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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!

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

I don't teach students on WyzAnt who are from foreign countries, but I teach a lot of students on Skype from Canada, Singapore, Rumania, Switzerland, England, Spain,and  Italy. Of course, I get paid a whole lot more than WyzAnt pays me because my salary is normal (no one takes a huge cut), so there is no way I could share this part of my business with WyzAnt. But WyzAnt could certainly offer a lot more jobs abroad with their online setup, and I would certainly be interested in those jobs.  

The topic bridging sentence provides a smooth topical transition from one idea to another for the reader. It is a segue of ideas and allows for a logically relevant transition. The topic bridge sentence also challenges you as a writer to relate and connect your ideas between paragraphs in order to have a cohesive paper.Topic bridging sentences are the first sentence in body paragraphs of an essay. Approach Ask yourself: What is the main idea of the preceding body paragraph? What is the main idea of the following body paragraph? How are they related? Similar pattern/trend Share a feature Chronologically related Devices Basic Topic Bridge Sentence “In addition to <main idea from paragraph one>, such and such also was influenced/affected by <main idea from paragraph two>.” Complex Topic Bridge Sentences Connect the ideas from the two paragraphs in a more global fashion. Explain how... read more

One question I just received on a different blog was how to handle the 4-star ratings that come up. No matter how good you are, someone will not be satisfied. I personally have received two 4-stars here on WyzAnt, one when I was just starting out, and one just today. For the 4-star early on, it was from a weekly student who only rated the very first meeting as a 4-star. When I learned it was him (either WyzAnt didn't let us see ratings back when I began or I just hadn't figured out how), I approached him about it at the end of our next meeting. One thing I've learned in life is to ask questions instead, so I simply inquired as to why the first lesson was a 4-star to him. He thought back and couldn't really remember why; the session had gone well to him, and he couldn't remember anything in particular that went wrong; he simply thought that 4-stars was still "good". When I explained to him that it wasn't really how things worked on WyzAnt, how only 5-stars is "good"... read more

We're going back to basics today with a Math Journey covering the three broad categories of symbols. I've found this concept very handy when introducing Algebra to middle school students. So let's go! Math is a language, and I find it often helps to think of it as such right from the beginning. Just as there are different parts of speech in a language, so there are different 'parts of speech' in math. Where a spoken language includes parts of speech such as nouns, verbs, and adjectives, math has three major types of symbols: constants, operators, and variables. Let's go over each one in detail. Constants These would be the equivalent of your nouns. A Constant is a number – it has a single, discrete place on the number line. Even if the number itself is ugly – a non-terminating decimal, for example – it still does exist in a specific spot somewhere on the number line. In addition to the obvious constants, math frequently uses what I refer to as 'special constants'... read more

Students have a wonderful opportunity to show admissions officers who they really are, by using the college essay to stand out from the crowd. In my experience, if you find a topic that you care about, and you write an essay that speaks from your heart, you will have a successful application experience. Admissions officers have to read dozens of applications per day in the 'busy season'. If you give an application reader a chance to pause, laugh out loud or wonder about the end of the story, and really recognize you as an individual, whether using humor, philosophy, creative writing about a memory or a fictionalized experience, or a profound lesson learned, you will hit a home run!   I am happy to help you get started, and then to edit your results. I do not write essays for students, but I do help you present yourself in the best light possible, and to give you opportunities that you may not find on your own.  Contact me for 3-session essay writing package... read more

This afternoon, I found myself writing to one of my ESL students: ______________________ Hello, XXXXXX--- I am imagining you and your dog having a fine time at the cabin as I write this. I bet you are in the cabin as well. In the first sentence at the cabin is correct, just as you would say "I am at home" rather than in home. It would also be correct to say "I'm in the house" rather than outside in the yard. When you are at home, the yard is included. When you are in the house, the yard is excluded. With cabin, the same word is used both ways. When you are at the cabin, the exterior property is included, but when you are in the cabin, it is excluded. By the way, while you might be in your yard, you would be on your property. ______________________ Preposition problems are common to all but the most advanced English language learners, including many native speakers. After sending my student this email, I realized the word office... read more

It's still not too late to get onto www.pidaychallenge.com and work through 24 puzzles to get onto the Genius board.  You may work at the puzzles at your own pace.  Last year it took me 1 week (after work hours) to complete all the puzzles.   Even though I don't believe 2016's puzzles are as hard as last year's challenge, it was quite entertaining and, based upon the stats, still hard enough that only 10% (or less) successfully work all problems.  There were logic, probability, algebra, geometry, and physics problems/puzzles/questions.    Enjoy the challenge!   Barbara W.

I couldn't find any references to this tool in the blogs or forums, so I wanted to put this out there.   I use A Web Whiteboard (AWW) found at https://awwapp.com for all my online tutoring needs. No download, registration, or install necessary... and it's completely free! It also has zero ads or any other clutter you might associate with any free tool. It appears the developers behind AWW make their money by selling a premium product to those interested in that sort of thing, but I've found the free tool more than enough for my needs.   It has pretty much everything I'm looking for in a whiteboard tool: multiple colors, incredibly simple to invite students to join the board, cross-platform (any student with an internet connection can use it, and it works in every browser, as far as I can tell), and there is an option to save the images you create so you and your students can have material for reference later.   The only conceivable drawback... read more

The reconciliation feature in QuickBooks is a very powerful tool, but my experience has been that the majority of users aren't utilizing its features effectively. In addition, the most common usage of this feature is to reconcile bank statements, but it can also be used to reconcile other accounts as well. Starting a reconciliation is relatively easy, but the reconciliation window that appears after you click on Continue has some features that may not be all that obvious. The first feature is the fact that every column in the reconciliation window can be sorted simply by clicking once on the column heading. If you want the sort in reverse order, click on the column heading a second time. This is especially useful if the bank statement lists cleared checks separately from all other transactions. Click on the Ref# column so the transactions are listed by number and reconcile those. Then click on the Date column so that the entries match the rest of the transactions listed... read more

When it comes to standardized tests, the PSAT is often overlooked as an “unnecessary step” in the college entrance process. School guidance counselors steer students toward the SAT and ACT; many teachers mention it in their 6th and 7th grade classrooms. This leaves students and parents alike wondering whether they should even bother taking the PSAT. This article explains the purpose of the PSAT test itself and lists four (4) reasons students should take the PSAT and the benefits of doing so. What is the PSAT test, anyway? First, PSAT stands for “Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test”. In some places, you may see it paired with the NMSQT, or National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test, as in “PSAT/ NMSQT”. The acronym describes its purpose: to test a student’s readiness to take the SAT, to serve as a practice test for the SAT, and to determine student’s eligibility for National Merit Scholarships. So, contrary to popular belief, PSAT scores DO matter if you want to qualify for... read more

I know this can be confusing for more advanced students, here is a simple tip to differentiate both:   We say : -"se rappeler quelque chose" and - "se souvenir DE quelque chose ou DE quelqu'un".   There is no such thing as "se rappeler de" in French...   Examples:  - je me rappelle mon voyage en France - je me souviens de ce village   I hope this can be useful to some of you in their practice!

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

April 2016   Featured Local Gospel Artist - The Victory Choral Ensemble   The Victory Choral Ensemble was formed by members who had been a part of the Victory Choral Union, under the leadership of the father of Gospel, the late Thomas A Dorsey. The new group became the Victory Choral Ensemble, and united with Rev. James Cleveland’s Gospel Music Workshop of America. Founded in 1967 by Rev. James Cleveland and Albertina Walker, the GMWA is an annual convention that brings together people who love gospel music from around the world and from many faiths. Thousands of members met for a week long gathering of classes, outreach, musical services, showcases, exhibits and seminars. GMWA participants sing in one of the various music outlets such as the National Mass Choir and the James Cleveland Gospel Chorus. The Victory Choral Ensemble has ministered with many gospel greats including the late Rev. James Cleveland, Pastor Shirley Caesar and Evang. Dorothy... read more

January 2016  Featured Local Gospel Artist Wilmington-Chester Mass Choir   The award-winning Rev. Ernest Davis Jr.’s legendary Wilmington-Chester Mass choir is comprised of singers from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Their 1988 debut “Victory Shall Be Mine” (Sweet Rain Records), yielded hits like “Ride on King Jesus” and “Sovereign”. After the death of Rev. Davis Jr. in 1991, Inner City Communications radio executive Chris Squire took over the 30+year old choir and kept it alive. The choir celebrated winning 2 stellar awards recently as Choir of the Year and Traditional Choir of the Year. They have been nominated multiple times, winning their first two Stellar awards in 1992 for Song of the Year “He’s Preparing Me”, which spent over 70 weeks on Billboard Magazine Gospel Charts, and won Choir of the Year for that same recording. If they can do it, you can do it too!   By: Nikita  

February 2016  Featured Local Gospel Artist  Yolanda F. Foreman and TIC   Yolanda F Foreman and the Tabernacle Interdenominational Choir is a multi-generational community based choir which was established in January 2004. Musical Director Yolanda Foreman is a Bancroft Program Associate by trade. She was educated at Overbrook High School, Temple University, and Cabrini College. Foreman established the choir known as TIC with a vision to endeavor to become an interdenominational choir family that breaks denominational barriers, while striving to have a close personal relationship with Christ. Their primary goal is to magnify God’s name through the gift of song. TIC’s revenues from their first live recording will be used to establish a TIC Scholarship Fund for matriculating high school seniors pursuing higher education. The choir has ministered to youth, young adults, and grown ups alike at various churches and events throughout Philadelphia and the surrounding... read more

March 2016  The Savettes   The Savettes of Philadelphia continues to sing under the anointing for over 60 years. They are the epitome of excellence in singing praises to God, being known for their renditions of the great hymns of the church. They began as a small group of friends who gathered together to fellowship in members’ homes. At one of those meeting the Spirit of God fell upon them and ordained them to sing with power, strength and a strong commitment to God’s Word. The Savettes ministry has extended to churches, prisons, hospitals, nursing homes, and wherever God’s people are in need. They have ministered with many gospel greats including Mahilia Jackson, the Hawkins Family and the late Rev. James Cleveland. If they can do it, you can do it too!

Once upon a time, I was an engineer. And in that environment, engineers would think it was insane to depend on a calculation, a computer program, or a sketch - without checking the result, and if possible, checking it in the simplest way possible.   Fast forward to now. You have calculating power in your hand that was beyond what I could do with a long computer program when I first entered an engineering career. Your problem is, you depend on it. The teacher gives you a problem and what do you do? You reach for the calculator.   So look: the human brain is infinitely more powerful than the best calculator you can put in your hand. Learn to reach for it first instead. Use it to set up your work, to help you understand why you're doing it, to help you recall how you did what you did, and to find out what it takes to do things right. THEN grab the calculator. Otherwise, the thing the calculator does best is give you the wrong answer fast. Nearly all... read more

Here is an example of a listening activity which I created for a French 2 Honors class. It's based on a youtube video taken from the popular French soap opera Plus Belle la Vie.  Listening Activity for “Plus Belle la Vie”-Asking for & granting a favor Écoute à la vidéo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=guNCo4L206A jusqu’à (00:53). Essaie de déterminer, avec un partenaire : 1). Où sont-ils ? 2.) The man says to Frémont : « Dites à Léo qu’il me manque. » Qui est Léo ? 3.) What favor does the man ask Frémont for next ? (*Hint: He gives an affirmative command). 4.) Does Frémont agree to help him? Which phrase does he use to grant his favor or make an excuse? *Question Supplémentaire : Quel est le rapport entre Frémont et l’homme avec les cheveux noir ? Quelles phrases t’en faire penser ?    

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