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Over 400 tutoring hours

Ellen S.

Pittsburgh, PA

$45/hour

Math and Writing Geek

Background check passed as of 9/14/13
4.8 average from 67 ratings
Absolutely fantastic
— Stephen, Pittsburgh, PA on 10/5/13

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University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dance
Alexander Technique Center Urbana
Other

Education

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Dance)

Alexander Technique Center Urbana (Other)

About Ellen

Hi! My name is Ellen and I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Dance. Though dance is my passion, I have always loved academics of all sorts and am wholeheartedly a math geek. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and completed three International Baccalaureate certificates in high school, in the fields of Math, English and History. I am a member of the National Honors Society and the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and I was a self-nominated James Scholar at the U of I every semester except my last. I love to teach and to share my knowledge with others, both in dance and in academics. I encourage discussion in my students to help further understanding, and I am able to adapt to a large number of teaching styles depending on the student's needs. I have a particular gift for proofreading papers and essays and for correcting and explaining the grammar and syntax of both English and mathematics. Shoot me an email; I'd love to work with you! Hi! My name is Ellen and I graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a Bachelor's of Fine Arts in Dance. Though dance is my passion, I have always loved academics of all sorts and am wholeheartedly a math geek. I was born and raised in Pittsburgh, PA, and completed three Read more

Policies
Cancellation
12 hours notice required
Travel Radius
Travels within 4 miles of Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Background Check: Passed

"Absolutely fantastic"

- Stephen, Pittsburgh, PA on 10/5/13

"Very Patient!"

- Anna, Mill Valley, CA on 8/30/14

"Excellent tutor!"

- Susan, Pittsburgh, PA on 3/24/14

"Well Worth My Time!"

- Jill, Homestead, PA on 1/20/14

"Great SAT math prep tutor."

- Jan, Pittsburgh, PA on 12/2/13
Math:
ACT Math, Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Calculus, Elementary Math, Geometry, Prealgebra, Precalculus, SAT Math,
Trigonometry
Science:
Anatomy
English:
ACT English, ACT Reading, English, Grammar, Literature, Proofreading, Reading, SAT Reading,
SAT Writing,
Writing
Test Preparation:
ACT English, ACT Math, ACT Reading, GRE, SAT Math,
SAT Reading,
SAT Writing
Computer:
Macintosh
Elementary Education:
Elementary Math, Grammar, Reading, Study Skills
Business:
GRE
Sports/Recreation:
Ballet

Approved subjects are in bold.

Approved subjects

In most cases, tutors gain approval in a subject by passing a proficiency exam. For some subject areas, like music and art, tutors submit written requests to demonstrate their proficiency to potential students. If a tutor is interested but not yet approved in a subject, the subject will appear in non-bold font. Tutors need to be approved in a subject prior to beginning lessons.

Ballet

I have been studying ballet since I was four years old. My training began with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre School, where I studied under many professional instructors including David Holladay, Janet Popeleski, Colleen Pratt and Patricia Wilde. While at PBT I learned from a variety of teachers who taught a combination of styles, including Cecchetti, Vaganova and quite a bit of Balanchine. I began working en pointe when I was 11 years old, and have continued to practice pointework for the past 13 years. I performed with PBT many times during my 14 years in their Student and Pre-Professional Divisions, including but not limited to 10 seasons in Balanchine's The Nutcracker (where I played just about every student role in the show). In the Dance Department of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, I continued to hone my skills with four years of somatically-rich ballet emphasizing a deep understanding of how the body moves and functions. During the summers I attended the San Francisco Conservatory of Dance, where I studied with dancers from Alonzo King's Lines Ballet and learned to reach a very real, true place of personal expression through the movement vocabulary of ballet. During my junior year at college, I tutored a friend in Petite Allegro when she expressed her desire to achieve a greater lightness and speed. When you meet with me for help in ballet, we will work one-on-one to address your individual strengths and weaknesses, both overall and in specific steps and aspects of class. I will work with you to encourage a greater sense of ease, joy, and freedom, and to help you become more comfortable working within the vocabulary of classical or contemporary ballet. I will also tutor in pointework, though only if I believe the student has developed the additional strength that pointework requires, and (preferably) has already begun working en pointe in class.

SAT Math

If there's one thing I've learned in my years tutoring SAT prep, it's this: nine times out of ten, the questions students miss are not missed because of a lack of knowledge of subject but rather because of a lack of test-taking strategy. I say the same thing to each of my SAT prep students at our first lesson: "The SAT is not a test of your knowledge of math, or vocabulary, or essay writing. The SAT is a test of your test-taking skills. You already have all the subject knowledge you need to score as high as you want; you just need to know HOW to go about taking the test." Success in the SAT largely hinges on whether you finish the sections in time, how adept you are at finding shortcuts and using alternative methods to solve problems, and whether you have the stamina to complete a four-hour test without losing your concentration. When you meet with me for SAT math prep, these are the things we talk about. We do timed drills and discuss how to best allocate your time within a section. We talk about when it's appropriate to use a calculator, and how to read a word problem. We talk about which pieces of knowledge you're likely to need, and how to quickly find out which one is being asked for. Learn the strategy, and the SAT suddenly becomes less of a daunting task.

SAT Reading

If there's one thing I've learned in my years tutoring SAT prep, it's this: nine times out of ten, the questions students miss are not missed because of a lack of knowledge of subject but rather because of a lack of test-taking strategy. I say the same thing to each of my SAT prep students at our first lesson: "The SAT is not a test of your knowledge of math, or vocabulary, or essay writing. The SAT is a test of your test-taking skills. You already have all the subject knowledge you need to score as high as you want; you just need to know HOW to go about taking the test." Success in the SAT largely hinges on whether you finish the sections in time, how adept you are at finding shortcuts and using alternative methods to solve problems, and whether you have the stamina to complete a four-hour test without losing your concentration. When you meet with me for SAT reading prep, these are the things we talk about. We discuss how to disassemble an unknown word and guess at its meaning. We learn how to prevent the long comprehension passages from becoming a dangerous time-sink. And we practice using context clues to eliminate answer choices in the sentence completions. Learn the strategy, and the SAT suddenly becomes less of a daunting task.

SAT Writing

If there's one thing I've learned in my years tutoring SAT prep, it's this: nine times out of ten, the questions students miss are not missed because of a lack of knowledge of subject but rather because of a lack of test-taking strategy. I say the same thing to each of my SAT prep students at our first lesson: "The SAT is not a test of your knowledge of math, or vocabulary, or essay writing. The SAT is a test of your test-taking skills. You already have all the subject knowledge you need to score as high as you want; you just need to know HOW to go about taking the test." Success in the SAT largely hinges on whether you finish the sections in time, how adept you are at finding shortcuts and using alternative methods to solve problems, and whether you have the stamina to complete a four-hour test without losing your concentration. This is most obvious in the writing section, since it is a relative newcomer to the SAT lineup, and brings with it a new strategy challenge that most high-school students are still unprepared for. When you meet with me for SAT writing prep, these are the things we talk about. We discuss the core differences between writing a normal essay at home and writing a timed essay in a test situation. We hash out a basic formula for writing within a time frame. We practice making quick decisions and formulating thoughts decisively. Learn the strategy, and the SAT suddenly becomes less of a daunting task.

Study Skills

As a dancer, my schedule all throughout high school and college was insanely busy. It was not uncommon for me to be at school, class, or rehearsal for 10 hours a day, six days a week, while taking advanced IB classes (in high school) and honors courses (in college). Due to my extreme shortage of "free" time in which to do homework, I've become quite skilled at time management and organizational strategies. Over the years, I've learned quite a bit about the pros and cons of various organizational styles (having tried most of them at one point or another), and have developed my own strategies for effective time management. Through creative experimentation, I've discovered several ways to manage homework time more effectively and keep assignments organized and under control. Good organization and efficient use of available time really do go a long way towards increasing the quality of the work you produce.

When you meet with me for study skills help, we'll tackle such burning questions as: Should I use a three-ring binder, or those individual spiral notebooks? Do I really need five hours to write this paper? Which is better, staying up late or getting up extra early? Is spending six hours making flashcards to help my vocabulary really the best use of my time? And what on earth am I supposed to do with all these handouts my teacher keeps giving me?

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Dance
Alexander Technique Center Urbana
Other

Education

University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (Dance)

Alexander Technique Center Urbana (Other)

Absolutely fantastic — I learned so much from Ellen, going over every corner of the SAT. Talking through the reading, math, and writing sections thoroughly and explaining strategies. She gave me the confidence to absolutely crush the SAT. If you're in the area and looking for a tutor. Look no further. ...

— Stephen, Pittsburgh, PA on 10/5/13

Hourly rate

Standard Hourly Rate: $45.00

Cancellation: 12 hours notice required

Travel policy

Ellen will travel within 4 miles of Pittsburgh, PA 15213.