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***Disclaimer: I write blog posts the way I think and speak, so pardon the grammar and the non-formal language, Enjoy!*** First things first, as a tutor you need to realize you aren't their teacher... so relax! You don't have to take a dictatorship role with them. Get to know the students you are working with. I say "students" because aren't we all just trying to learn something? Doesn't matter how old you are, you are always a student... only the setting and situation has changed a bit. With that in mind, everyone is different so therefore people also learn differently, people are motivated by different things. By getting to know your students, you will be able to understand their needs that extent farther than simply their academic needs.  Don't take yourself too seriously! This goes hand-in-hand with number one, but it's true! You want your students to feel comfortable working with you, and that won't happen if you're a stiff.  Treat your students... read more

I've picked up some tips during my tutoring and schooling career that I think warrants sharing with you. Tutoring, often times, already starts with bad feelings from the students, because they feel like their failures for even needing a tutor. So, here are some tips to keep their spirits up and their morals high. As a bonus, I've also added tips for the Tutee to make sure you get the most out of your sessions. Tutor Tips: 1. ALWAYS smile. I know this sounds silly, but trust me. I tutored for an organization where all the tutors for multiple subjects sat in the same room. It was so sad to see the reaction of cheerful students walkup to a dull tutor. The reaction of the student was an instant change in demeanor and they rarely where as attentive during their session. Always make sure to welcome your students with a genuine smile and up-beat attitude.   2. Use Life. As tutors, you're probably set with some solid examples for your subjects. But don't be scared... read more

The five tips for tutoring "Outside the Box" would be:   1. Before you begin tutoring the specified subject, asses the students learning style as well as how the feel about the subject. I find that most students created a mental block towards subjects they have a bad relationship with. This makes it nearly impossible for them to learn new information on that subject.   2. Award students for what they do know. When students feel they understand a concept, they are more willing to learn new concepts.   3. Have them reteach you. After a student understands a concept, switch roles. Allow the student to "tutor" you. It is only when they are able to teach, that you know they have truly mastered that concept.   4. Real life application. Make concepts more concrete by relating the concept to real life applications. When students can connect what they learn to something they do daily, that information is able to be stored... read more

  1. Help students see the relevance of what they are learning to their own lives. Whenever possible relate materials student's goals or interests. 2. Make learning fun. Use film, digital media, and interactive exercises to engage students. 3. Break assignments down into manageable steps and give students detailed feedback. 4. Listen to your students! Don't just talk at them.   5. Pick a max of 3 learning goals for each lesson.

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... read more

In working with young children, it's imperative to bring a bag of tricks. I help to reach different learning modalities and engage my current learners with these five tips:   1. Bring the music. A song can provide mnemonic remembering tools, activate the brain, soothe anxiety, or provide background for dance to help a child expend energy and come back to focus.   2. Puzzle it out. Crossword puzzles, word scrambles, jigsaws, and other puzzles can bring a fun reinforcement to a lesson which might otherwise seem dull.   3. Be silly. Get the child to think outside the box with open-ended questions and statements that don't make sense. Ask your student to try to reason why it would make sense.   4. Get moving. The average attention span for students is one minute for every year (to age 20). Making a physical connection through hand motions and reviewing information with physical movement (i.e. "Be a plant. Now be an animal")... read more

Tip 1:  Always get to know your student, but be sure to keep it at a professional level and nothing too personal   Tip 2:  Play certain educational games that can include learning definitions, or formulas    Tip 3:  Don't be too serious,  try to have a relaxing environment so the student won't feel so uptight   Tip 4:  Try to include comedy in the routine, from what I've learned most students either "hate" the subject and want to get it over with, but adding a comedic level to the subject can make them have a better attitude towards learning it.   Tip 5:  If a student does well on a test, I may bring in a snack or something to reward them with for their hard work

No matter what subject a student is tutoring in it can always be fun. 1. I have found with younger kids if you do hands on examples, not only is it fun but they learn much more and gain a better understanding. 2.Another way I try and make lessons fun is by incorporating real life. I might ask the student what their favorite sport is. Ex: Football Question: If Martin scored 21 points in the football game then how many touchdowns did he make? This gives the student a topic that they are interested in and will be more than willing to cooperate. 3.Another trick is rewards. Everyone loves incentives but to kids a sticker is like earning a gold medal. Offering stickers for the correct answer always works. 4. Sometimes students get distracted or don't like the example. Change it up! You can start with an example about cookies and the student might see your drawing and think it resembles something else...like an alien. Go with it! Listening to them makes them feel... read more

So you're an expert in your subject. You put in the time. You know the material like the back of your hand. But there's a big difference between knowing it and teaching it. A fun lesson engages your students, helping them learn the material faster and with better retention. Make sure your students get the most out of your lessons by following these 5 tips. 1) Start Off With Something Light At the beginning of the lesson, your students aren't ready to learn just yet. They're still thinking about their day - soccer practice, what they're going to make for dinner, the presentation due on Thursday.   Get your students warmed up and primed for learning with something light. In my English lessons, we might start with a vocabulary game or some pronunciation practice like a tongue twister. It doesn't have to be related to the target subject, but it should engage their brain enough to snap them out of their head a bit and get focused. 2)... read more

Here are some  ideas to make tutoring fun in the K-2 area   1- IPAD Applications- I like to have students earn IPAD breaks.  They love this time and they are learning at the same time!  There are some great sites that practice simple math, high frequency words CVC word building.   2-Rewards- I like to break tutoring down especially for the K-2 age group into small 5-10 minute tasks.   After each task is completed, students earn a sticker in their notebook.   After 10 stickers students are able to pick a prize.  Prizes are usually from the dollar store: pencils, erasers, small cars, hair bands, etc.   3-Make Math Hands-on- Whenever possible I try to make the learning activity hands on.  This might mean bringing in real money to count or a clock to move the hands etc   4-  Make Reading Hands on-Even reading can be hands on.   I do lots of matching games- match the... read more

Hey all! I am new to tutoring but not new to teaching so I hope to spring some fresh ideas to the table to promote learning for the students I tutor. My tips to promote the best learning experience possible come from a good place and in primary, secondary, and continued experience.    1. Take an actual break!    A lot of students these days do their learning online, through a screen rather then through pens, paper and a blackboard. When you are truly focusing on learning a task you are really giving your mind a work out, especially when its online. However when taking a break, you get distracted by a computer, video game or tv screen, you aren't actually giving your mind a rest because you are still focusing on that one thing. If I were to be your tutor during a session we would take breaks, go outside, play a game, or get a snack. We could even take a power nap! Just something to give your brain an actual rest it needs.    2. Music... read more

We played a lot of games in kindergarten; so it came as no surprise when the first grade was almost identical. This was Ms. Huff’s first year teaching and my education paid the price: I scored below my grade level on multiple subjects. School administrators decided that Ms. Huff would make a better kindergarten teacher two years later. However, the questioned still remained about what my parents and the school were going to do about my low test scores (I bet you can guess what the school suggested). Fortunately, my parents concluded that my test scores should not condemn me to another year in the first grade. My parents decided to enroll me in a reading camp at the University of Houston that summer. I had no idea why I was in this class. Things were different – we worked. The class helped me develop a foundation and maybe even a false sense of confidence. After that summer, I can remember walking into my class and asking my teacher if I could be the second grade reading champion... read more

Tutoring is available from many places: friends, neighbors, school resource persons and here on Wyzant. Creating lessons which engage and teach students is important in this competitive arena. Fun lessons are memorable lessons.   Here are things I like to incorporate in order to engage students in a fun way.   1) Be sure to know what the student wants. If it is "fun", but at the end of the session, the student didn't learn what they wanted to, is it successful? Doing the footwork and research by asking the student particulars regarding their interests, in specific a way possible it important. "The student wants to learn long division and how it relates to fractions" is much more specific than "Third grade math"   2) Utilize videos. YouTube is a great resource for many subject areas. Using a video to capture attention at the beginning of the lesson is a great tool.   3) Listen. This ties in with #1, but... read more

As a tutor, it can be easy to slip into monotony-particularly with regular students that you see on a weekly basis, or for multiple hour blocks at a time. Here are 5 simple tips to help make your tutoring sessions more fun, productive and interesting !     1. Get physical. This works especially well with children ages K-6 because, after sitting all daylong in the classroom, they may need to get some wiggles out of their system. "Simon Says" is a great way to have them re-engage their listening skills. For ages 7-12, I recommend a relaxation exercise or a brisk walk to get the brain back on track!   2. Play games, all sorts! Remember, you're being paid to do what the textbook can't, and that means it is up to you to bring a different, more unique approach to the subject. From trivia games to ball games, scavenger hunts and modified board games, there are so many ways to tap into the different types of intelligences out there!    3... read more

Whether it be one of my academic students or one of my youth fitness students, I always stress being prepared and organized.  Being consistent with these simple steps will lead to a more effective and fulfilling learning experience.   But I also stress approaching each tutoring/coaching session with an open mind and a sense of humor.  Whether it be a sharing funny joke or an interesting story, I believe that this helps to keep things loose and the mind open to learning.   Whenever possible, I also encourage a change of venue, such as conducting a tutoring/coaching session outdoors (i.e., back yard or a local park) or at the local library to occasionally break away from our usual tutoring location.   I look forward to meeting with you and sharing in a FUN and Effective learning experience! 

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!   5)  Turn... read more

S., aged 14, invested a bit less time for homework last week, as she was very busy. However, she did experiment with pen-and-ink and has purchased markers and graphite pencils, as well as two sketchbooks of better paper. She is going on vaction soon and I hope she will take her sketchbooks along. I suggested she start to think about drawing portrait and figure. I brought along "Anatomy for the Artist" by Jeno Barcsay and showed her how the artist breaks down human anatomy into components. The book is informative about the skeleto-muscular structure as well. We also discussed the problems of foreshortening while viewing objects (and bodies) in space. I suggested she draw a self portrait sketch or a portrait sketch for homework. Later, I emailed her links to figure sketches by great artists, from Durer and Da VInci to Singer-Sargent and Giacometti. I also brought some small pages of good textured papers of various colors for her to try out, as newsprint... read more

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... read more

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