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I am a proponent of year round schooling and know that many countries have operated in this educational system for some time now. Although the school year is coming to a close, it should not mean that students cannot continue to learn and be engaged over summer break. As an educator, I firmly believe that learning is a daily process and a lifelong one for that matter. How can parents and educators keep students interested in more than just gaming or TV without just handing them a book or a “packet”? Jeff Bliss, a high school student, recently stated that students want to learn face-to-face, and that they want their hearts touched. Summer is an excellent opportunity for adults to provide students with activities that will promote this interaction. Tutoring does not have to cease; parents and educators can devise creative ways of learning whereby students may not even realize they are engaged in learning. Parents may feel that they need to give their children a “break”, but... read more

A recent news headline read as such: “The New High School Diploma is the College Degree”. Yes, competition in today’s job market makes it more challenging to be accepted to a university of one’s choice as well as secure future satisfactory employment with sufficient opportunities to pursue a fulfilling career in any part of the globe. Preparation for a career today demands careful planning, and part of that planning might involve contracting a professional tutor to ensure academic success leading to that optimum career choice. Investing now is the right time so that later, one can reap all the benefits of a satisfying career. There are several key reasons why a tutor is a solid investment. Hartzog states that research overwhelmingly proves that private tutoring helps students improve grades, study skills, and confidence (as cited in Bloom, 1984; Slavin et al., 1991; Slavin, Karweit, & Madden, 1989; Wasik & Slavin, 1990; McArthur, Stasz, & Zmuidzinas, 1990;... read more

I remember back when in elementary or middle school when the teacher gave us a list of words and asked us to memorize the definitions. Often, I wondered why I was learning a particular word and when I would use that word and sometimes felt puzzled as to how to use it. I learned the word simply to learn a word but how long did I truly remember that word? Was the memorization effective or was it just a way to get past a quiz or test the teacher would administer? Today's trends in education might suggest that memorization is an archaic way of learning new material. Perhaps, there are certain things that students have to put in rote memory, but new curriculum points to the fact that students should learn vocabulary, per se, in the context of a story or a news article to be able to connect meaning to those new terms they may have never seen before. They need to see pictorial images that relate to the vocabulary, read it, say it, predict what the word means and then branch out... read more

Now that a new school year has commenced, it is important for both students and parents to consider not only the subject matter their children are enrolled in but also what study skills they have gained to help master the material. Often, students may have background knowledge in respective subjects, however may not possess the methods for obtaining and remembering new subject information. Therefore, it is critical not only to pay attention to the subject but also to study skills. The following suggestions could help students be more successful at taking in new material. *For vocabulary study, write synonyms and antonyms for the new words, and students should write words they are accustomed to using and not necessarily dictionary terms. *New concepts can be more readily accessed if students will make up a rhyming phrase or mnemonics to remember those concepts. For example, the 24th Amendment in the Constitution, a student might write "No more 24" to remember... read more

Knowing that rising juniors and seniors will face the challenge of SAT tests next year, some best practices are the following: * Study in a way that interests you, such as using vocabulary word web sites or posting educational blogs just to practice academic writing. * Read novels that have rich vocabulary such as classics. * When reading, use strategies such as skimming, summarizing, drawing conclusions, and predicting outcomes or drawing a plot diagram. * Study with a friend who is as focused as you are or hire an experienced tutor to guide your students. Virginia

Today I saw an article in The Washington Post about the top 50 schools for academic rigor. What is academic rigor and what role does it play in school success? As a professional educator, rigor involves the expectations or the "bar" that educators set for students from the very beginning. These standards are a combination of school expectations and teacher expectations which are designed to push students to achieve in optimal zones of learning. Teachers must hold fast to their rigor and not let down on it for one minute, although still accounting for students' individual needs. Academic rigor produces higher levels of motivation and intrinsic desire to achieve in addition to personal discipline which is a lifelong skill necessary for success.

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