, from science to history, music to philosophy, fascinate me. Math, however, has a special place in my heart. How could this be? How is it that this totally boring and bizarre subject has captivated my mind for so long? Let me break it down. Here are my top five reasons why math is awesome. 1. Instant Gratification When I was in law school, I learned very quickly that my internal grasp and comfort with a subject would not necessarily ensure success on an exam. For example, even if I felt like I knew the answer on an essay question, my response... read more
I feel lucky to have grown up bilingual. I have my mother to thank for that, who insisted I learned a foreign language. I also attribute my passion for travel to my maternal grandfather. He was a top executive at Braniff International Airlines in Argentina and we were fortunate enough to travel for free when we were kids thanks to him. I also look up to my grandmother. She was a world explorer and wanderer herself; she took me and my brother everywhere on her trips. What my mother didn’t know – and maybe regretted later – was that by insisting on a bilingual education, she was encouraging her daughter to leave her home country. And that’s exactly what I did. With mastery of the English language, which I learned early in preschool in Argentina, I left home as soon as I became of age. Driving by the domestic airport (“Aeroparque”) as a kid meant freedom. It was a gateway for exotic adventures across distant lands. I always knew I’d be a perfect adventure-goer... read more
I have done something with my students which I feel has made a ton of difference. That is brain breaks. They can be anything from giving a 5 minute breather to doing a non school activity with the student. I have been doing duct tape crafts with one of my students. I don't ever charge for this but I think they are essential. Students are in school all day. They have homework when they get home. They get mentally exhausted. I do this especially when I am tutoring more than one subject at a time. This allows the student to switch gears. An effective tutor forms a relationship with his/her students. Brain breaks show that the teacher is a person as well and likes to have fun. For tutors: Do you use brain breaks? For students: What brain break would you like to do?
The cost of a private tutor is perhaps the most prohibitive factor in the decision about hiring a tutor. As a tutor, I want to be able to help students who need my help. But I also like doing things like buying groceries and paying rent, so it is essential that I receive compensation for my time. As a PhD and lifelong student, I like to think that I offer my students a lot of value for their money, but I do realize that $40/hour (my current rate) is expensive. (From what I’ve seen, my rate is pretty average for tutors on WyzAnt, which is to say we’re ALL expensive!) Here are a few tips for how to get the most bang for your tutoring buck. * WyzAnt offers discounts if you buy several lessons at one time. For example, you can pay $190 for $200 worth of lessons—a 5% discount. Spend $360 and you can get a 10% discount. If you anticipate needing a tutor for a semester’s worth of lessons, buying lesson time in bulk is the way to go. * Contact your prospective... read more
I really am BIG on this subject, so thanks for asking! I automatically think about our new and young generations that need and will be mentored throughout their formative ages, and what responsibilities and what roles we play in their lives as their teachers. The youth are the truth, and yes they will determine the results of our future years to come. So, with that in mind constantly is how and why we must lead by example and using and applying the right methods of effective communication and understanding to achieve the best outcomes in our mentoring. This subject covers such great detail and is so extensive that I tried to give a simple answer, but make the most important points aware. Thank you for your time and consideration. Aloha, Aiza Sensei
Learning a language is a funny thing. Lots of people in the world today learn their second language as a child and that language is (maybe) usually English. Many people in the world are introduced to a new language as children during a period when learning a language is optimal. I am well past this age and I have just now begun to start learning a second language, formally. For what it's worth, I knew a little Japanese before I went to Japan. I could read Kana and maybe a couple hundred kanji, so I wasn't a total newbie. But, this was my first time really learning it for real and being in a country where it is spoken. A few things that I learned about learning a language for real: 1. Frustration and disappointment. I came in this knowing some words and the disappointment I experienced when I could hear NONE of them rained on my parade a bit. The frustration was a bit unbearable in the beginning. I was only in the country for a semester... read more
One thing I found in college was professors or instructors who were unable to properly explain the course material. To be more specific, I mean that they were unable to not only simplify the information and cut to the chase of the material, but many also did not bring enjoyment and interest to the course work. This is not an across the board criticism of all professors as there are many great ones out there. However, I paid for my fair of poor instruction and can understand anyone who may share the same frustration. With that in mind, and as mentioned in my profile: I look to teach in ways that are enjoyable and, with that, simple for my students to comprehend. A student who enjoys the material will most likely succeed in the course, as opposed to those who lack that enjoyment. Enjoyment tends to make things more simple.
Hint 1; Complex numbers are not more complicated than any other numbers, just different. Complex number = real number + imaginary number Hint 2; imaginary numbers are not more ethereal than real numbers, just different. Imaginary numbers were invented to solve problems involving square roots of negative numbers. Hint 3; we lied to you when we told you that you cannot take the square root of a negative number. We just waited until now to tell you how to do it. i = √(-1) The letter i is used to signify the square root of -1. Any number multiplied by i is an imaginary number. Thus the square root of any negative number equals the square root of its positive value multiplied by i. Yes, it really is that easy. Examples √(-25) = 5i √(-7) = i√(7) √(-12) = i√(12) = 2i√(3) The powers of i follow a repeating pattern that is illustrated below. i0 = 1 because any number (even imaginary ones) raised to the power of zero equals 1 i1... read more
When I work with students on the SAT essay, many have difficulty coming up with concrete, adequate examples. Many can't get out of the quicksand of vague and directionless ideas. Instead of ideas, let individuals from history, literature, science, and the modern era be your guides. Create a list of influential and inspiring people for each category like I've done. Focus on two or three categories you're most comfortable with and research what made these people so special and influential. Individuals such as John Proctor from "The Crucible," Abraham Lincoln, Rosa Parks, Galileo, and Nelson Mandela are just some of the examples to use when you write your essay. SAT essay questions are broad enough that you can take something that one of these individuals has done to "advance freedom" or "challenge authority." Remember, you only have 25 minutes. Keep calm and carry on with your "people strategy." It will pay dividends in the end.
I am studying stoichiometry with a student right now. It can be confusing sometimes to think about the two or three steps required to reach your final answer. We ran into a problem that required converting weight to moles of reactants, converting moles of reactants to moles of product using mole ratio, converting moles of product back to weight, and then finally calculating the percent yield. Anybody can get lost in this soup. Take the time to write down the units at each and every step. If your units don't add up, then you know that you didn't do the problem right. When you're down and they're counting When your secrets all found out When your troubles take to mounting When the map you have leads you to doubt When there's no information And the compass turns to nowhere that you know well Let your units be your pilot Let your units guide you They will guide you well
Tutoring an academic subject is almost pointless if the student has trouble concentrating or thinking clearly in general. Many students have difficulty learning because they (often unintentionally) do things that sabotage the learning process. The following document contains a summary of what I learned about improving my mental clarity, focus, and mental stamina while I worked on my B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in physics. I hope this is helpful for other people. http://www.wyzant.com/resources/files/261780/tips_for_optimal_learning_and_mental_clarity This is a very short summary. If you have questions, let me know!