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Cancellations: 1) If the student/guardian gives more than 6 hours notice of cancellation before the start of the lesson, I will not charge you for the lesson. 2) If the student/guardian gives between 1-6 hours notice of cancellation before the lesson, I reserve the right to charge 50% my rate for the lesson length. 3) If the student gives less than 15 minutes-1 hour notice of cancellation, I reserve the right to charge for the entire lesson at the full rate. 4) If the student gives less than 15 minutes notice of cancellation, does not show up at all, or does not show up by 20 minutes after the start of the lesson time, I reserve the right to charge double the full rate for the lesson. 5) If I, the tutor, miss a lesson without more than 1 hours notice of cancellation, the student reserves the right to request the next lesson of equivalent length for no fee.   Tardies: 1) If a student is 15 or more minutes late, I will charge for the entire length... read more

Today's post is just a quick good luck wish to all who are taking the ACTs tomorrow morning!  Don't forget, you can always take them more than once, so if you're  not happy with your scores, feel free to contact me for some tutoring so you can improve for the next one!

I always tell my students to bring a highlighter to the test.  By highlighting key ideas in a paragraph, it improves their focus, helps them overcome test jitters, and makes it easier for them to answer the questions that follow.  I also integrate time management skills into their lessons along with building their reading comprehension and vocabulary skills, and ensuring that they understand complex sentence structure. I also emphasize the need for preparing for the SAT or ACT several months in advance.  Don't wait until you are 3 or 4 weeks away from the test to start your preparation.

The answer section is a great way to get that quick help on a single question.  However, when students and parents post questions that seem incomplete, it makes it difficult for us tutors to provide help.  Students and parents who post their questions on the section should read what they write, and check for any information they have left out before submitting the question.  This includes formulas and equations that are missing variables, operators, and appropriate parentheses (I've seen this happen a lot).  Posting incomplete questions prevents you from receiving the answers you need.   Please note:  The title of the question is not meant to carry too many words in "title" field.  Leave any detailed descriptions of the question in the "detail" field when posting. 

This example illustrates how to use WSS to determine an appropriate number, k, of clusters, the following example uses R to perform a k-means analysis. The task is to group 620 high school seniors based on their grades in three subject areas: English, mathematics, and science. The grades are averaged over their high school career and assume values from 0 to 100.   # The following R code establishes the necessary R libraries > library(plyr) > library(ggplot2) > library(cluster) > library(lattice) > library(graphics) > library(grid) > library(gridExtra) > library(cowplot)   # Import the CSV file containing the grades > grades<-read.csv("grades.csv", header=TRUE, sep=",") > grades<-as.data.frame(grades)   # Let's take a look at the structure of the dataset > str(grades)   R output: 'data.frame': 620 obs. of 4 variables: $... read more

Michael spent the following amounts of time building a bookcase: drawing up the plans: 2 hours cutting wood: 1 ½ hours assembling the bookcase: 2 hours Sanding and sealing: 3 ½ hours   What is the ratio of time spent cutting the wood to total time spent on the project? 1:9 1:6 1:5 3:7   Solution: We need to find two pieces of information in order to solve this problem: Time spent cutting the wood Total time spent on the project We find that it took 1 ½ hours to cut the wood from looking above at the information provided in the question. Next, find the time the entire project took by adding up all the times. We get 9 hours to complete the whole project. Now we solve our problem by doing the following steps: Our ratio is: time spent cutting wood : total time spent of the project We plug in the numbers to get: 1 ½:9 We multiply each term of the ratio by... read more

For those of you who are Spanish tutors, there is an app called Spanish Dict, short for Spanish Dictionary. It is a free, great app for your Smartphones for yourself as well as for your students whom you tutor.

Our understanding of the relationship between memory and learning continues to improve. Why not benefit from the latest research by incorporating some of these findings into your own study habits? I help my students come up with creative ways to do this all the time, and wanted to share one of the more helpful summaries I've come across about what works and what doesn't.    Here are a few highlights: Link new information to things you already know Actively participate in your own learning Create both a visual and a verbal memory for the same information Whenever possible, study in an environment that is similar to the testing environment Spread studying out over several days, rather than cramming Avoid multitasking when learning difficult or dense material Review information you're trying to memorize right before you go to sleep Quiz yourself frequently to practice retrieving these memories, making them stronger in the process   You... read more

I have been on WA now for several months (granted, through the summer months to start with), and although there were plenty of jobs that I would have accepted, I applied to several, and no one takes me up.  It is for any age Science, math, chemistry, physics, and I will also help with composition, English, etc  I get no one.  I double checked what makes a good job application, etc.  I double checked my profile. So is my price too high?  WA has not suggested nor given any guidance on any of these things, so I am asking you all. Thank you.

Way back in 2010, one of my first blog post series on this site took the form of a five-part series on rules for effective time management.  For the next few Ellen's Choices, I've decided to go back through these rules and apply them to the world of preparing for the SAT (or any standardized test). So let's begin with Part 1: All-Nighters Are Evil Ellen’s Rules for Effective Time Management 1. Never pull an all-nighter. 2. NEVER pull an all-nighter! Seriously! I mean it. All-nighters are downright useless. Besides the fact that this concept breaks almost all of my other rules for effective time management in one go, all-nighters cause fatigue, stress you out, and just end up producing sub-par work. You can’t write well when you’re tired, and staying up all night studying just means you’ll be yawning all the way through the test the next day. If you haven’t learned the information on the test by the night before, you’re not going to learn... read more

I was just contact by someone in a city near me (25 miles) who would like just some phone conversation/tutoring for her French exchange student.  I told her that I would adjust the rate($15/hour) since all she is asking for is some pick-me up conversation in her native tongue, and a little help learning the American English. Would anyone else have some ideas for me about rate for phone conversational English/French? 

I mentioned this problem from one of my earliest blog posts with one of my students last week, so I thought I'd bring it back as this week's Math Journey.  Enjoy!   ~   The SAT messes with your head. Don't feel embarrassed, it messes with everyone's head. It's designed to. The SAT is a test of your critical reasoning skills, meaning it's actually far more about logic and figuring out the correct course of action than it is about actually knowing the material. This is nowhere more evident than on the Math section. The SAT Math trips up so many students because they expect it to behave like a math test. The truth is, the SAT Math is about figuring out how to answer each problem using as little actual math as possible. It's all about working quickly, and the questions are structured such that they conceal the quick logic and context-based route behind the facade of a more complicated math question. They're trying to psych you out; to make you... read more

No-Shows/Cancellations: 1) If the student gives between 1 and 3 hours notice of cancellation before the lesson, I reserve the right to charge 50% my rate for the lesson length. 2) If the student gives less than 1 hour notice of cancellation, I reserve the right to charge for the entire lesson at the full rate. 3) If I, the tutor, miss a lesson without more than 1 hours notice of cancellation, the student reserves the right to request the next lesson of equivalent length for no fee. Tardies: 1) If a student is more than 15 minutes late, I will charge for the length of the actual lesson plus a 50% rate for every minute late to the nearest 5 minute mark.  Exceptions will be made for students who provide reasonable advanced notice of tardiness (determined at my discretion). 2) If I, the tutor, am more than 15 minutes late without reasonable prior notice, the student reserves the right to request 50% rate for the length of the lesson.

I'm seeing more and more requests for assistance with writing. In my tutoring experience, students often need help developing key messages. What would you like a reader to know, learn, or remember? What are the main points to support your point of view, whether the message is informational or persuasive?   Another consideration for effective communication should always be the audience. What does the audience (or teacher) expect to gain from reading your paper, for instance?   Before you start writing, I recommend that you step back and look at the writing assignment (and requirements) carefully before proceeding. This will save you time and enhance your chances of providing a deliverable that is spot-on!    

The Psychological Difference Between Repeat Purchase & Brand Loyalty Posted on May 19, 2016 By MaryPosted in Media Buy, Social Media, Technical SEO, Technical SEO Explaining the psychological difference between repeat purchase and brand loyalty. When consumers become committed to a brand and make repeat purchases over time, they are brand Loyalty customers. This phenomenon is a result of consumer behavior and is affected by a person’s preferences. Loyal customers will consistently purchase products from their preferred brands, regardless of convenience or price. A great example of the sociological reasons why people will go to great lengths to purchase a brand is Apple computer and its Mac products. In this case, the brand becomes a prestige product, in that it makes the one who owns it feel good. Some people think Apple really over-prices their products, yet because the psychological and emotional value attached to it, price doesn’t matter. Consumers... read more

While creating engagements on social media, I came across a Copywriting book that I think is pretty good, especially being that the author-- Adventure Communications --encourages people to share the book with anyone free or charge. Now, if you are an SEO or Digital Marketer, you must be asking yourself, "What does copywriting have anything to do with Marketing?" One of the most important skills for any Digital Marketer to have is copywriting skills, which is a type of writing that aids in conveying a persuasive or effective Ad message through online media and print materials. Copywriting is primarily used for the purpose of advertising or marketing. This type of written material is often used to persuade a person or group as well as to raise brand awareness. In fact, some of the most successful SEO and Digital Marketers you see on Conferences and/or publications like MOZ, Search Engine Land, State of digital, TechCrunch, Forbes tech and the like;... read more

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

I have successfully completed 15 graduate Physics courses, completing a B.S. in Physics only a year ago. As an undergraduate I found the topic very enlightening and intriguing because it aims to answer all of the underlying why questions that arise in nature. I really enjoyed Newtonian Physics (classical mechanics) the most during my undergraduate career because so many real world examples are used and explained (an easy stated example: dropping cargo from an airplane at a constant velocity from a designated height and needing it to land in a particular spot).    While I was in the Air Force I was a ground RADAR technician and found, in practicality, the importance of physics. While unknowing to me then, the very job I had was engineered by the top physicist of that time. The RADAR I worked on was old but ground breaking when it was first commissioned. I joined when I was 20 (so I had a couple of years of schooling completed prior to entering) and had not yet formally... 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

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