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WWTK: Online Resources

I've recently discovered several online resources that I find very helpful for the various subjects I tutor. Since my tutoring subjects break down into three broad categories (Math, English, and SAT Prep), I'll choose one from each category to discuss today.
 
 
SAT Prep

For SAT preparation, you can't beat the College Board website (sat.collegeboard.org). There's no better way to prepare than to hear it directly from the test makers. In addition, twitter users can follow @SATQuestion to receive the official SAT Question of the Day on their feed each morning. Particularly now given the announcement of the impending redesign, staying connected to the College Board will keep you up to date on all the changes. There's a place on their website to sign up for email updates, so you'll never miss a thing!
 

Math

Having recently started working with middle-school students, I found a sudden need for worksheets to practice with. It's one thing to be able to make up a single problem on the spot for a student to work through, but when the student doesn't have any handouts or textbooks to bring with them, a resource is needed for the creation of whole sets of problems. I did some digging online and discovered Math-Aids.com, a website where you can generate worksheets on a variety of topics that display as .pdf documents, ready to print out. They are fully-customizable, with an assortment of options such as number of digits in the problem, number of decimal places, format of questions, etc. With this website in my bookmarks bar, I no longer have to waste time making up problems or looking for applicable worksheets elsewhere.


English Literature

I've been a follower of the youtube channel “Crash Course” for a while now. The creators of the channel are bestselling novelist John Green and his brother, Hank, who has a degree in bio-chemistry. Between the two of them they run two different high-school level courses at once on their channel – Hank covers science topics (currently Psychology) and John takes care of the humanities. Each topic spans a 40 to 42-week series of weekly videos, comprising an overview of the subject in question. Past topics have included Biology, Chemistry, World History, and US History. I was extremely pleased to find out last month that John's new course for this year is Crash Course Literature. With a reading list of almost two dozen novels, he takes the viewer through an analysis of each book, focusing on the bigger questions that each novel suggests. So far in Crash Course Literature we've covered The Odyssey, Oedipus Rex and we're halfway through Hamlet, and I wait eagerly for each new episode to be posted every Thursday. As an author himself, John is adept at both the critical analysis/symbol-hunting so often found in high school literature and the much more exciting discussion of WHY and HOW various texts have stayed relevant and timeless, and the bigger questions they imply (describing the Odyssey as the peace-time counterpoint to the Iliad's wartime story, exploring what happens when war ends and warriors need to fit back into society, for example). Go to http://www.youtube.com/CrashCourse and subscribe – I guarantee you won't regret it!

On a related note, Hank Green also served as executive producer for a fantastic new concept: Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice, re-imagined as a web video series. The Lizzie Bennet Diaries is a modern-day retelling of P&P, told through the point of view of Elizabeth Bennet's online video diary. It's an amazingly creative treatment of a classic, and makes the story understandable and enjoyable to a wider audience. You can check out the entire 100-video story arc by searching for “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries” on YouTube, or going to their channel at this link: http://bit.ly/1g42ZS7

Enjoy!
[photo]

$45p/h

Ellen S.

Math and Writing Geek

400+ hours