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The exam to get into NYC's elite high schools is in October and now is the time for incoming 8th graders to learn the skills necessary for the exam.  I have worked with students for several years now to improve their skills.  It's hard to give up time over summer vacation to study but it is worth it.  This is a test that is like no others for literacy skills.  The first part is called scrambled sentences.  Students must reorder sentences in the correct sequence.  There are clues in each question that can be found and used to correctly sequence the sentences.  Second, are the logic questions which prove difficult for students,  Practice and hand drawn diagrams is the answer to this part.  The final section is reading comprehension.  I estimate the material to be at tenth grade reading levels.  The harder part of this section is the vocabulary.  Summer gives plenty of time to improve vocabulary for this test and...

I really enjoy working with 7th and 8th graders who want  to take the SHSAT test for the specialize high schools in New York City.  They have a desire to work and get high scores required for admission. With time and patience, two things the average 13 year old has in short supply, the verbal part of the test can be mastered.  I have used all the test prep books and am now developing my own questions for this summer.  Old tests are hard to find and the books only give two or three exams to use with the kids. Regina  

It is that time of year!  The Global and US History Regents exams are about 6 weeks away.  I have been helping high school students for five years and along the way I have developed a number of materials to help students prepare for the exam.  I have just finished revising some of my outlines.  I individualize materials for each student to meet their needs with excellent results.

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

I have been working for the past four years with high school students who have trouble with the US and Global History Regents exams. Many had a bad experience in their high school class and do not understand or like history. I love history and try to get the kids to understand how important it is in our lives today. I point out current issues around the world and show them the history behind the problems. I also try different methods to help the kids "get it." In the past, I used old exams but now I have added short outlines for different topics and spent hours preparing animated power points to play on their strong visual connections today. This past spring I had 4 US History kids and all four passed the exam. Only one had a good understanding of history and wanted to get a high grade. The others were failing in class or were repeat takers. History and Geography have taken a back seat since No Child Left Behind. Knowing more about the world around them is... read more

I taught middle school English and Social Studies and found it very difficult. As a tutor, it can be more difficult. Kids are going through so many changes, you don't know from day to day who is showing up. I have been working with a 7th grader from an immigrant family who was showing all the signs of adolescent asimulation. He does as much work as necessary to pass. NY has just started the new CORE testing. I found out everything there was about the new format and then scoured the net for more challenging 7th and 8th grade ELA tests. I was looking for hard essay questions in particular because my young man does not like to write. I pushed and shoved him into writing. He took the test and it was easy. Most of his fellow students did not know or did not realize the essay requirements. He was prepared. I thought that young teens today are so much worse than when I grew up. I just got a lesson this week. I reread To Kill a Mockingbird for interest and to help another student... read more

This spring was a challenge. New York introduced core curriculum testing with little preparation. I worked with three third grade students who were very concerned about their first standardized test. Two of my students are sisters who have special needs and struggled in their public school. I worked with them on Sundays to help them with concepts and reading comprehension. The other student was a bright but unfocused young boy who I saw on Friday afternoons. They do not have their grades yet but we did accomplish one thing at least. All three entered the testing for English and math prepared and found the test--easy. Regina

A good sense of humor and spending time to get to know the children helps in all assignments as well as spending a lot of time preparing for lessons.. I have a variety of assignments this summer. They range from SAT and N.Y.S. Global History Regents to reading comprehension for middle and elementary students. With the younger ones, it takes a variety of activities relating to the reading that helps keep them focused. I did a great project on The Diary of Anne Frank with two easily bored middle schoolers. The museum in Amsterdam has a great web site with 3D views of the hiding place that the kids used their laptops to view. We also viewed the recent BBC movie and writing assignments to bring the story and people alive. I got two decent essays from the children at the end of a month about WWII, Hitler and the plight of Jews during the Holocaust. The test prep is harder because it requires effort to get the teens to develop the test taking skills for their exams. One... read more

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