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Elizabeth B.'s Resources

Blogs

As the new common core standards take effect in New Jersey, many of my students' parents are unsure what the new test will do to their students' chances of getting into higher level math and English classes in middle school and high school. American education became diluted in the 1970s, when I was an elementary school student. I attended a school that believed in "open classrooms,"... read more

Blogs

Although summer can be a great time for learning, it's important to differentiate it from the school year. Assignments should be... 1. Different from standardized test preparation for elementary and middle school kids. Summer is a great time for creative writing: poetry, short stories, and experimental creative writing prompts should be a significant part of every lesson for elementary... read more

Blogs

I have recently begun working with a third grade boy who attends an elite private school in my area. Usually, I do a joint session with him and his older brother, but the brother is away on a school trip, so I just worked with the third grader. He'd been assigned to memorize and recite a poem by Langston Hughes at school, so I had suggested that he put the poem into his own words so that he... read more

Blogs

Back in February, I wrote about a young woman I saw briefly. She had failed her community college English class twice and could not continue her studies until she passed it. At the time, I did not feel able to offer her enough of a discount to make my services affordable for her, but she has stayed in my thoughts. Recently, I have had several adult students who are working to improve their... read more

Blogs

WyzAnt has been a real life saver in a difficult economy, connecting me to students who I could never have found on my own. When I was stuck in a terrible job and depressed about teaching students who did not want to learn, WyzAnt enabled me to meet students who are motivated and who really value education and what I can teach them. In addition to being a terrific morale boost, WyzAnt has... read more

Blogs

Yesterday, I learned that a student with whom I worked on SAT Prep and college application essays has been accepted to Drexel University, his first choice.Another student will be starting in the Honors Program at the University of Washington in September. Although she had only been in the US for two years when we began working together, she improved her SAT Reading score by 80 points in just... read more

Blogs

In the last week, I have traveled many miles, both geographically and mentally, during the course of my tutoring sessions. I went from working on spelling with a second grader to a high school student's research paper on John Keats' poetry that turned our scheduled one hour session into 3 1/2 hours! I'm working with a graduate student on his Master's Thesis about using music to teach ESL students,... read more

Blogs

Yesterday, I met with a new student, a nice, well-spoken high school graduate who has twice failed the lowest level remedial English class at our local community college. This student paid for some expensive testing, only to be diagnosed with a second grade reading level. The program she was offered cost over $35,000--to teach a young adult to read. In New Jersey. In 2012. With all the testing,... read more

Blogs

As spring approaches, standardized tests loom large in parents' minds. They trot out last year's scores and worry about how to best prepare their children for this year's hurdles. Parents want reassurance that tutors are familiar with the tests and able to teach the right material. Since standardized testing is given much more weight than it once was, they are terrified that an unknowable mass... read more

Blogs

My Students' Successes are so Rewarding! This week, I learned that a seventh grade girl I work with has been accepted to an elite high school, thanks in part to the application essay I helped her to write. Parents have called me when their kids get their college acceptances--and I feel so good after the long hours we spent on their application essays. Every time on of my students gets an... read more

Blogs

Hi! The longer I teach writing, the more amazed I am at how effective sharing student writing with others can be. When a writer is inexperienced or struggling to articulate his or her ideas, it is easy to be repetitive and unclear. When studens don't pre-write, their writing wanders. Many students are stunned to find that they can be both vague (not saying enough) and wordy (saying too... read more