Another semester down and a fairly successful one at that. I had a strong performance on the SAT bio by a student (This student plans to take it again to go for the 800. I'm excited to help her get it this time!), I met some great new students for Biochemistry, Genetics, Inorganic chemistry, and bioinformatics, substantially improved my library of AP physics materials as well as organic chemistry materials, had the opportunity to help with a college essay as well as science project submissions for the
Sieman's competition and Intel competition, and made real headway on my SAT chemistry prep book! Only 160 more problems to go.... There were a number of other successes throughout the semester as well, but my goal here was to just share some of the different flavors of tutoring I'm currently having fun with.
I'm only going to be taking on 6 students this Spring so that I have more time to finish the book and make progress on educational...
I absolutely love tutoring. From a few years of experience I have gained some knowledge on how to make tutoring a fun experience and not make students feel like they are attending a second school.
One of my main tips is to let the students set the atmosphere. They need to be comfortable in whatever environment to facilitate learning. If music helps them concentrate, or some kind of background noise, then encourage it. If they want to sit on the couch instead of the chairs, so be it. The student should be able to chose the medium in which they study so as not to feel constrained like a classroom setting.
Another tip that I like to give is to level. If you know that your student isn't going to understand something the way an Ivy League student would, don't use ridiculous words and techniques. The whole point of tutoring is to help someone understand a concept, not to show off how smart you are.
Subjects should never just be limited to the material either. Ask...
Through our tendencies of human nature, we don't like to ask for help. We want the recognition, the glory and the credit to be given to only ourselves. Unfortunately, the thought that we can single-handedly do everything on our own is a huge misconception. The world has been built on a foundation of people working together to towards a common goal. The world needs individuals to work together to brainstorm and execute plans for the future.
School and college provide opportunities to work together. Through group projects, presentations, senior design projects, etc. students are asked to work with one another. It is, rather unfortunate, that sometimes we are paired with people who we do not work well with, but that is life. School and college provide students with opportunities to work with people and adapt to others ways--whether we like them or not.
Now, when one must adapt to another's ways (for example a teacher's or professor's) it can sometimes be...
Thank you for choosing me to be your child’s tutor. I strive to be the best tutor I can be and welcome your input and insights. This process takes time, even when the student is really trying. “Trying” means: listening and taking notes in class, attempting homework, and actively participating in our sessions. Please know that I am rooting for your child’s success!
Please see the lists below of expectations and tutoring information.
• Sessions are 1 hour minimum. Longer sessions can be accommodated at the request of the parents.
• 24 hour cancellation policy (see below)
• Parents are encouraged to stay the first 1 – 2 times. After that, I prefer that it is just the student and I. In my experience, students are more relaxed, focused and perform better when parents are not around. I always communicate with the parents at the end of each session.
• Student participation in sessions to include problem solving, asking and answering...
Firstly, tutoring is an art. I try my best to make each lesson unique. My number one tip is try to find a way to explain material through everyday phenomena. For example, in chemistry we use stoichiometry to find the right amounts of substance need for producing a certain amount of products. Before of jumping into the mathematical madness, I explain the concept through cooking. Chemical equations can be treated just like recipes. Students are more likely to understand the concept through things that they are familiar with.
My second tip is to take difficult things and make them into something silly or funny. I use this when I am explaining dimensional analysis. Many students struggle with unit conversions and unit simplification. What I do is I put the joules, kilograms, and meter/sec away and I explain dimensional analysis through smiley faces, hot dogs, frowny faces, and hamburgers. To do this I set a certain number of smiley faces equal to hamburgers...
Colleges and professional schools want candidates with a well-rounded resume. This means that as students, you have to balance demanding coursework with sports, internships, volunteer service, and most importantly, also find down time to enjoy with friends and family!
Efficient study techniques will help you juggle all this quite well.
Don't record lectures to spend extra hours listening to the same lecture later. Save study time outside of class and learn within class time. Take good notes during lecture! Note topics the instructor spends time on, important keywords, terminology.
When given an assignment, complete it in advance and run it by the instructor a few days before it's due. This will ensure full credit because his feedback will tell you exactly what he wants out of the assignment. You're going to do the assignment anyways, just plan ahead and make time for it early on. Do not procrastinate...
I just tutored my very first Online tutoring session.
No, please don't get me wrong. I've done plenty of tutoring!
I've tutored 14 and 16 hour-days straight helping students prepare for their final exams, and I've gained, in my best reasonable approximation, well over 10,000 hours of experience tutoring. Because I used to do it full time! And now I am again. Part-time full-time. :)
However, I had never wanted to leap that big hurdle of creating my own platform or set-up to do online tutoring! it just felt like so much to trouble-shoot and research, and... frankly, as a working mother with 3 children and volunteer positions, it just had never felt like the direction to be putting my time!
Maybe it would have been worth it in the end. I don't know.
But I am so happy!! Because WyzAnt now offers a great online tutoring platform. (Plus, they do the majority of my marketing...
I am new to this blog but I wanted to send out a quick note. Tutoring can be an excellent opportunity for students to catch up, expand on what is already known, or even get ahead in their classes. Making the subject enjoyable to the student is the most important factor in getting that student interested in the topic. It doesn't matter what the subject is, if the student does not find it enjoyable, they will not like to study and learn about the material. Here are 5 quick tips that help make lessons fun.
1) make the lesson come to life. Act out the story or draw a picture.
2) relate the problem to the student. In math, make your word problems involve the students name as well as things they personally enjoy doing!
3) Have the student be the teacher. The student should be able to explain the topic in their own words, plus, they like being in charge for once!
4) Make the lesson into a game!
1. Relate materials to the students preferred interests.
For example, if the student likes animals, you can teach categorization and counting by having a student count all the horses in a farm full of animals, teach paragraph writing by letting the student choose an animal to write about, teach volume by having a student discover how many square feet an animal needs for a pen and then have them create a pen of that size, etc.
2. Mix it up.
Sometimes too much of a routine can be a bad thing. Always be willing to find new ways to teach the same topic. Use crossword puzzles to teach vocab instead of just having students write out definitions, teach simple math skills with color-by-numbers sheets (e.g. color sections red whenever the answer is 2), use white boards and race your student to see who can do the problem first (obviously the student should be first often!), let younger students doing writing exercise with a crayon of their favorite color from time...
Number One: Getting to know the student through light conversation by asking things such as: "Do you like school?"
"What is your favorite subject?" "Who is your favorite teacher?" "Do you have a best friend?" and similar questions.
Number Two: Showing the student a small art or craft project or a photograph I have recently taken or worked on and talking briefly with them about it -- such as a piece of wood found in the yard that resembles an animal and is painted to look like that animal.
Number Three: Drawing a picture with the student about a story we have read. Then posting their drawing of the story along with mine on the wall by our tutoring table.
Number Four: Playing cards or shooting dice to add or multiply the numbers on the cards or on the dice.
Number Five: Letting my pet cat sit on our tutoring table during the tutoring...
1. Make Music! Songs can help trigger memory!
2. Create Hands-on age appropriate learning materials.
3. Use Art!!
4. Learn more about your student, it shows them you care outside of the subject matter you are trying to teach.
5. Personalize your teaching style to the student you have.
Many of us who begin private tutoring may ask this question, should I invest in supplies? The simple answer is yes. As educators, we should always have pens, pencils, paper, dry white boards, Expo markers, a calculator (specifically a T1-83 or T1-84 when working with Geometry, Algebra 2 and Trigonometry students). In my opinion, we should always be prepared for our sessions (make sure that you know the material as well).
Now, another question tutors (especially first-timers like myself) may ask is, should we purchase books built on the criteria for a certain grade such as Common Core Math. My answer again is yes. We are preparing our students for continued success in Math (and other subjects) and to receive high standardized test scores (for those students who are a part of school districts who measure them based on their performance on these exams). I understand that these types of books can be expensive, but, they are well worth it.
I am writing a letter of recommendation for Sharona C. She was my Cantonese teacher that I met in Chinatown in San Francisco, California. She was an excellent teacher! She possessed all the necessary skills and characteristics that I needed in my teacher so that I could study at my best. She never got impatient and she was also willing to repeat herself, a hundred times if necessary for me, so that I would develop a better understanding. She was very encouraging as I was stumbling my way through the Cantonese language. She had energy and was engaging every session, even though most of our sessions were late at night! She was very flexible with my schedule also. I worked various hours throughout the week and she was able to meet with me three times a week despite having to schedule different days every week.
Along with being so flexible, she was also very accommodating when it came to finding a location to do our lessons. With my hectic schedule, strange sleeping hours, and everything...
Ask the student what they're struggling with.
Listen to their answers, If they give you the correct answer but sound puzzled they need help.
Give them a reason. Explain useful applications of the material they're learning.
Understand their goals so you can help them work toward them.
Communicate with them and explain the reasons for questions you ask.
Many students who are having difficulty with particular subjects hear "get a tutor!"
So, you go out and start looking. However, if you have never hired a tutor or worked with one, making the experience work for you can be a challenge.
What is a student to do?
1) Find the tutor that is right for you. You cannot tell everything from a profile. Someone might have years of experience in the classroom, but that person might not be as effective one-on-one. Some people have very little experience, but know how to impart the information they do have. Meet with the tutor for a get-to-know you session. Ask questions about the person's experience. And, let that person ask you questions.
Bring past work to the first session, as well as syllabi and other information from the class. This will help the tutor see if s/he is comfortable working with the material.
Working with kids first starts with communication. Children respond well to those who let them speak. They feel more comfortable about you when they know that you are the type of person who will allow them a chance to voice their opinions without speaking over them. When you listen rather than talk over and judge what they say they are more open to you to discussing topics, especially school. Naturally kids don't like going to adults for help for a number of reasons, so in order to get them to want to open up you need to establish good communication skills with them.
The second important aspect is trust. You must build a relationship with them. They have a teacher already just as they have parents. It's the tutors responsibility to be a mentor and friend to their the kid(s) they are assigned to. Much like a "Big Brothers, Big Sisters" relationship, you want to show that you are there to be a guide and supportive. You are a friend but at the same time you are...
First off, I think that if learning isn't fun or engaging, it will not be successful. With that being said, here are my five tips for helping create a more interactive, less stifled learning experience.
Tip One- Learning doesn't only occur inside of the classroom. Museums, parks, libraries and many other places can be great spots to talk a student who doesn't respond well to the typical classroom setting.
Tip Two- Incorporate passions pertaining to that particular student. When a subject becomes relatable, it becomes easier to understand.
Tip Three- Identify the students strengths, and merge them with their hobbies and interests. If a student likes baseball, figure out how baseball can help him or her understand probabilities, statistics and more.
Tip Four- Make a game out of the lesson plan. Many lessons can be turned into game-show type trivia games that are more engaging than a regular lecture or a handwritten assignment...
1. Humor always finds me with students, especially those of elementary age.
2. Have a fun extension of the math exercise set or read from a favorite book, on grade level of course.
3. Make an appropriate comment about something observed on the way from the car to the door, e.g., decorations or an animal on the sidewalk.
4. Never completely open the bag, there are always surprises in there.
5. Pay attention to what is on the wall - any one of those could be a cool conversation piece.
1) You can have fun and be silly, but still increase focus on the subject
When I taught piano lessons to a 5-year-old girl, I would start off by asking her to find the weirdest, funniest sound that she could find on the keyboard, and then ask her to play the song she had practiced for that week in that sound! She always would laugh and make faces, but it made the repetition of practicing the same song over and over less monotonous and more fun! This would start our lessons off on a great note, and they would be more of a game or exploration of music than just a class.
2) Take a snack break
After about 30-45 minutes of studying the same subject, it can get tiring and hard to focus. Our brains need a break! Stopping 30 minutes into a tutoring session to have a quick snack or drink can really help to give your mind the rest it needs to be able to refocus and start refreshed after the break!
3) Talk about your worries...
Do some of your students lack focus? Does pent up energy keep them from being attentive during their tutoring lessons? Do they thrive on activity, fun, and games?
If your students are anything like mine, the answer to these questions is a resounding "yes." Today I'd like to share 3 easy, "outside the box" tips for keeping your tutoring sessions fun and exciting.
1. Get Outside
If weather permits it, go outside during a session for some outdoor activities and games. Play HORSE to review spelling words. Throw a frisbee; each time your student catches the frisbee they must answer a question to then pass it back to you. Jump rope while counting your ABC's. Often times, we as tutors can use kids' pent up energy to our advantage through games like this.
2. Play Music
For memorization activities like the periodical table or the dates of WWII battles, play instrumental music and create a song to remember the facts.