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Last week in my Literature Spotlight, I discussed the idea of science-fiction as a reflection of the time period in which it was written. For this week's Writing Rundown, let's take a look at my brainstorming process. As I mentioned in this blog post, there are many ways to brainstorm for a project. For this one, I decided to use a technique I hardly ever use myself: free-writing. Free-writing is a great tool for projects for which you have the beginnings of a lot of ideas bouncing around in your head, but none are quite fleshed out enough for you to contemplate their connections. It generally requires another form of prewriting such as a word cloud or outline to get it into a state that helps you write the essay, but it's a great place to start. So, as a brief recap: in freewriting, sometimes called “stream-of-consciousness” writing, you put your pen down on a blank piece of paper and just start writing – and you don't stop writing for at least ten or fifteen... read more

In the Christmas frenzy of gift buying, holiday parties, and end of the year work quotas, parents groan about how to keep their children occupied over winter break. Many parents seek babysitters, daycare, and family members to watch their kiddos.  But there is a way for you to complete your tasks while simultaneously offering your child emotional nourishment: Involve your child in your shopping! At this point, you might envision your child meandering out the door of Marshalls or the Apple Storewhile you frantically scour for a must-have gift. But shopping with your child doesn't have to be a dreadful experience.  The secret to enjoying -- yes, I said enjoying -- this time together is this: If your child is under age 8, put them in the shopping cart! TALK TO YOUR CHILD WHILE YOU ARE SHOPPING.   GIVE HER/HIM ONE SPECIAL TOY. ASK HER/HIS OPINION ON THE COLOR OF AN ITEM YOU ARE CONSIDERING.   TALK ABOUT THE TEXTURE OF THE ITEM.   ASK YOUR CHILDTO... read more

In mathematics, word problems have been known to pose challenges for elementary school students, middle school students and even some high school students. In addition, a vast majority of students also have difficulties with solving problems with fractions. If we mix a word problem with a problem with fractions, then we end up getting an even tougher problem to solve. How can we expect those students who have not yet mastered language to make meaning of word problems? Let's dive right into a math word problem which will illustrate this.    Problem: Tashira has a piece of lace material that is 3/5 yard long. She used 2/3 of the material to make a quilt. How much did she use to make the quilt?   When a student reads this problem one of the questions she/he may ask is, "Where do I start?" The student may have difficulty with translating the word problem into its mathematical representation. The next difficulty is that if the student decides... read more

It certainly is not uncommon for people in society to watch the news and become enraptured by the sheer force and devastation of deadly hurricanes that inflict upon local communities. However, as soon as the news coverage stops addressing the hurricane, the majority of the country's population returns to their normal lives and is entirely unaware of the devastating economic effects of the storm, which sensational news stories often do not cover. In 2012, Hurricane Sandy began far from New York City on the eastern coast of the United States. Hurricane Sandy was by no means an ordinary hurricane. After a short amount of time that few foresaw, Sandy hit New York City, and the storm devastated the city with chaos and destruction. Sandy caused many deaths and injuries, and many people who were living in inundation zones were forced to evacuate. Moreover, the hurricane caused numerous homes to be lost, as well as loss of power/electricity, healthcare, education, and transportation; as well,... read more

I specialize in teaching essay structure and style. When I began tutoring, I had a vague idea that I'd work with college students like the friends for whom I'd proofread during university: young Americans who've grown up in a public school system which emphasized group work over individual learning, and who therefore never got a chance to develop their writing skills. I've certainly worked with students from a background very much like this. However, I've also had the pleasure of building a strong ESL clientele. At this point, I've spent enough time with ESL students to have made some observations about the nature of ESL learning and the way it is discussed. I'm certainly no expert, but by now I am a reliable dilettante. I speak with the authority of firsthand experience. From that vantage, I'd like to address one mistake which is frequently made in conversations about ESL learning. It is a very serious mistake and I have to believe that it muddles teachers' thinking considerably... 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

1. There are no wrong answers, judgement is OUT the window in my class.   It is only wrong if you do not participate in the discussion because anything "we" say is all of value.   2. Multiple avenues are used to give the best tutoring experience possible-and humor!   3. Make every lesson different, yet challenging   4. Understand what way your student(s) learn best. Use the tools they are comfy with, and the tutor needs to adapt.   5. The best tutors are students as well as educators. They have a thirst for knowledge and are willing to learn together with the student, not lecture the student. Good tutors positively engage and do not criticize in any form.   ♠♣♥♥♥♥ß¾ƒ∑©™®-Study, learn, and have fun while doing it!

Writing is an essential skill your students should develop. It will be important regardless of the professions they aspire to have in the future. However, teaching students how to write can be a problem. Alyssa Stevenson, Content Strategist at EdugeeksClub advises educators, "Pupils all hate writing assignments, so you’ll have to find a way to make this skill attractive to them." Below are 10 apps to help you out in making learning a lot easier: 1. Kid in Story Book Maker Developed by Locomotive Labs, this tool makes your childhood dream of being in a storybook a reality! Kid in Story Book Maker lets you take a picture for the background and allows you to insert an additional picture of the user. You then get to create a narration for your own story. 2. Write about this This app encourages kids and adults alike to harness their writing skills by providing a wide range of colorful and engaging photos to write about. Each photo has 3 levels of prompts... read more

I cannot say enough about them. I am writing about the use of these wonderful writing tools. Yes, we have used graphic organizers etc., but these writing tools have proven their worth and value in so many ways. I can talk and demonstrate my knowledge, as well as share how much I continue to cognitive learn. Using and applying these 8 maps/writing tools to the learning/editing process really works for the visual learner! :)

I have taught SAT/ACT prep in the public school system for many years.  On the first day, I ask my students to flip their book over and read the quote that says, "The SAT is not designed to trick you!"  I then have them circle that quote and write "LIE!" next to it.  College Boards are as much about successful test taking skills, as they are about knowledge.  There are so many simple strategies that can easily improve scores by 100 points.    One concept I emphasize is skipping questions.  I had a student's score go up by over 100 points, simply by answering less questions!    You don't have to be an English star to do well on College Boards.  With practice, knowledge, and the right test-taking skills, you can walk in on test day confident, and emerge successful!

You've purchased the latest and greatest of new digital cameras and have just come back from spending the day enjoying all those new features and taking great photos using Camera Raw. But when you insert the memory card and go to Import Dialog in Lightroom, all your thumbnails say, "Preview Unavailable For This File."   What's wrong?    Don't worry, it's not you. It's the Adobe Camera Raw Plug-In (ACR). Adobe updates the ACR plug-in on a regular basis, but never quite fast enough to keep up with every camera manufacturer's changes to their version of camera raw. So what happens is, Lightroom cannot yet read or see these new camera raw files.    What to do?   It's tricky, but not rocket science. Until Lightroom gets an updated version out that includes your new camera, you can download the Adobe DNG converter from the Adobe website that (hopefully!) includes your camera. The link is here - http://helpx.adobe... 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

I’ve been asked many times, “what is the best learning tool that an accounting student has in their arsenal”. When I’ve proposed this question to other modern accountants, they generally list out the programs they utilize most, Quicken, Excel, or the Intuit program du jour; all are cited as the best learning tools for the future accountant. My own response to this question may surprise anyone that has become an accountant post-1995, but would not shock the pre-computer group. While I am a member of the older crowd (by age), I am a new accountant in that I was not accounting professionally prior to 2000. So what tool is most important to me? What one piece of equipment is in my arsenal and is the most dangerous weapon in the accounting world? An abacus? Though I can use one and suggest everyone learn, not the most important tool. A Burroughs Sensitronic with magnetic tape to store ledger cards? Close, but again no. What, what, what apparatus is so important?          ... read more

Hello NCLEX Takers, I am tutor here on WyzAnt that specializes in NCLEX prep work.  It is my passion and absolute focus.  My students fair very well after working with me and my system of addressing this exam.  If you are looking for some answers about how to address the exam and prepare please read through this e-mail and reach out to me at my personal site at   Here are some questions to help me address your needs: 1) How many times have you taken the NCLEX? 2) What nursing school did you go to? 3) How many questions have you gotten on your exam or exams? 4) Do you have an idea of when you would like to take the NCLEX? 5) Where I believe you to be at in your ability to take the NCLEX? I make this decision based on chat a bit and I get a sense for where your strengths and weaknesses are. Different people have different time requirements needed to prepare accordingly. I have... read more

  Critical reading can feel like a pretty nebulous topic, but there are specific skills that can be practiced to improve your understanding. One of the most basic skills is simply paraphrasing as you read through a passage. I did say "simply", but I realize that this does not always feel so simple. Still, with practice, paraphrasing can (and should) become second nature.   As you read through a passage, practice frequently rephrasing what you have read. Paraphrase every few sentences or even more often if the passage is particularly difficult. While you might imagine that this process will slow you down, in practice it can save you time. It is certainly faster than reaching the question section and realizing that you don't understand what you just read. Rereading the entire passage can make it difficult to finish the section in the given time.    Paraphrasing is not summarizing; paraphrasing is instead a way of clarifying what you just read... read more

Does this look familiar? SOLVE IF YOU ARE A GENIUS! 99% OF PEOPLE WILL GET IT WRONG! 8 = 56 7 = 42 6 = 30 5 = 20 3 = ? No doubt every time you've seen this on Facebook, it's followed by thousands upon thousands of responses, each indignant that other people are getting the wrong answer. Generally there are two or three different numbers that keep coming up, with nobody able to see how anyone else could have gotten a different answer from their own. I hate these things. These things are designed to be vague. There is no answer, or rather, there are an infinite number of answers. The crux of the issue here is that they don't define the rule. So these things are basically a weird way of presenting a function. You remember functions from my previous blog post, right? Well, essentially what this thing is saying is “you take 8, do some mystery function to it, and... read more

Rhetoric is the tool of influential oratory polished by elegance and the light of ability to use language persuasively; misleading those willing to accept what is being presented is true, even if the undertone is not.

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