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What's Your Mindset? It May Shape Your Future! Successful students: "I go to tutoring and I practice a lot. I do many extra problems before each test. I am ultimately responsible for my own learning and success. I need to spend as much time as I need until I can work through all of the problems that will be on my test. The material is hard, but that means I need to dedicate more time and energy to learn it." Advanced: "My teacher doesn't teach well at all, but that's okay with me. I have my textbook and can check out additional books on the subject matter to study myself. I don't even need my teacher. Everything I need can be found in either the library or on the internet (KhanAcademy.org, PurpleMath.com, etc.)." Unsuccessful students: "I go to tutoring, but I don't like to practice and work on additional problems, especially if I have to do them all by myself. I blame my teacher and tutor. They suck and demand too much from me. I... read more

  I used to teach engineers how to write. I loved it, but it was challenge; engineers are infamous for arguing a point into the ground. Whenever I taught them Plain Language and urged them to use it, the hair would bristle on the backs of their necks. Generally, the course of events to follow went something like this. They say: • Using Plain Language would be writing down to their readers • Making their writing understandable wasn’t necessary, because their audiences already understood the subject matter • Writing technical documents has always been done this way • This wasn’t the way they were taught to write After which, I stand in front of them. I look at them. I finally speak. I say, “Your teachers were wrong.” And, just short of rending of garments and gnashing of teeth, all hell breaks loose. (Did I mention that engineers love to argue?) Nevertheless, I continue. “It’s all because of a bunch of ancient Roman rhetoricians... read more

Students are often frustrated when trying to learn a foreign language because they can't organize the material like they are used to doing in other subjects.  Language is fluid and we are able to finally understand foreign words when we let go and allow the right side of our brains to take over.  Much of understanding is intuitive and contextual, so give yourself permission to guess what is being said or written.  The key is to think through the words and let them come alive in your brain, so you can use them later.  That's how you learned your native tongue.  Grammar should be a supplement to your language acquisition, not the main player.  I always recommend online courses with pictures, sound and familiar scenes between actors...like a play on stage, but in German.   You know the German word Kindergarten because you have heard it so many times in the context of your life.  That is how you can learn new German words....find a program... read more

Oscar Wilde, no slouch in the arena of writing and wit, said that. Writing and thinking aren’t mutually exclusive activities. When we write we exercise our ability to think In a study conducted at Central Washington University, WA, researchers compared the critical thinking performance of students who took classes that focused on writing, as opposed to students enrolled in courses that used the traditional quiz-based education principles. According to the results, the writing group made a substantial improvement in their analytical thinking skills, whereas the non-writing group did not. Another example of the connection between writing and thinking is the case history of New Dorp, a high school in Staten Island. The school was facing closure because of the students’ poor performance. In 2007, with a dropout rate of 4 out of 10, the school was ranked as one of the 2,000 lowest-performing high schools in the U.S. Faced with the prospect of closing the school,... read more

Kyle S. Software Engineer tutoring Calculus, Algebra, C++, etc. Software Engineer tutoring Calculus, Algebra, C++, etc. $30/hour 219 Hours Tutored 10 Students 4.8/5 Stars (129 Ratings)  “Great Tutor!” Dee from Altamonte Springs, FL See Kyle’s Reviews About Kyle I'm a professional Software Engineer, and I've worked for 2 years in web development with Java, Javascript, HTML, and UNIX. I graduated from Thomas Edison State College with a Bachelor's degree in Computer Science in 2013. When I was in school, I often helped friends with their work, and I've tutored students in Algebra, Geometry, Algebra 2, and C++. I love learning and teaching, and I am skilled at communicating complex topics in simple, understandable ways. I am proficient at Calculus, Algebra, Geometry, Java, Javascript, HTML, and BASH scripting, and I can communicate the concepts in these... read more

I recently had the experience of arranging to meet a new client's high-school student for their first time using online tutoring with me. We had already exchanged messages on the platform we intended to use in an attempt to ensure everything was ready for that night's session when the student would be ready.   However, we encountered some problems!  Although we were both logged into the video-conferencing application, and had earlier exchanged IMs through the application, neither of us appeared to be online to the other! After trying the usual restart-the application, restart-the-machine first trouble-shooting steps, to no avail I asked the client to try checking their application for any available updates.  Well, evidently there must have been some updates that hadn't run for quite some time (or perhaps an antivirus program or firewall interfered with the update process, or perhaps the operating system was out-of-date too, or ... could have been any number of... read more

Sometimes the same procedure shows up in two different contexts. This is especially common in the fields of math and science, as science employs in real-world application many of the techniques we learn in their abstract form in math class. For some reason, the principle as shown in a high-school science class is often much harder for students to understand than it was in the math class. (My personal theory is that science teachers are applying the concept in a way that changes how they explain how it works, and they probably have not collaborated with the student's math teacher to ensure they're reinforcing the same terminology.) Last week one of my students ran into this phenomenon in her own work; a concept from last year's math class showed up in her physics class. To help her understand it, we went back to the original math concept and talked about proportions. The science homework she was struggling with was the old chestnut about unit conversions; rows and rows of fractions... read more

Tardiness and Cancellation Policy 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... read more

No-Shows/Cancellations: 1) My general rule for lesson cancellation (if known ahead of time) is 36 hours. If the student gives between 1 and 3 hours notice of cancellation before the lesson due to extenuating circumstances, 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... read more

Someone will remember what you wrote!  Tutors can learn from remembering what the student wrote and modify their future learning environment from remembering what the student wrote at recently done sessions. 

My inspiration comes from reading the work of other poets; my ideas are often influenced by what I read. Poetry is a vision, an idea, an experience that suddenly comes to fruition simply through the act of writing.   Mac McGovern©2015

A recent article has been circulating, courtesy TheVerge.com : http://www.theverge.com/2016/9/13/12890050/adblock-plus-now-sells-ads ;   Adblock-Plus is a paid program that claims to remove all online ads from your computer browsing experience.   Now, they are shifting to selling ads through their program to Advertisers.   If this seems backwards, it is!    The marketplace is full of these software programs - some we come across regularly: System Mechanic, DriverUpdates, etc.   Don't install any programs that you don't absolutely need to get your work done - And even for THOSE programs, be sure to buy and download from reputable sources   -Ryan P.  5-Star Rated Tutor in the San Fernando Valley 

Have you ever looked at online computer ads, or the shelf at the local Big-Box Retailer, and said "They Don't have exactly what I want/need!" - If this is the case, a Custom Built Computer may be the right solution to the problem.   The 1st step in a Custom Build is determining the exact client's needs. In my "Daily Driver", I knew I needed 4 Monitors in a 2x2 Configuration. This particular graphics setup is a fairly limiting criteria when it comes to buying a graphics card.    Instead, the less expensive option is the use 2x Graphics cards, with 2 outputs each. The prerequisite for this setup is a Motherboard with 2x PCI-E Slots.    This is just one example of why every custom build Must have an experienced advisor.    If you want the pride of building your own Computer, you can hire me for product selection on the front-end, usually about 1 hour with a shared Newegg.com or Amazon.com Wish List,... read more

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

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