Search 80,000+ tutors
FIND TUTORS

Blogs Blogs

Newest Most Active

The Economist recently published an article with some surprising research findings about stress. Contrary to popular belief, stress is not always bad, nor is it the amount of stress that matters. Rather, the key determinant of its impact on performance and health is largely psychological.    In one study, researchers divided a set of GRE test takers into two groups. Saliva samples were taken to establish baseline stress levels for all participants. Then one group was told that stress during practice exams is natural and can improve performance, while the other group just took the test. Saliva samples were taken at the end of the exam, and the results from both groups indicated similar levels of stress. BUT, the group that had learned stress can be helpful scored higher on the practice test (and, several months later, on the actual GRE) than those who just took the test.    Even more impressively, in 2012 a group of researchers scoured through... read more

To my fellow educators and students,   I know that it is very tempting to give your students answers to their questions immediately, but sometimes it's best to let a student struggle a little. Asking students why they are doing what they are doing can help students to make lasting connections that go beyond that next test or ACT exam. This approach can be frustrating for both teachers and students at times, but it is quite rewarding.   I have a student who was completely scared about sharing their opinion on an answer they gave. Throughout most of the lesson i refused to give them a yea or nay answer. I asked them to talk it out and see if they could understand why they did what they did. The student was correct, but having students explain their answer and even get frustrated with me some helped this student achieve deeper understanding of the material. 

Earned Value Analysis By Dr. Catherine According to the Project Management Body of Knowledge, earned value analysis is an objective method to measure project performance in terms of the triple constraints of scope, time and cost. This measuring technique is an excellent tool in assessing the health and applying metrics to the management of your project. Project Example: A computer software project scheduled to take four-weeks is budgeted at $10,000. The project manager at the third week meeting determined that the team has only completed 50% of the project. According to the project schedule the team was supposed to have completed 75% of the project. The project manager noticed that $9,000 of the budget has been spent up to that date. What is the overall health of the project? Measuring Projects Health: Planned Value (PV) represents the budgeted cost of all the planned tasks. PV=Planned % Completed * Project Budget Earned... read more

Description The introductory paragraph of a paper or writing should capture the reader’s attention and engage their mind. You should always approach your papers expecting a reluctant or busy reader. Your job is to relate to them, give them useful information, and intrigue them to capture their interest. The first sentence of an introduction can be thought of as “the hook:” The sentence that grabs the mind of your reader. Approach Ask yourself: Who is reading this paper (your audience)? Is my reader sympathetic or opposed to my view? What personal experiences or interests will my reader have? How can I relate to the topics or things that my reader would care about? What was the most interesting or unexpected fact that I learned? Tone of Paper The tone of your paper should determine the hook sentence that you use For creative writing, you have more flexibility For informative writings, the tone may limit the options you have   Devices Creative... read more

From my experience, designing a lesson for one student could be challenging due to not being able to include group or pair-work, which is not only a great way for the students to apply what they have just learned with a fellow classmate allowing them to feel more comfortable to make mistakes but also gives the teacher the opportunity to walk around and listen in and find common errors that can be brought up to the class as a whole instead of singling out a single student's mistake possibly discouraging them, but also because after some time the student can easily get bored deterring them from fully learning the material the tutor is teaching. Here are five things I include in each lesson to ensure that the student is actively learning and having a fun time doing so as well.   1) Make your first lesson informal so they feel comfortable with you from the get-go. They will be hesitant until they feel it is okay to mistakes and the sooner you can get them to let their guard... read more

Structure is necessary, it keeps things organized but unplanned topics can also present great learning opportunities. If the student is excited about something, we talk about it! There are always chances to learn new vocabulary words and even hit up some practice with grammar. After all, conversation is just that, going with the flow and seeing where things go. Be spontaneous amidst the structure.    Another aspect that is helpful and fun is to center lessons around my students. It's their life and their experience they'll want to share, so we work around that.    Kids games are fun even for adults! It's okay to play "Ispy" (Yo veo) when we are learning colors or talking about specific vocabulary. We even play scrabble for those who really want a challenge. It's a wonderful opportunity to see how many words you already know and learn new ones when I play words you don't recognize. Jeopardy is also another great game I like to include. If... read more

Tutoring is a two way street. Both sides of the party need to put in 110% of effort in order to see positive results.   A tutor needs to be enthusiastic about the subject. They need to be passionate about what they are teaching. Throughout my college career, I had a better experience and better results in classes where my professor was enthusiastic about the class. Adversely, teachers who don't show enthusiasm, do not connect with the students, and the students refuse to create that connection as well.    Another healthy tutoring tip is patience. Nobody likes a pushy tutor! Yes, be assertive, but being too pushy will annoy the student. Patience allows the student to digest the material and to create cognitive connections.   Positive encouragement is also a good way to make lessons fun. There are teachers who scare their students by giving them discouragement. When a teacher gives the student positive encouragement, the student feels good... read more

Below are the details of Albert's Cancellation Policy: All cancellations must be made in writing (through WyzAnt messaging) before 36 hours of the lesson start time. For cancellations under 36 hours from the start of your scheduled lesson, the following cancellation fees apply: • If you are cancelling for a reason other than illness or emergency, you will be charged the full cancellation fee equal to the full amount of the lesson.  • If you are sick, ill, or not feeling well, you are eligible to receive a discounted cancellation fee ($15-$20, up to 1/2 of the full lesson fee) if you choose to reschedule the lesson within 1 week (otherwise you will be charged the full cancellation fee equal to the full amount of the lesson). • If there is a holiday or special observance, you are eligible to receive a discounted cancellation fee ($15-$20, up to 1/2 of the full lesson fee) if you choose to reschedule the lesson within 1 week (otherwise you will be charged... read more

I recently had the experience of arranging to meet a new client's high-school student for their first time using online tutoring with me. We had already exchanged messages on the platform we intended to use in an attempt to ensure everything was ready for that night's session when the student would be ready.   However, we encountered some problems!  Although we were both logged into the video-conferencing application, and had earlier exchanged IMs through the application, neither of us appeared to be online to the other! After trying the usual restart-the application, restart-the-machine first trouble-shooting steps, to no avail I asked the client to try checking their application for any available updates.  Well, evidently there must have been some updates that hadn't run for quite some time (or perhaps an antivirus program or firewall interfered with the update process, or perhaps the operating system was out-of-date too, or ... could have been any number of... read more

A square and an equilateral triangle of the same area are overlaid such that the midpoint of the bases of each coincide, and the bases lie on the same line. What exact proportion of the (interior of the) square is common to the (interior of the) triangle?   To solve, first drop a perpendicular from the apex of the triangle to its base, and use the 30-60-90 triangle proportions to obtain the triangle area, then side length, then height. (Designate the square as unit area). Next, write equations for one side of the triangle (using the coincident base midpoints as origin), and obtain the points of intersection of the triangle and square sides. Lastly, solve for the dimensions and areas of the top small triangle, and one of the side small triangles, which may then be subtracted from the unit triangle to obtain the overlap.    An outstanding mid-difficulty problem, which should convince students that just because they obtain some fractional powers of 3 (and... read more

Well, okay, it's not incorrect, but it's flawed and by a mathematician's standards: morally wrong.   I'm sure at one point you boringly learned the order of operations. These are the set of rules that tell you whether you should do multiplication before division or addition before subtraction to get the correct answer on your math problem.  1) Parentheses (brackets) 2) Exponents x^x 3) Multiplication 2*2 4) Division 2/2 5) Addition 2+2 6) Subtraction 2-2 7) Get the right answer :)   Except, you don't always get the right answer.   For example: 8-2+1. Is it 5 because 8-3=5? Or is it 7 because 6+1=7?   Is 6/3/3 equal to 2/3 or 6/1?   The issue here is that focusing on the order of operations can lead to ambiguity and obscures the real beauty of mathematics.   A mathematician will tell you that 8-2+1 is actually 8+(-2)+1, which is unambiguously equal to... read more

I started my Physics course this Summer telling my students they are not allowed to say "I don't know," unless they can't read, listen to a recording, watch a video, or ask a question of someone more knowledgeable. When I was in school we did not have access to information like students do today.  In my humble opinion, students need to bulk up on two things like body builders do using supplements. What are those two things students need to bulk up with? Asking quality questions and learning how they learn.  Take for example, Google is an awesome resource, but if you ask the wrong question or use terms inappropriately, you will not get the answer you seek. Ask a bad question one gets a bad answer. Ask a wrong question one gets a wrong answer. Ask an incomplete question one may very well get an incomplete answer. Its that simple. Quality of questions is paramount and good questions come from meticulous vocabulary management. Therefore, students must become... read more

General - All sessions are billed in 5-minute increments. - All sessions will be charged beginning at the scheduled start time, unless I am late, in which case, the session time will begin when I arrive and charges will be assessed accordingly. - If a session goes past the scheduled end time, you will be charged until the session is complete, in 5 minute increments. If you need a session to end “on time,” simply let me know. - If I choose to end a session early, for example, because we covered all the necessary material--or any similar event--then I will charge you for only the actual duration of the session, in 5-minute increments. - If you choose to end a session early, for any reason, you will be charged for the full scheduled session. - Unless otherwise agreed, all sessions will be schedule for 2 hours. For more explanation, see my TutorFAQs. - Sometimes, it is necessary for me to have my 6-year-old daughter with me when I tutor. She is very well-behaved... read more

Many nursing students believe that their studies are going great until they come to pharmacology. It is difficult trying to learn and understand all of those drugs and their side effects. However, dosage calculations really put fear into many students.  So the next few blogs will be looking at this topic. Few of us are mathematical wizards, but using dimensional analysis to solve your dosage problems make the process easy.  If you want to calculate a dosage, or the rate of a drip, this method is very useful. Let us first examine the steps of dimensional analysis by working on a simple problem   The MD prescribed 50 mgs of a medication. It is stocked in a concentration of 100mg/ml. What dose should you give in milliliters     1. GIVEN -identify the given quantity -50 mg   2. WANTED -Identify the wanted or unknown quantity - x ml   3. CONVERSION- Write down the equivalents that are needed to convert between... read more

Even though I do not intend to be a public school teacher, I am taking Florida's certification exams so that I could get my temporary teacher's license.  Passionate tutors such as myself log many hours tutoring in their specialties.  We work with students of all capabilities, handicaps, aspirations, and needs.  We LIKE tutoring one-on-one or in small groups. What are my thoughts on this exam?  It was much easier than the SAT, ACT, or GRE.  I finished the 4 hour exam more than an hour early... and I had a cold when I took it.  The toughest part was the essay.  The exception is that the essay be approximately twice as long as the SAT essay.  More time is given; so it should be in "final" form, not a rough draft.  The reading and math sections had enough time so that I did not experience the typical time management stress most students experience on the SAT/ACT/GRE tests. My next three tests will be subject matter... read more

Have you ever received a graded essay handed back with the phrase, "Needs more structure," or "structure needs work?"   Creating a structure for any written word, whether it is poem, essay, news brief, or novel, is an integral part of the message you intend to convey. Using long, convoluted sentences as means to convince the reader that your argument is very simple will usually only give the opposite impression; simple arguments are best conveyed with short, simple sentences. (For example, the opposite is true in Jonathan Swift's essay, "A Modest Proposal," in which he uses didactic and complex language in an effort to "convince" the people of England that the solution to their hunger and poverty problem is to eat their starving infant children; his complex sentences reflect the sarcastic and satiric nature of his essay, reflecting that he does not see cannibalism as a real solution.)   Structure also helps you keep... read more

My goal as a tutor is somewhat paradoxical: I want to lose my job. In the best possible way, of course: I help my students develop skills that make my services  unnecessary.  it doesn't matter how confused a student is when they come to me, I know that with some instruction, reinforcement and encouragement, any student can develop the study and self-advocacy skills necessary to do well in their classes, on their own. One of the most powerful study skills in their new arsenal is notes.   Notes have incredible power to not only help a student complete their homework, better understand the content, and remember their lessons.  Note taking skills can be built up in layers to address these goals.   Layer one: My notes help me do my homework because they are organized and thorough.   One thing my students struggle with is the misperception that their notes need to look exactly like their teachers' notes. This is particularly bewildering... read more

Sometimes I work with students who perform well during our lessons, but who struggle when it comes to actually taking the test. It turns out the reason for this might be genetic.    When we experience stress, our prefrontal cortex is flooded with dopamine. Some of us are coded with a gene that slowly removes the dopamine, while others have a variant that rapidly removes it. The prefrontal cortex is critical for planning and decision-making, and it performs best when an optimal level of dopamine is maintained. Normally, on many cognitive tests, people with the slow variant of the gene perform better. But in stressful, high-stakes situations the opposite happens: those with the fast variant do better. Thus people with the slow variant have been dubbed Worriers, and those with the fast variant, Warriors.    However, being a Worrier does not mean you will inevitably be a victim of chronic underperformance in stressful situations. In one of the studies... read more

Story of one of my SAT student Wow! Student’s score bumped up by 90 points in 5 weeks tutoring only! I got very excited and thrilled when I saw one of my SAT students’ score got improved by 90 points only after 5 weeks of tutoring. That student’s score had been fluctuating between 1100 and 1130. Its parents requested me to tutor the student for the  SAT test. We had only 5 weeks  left for the test. I tutored the student three times a week.  I also assigned homework to the student for the days when we did not have sessions. In the final week of tutoring, we covered test taking strategies and how to handle test anxiety. All of the effort and hard work got paid off when the student’s score got improved by 90 points!

Students are often frustrated when trying to learn a foreign language because they can't organize the material like they are used to doing in other subjects.  Language is fluid and we are able to finally understand foreign words when we let go and allow the right side of our brains to take over.  Much of understanding is intuitive and contextual, so give yourself permission to guess what is being said or written.  The key is to think through the words and let them come alive in your brain, so you can use them later.  That's how you learned your native tongue.  Grammar should be a supplement to your language acquisition, not the main player.  I always recommend online courses with pictures, sound and familiar scenes between actors...like a play on stage, but in German.   You know the German word Kindergarten because you have heard it so many times in the context of your life.  That is how you can learn new German words....find a program... read more

Blogs RSS feed