The Bible states in Proverbs 29:18 stats that "Where there is no vision, the people perish". Others have stated that "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail". We see time and time again that setting goals and making plans are essential to success. So how do we do this?
George T. Doran published a paper in 1981 entitled "There's a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management's Goals and Objectives" (https://www.projectsmart.co.uk/brief-history-of-smart-goals.php). In this paper you will find the S.M.A.R.T acronym so commonly used in business, however, it can also be applied to education.
SMART Goal Setting
S – Specific - What specific skill does your student need improvement in?
M – Measurable - How will you know that your student has improved? How will you measure their progress?
A – Achievable - In Doran's original paper it actually states "Assignable", however, for our...
Online tutoring is definitely a great thing not only to take, but to teach. It allows you to be flexible with your schedule, you don't have to leave your home, and you save money on gas! However, there can be some downsides to online tutoring.
If you live with family, there can be distractions and background noise
You may not be technologically savvy
You may find some students would prefer tutoring in a face-to-face setting
Even despite these setbacks, WyzAnt's online tutoring platform is an amazing way to interact with students. Here are some solutions to these issues:
Make sure you have a designated "tutoring room" or quiet time during tutoring hours. Living with family, especially children, can be difficult. However, letting others know that you need silence, or having a designated room where there is little to no family traffic can help improve the quality of the session.
Even if you are not technologically savvy, WyzAnt offers a...
1. Sing a Song
It is amazing how singing a song can relieve stress as well as improve memory. Consider starting each lesson with a silly, but relevant song.
2. Offer Incentives for Meeting Tutoring Goals
Tutoring lessons are fun when students have a goal to work towards and a reward for meeting it.
3. Have a Snack
No one likes to learn on an empty stomach. Consult with parents on what snacks would be appropriate and have it there waiting for them when they come to see you. They will think you are the greatest and will be more focused on learning.
4. Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
Yes, it’s silly but this simple exercise when students seem to be falling asleep on you will wake them up and keep them focused.
Playing games are always fun. BINGO is a game that can be customized to any subject. Break up the monotony with a game.
As per Wyzant's request, I'll give my five cents on what makes a tutoring session fun.
1. Liveliness: What better way to garner enthusiasm than to be enthused. It truly can be contagious.
2. Movement: Cognitive science evidences that our brains are not entirely at work while we're at rest. Moving around keeps things interesting, and, of course, complements the liveliness and enthusiasm that creates a memorable session.
3. Games: This one goes without saying. Games generally have entertainment value, but they can be useful educational tools as well.
4. Connections: Making things relatable, learning about the student, building a tutor-tutee connection makes each session more enjoyable.
5. Pneumonics: Pneumonic devices, particularly silly ones, can make a session both fun and memorable. Retention is key.
Working with different students can be challenging, but I've noticed that there are five main things you can do to make each experience with a student that much more successful.
Personality! Bring it on! Use your personality to relate to your student; whether young or old, you can connect on different levels outside your subject. Help them become comfortable by you being a regular person just like them. I've noticed that this will help your student relax and become more susceptible to your lesson.
Who doesn't appreciate kindness from another person. Let's not forget The Golden Rule of treating others as you would be treated. I would hope that a person would be courteous to me, especially in the position of student and teacher. I personally have a younger student under 10, and there are times where she can get rowdy, but even in disciplining i find that softer words does the job.
Which leads me right into Understanding. Sometimes, it can...
I had a great math teacher in seventh grade. Coach Hopkins was just one of those teachers that made math look so easy when he demonstrated problems on the chalkboard. For some reason, he was always smiling. Believe me, in seventh grade, a smiling teacher who made me feel like he liked his job and his students was a bright spot in my day. I was lucky enough to have him again in college for an algebra class. He made math seem so simple! I learned that when you go into a department store, and the tag says 40% off of a $25.00 blouse, you don't have to figure out what 40% off is and subtract that amount from $25.00. There is a faster, easier way. Since the blouse is 40% off, that actually means you will pay 60% of the retail price. So, we only have to multiply $25.00 times 60%, and we have the price of the blouse. For instance: $25.00 x .60 = $15.00
While tutoring is about making sure you learn the material we are discussing, it should always have a balanced amount of learning and fun! Here are some ways I keep my tutoring sessions a fun place to be:
1. Games - Learning is most successful when it's fun! When applicable, it can be a great change of pace to incorporate a game into the tutoring session.
2. You get to be the teacher - Nothing shows me that you know your information best than when you can teach it to me! On this day we might switch jobs, and you will pretend to be the tutor helping me, your student.
3. Songs - Sometimes the best way to memorize information is to put it in a song. Acronyms, lists of names, dates or even important people can make their way into your favorite song and then you'll never forget that information.
4. Performances - for my music students, we will spend a lot of time working on technical skills to apply to your music making. But some of the...
1). Arrive on time
2). Dress Professionally
3) Get to know parents/students academic needs
4) Be Prepared
5). Be open to feedback
Understanding your child's / student(s)' learning styles is one of the most important factors in helping them reach success. At the end of the day, why else did we become parents or teachers but to watch the next generation learn? The problem is that we often assume that everyone learns and processes information the same as we do. If they don't, does that mean there is something wrong with THEM?! Absolutely not!! Respecting and building on the natural learning style of the learner, in my opinion, is the most important role of the tutor.
In my day, everything was pretty much done by taking turns reading aloud. The problem for me was that I was not good at processing information while reading aloud nor was I savvy at auditory processing. For several years I was treated as though something was wrong with me and given that I had an older sister who processed information "normally," I internalized that message for a very...
***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...
5 tips to make tutoring lessons more fun?
-Use real life examples
-Make it interactive using video or visuals
-Have the student teach you what they have learned in their own way
-Create a song
-Look for patterns
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.
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...
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...
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...
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")...
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.
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...
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.
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...