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Prep your Homeschoolers to be Spanish Savvy! The moment has come... Your homeschool counselor has added Spanish class to your Homeschool schedule. And the only thing you remember from your highschool Spanish is 'hola' and 'adios'! Whew! Good thing I started these super savvy blogs, right?😀 Ok, no time to waste here, stick with me and launch your child into pure Spanish savvy! First step of success is to encourage your Homeschoolers to love.. Yes love.. that he gets to learn Spanish because not everyone gets this chance. Then talk about how much Spanish he,she already knows (and you too). This would be a terrific conversation while sitting at your favorite Taco shop on, of course Taco Tuesday! Words you both already know,for example, taco, burrito, tortilla- you get where I am going with this, right? Why the pre prep talk? Easy. Because in all of my 25 years of teaching and tutoring Spanish, there is one majorly savvy important fact-Attitude is everything... read more

It's a fact...If you do not like the way you sound in Spanish you are not going to speak it...chances are even if a mouth watering churro is at stake! So let's fix that right here, right now with some fabulous tips to accessing your inner Spanish accent. Tip 1 Get a Tutor! I know, I know, but again ten fold, ten fold! But this time choose a tutor based on their accent. If they don't sound melodic when they speak Spanish then they are not the tutor for this mission. Keep in mind, your tutor does not have to be a native speaker just one that has taken the time to actually master the accent. So when you are what I like to call "proofing" a tutor, close your eyes and ask them to tell you why Spanish is the Language to learn! If you don't feel as if you have suddenly transported to the incredible beaches of Playas then again, this is not the tutor for the mission! Tip 2 Start to really practice the vibrant pronunciations of the alphabet, numbers, and... 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. 

Public Speaking- From Fear to Fierce I went to a high school that put great emphasis on classical skills: Logic, Latin, and Rhetoric. The term “rhetoric” has a bad reputation in today’s society that is completely undeserved. The word “rhetoric” simply referred to the art of communication, often in public speaking or in discussion format. That discussion aside, I loved the methods that we were taught to overcome that fear of public speaking, and I think that others could benefit as well. I remember the first time that each person in our ninth grade class had to present a paper to our history class. We were all white-knuckled clutching our entirely pre-written papers that must have only been two or three hand written pages in length. Shaking knees and even shakier voices were quite prevalent. The next year, when we started rhetoric classes, I watched those same students, including myself, giving speeches fifteen minutes or longer with very little noticeable hesitation... 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

“Stay off of Facebook and personal e-mail during the workday. Make a to-do list and cross off items as they are completed.” —Walter Kloepfer, Homer, Alaska “I try to remember that today is yesterday’s tomorrow.” —David, Montreal “Feet first, feelings follow. I don’t wait until I feel like doing something, or until I am in the right mood, because that might never happen. So I jump in and start the project. Nine times out of 10, I find that, once I get started, I feel like continuing.” —Leslie Pressnell, Lakewood, Ohio “Make short lists of ‘musts.’ Take care of the most important things first, then take on other items. I give myself permission to do at least one ‘tolerable,’ ‘fun,’ or ‘worthwhile’ item each day, even if it’s not on the ‘must’ list.” —Susan Hsu, Gainesville, Florida “I need uninterrupted time to work, so I schedule at least one day a week with no appointments (especially if I am working at home). I allow myself one trip... 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

Physical activity — even something as small as fidgeting the hands — increases levels of the neurotransmitters dopamine and norepinephrine in the way ADHD medications do. Both chemicals play a key role in sharpening focus and increasing attention.   Attention “deficit” increases with the length, familiarity, and repetitiveness of a task. In other words, you tune out when tasks get boring!  An activity that uses a sense other than that required for the primary task — listening to music while reading a social studies textbook — can enhance performance in children with ADHD. Doing two things at once, she found, focuses the brain on the primary task. These sensory-motor activities are called “distractions.” But we call them fidgets — mindless activities you can do while working on a primary task. We’re not talking about wriggling in your seat. Fidgeting is more intentional. It’s pacing or doodling while on the phone or chewing gum while taking a test.   Fidgeting... read more

If you’re trying to learn something new, you might want to hit the gym a few hours after studying. According to new research, exercising 4 hours after learning a task can improve memory.     Neurotransmitters released by exercise lead to a production of proteins that "help stabilise new memory traces", study author Guillén Fernández, director of the Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition, and Behaviour at Radboud University Medical Center.   The take home message is that exercise should be used as a strategy for long-term memory retention.   Read the story here:  

What you feed your body has a direct correlation to how your brain functions. Diet and nutrition impact cognition, attention, sleep, and mood. According to the Harvard Health Blog, studies show that people who eat “clean” or “whole” diets high in vegetables, fruits, unprocessed grains, and lean meats, are more likely to experience better emotional health.  The better you want your brain to perform, the more unprocessed foods, proteins, vegetables, and fruits you should eat. Research shows that protein promotes alertness in the brain. Carbohydrates do the opposite. And artificial colors and flavors are even worse.   Pesticides, specifically organophosphates, found on fruits and vegetables may be linked to ADHD. Western diet — processed meats, fast foods, high-fat dairy products, and sugary foods — doubled the risk of having an ADHD diagnosis, compared with a healthier diet. &...

Online tutoring is definitely a great thing not only to take, but to teach. It allows you to be flexible with your schedule, you don't have to leave your home, and you save money on gas! However, there can be some downsides to online tutoring.  If you live with family, there can be distractions and background noise You may not be technologically savvy You may find some students would prefer tutoring in a face-to-face setting Even despite these setbacks, WyzAnt's online tutoring platform is an amazing way to interact with students. Here are some solutions to these issues: Make sure you have a designated "tutoring room" or quiet time during tutoring hours. Living with family, especially children, can be difficult. However, letting others know that you need silence, or having a designated room where there is little to no family traffic can help improve the quality of the session. Even if you are not technologically savvy, WyzAnt offers a... read more

I am helping a ten-year-old special education child to read.  I will soon be tutoring him an hour every day of the week.  I am finding a lot of materials online; however, most if not all of them require that you pay to join a group to access them.  I do not want to do this.  Can anyone suggest any free resources?  I would like to print them off the computer and I would prefer not to use colored ink.

    It has been my experience as a student teacher supervisor, while observing student teachers, there are instances when a student teacher is in a more supportive role; small group instruction or one to one with a student. There have also been times when I have seen that the Student Teacher's role was rather restricted. Before classroom teachers sign up to be a cooperating teacher for a student teacher program...please research your role. Teachers are so busy so make sure you have some time to enhance your student teacher's learning experience. Take time for weekly conferences, conference with the student teacher supervisor and try to record or observe the teacher candidate while they are giving lessons.  When this relationship works and everyone does their part it works out so well for all involved. Its a wonderful learning experience for everyone!

Math Student's Civil Rights   I have the right to learn Math (Math is learnable like other subjects) I have a right to make mistakes, erase then, and try again (Failure points to what I have not learned yet) I have the right to ask for help (asking for help is a great decision) I have the right to ask questions when I don't understand (understanding is the primary goal) I have the right to ask questions until I understand (perseverance is priceless) I have the right to receive help and not feel stupid for receiving it (asking for help is natural) I have the right to not like some math concepts or disciplines (i.e. trigonometry, statistics, differential equations, etc.) I have the right to define success as learning no matter how I feel about Math or supporters I have the right to reduce negative self-talk & feelings I have the right to be treated as a person capable of learning I have the right to assess a helper's ability to... read more

It is very good that you are thinking about teaching your child about essays, as they are going to have to do a lot of them when they get to college and university. And, even though the education system puts emphasis on knowledge, the fact is that they are judged on how well they display and express that knowledge, and that is often done via the essay. So, starting them fairly young is important, but you must also remember that they are not yet to the standards of Niccollo Machiavelli or Jane Austen. So, be gentle with your essay lessons. Do not be too harsh with your child The last thing you want to do is make writing a nasty or negative experience for your child. If they experience anything negative then it will impact your child for the rest of his or her life, and you will probably end up visiting him or her in prison when he/she reaches thirty, so that you can look at his/her newest prison tattoo. Start by giving them enjoyable writing experiences This... read more

Everyone should have a passion for music. Some students I've tutored got to a point where they think that there advanced  players. Its good to interpret music if your own but but to think you know everything about music isn't right. You could always learn from everyone which includes professional musicians. Everyone learns differently and at there own pace. I still learn from professional musicians. I want to be better then I was yesterday.  

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

I've noticed that more and more, I've been communicating with (usually younger) students who don't know how to approach someone older in a polite or respectful way. I'm a professional teacher, and even though many of my students are non-native speakers, whose grammar lapses I can forgive, I sometimes get messages that are actually rude. As if I'm someone (faceless of course when online) whom they can order, or demand something of, they approach me in a way that makes me not want to work with them. I would like to urge all students to consider how you write to a potential or current tutor, and I'd like tutors, no matter your age or level of experience, to consider responding only to students who can write politely, or point out to them their lapses of judgment. All of us, tutors, parents, adult students, youth, should approach this business from a position of respect. This is not a social media with anonymous strangers, nor a forum for hiring or being hired devoid of human respect... read more

I found this in my reading today from Overcoming Dyslexia by Sally Shaywitz, M.D.:   "A child with dyslexia needs a champion, someone who will be his support and his unflinching advocate; his cheerleader when things are not going well; his friend and confidant when others tease and shame him; his advocate who by actions and comments will express optimism for his future. Perhaps most important, the struggling reader needs someone who will not only believe in him but will translate that belief into positive action by understanding the nature of his reading problem and then actively and relentlessly working to ensure that he receives the reading help and other support he needs."   This represents the model all reading tutors should aspire to be for their students.

Know the strengths and weakness of the student in the particular subject area. Highlight their strength and help them overcome weaknesses Show interest in what students are doing academically outside of tutoring Re-affirm them and let them know that you are proud of them when they get a concept that was once confusing to them. Give students breaks as needed, recognize when they are tired. Listen to students and provide the best service you can

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