Harvard doctoral, 25 yrs. teaching, specializing in writing, SAT/ACT

Carlo C.
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Harvard doctoral, 25 yrs. teaching, specializing in writing, SAT/ACT

Carlo C.
Hi, I truly love working with middle and high school students. I’m a high-energy tutor who combines great humor with intense focus. I do a lot of test prep tutoring and can teach to the test, and yet I consider every tutoring session an opportunity to both build general academic confidence as well as develop intuitive and intellectual problem-solving skills.

I have twenty-five years' experience teaching middle school and high school students, and in that time I completed my doctoral and...

English

MEd

EdD

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GRE
#### GRE

If you're taking the GRE, congratulations! You're probably pretty smart and have done well in college. But the GRE also takes you back to that long-ago land of standardized tests -- and the content you probably spent college keeping away from! The good news, I believe, is that you're wiser now, and you can more efficiently learn the predictable kinds of questions the test contains. The content is hard, no doubt, but as a cognitive scientist I will help you think not just about the content itself (e.g. trig or vocab), but about how to learn this stuff better than you did in high school.

Grammar,
#### Grammar

I grew up with a wonderful mom who made terms like "restrictive appositive" dinner-table conversation! Not everyone needs (or wants!) to know the technical terms of important grammar rules. But I taught grammar and writing to middle school students for ten years, so I became good at explaining the technical rules in simple, even intuitive ways. I genuinely believe that clearing up your grammar helps you not just communicate effectively, but it even helps you THINK more effectively!

Proofreading
#### Proofreading

My first job in college was proofreading cover letters and creating résumés. That was 20 years ago, and since then I've read enough writing by middle school through grad school students to be very quick at proofreading. My experience proofing résumés made me sensitive to extra spaces and uneven indentation. My experience reading essays at all levels has given me good radar on both common and uncommon mistakes. On top of all this: anytime I'm not absolutely certain about a grammatical issue, I ask my mother! She's the Englishwoman who taught me English grammar, and she hasn't failed me yet!

Grammar,
#### Grammar

I grew up with a wonderful mom who made terms like "restrictive appositive" dinner-table conversation! Not everyone needs (or wants!) to know the technical terms of important grammar rules. But I taught grammar and writing to middle school students for ten years, so I became good at explaining the technical rules in simple, even intuitive ways. I genuinely believe that clearing up your grammar helps you not just communicate effectively, but it even helps you THINK more effectively!

Study Skills,
#### Study Skills

I taught middle school students for two decades -- like herding cats, as they say! I've also taught high school and college, and I have a great appreciation for how hard it is to organize not just one but the many subjects students deal with daily and weekly. I love to help kids and young adults get past the panic that overwhelms them when they are faced with a long and multi-step process. My doctoral and post-doctoral degrees are from Harvard, where my neurocognitive research examined executive function.

Reading,
Spelling,
Vocabulary
ACT Reading,
#### ACT Reading

The SAT and ACT fascinate me because students make the same mistakes over and over. Typical high school student study process: complete practice section, rush to grade it, glance at wrong answer, exclaim “Oh, of course! I’ll get that one right next time.” I have 25 years of teaching experience, from middle school through graduate school, and I can detail the many ways adolescents satisfy themselves with superficial learning. I labor to show them that true learning is not about the momentary understanding of, for example, an explanation provided by a competent tutor, but instead the deliberate development of more precise habits of thinking.
In my view, however, too many tutors make two critical errors. The first is simple: too much practice, not enough probing error analysis. The second is related: too much reliance on explanations of “why this one is right” and not enough “Yes, now you see why it’s right — but how will you get it right next time.” High school students have been doing these kinds of problems for years, and thus I find it productive to consider that the errors they make are rarely because of genuine lack of knowledge of the underlying content. Rather, I consider that test makers have decades of practice at creating questions that indeed have one or two obviously bad answers, yet two that are only subtly different.
Thus the challenge for students is not simply to learn “test taking skills,” nor is it to “brush up on the material.” Instead, I work hard to find patterns in the errors students make and to provide them with the problem-solving methods and discipline they need to retrain their mental habits.

Grammar,
#### Grammar

I grew up with a wonderful mom who made terms like "restrictive appositive" dinner-table conversation! Not everyone needs (or wants!) to know the technical terms of important grammar rules. But I taught grammar and writing to middle school students for ten years, so I became good at explaining the technical rules in simple, even intuitive ways. I genuinely believe that clearing up your grammar helps you not just communicate effectively, but it even helps you THINK more effectively!

Proofreading,
#### Proofreading

My first job in college was proofreading cover letters and creating résumés. That was 20 years ago, and since then I've read enough writing by middle school through grad school students to be very quick at proofreading. My experience proofing résumés made me sensitive to extra spaces and uneven indentation. My experience reading essays at all levels has given me good radar on both common and uncommon mistakes. On top of all this: anytime I'm not absolutely certain about a grammatical issue, I ask my mother! She's the Englishwoman who taught me English grammar, and she hasn't failed me yet!

SAT Reading,
#### SAT Reading

The SAT and ACT fascinate me because students make the same mistakes over and over. Typical high school student study process: complete practice section, rush to grade it, glance at wrong answer, exclaim “Oh, of course! I’ll get that one right next time.” I have 25 years of teaching experience, from middle school through graduate school, and I can detail the many ways adolescents satisfy themselves with superficial learning. I labor to show them that true learning is not about the momentary understanding of, for example, an explanation provided by a competent tutor, but instead the deliberate development of more precise habits of thinking.
In my view, however, too many tutors make two critical errors. The first is simple: too much practice, not enough probing error analysis. The second is related: too much reliance on explanations of “why this one is right” and not enough “Yes, now you see why it’s right — but how will you get it right next time.”
High school students have been doing these kinds of problems for years, and thus I find it productive to consider that the errors they make are rarely because of genuine lack of knowledge of the underlying content. Rather, I consider that test makers have decades of practice at creating questions that indeed have one or two obviously bad answers, yet two that are only subtly different. Thus the challenge for students is not simply to learn “test taking skills,” nor is it to “brush up on the material.” Instead, I work hard to find patterns in the errors students make and to provide them with the problem-solving methods and discipline they need to retrain their mental habits.

SAT Writing,
#### SAT Writing

For a decade I taught writing to middle school students, and for five years after that I taught a writing-intensive introduction to psychology to Harvard sophomores, winning teaching awards each time. This range of experiences has helped me develop both strong methods of instruction and strong intuitions about how to understand and organize the thoughts of an adolescent writer.
One simple yet useful approach to the SAT writing section is to recognize that in most respects it is more like scientific writing than expressive writing. Notwithstanding that the test often asks writers to express their opinion on an issue, the graders are looking for a certain kind of *structured* reasoning. Approaching the writing section in this way, I find it fairly straightforward to show students the skills that will help them build strong essays.

Writing,
#### Writing

I love teaching writing, both creative and analytical. I cannot say enough: good writing is good thinking! Not everyone needs to be a fantastic, gifted writer -- but everyone can learn to write CLEARLY. And when you can write clearly, everyone (including YOU) sees and understands your main ideas better. I have taught writing to middle and high school kids for two decades, and I continue to love working with kids of all ages. For five years I also taught taught scientific writing to Harvard sophomores. And to all the adults out there: if there's just one skill on which a few hours spent now will help you in your job, it's clear writing.

ACT English,
English,
Literature,
Reading,
Spelling,
Vocabulary
Social Studies
#### Social Studies

My middle school teaching over a decade consisted of teaching Social Studies or an integrated Humanities course that combined Social Studies with English literature and writing. I love these subjects and I love to teach them: the possibilities for intellectual growth are tremendous! Many schools focus on facts, figures and dates. While the basics need to be known, I consistently found that my middle school students were capable of so much more intellectual and analytical depth. They simply needed more challenge, and someone to structure these intellectual learning activities.
I taught at 4 different schools, teaching low-achieving kids in Brooklyn, elite students at Bill Gates' high school in Seattle, and gifted and talented kids in Silicon Valley. All of these experiences were great, and they gave me a clear understanding of how to identify and focus on each child's strengths and weaknesses.

SAT Math,
#### SAT Math

SAT math is hard. And yet so much of it depends on what I call “intuitive math” and having good “mathematical radar.” There are many tutors who can teach the logical operations of mathematics. But for what it’s worth, any textbook or test prep book can teach these as well! I aim to be one of the few teachers/tutors of adolescent students who recognizes that most students have not automated critical basic skills; I have tutored many students scoring above 600 in math who are slow and inaccurate in basic multiplication of two-digit numbers; have little grasp of what fractions really are; and do not understand proportions, for example. These are students who can indeed solve SOME complex problems, but whose weaknesses in quick, intuitive mathematical thinking truly limits their ability to solve complex problems very quickly – which is what the SAT demands.

SAT Reading,
#### SAT Reading

The SAT and ACT fascinate me because students make the same mistakes over and over. Typical high school student study process: complete practice section, rush to grade it, glance at wrong answer, exclaim “Oh, of course! I’ll get that one right next time.” I have 25 years of teaching experience, from middle school through graduate school, and I can detail the many ways adolescents satisfy themselves with superficial learning. I labor to show them that true learning is not about the momentary understanding of, for example, an explanation provided by a competent tutor, but instead the deliberate development of more precise habits of thinking.
In my view, however, too many tutors make two critical errors. The first is simple: too much practice, not enough probing error analysis. The second is related: too much reliance on explanations of “why this one is right” and not enough “Yes, now you see why it’s right — but how will you get it right next time.”
High school students have been doing these kinds of problems for years, and thus I find it productive to consider that the errors they make are rarely because of genuine lack of knowledge of the underlying content. Rather, I consider that test makers have decades of practice at creating questions that indeed have one or two obviously bad answers, yet two that are only subtly different. Thus the challenge for students is not simply to learn “test taking skills,” nor is it to “brush up on the material.” Instead, I work hard to find patterns in the errors students make and to provide them with the problem-solving methods and discipline they need to retrain their mental habits.

Study Skills,
#### Study Skills

I taught middle school students for two decades -- like herding cats, as they say! I've also taught high school and college, and I have a great appreciation for how hard it is to organize not just one but the many subjects students deal with daily and weekly. I love to help kids and young adults get past the panic that overwhelms them when they are faced with a long and multi-step process. My doctoral and post-doctoral degrees are from Harvard, where my neurocognitive research examined executive function.

Writing,
#### Writing

I love teaching writing, both creative and analytical. I cannot say enough: good writing is good thinking! Not everyone needs to be a fantastic, gifted writer -- but everyone can learn to write CLEARLY. And when you can write clearly, everyone (including YOU) sees and understands your main ideas better. I have taught writing to middle and high school kids for two decades, and I continue to love working with kids of all ages. For five years I also taught taught scientific writing to Harvard sophomores. And to all the adults out there: if there's just one skill on which a few hours spent now will help you in your job, it's clear writing.

Algebra 1,
English,
Prealgebra,
Reading,
Spelling
SAT Math,
#### SAT Math

SAT math is hard. And yet so much of it depends on what I call “intuitive math” and having good “mathematical radar.” There are many tutors who can teach the logical operations of mathematics. But for what it’s worth, any textbook or test prep book can teach these as well! I aim to be one of the few teachers/tutors of adolescent students who recognizes that most students have not automated critical basic skills; I have tutored many students scoring above 600 in math who are slow and inaccurate in basic multiplication of two-digit numbers; have little grasp of what fractions really are; and do not understand proportions, for example. These are students who can indeed solve SOME complex problems, but whose weaknesses in quick, intuitive mathematical thinking truly limits their ability to solve complex problems very quickly – which is what the SAT demands.

Algebra 1,
Prealgebra
Study Skills,
#### Study Skills

I taught middle school students for two decades -- like herding cats, as they say! I've also taught high school and college, and I have a great appreciation for how hard it is to organize not just one but the many subjects students deal with daily and weekly. I love to help kids and young adults get past the panic that overwhelms them when they are faced with a long and multi-step process. My doctoral and post-doctoral degrees are from Harvard, where my neurocognitive research examined executive function.

Writing,
#### Writing

I love teaching writing, both creative and analytical. I cannot say enough: good writing is good thinking! Not everyone needs to be a fantastic, gifted writer -- but everyone can learn to write CLEARLY. And when you can write clearly, everyone (including YOU) sees and understands your main ideas better. I have taught writing to middle and high school kids for two decades, and I continue to love working with kids of all ages. For five years I also taught taught scientific writing to Harvard sophomores. And to all the adults out there: if there's just one skill on which a few hours spent now will help you in your job, it's clear writing.

Algebra 1,
English,
Prealgebra,
Reading
Study Skills
#### Study Skills

I taught middle school students for two decades -- like herding cats, as they say! I've also taught high school and college, and I have a great appreciation for how hard it is to organize not just one but the many subjects students deal with daily and weekly. I love to help kids and young adults get past the panic that overwhelms them when they are faced with a long and multi-step process. My doctoral and post-doctoral degrees are from Harvard, where my neurocognitive research examined executive function.

Psychology
#### Psychology

My doctoral degree is from Harvard and my postdoc was in an unconscious bias lab also at Harvard. I've taught a wide variety of courses: sensation & perception, social psych, cognitive neuro, biological psych. In addition I taught a course dedicated specifically to teaching scientific writing; I love to work on writing and am confident I can improve your writing from the conceptual down to the sentence level.

SAT Math,
#### SAT Math

SAT math is hard. And yet so much of it depends on what I call “intuitive math” and having good “mathematical radar.” There are many tutors who can teach the logical operations of mathematics. But for what it’s worth, any textbook or test prep book can teach these as well! I aim to be one of the few teachers/tutors of adolescent students who recognizes that most students have not automated critical basic skills; I have tutored many students scoring above 600 in math who are slow and inaccurate in basic multiplication of two-digit numbers; have little grasp of what fractions really are; and do not understand proportions, for example. These are students who can indeed solve SOME complex problems, but whose weaknesses in quick, intuitive mathematical thinking truly limits their ability to solve complex problems very quickly – which is what the SAT demands.

ACT Reading,
#### ACT Reading

The SAT and ACT fascinate me because students make the same mistakes over and over. Typical high school student study process: complete practice section, rush to grade it, glance at wrong answer, exclaim “Oh, of course! I’ll get that one right next time.” I have 25 years of teaching experience, from middle school through graduate school, and I can detail the many ways adolescents satisfy themselves with superficial learning. I labor to show them that true learning is not about the momentary understanding of, for example, an explanation provided by a competent tutor, but instead the deliberate development of more precise habits of thinking.
In my view, however, too many tutors make two critical errors. The first is simple: too much practice, not enough probing error analysis. The second is related: too much reliance on explanations of “why this one is right” and not enough “Yes, now you see why it’s right — but how will you get it right next time.” High school students have been doing these kinds of problems for years, and thus I find it productive to consider that the errors they make are rarely because of genuine lack of knowledge of the underlying content. Rather, I consider that test makers have decades of practice at creating questions that indeed have one or two obviously bad answers, yet two that are only subtly different.
Thus the challenge for students is not simply to learn “test taking skills,” nor is it to “brush up on the material.” Instead, I work hard to find patterns in the errors students make and to provide them with the problem-solving methods and discipline they need to retrain their mental habits.

GRE,
#### GRE

If you're taking the GRE, congratulations! You're probably pretty smart and have done well in college. But the GRE also takes you back to that long-ago land of standardized tests -- and the content you probably spent college keeping away from! The good news, I believe, is that you're wiser now, and you can more efficiently learn the predictable kinds of questions the test contains. The content is hard, no doubt, but as a cognitive scientist I will help you think not just about the content itself (e.g. trig or vocab), but about how to learn this stuff better than you did in high school.

ISEE,
#### ISEE

I have taught at three independent schools over two decades and am well aware of what the ISEE exam covers. I taught 6-8th most often, and worked with younger students as well in two schools that were K-8. I take pride in building a child's confidence by showing that each math and reading problem can be solved with a combination of intuitive observation and deliberate problem-solving.

PSAT,
#### PSAT

I taught middle school for a decade and am well aware of what the PSAT covers. Instead of focusing narrowly on “test-taking skills,” as I find too many tutors do, I aim to use a student’s focus on the exam to teach them to be a truly better thinker. While many question the benefits of standardized testing, exams such as these, I believe, require important skills of precision and logic. Training an adolescent in the early years of high school to be precise with language and logical in reasoning pays enormous dividends as they move to more mature thought and more advanced SAT testing.

SAT Reading,
#### SAT Reading

The SAT and ACT fascinate me because students make the same mistakes over and over. Typical high school student study process: complete practice section, rush to grade it, glance at wrong answer, exclaim “Oh, of course! I’ll get that one right next time.” I have 25 years of teaching experience, from middle school through graduate school, and I can detail the many ways adolescents satisfy themselves with superficial learning. I labor to show them that true learning is not about the momentary understanding of, for example, an explanation provided by a competent tutor, but instead the deliberate development of more precise habits of thinking.
In my view, however, too many tutors make two critical errors. The first is simple: too much practice, not enough probing error analysis. The second is related: too much reliance on explanations of “why this one is right” and not enough “Yes, now you see why it’s right — but how will you get it right next time.”
High school students have been doing these kinds of problems for years, and thus I find it productive to consider that the errors they make are rarely because of genuine lack of knowledge of the underlying content. Rather, I consider that test makers have decades of practice at creating questions that indeed have one or two obviously bad answers, yet two that are only subtly different. Thus the challenge for students is not simply to learn “test taking skills,” nor is it to “brush up on the material.” Instead, I work hard to find patterns in the errors students make and to provide them with the problem-solving methods and discipline they need to retrain their mental habits.

SAT Writing,
#### SAT Writing

For a decade I taught writing to middle school students, and for five years after that I taught a writing-intensive introduction to psychology to Harvard sophomores, winning teaching awards each time. This range of experiences has helped me develop both strong methods of instruction and strong intuitions about how to understand and organize the thoughts of an adolescent writer.
One simple yet useful approach to the SAT writing section is to recognize that in most respects it is more like scientific writing than expressive writing. Notwithstanding that the test often asks writers to express their opinion on an issue, the graders are looking for a certain kind of *structured* reasoning. Approaching the writing section in this way, I find it fairly straightforward to show students the skills that will help them build strong essays.

SSAT,
#### SSAT

I have taught middle school across two decades and am well aware of what the SSAT covers. I taught 6-8th most often, and worked with younger students as well in two schools that were K-8. I take pride in building a child's confidence by showing that each math and reading problem can be solved with a combination of intuitive observation and deliberate problem-solving.

ACT English
## Very helpful

Taught me some tricks for mental math. Off to great start. Using Carlo for ISEE prep. He is patient and has a great teaching style. I'd recommend him to others students who need help with test prep.

Vivian, 18 lessons with Carlo

## Excellent support for scientific writing

Faculty-level background in scientific concepts and process. Able to quickly discuss complex topics to support rewrite of scientific manuscript. Highly recommended. Friendly, good listener, excellent suggestions.

Pat, 7 lessons with Carlo

## Knowledgeable, focused and patient teacher

Carlo helps me identify and eliminate my errors in SAT questions focusing on the approach to prevent reoccurrence of the mistakes. His focused approach is geared to improve my reading and writing skills besides improving my scores.

Arjun, 8 lessons with Carlo

## Great Tutor

We found Carlo to be smart, responsive, knowledgeable and informative. My son was very happy with his lesson, and Carlo not only was well prepared, but he also seemed to relate to him very well.

Kent, 1 lesson with Carlo

## Excellent tutor

Carlo is an excellent tutor. He is intelligent and patient, and provides clear explanations/feedback. My daughter has shown dramatic improvement in her knowledge/skills across all of the material they are covering. She has a much deeper knowledge of math now. She is also able to complete math problems much more quickly and effectively. Carlo has strong interpersonal skills, and my daughter always enjoys the tutoring sessions. I am thankful to have found Carlo!

Kim, 27 lessons with Carlo

## Carlo C is an outstanding tutor

Carlo is an outstanding tutor. He tutored our fourteen year old daughter over a period of about four months in Social Studies, typically three times per week. He developed an immediate rapport with her, and quickly devised a teaching plan suited to her (and our) requirements. He clearly has a superior command of his subject, and transmitted his enthusiasm to our daughter. She looked forward eagerly to her sessions with him. Her subsequent familiarity with the course material -- 19th and 20th century American history -- has been a source of some astonishment to her school teachers, and this success is to be attributed to her work with Carlo. Carlo is reliable as well as flexible, very professional and is clearly passionate about teaching. We would recommend him most highly as an excellent tutor in every respect.

KAREN, 37 lessons with Carlo

## Great tutor!

Carlo was wonderful! Not only did he follow up with me a week after he helped me but he also gave me feedback after my lesson! I learned so much from him on how to use Excel that I was able to figure out how to use it for an urgent project! I recommend him for any problems you are having with Excel!

Diana, 1 lesson with Carlo