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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

As a parent you may be wondering, "How do I find a tutor for my child?" Here are a few questions to ask a tutor: 1. What is your prior experience in ? 2. How will you assess my child's needs? 3. What is your previous experience in education? 4. How will you work in collaboration with my child's teacher? 5. Can you come to my home? Or do I need to come to your location? 6. How flexible are you with your schedule? Is this something you only do part-time, or is this what you do? Here is a list of some questions that a tutor should ask (not in any particular order): 1. What do you think would help your child be more successful? 2. What does the teacher say about how your child is doing up until now in the class? 3. How does your child feel about tutoring? What has he/she been saying about class? 4. How has your child done in previous math courses? When did she/he start struggling? 5. Do you have a copy of the syllabus for the class... read more

Before submitting or printing an academic research paper, essay, email, memo, or any other written document, it is very important to carefully proofread it. Proofreading of written material is the final step that must be taken before a document can be considered complete. When proofreading a document, you should first read it slowly and carefully to determine whether or not it communicates its message. If the title or the introductory paragraph do not clearly signal the intent of the paper or if the paragraphs that follow do not naturally flow from that introduction, you might want to rewrite those parts of your paper. If the research does not seem to verify what you are attempting to communicate, you may wish to rethink your thesis or you may need to conduct further research. Once that part of the proofreading process, the overview editing, has been completed, it is time to perform a more exacting analysis of the paper. During this part of the proofreading procedure,... read more

Many of my students dread conjugating verbs. They dread it even more when the verbs are irregular and have the same meaning!!  The verbs ser and estar both mean "to be", so what is the difference between the two?? Ser is used to describe things that are permanent or often unchangeable.  For example, Yo soy de Estados Unidos.(I am from the United States).  The form of ser used in the sentence is soy.  You can not change where you are from. Ser is also used to describe characteristics, professions, religions and nationalities.       Estar is used to describe things that are temporary. For example, Yo estoy en Florida para las vacaciones(I am in Florida for vacation). I am vacationing in Florida, but I am not from there.  There is a little rhyme that is printed in the textbook, Realidades, which helps you remember when to use the verb, estar.  The rhyme goes, For how you... read more

10 Tips to Advance Your Second-language Learning Process Speaking a second language is a wonderful tool to have at your disposal. Not only is it fun and cool, but it opens doors to experience another culture in new, exciting and personal ways. And if you're working on speaking a language that others speak in your community, it can also open doors for you professionally. So, if you're itching for some tips to help advance your language learning process, have no fear…I'm here to share with you 10 of my trusty tips for how I learned to speak my second language! (How well do I speak it, you ask? Well, native Spanish speakers often think I’m a native Spanish speaker, just to give you some context.) These are all things that I did myself, so I’m confident in recommending them all to you! :) Let’s get started with some specific tips, and then move on to my more “philosophical” and general advice: 1. Watch television shows, movies and videos in your target language For those working... read more

Every student has the same amount of time in the day, but the key to improving your life and having time for the activities you want to do is to find ways to be more productive. First, putting all your due dates for your term assignments on a calendar, paper or digital, is an effective method of measuring out your time that you have to prepare. This way helps to manage the load in nice chunks. Finding out whether you are a visual, auditory, or tactical learner is also a great idea and is helpful in engaging with the material more easily and quickly. A quick, simple test can identify how information most easily goes into your brain. If you are a visual learner, you can “see” the information, so writing notes in charts and creating other visual representations makes the information organized in your brain. Using color codes in your notes is beneficial to map out information on the pages, such as using different colored highlighting pens or colored pencils to identify questions you... read more

Student must notify Tutor of cancellation at least six (6) hours in advance. Otherwise, the cancellation fees below will be incurred. If the notification is made less than six (6) hours in advance, but greater than one (1) hour in advance, Tutor reserves the right to charge a fee equal to 50% of the cost of the lesson. If the notification is made less than one (1) hour before the scheduled start, Tutor reserves the right to charge for the cost of the entire lesson. Student must notify Tutor of tardiness at least six (6) hours in advance. Student may not be more than thirty (30) minutes tardy; the lesson will be treated as cancelled otherwise. Tutor reserves the right to charge for any time waiting for Student. If the notification of tardiness is made at least six (6) hours in advance, reasonable efforts will be made in order to have a lesson of the originally scheduled length and no fees will be charged. Tutor reserves the right to charge a lesson as... read more

What is the best way to improve your SAT Reading score? I find that most students lose points on the Reading section because of the test's challenging vocabulary. As you go through the practice tests, if you find that you are not familiar with many of the words, take the time to write them out on separate flash cards. Then, look them up in the dictionary and write the definitions on the flip side. You can also buy pre-made SAT vocabulary flash cards. Whether you make them or buy them, test your memory with flash cards for about 20 minutes a day.

A concise objective, for learning to read and write English, could be to communicate with people. A more expansive or technical objective, could be to learn to recognize, pronounce and use all the basic English characters (constants & vowels), symbols and operators to create single words, that have meaning, for making statements; or to create mathematical numbers or expressions, that have value. It’s important to understand language, including English, is about thinking and learning, so remember speaking and writing is thinking; and on the other side listening and reading is learning. So, by speaking and writing; and listening and reading, we think, and we learn. That’s what communication is all about. However, people put less emphasis on listening and reading, but those are two skills that can take you far and help you avoid many unfortunate situations. While learning English, keep in mind, many characters, symbols and operators used in writing grammar are also... read more

Steps to Developing Effective Study Skills Step 1: Assessing Your Learning Style Step 2: Knowing Your Interests Step 3: Developing Appropriate Tools to Enhance Studying Step 4: Making the Subject Work for You (even if you hate it or don’t get it) Step 5: Constructing a Learning-Style-Friendly Environment Step 6: Other Considerations in Developing Effective Study Skills When we sit down to study, most of us follow a routine. We get our books together, get comfy (at a desk, on the bed, sitting on the floor, etc.), and set to work. Some of us turn on the TV or some music; others of us make our environment as quiet as it can be. What we do to study varies, but generally we reread our notes, textbooks, or study guides, and call it a day. The day of the test, we struggle to recall what we studied. Afterwards, we admonish ourselves for not studying hard enough or long enough, and doubt our performance. Does this sound familiar? It doesn’t need to be this way. Effective... read more

I am promoting the idea of students working daily to increase vocabulary skills! I primarily tutor students who are writing essays, applying to universities, and/or preparing for the GRE, NCLEX, or MCAT. A rich vocabulary is a necessary foundation for life. In test situations, students cannot count on "looking it up on Google". I have my students use a 3x5 index card as they are reading any book, write down any unfamiliar words that they come across during the reading session, and then look them up in a dictionary at the end of the reading session. They then write the definitions on the index card. At the end of the book, they have a list of new vocabulary words. if students grew up using a lot of technology and not reading, it is vital to start now with books that have a rich treasure of great vocabulary words. Enjoy! Rachel High-stakes testing, Essay writing, many other subjects

Recently, I've noticed other tutors asking questions about raising rates and client retention.  Professional tutors learn how to provide this educational service and negotiate payment for services rendered.  This website is great for providing leads and helping a new tutor get started.  Attaining a level of education and specific tutor training will help beginners become effective professionals, not simply peer tutors with high GPAs.  Successfully tutoring others who achieve high marks on writing assignments and exams takes preparation and time.  This job requires more than just one hour with a student.   When I first started tutoring I did not calculate all of my travel expenses, including my time, into my hourly rate. As I quickly gained experience, I began to realize that my clients appreciate and value my willingness to drive to their homes once or twice a week.  Then gas prices began to slowly rise and I had another epiphany.  My... read more

In addition to the usual suggestions of getting a good night's sleep, and eating a good breakfast the day of the test, I suggest the following: 1. I have my students go to the test site prior to the test, especially in high-stakes situations such as the GRE. I recommend they do this from one to four weeks ahead of time. They check out the route and the parking situation, and mentally picture themselves going in and coming out of the test site door with a happy and confident disposition. If the student has not yet done this, that is still a good idea to do about 48 hours prior to the test. 2. Throughout the tutoring, I have my students review challenging vocabulary words, along with the mnemonic devices I provide. We use colored index cards. In the 48 hour period before the exam, the student would review any words and mnemonic devices that still remain challenging. 3. My students have large posters for their walls that have visual aids for key concepts. These would also... read more

Most language learning resources focus on the process of what YOU can do to learn a language. But what I'm interested in is how a language is an organic, living, naturally occurring phenomenon, like rivers, trees, and humans, and what that has to do with efficient language learning, as well as what it has to do with the nature of life/God/the universe (as a bonus). The mathematician Leonardo Fibonacci used a set of numbers (Fibonacci numbers) to describe how rabbit populations expand. The numbers are 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, ... (each number is the sum of the previous two numbers). This "golden" ratio also describes flowers, trees, rivers, seashells, galaxies, and the human face. Language also grows this way in your mind -- particularly if you're a child. My goal is that it grow that way also in the mind of the adult. The way it looks is that for every language you grew up speaking there are a number of situations you've experienced in... read more

One of the things I love most about the Latin language is how its writers can massage it to add information and imagery without having to add more words.  I call this, personally, writing in two dimensions.  Here's an example:   At one point in the Aeneid, Aeneas and Dido are having a lovers' tryst in a hidden cave, which was dedicated to a god.  Because Latin is a highly inflected language, word order carries little grammatical information (unlike English), but can add quite a bit of what I call "two-dimensional" information.  So, in English the line might be written:   Aeneas and Dido were in the holy cave.   But Vergilius writes instead (only in Latin):   In the holy Aeneas and Dido were cave.   Thus, even in terms of word order, Aeneas and Dido are INSIDE the cave!  I find things like this absolutely thrilling.  But it's not my favorite half-line in Latin poetry.   That... read more

I see increasing numbers of students returning to college and vocational schools, to obtain more education and be competitive in this economy. There is a great need for tutors to help with essay writing and test preparation for the entrance tests like SAT and ACT and also the GRE for those seeking a graduate education. The student's investment in time and money does pay off. Student loans are available at 7% and 9%, which is much less than the amount of increase in salary which a degree makes possible. However, that said, it is important that the student do some research on the future of various career paths. Considering that we are in the worse economic situation since the Great Depression years, pursuing a degree in an obscure field does not make as much sense as pursuing a career in one of the "20 fields expected to grow in the next ten years". A rule of thumb is to borrow student loan money in an amount not to exceed one year's typical salary in the career being... read more

In my experience with elementary level students, I am constantly amazed by these kids imagination. However when it comes to math i find myself frustrated that their minds wander so much. Sometimes i want to just be like, "Super man and unicorns are not a part of math! pay attention!!!!" Reality is, that just doesn't help. I began trying to revamp my ways of teaching so that super man could join us in our lessons. I found that using examples that incorporate the child's imagination works wonders. They being to laugh and enjoy themselves when I am tutoring them and the best part is....THEY PAY ATTENTION! The fun examples also help them to remember math concepts when they go to take their tests. It is a win win for everyone. A basic example could be "superman already saved 4 people last week but this week he saved 5 more people from a burning building! So how many people has he saved?" We have taken a basic 4+5=9 math problem and made it fun for them. Sometimes... 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. 

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