Search

Blogs Blogs

Science Blogs

Newest Most Active

If I could go back in time and give myself some advice ... Well, that's quite a questions. And the answers are not as easy as one might think. We are who we are based on the lessons we have learned over time. If we didn't make mistakes, we would not learn. We might avoid a pitfall here and there, but we wouldn't learn the lessons behind the lessons - the root cause, as it were, for why it was a mistake in the first place. However, one piece of advice I would like to give myself in the past is this: listen to the advice you are given. As I look back, I was given some great advice by a lot of people while I was growing up. Some of it, thankfully, I not only listened to, but took to heart. Some I didn't. When I analyze those things I have done in the past that turned out to be mistakes, I can almost always trace the root of a bad decision back to not following the advice someone had given me earlier. So, with that in mind, I would like to share two of the best pieces of... read more

When someone is interested in a topic, there is a heavy intuitive knowledge associated with that interest. A good musician intuitively knows what would be enjoyable to their target audience; a good fashion designer intuitively knows what would be fashionable for the next season; a good personal trainer knows intuitively how to work a particular person with a particular body and a particular mentality to make that person more active and more healthy. In all of these fields and any field you can think of, there is a certain amount of memorization required, a certain set of rules to follow, but is mainly following personal intuition within that field. Science and math works the same way. Sure, there is a certain amount of memorization involved – terms, history, phrases – but there is a certain amount of intuition involved. There is a logic behind every concept in all of science and math, regardless of terms and phrases. This logic has its beginnings in the appropriate intuition. Think... read more

The amount of pressure being placed upon students in the 21st century is increasing everyday. Pressures can include students who struggle with a learning disabilities, pressure to get into a good college, even poor teaching professionals who have lost their desire to teach our youth, which can lead to struggling in multiple academic subject areas. Put yourself into the shoes of a primary school student in the 21st century. Hormones are taking over and a plethora of emotions are showing their ugly faces. And your child probably has a glazed look every time you are trying to provide some guidance. As a parent, you must be pulling your hair out...right? This is the beautiful thing about having a tutor come to you! In a comfortable environment, and an outside perspective will open the door to a whole new world. I promise you will see the benefit sooner than you may think. So who is the right tutor for you? There are many tutors that offer their services in similar subjects. However,... read more

IF I could go back in time and give my younger self some advice on how to be a better student, be more successful in school, life, etc, I would definitely tell myself that being involved in everything comes at a cost. It is better to find a few things that you like to do, do them well and often, than feeling stressed because there is so much on your plate at one time. Being a 'Jack of all Trades' it is natural for me to dip my toes in different waters- all at the same time, but that does not mean that I can give 100% to any of them at that time. While I was able to get good grades (A- average) while in school, I was impressed by how much better I did- and felt about my work- the few times that I scaled back on my activities. Another piece of advice that I wish that I could bestow upon my younger self would be to learn how to speak up in a group setting when someone is not fulfilling their part of an agreement. Now, this said, the best way to do this would be in a tactful manner-... read more

When interviewing a prospective tutor, parents should ask about the tutor's skills and experience, and find out if the tutor truly enjoys teaching. When the tutor feels enthusiastic about the subject, and communicates well, the student has an opportunity to learn to enjoy the subject too. I recommend for parents to observe the first lesson to see the tutor's skills in action, and watch/listen carefully to future lessons when possible, to make sure the tutor has an encouraging, supportive attitude at all times. (Tutors should welcome and respond positively to the child's questions, and NEVER make the child feel "stupid," no matter what.) It is most important to have a safe and quiet place for studying, without distractions. I like to find a quiet table at a library, and work with students there. I welcome suggestions from parents, and I am always looking for ways to improve my teaching skills.

Times are definitely changing in the world of education. Today, as with all things twenty-first century, there are no limits to a student's education. This is absolutely exciting since so many 'schools without walls' have adopted various technologies during the past few years to enable students excel academically. As an advanced tutor, it makes me dance in my shoes. Universities such as Harvard, Princeton, and MIT have posted several free virtual lectures for the average student on education applications via android devices, iPads, iPhones, and iPods. Today, I want to introduce some fantastic techniques to approach tutoring that will benefit the student who cannot meet physically with a tutor, or maybe a student who is in a town on one end of the United States while their tutor is at the opposite end of the map. Yes, tutoring can now be employed with the use of fantastic applications such as Skype and Scribblar. Skype: This is a tool by which a tutor can see his/her student... read more

Give positive feedback, use encouraging vocabulary Find success, and reinforce effort, in even minor accomplishment ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ A tutor provides expertise, experience, and encouragement. They do not provide "answers," but rather assist in problem solving, in getting answers. The challenge is to focus on assignments within the context they are assigned. Tutors should not be expected to diagnose learning disabilities. Diagnosis should take place outside of the tutoring process by a professional academic counselor. If a larger problem becomes apparent, referral is the best strategy. Tutoring strategies: Seek out training to be a more effective tutor: This includes subject matter as well as the tutoring procedures Clearly establish expectations for your learner What are the expectations of the learner? of the teacher? and of those close to the learner (classmates,... read more

"All Things Are Difficult Before They Are Easy" This was printed on a small sign that hung over the door of my math classroom in 10th grade. The teacher of that class went on to become my best friend, and the quote became something that has stuck with me for the last sixteen years. The quote reminds us always that we're not expected or required to know it all, especially when we're just learning. The struggle, the frustration, the "ARGH!!" moments, the lost sleep... All of that's expected. And none of it means we're stupid, or incapable. It just means we're not to the point where "ARGH!" turns into "AHA!" Perhaps the best part of this quote is that it is utterly universal to every subject, and every life circumstance, and to life itself. Each day we find ourselves in the process of figuring out how to be us, and that's bound to be difficult, because no one's ever done it before. There's no manual, no algorithm, no textbook, no formula... read more

Greetings, scholars! One of my dad's favorite sayings is, "If something seems too good to be true, it probably is." The website Coursera is an example of why that saying needs the word "probably". The idea of taking real college courses from top-notch instructors at prestigious schools for free sounds impossible, yet students around the world are doing just that. When I first heard of Coursera, I was skeptical. To try it out, I enrolled in some basic undergraduate courses so that I could see how they stacked up against the classes I took at KU and Emporia State University. I am currently taking precalculus at UC Irvine, organic chemistry at Illinois, and calculus at The Ohio State University. All three classes are superlative. The video lectures give me new insights into familiar concepts, and the online quizzes motivate me to practice my skills and keep them sharp and up-to-date. Best of all, they haven't cost me a dime, and I can attend class from the... read more

Hello! This whole site is pretty new to me, but I wanted to briefly show my interests and experiences, as they are fairly diversified: Sciences: As noted above, most of my experience is with chemistry. Organic Chemistry is my specialty, but I am also familiar with Inorganic Chemistry. I've been a Teaching Assistant for college freshman level courses through upper level chemistry courses. I started off as a Biology/Pre-med major, so courses like Physics and Biology are high on my understanding. Tutoring in most of the sciences will be my highest level of knowledge/experience. Math: I was a mathematics minor as an Undergraduate, so I am very familiar with a fair amount of mathematics divisions. Calculus is fairly fresh, but I am most proficient with Algebra. I have a secret love of the mathematics, so tutoring math in some way would definitely be great. Dance: I just noticed that dance was an option for the "subjects", so I listed it. I am a Lindy Hop dancer and... read more

So I'm sure we all want to EXCEL in school! Who doesn't??? Well how can you do that? Here are a few tips! 1.) TAKE GOOD NOTES IN CLASS. When in class, be very engaged in the topic being discussed. That may require taking extra notes, side points your teacher/professor make. It most definitely includes asking questions! No question is dumb question. Don't move on unless you are clear. If needed, get help outside of class. 2.) GO OVER NOTES THE SAME DAY. After you finish class, go home and review your notes. Make sure you understand them all and write down any questions you have for your teacher/professor. 3.) GO OVER YOUR NOTES WEEKLY AS WELL. The more you review your notes the better you will be at remembering the concepts. 4.) MAKE A STUDY SCHEDULE. This is very helpful, especially if you have a test coming up! You can delegate the amount of time needed and you will also hold yourself accountable for studying. 5.) STUDY WITH GROUP. This is more reinforcement... read more

We've been told that each student tends to have a dominant learning style. In my experience, I would say that the Visual-Dominant Learning Style is most common (#1), then the Auditory Learning Style (#2), and then the Tactile or Kinetic Learning Style (#3). Some teachers seem to love talking a lot, so their students may get 90% of more of their information in the Auditory form. That is not good for some students. Other teachers and professors like to "put it all on the board," and let students do their own note-taking, and draw their own conclusions. There are some "teachers" who do not do very much explaining. Worst of all, a few teachers--at least-- actually discourage students from asking questions. (Amazing, but true, right?) Before I paint a picture that is too gloomy, please understand that I believe most teachers do a good job of teaching. Some teachers are great at their jobs. In typical classrooms, the visual and the auditory go together, so students... read more

Nearly all high school and college students have a research paper requirement. Many college students are likely facing imminent research paper deadlines as the semester ends. Writing research papers can cause a lot of anxiety. This article will teach you how to narrow your research topic, clarify your thesis statement, and sort and organize your research to help you simplify your final editing process. Editing for Both Quality and Quantity. One common issue is having a research paper that is either too long or too short. Narrowing and clarifying your topic will help you write a better thesis statement and help you use only your most important or interesting facts and information. A properly focused topic will help save time by helping you use more specific keywords and phrases for your Internet search. You’ll be able to collect the facts you need in no time. Narrowing Your Topic. Many teachers or professors give students a broad research paper topic. For example, your high... read more

As mid terms approach for some middle and high schoolers and finals approach for college students, many people are preparing to study excessive material and don't know where to begin. Teachers and parents say to study, but what exactly does studying consist of? By definition, studying is "to apply oneself to the acquisition of knowledge, as by reading, investigation, or practice" (Dictionary.com). Let's be honest, that doesn't tell us much. So today, I'm going to do my best to help you prepare for studying. First of all, and most importantly, pay close attention in class so you're aware of the material that will be on your exam. Study guides: If the teacher or professor provides you with a study guide, don't only know the simple answer to the question. Know details surrounding that topic or the given word. Review the surrounding material until you comfortably understand the concept. Vocabulary: Some students do not like flashcards or think they're of no use, but... read more

The equation below is used for Covalent Bonds, Molecular geometry, electron geometry, and structural formulas to figure the number of bonds in a molecule. N-A = S equation to figure the number of bonds in a molecule N = needed: the sum of the number of valence electrons needed by each atom (2 for hydrogen, 8 for all other atoms) A = available: the sum of the number of valence electrons available for each atom S = shared: the number of electrons shared in the molecule S/2 = the number of covalent bonds in the molecule If you need any help with these concepts, please contact me for tutoring. Thank you very much, John M.

Once you decide that you or your child needs tutoring, how much tutoring time do you really need? There are so many things occupying your time that you want to pinpoint exactly how many hours a week you need. You may not know how to judge you/ your child’s needs. This article gives you four tips to help you decide how much tutoring you need. 1. Grades and test scores. K – 12 students take standardized tests – sometimes more than one each year – that can tell you about how well your child is doing in school. Collect any score reports you have and review the remarks and the charts. This is especially helpful if you have more than one year’s worth. Compare the charts from several years’ worth of score reports. Is your child improving, or are scores going down each year? Are they staying the same? Declining scores indicates students are not keeping up with classmates academically. While their scores might be consistent, students should be earning higher scores to be performing “at... read more

As you may know, I am a big fan of the well-known author and brain specialist, Dr. Daniel Amen. He mentions in several of his books that Physical Exercise is good for the brain. I have read of research studies that showed a clear correlation between IMPROVEMENT in students' test scores in math and science, and their level of physical activity (for example, when math class followed PE class, the students had significantly higher scores). Maybe we should schedule PE before all math classes in our schools. What do you think about that idea? This morning I read an online article on the myhealthnewsdaily site, entitled "6 Foods That Are Good for Your Brain," and another article about how Physical Exercise helps maintain healthy brain in older adults too. The second article, "For a Healthy Brain, Physical Exercise Trumps Mental Workout" was found under Yahoo News. The remainder of this note is quoted from that article: Regular physical exercise appears to... read more

A current poll by Wyzant of tutors indicates a large majority of tutors assign homework to their tutees. Seriously? My students all have plenty of teacher-assigned homework they are required to do. They can use this homework to practice what we've done in tutoring sessions. More homework? Not if you want to keep the student!

My professor complimented my human biology study techniques and asked me to be her TA. I did not have time to TA for her unfortunately, but I will share my study tips. I got my first A+ in this college class. 1. I did not read the chapters in their entirety because it was overwhelming and too time consuming. 2. I answered all of the review questions and made sure they were correct. I looked up answers online if the book didn't make sense. 3. I studied one or two chapters per week and stuck to it! I would not allow myself to hang out with friends until I finished my work. 4. I allowed myself 20 minute breaks and rewards (non-food) every 2 hours no matter how productive I had been. I set an alarm and wouldn't turn it off until I was actually studying again, to get me back on task. 5. I wrote out all of the vocabulary words and drew large (8.5x11) detailed pictures of any vocabulary word I could. I colored the various parts with colored pencils. 6. I... read more

1 2 3 4 5

Science Blogs RSS feed