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I read a blog that less expensive tutors are not as good as high priced tutors.  Then the blogger stated that for a tutor to be acceptable they must have a Master's or higher degree in the subject they intend to tutor.  They compared a 'good' tutor as one that is high priced and who would shop in Saks 5th Ave to a 'novice' tutor who is a low cost person who shops at Wal-Mart.  I hope that I am not the only person who was offended by this blog.  What makes a person better if they prefer to pay a dollar for a pencil at an exclusive store that costs 5 cents at a store anyone can afford to shop at.  Such people seem to look down on anyone who has to carefully budget how they spend their earnings.   First, the price a person charges for tutoring has nothing to do with how good they may be as a tutor.  It is dependent on where they live and why they are tutoring in the first place.  A person living in a rural setting in the South simply does not have... read more

When I first took the SAT, I sat in a classroom with desks that were connected to chairs. One problem: these desks were less than the size of a piece of paper. Whenever I tried to flip pages, my materials fell on the floor, my pencil rolled off my desk, and I had to spend the time flipping each individual page rather than keeping my booklet open. This wasted a lot of time, and I'm sure I could have done better if the desk hadn't been stressing me out so much.   Even though most people don't think about it, it's important to know where you are taking the SAT or ACT. Is it at a high school? Or a college where desks might be much smaller? If you can't go check out the testing site in person, try to talk to people in your area to see what they thought of the site. They might have some productive advice: "There's no AC in the building" or "the chairs were very comfortable". You'll never know until you ask.   The other thing I recommend is to... read more

When I first took the SAT, I sat in a classroom with desks that were connected to chairs. One problem: these desks were less than the size of a piece of paper. Whenever I tried to flip pages, my materials fell on the floor, my pencil rolled off my desk, and I had to spend the time flipping each individual page rather than keeping my booklet open. This wasted a lot of time, and I'm sure I could have done better if the desk hadn't been stressing me out so much.   Even though most people don't think about it, it's important to know where you are taking the SAT or ACT. Is it at a high school? Or a college where desks might be much smaller? If you can't go check out the testing site in person, try to talk to people in your area to see what they thought of the site. They might have some productive advice: "There's no AC in the building" or "the chairs were very comfortable". You'll never know until you ask.   The other thing I recommend is to... read more

When I first took the SAT, I sat in a classroom with desks that were connected to chairs. One problem: these desks were less than the size of a piece of paper. Whenever I tried to flip pages, my materials fell on the floor, my pencil rolled off my desk, and I had to spend the time flipping each individual page rather than keeping my booklet open. This wasted a lot of time, and I'm sure I could have done better if the desk hadn't been stressing me out so much. Even though most people don't think about it, it's important to know where you are taking the SAT or ACT. Is it at a high school? Or a college where desks might be much smaller? If you can't go check out the testing site in person, try to talk to people in your area to see what they thought of the site. They might have some productive advice: "There's no AC in the building" or "the chairs were very comfortable". You'll never know until you ask. The other thing I recommend is to take the test... read more

Hi all,     So my experiment with the waiting list was a mixed success.  I had some students remain interested when I contacted them as availability popped up later in the semester, but it was about 20% of the people. It was still a useful way to remain visible to students so I'm going to continue it.   I have room this Fall for another student or two, so please contact me ASAP to avoid the waiting list! I'll have the most available time slots for the least amount of traveling.  This means that students who want to meet in Manhattan will have the easiest time / find my schedule the most flexible.  I've started doing a little tutoring in Python programming, so if anybody is interested in working on that at a discounted rate please contact me!  Cheers! Chris

I was a Spanish teacher for 3 years in Mexico, I graduated from the university of Puebla in 1998 with an Architecture degree and then in 2005 a second degree in Education at the university of Monterrey. I have a broad experience as a private tutor and for 3 years I taught elementary and High school level Spanish/English and some mathematics to numerous students in Mexico. I excel in teaching conversational spanish to students from 15 years to adults, who after only a few lessons have mastered some basic grammar, gained confidence in constructing sentences as well as specific needs and necessities of specific situations. I love tutoring because I'm so happy to see the faces of my students as they start to understand my native Language. I share the success and emotion of my students when their grades improve and tests become a pleasure to take. Child psychology and Conversational Spanish. I think it's a great opportunity and I hope to have... read more

Ready for a little riddle? Sure you are! I'm going to list seven phrases, three words each. Without looking it up, I want you to tell me what all twenty-one (7 times 3) of these words have in common. There is only one right answer. Ready? Piff! Paff! Puff! Knisper! Knasper! Knusper! Pim! Pam! Pum! Riks! Raks! Poks! Cric! Crac! Croc! Pif! Paf! Pof! Knap! Knetter! Knak! So what do you think? Any ideas? I'll give you a minute to think it over. You're giving up? Already? Wait, let me give you a hint. I left out one of the phrases: Snap! Crackle! Pop! Starting to get where I'm going with this? As it turns out, those phrases are the onomatopoetic sounds RICE KRISPIES cereal produces, according to its marketing in other countries, from Germany to Mexico to Finland. That's right, in Germany, pour some milk over your RICE KRISPIES and you hear "Knisper... read more

One of my favorite things to help young children learn to read is helping them make their own books.  Of course, we keep the books short to accommodate their short attention spans.  Using books they made helps to break up the monotony of rote/drill work, which is very important.  We start with books that only contain words with the same sound, for example, the "oo" sound.  I find that the "oo" sound is very exciting to start with because one can make words that a child loves.  Some "oo" words we start with are "boo", "zoo", "zoom", "moo", and "toot".  Children latch on to these words and really make a connection to the sounds because they are enjoying themselves. Our books progress from "My Own Word" books to short stories that contain phonetics and sight words. If you are needing beginning reading activities to add to your phonics program, please check my blog regularly...

For years, I have developed some of my own teaching strategies to help young children pay attention during piano lessons.  One of my favorite ways to break the monotony of just playing new songs, is playing a short "game".  I have the child place their hands on the first hand position (both thumbs on middle C, and every other finger gets it's own note!). Then I tell them, "I will call out a note, and see if you can play it. Can you play B?  Can you play F in your right hand?", etc. This is a great tip for children experiencing dyslexia, as well.  I also have them say the notes in their new songs as they play them during the first three or four lessons to reinforce the connections from their hands to their brain. If you have very young students, introduce dynamics at the first lesson so that they can have fun playing "forte" and "piano".  Even if they are playing a song with only two notes, you will grab their attention... read more

The ASVAB isn't as intimidating as you think!  Most of it is strategy and recall.  Yes, remember that math lesson your fifth grade teacher gave you way back when?  Here it is now!  Right there on that ASVAB test.  Keep calm.  Remember if it is a word problem, read the question first and then the possible answers.  Estimate what your answer might be.  Is it close to one of the possible answers presented?  Go with your first impression and choose it.  Review the logic behind it.   If you are taking the written test, nothing says you have to tackle the questions in order.  Do the problems you know best first.  That helps your confidence level, then go back and do the others.  The ASVAB is scored by the number of problems you attempt correctly out of the number you tried to do.

Since most students, even at the higher levels, make mistakes with fractions, I thought I would post some quick tips on avoiding careless mistakes.   1) Check your answer by rounding to the nearest integers and seeing if it's the same order of magnitude. There are exceptions, when dealing with compound interest and lots of exponentiation, but this is a good general rule for most subjects, especially at the Highschool level.   2) Get variables out of denominators! Almost everybody I've ever met, including Fields Medalist Alain Connes, has made highschool Algebra mistakes by leaving variables in the denominator. Usually, these mistakes come from combining like-terms incorrectly due to improper exponentiation.   3) Try to keep signs homogenous throughout the fraction. You want to group your negative and positive numbers together as much as possible, especially on timed tests. It's just easier to work with.    4) Try to avoid radicals... read more

Many of my students dread conjugating verbs. They dread it even more when the verbs are irregular and have the same meaning!!  The verbs ser and estar both mean "to be", so what is the difference between the two?? Ser is used to describe things that are permanent or often unchangeable.  For example, Yo soy de Estados Unidos.(I am from the United States).  The form of ser used in the sentence is soy.  You can not change where you are from. Ser is also used to describe characteristics, professions, religions and nationalities.       Estar is used to describe things that are temporary. For example, Yo estoy en Florida para las vacaciones(I am in Florida for vacation). I am vacationing in Florida, but I am not from there.  There is a little rhyme that is printed in the textbook, Realidades, which helps you remember when to use the verb, estar.  The rhyme goes, For how you... read more

Students with special needs require more attention, and it is better to tutor students with special needs in a low stimulating environment. Usually, depending on the style of learning of that individual, a tutor can increase more sensory objects or things to help students relate learning to actual or real life. For example, if we are teaching a student math skills such as distinguishing coins, we would use real life coins (pennies, nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars), and then utilize that skill by going to a vending machine that takes coins and practice. We could also take students to a grocery store or shop and purchase a small item such as bubble gum, candy, etc. If you are interested in learning more about working with individuals that have special needs, please feel free to contact me. 

There are a lot of different opinions about how to set up a Lightroom catalog. Some teachers suggest creating a new catalog for each shoot, some say one new catalog for each year. After 7 years of working with students privately, I have to say - one catalog - is all you need, especially if you keep your Library photos and folders in order. And your Library should be on a dedicated external hard drive. And, if you're using a laptop, then Smart Previews are the way to go, as they allow you to edit and develop your photos without actually having the hard drive with you.    What's a Catalog and what's a Library?    The Lightroom catalog is how Lightroom knows where your photos are on your hard drive. It is also where it keeps all the information on what you've done - flags, rejects, developing, books, etc. Consider the Catalog a big filing system, but it's not a file cabinet. This is a unique aspect of how Lightroom works and can trip up many beginning... read more

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... read more

ACT www.actstudent.org/testprep/ www.princetonreview.com/college/free-act-practice-test.aspx ; www.mhpracticeplus.com/act.php ; www.kaptest.com/College/Getting-into-College/free-practice-tests-workshops.html phone apps: ACTStudent, ACT Test Prep TestBank,  SAT http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-practice-test http://sat.collegeboard.org/practice/sat-practice-questions www.princetonreview.com/college/free-sat-practice-test.aspx http://www.kaptest.com/College/Getting-into-College/free-practice-tests-workshops.html phone apps: College Board The Official SAT Question of the Day, Ace the ACT, The Princeton Review SAT Lite, Mind Snacks SAT Vocab, SAT flashcard review, Intelli Power Vocab GRE www.princetonreview.com/grad/free-gre-practice-test.aspx www.ets.org/gre/revised_general/prepare/ www.kaptest.com/gre/study-resources/gre-free-practice-test ; http://www.greguide.com/gre-practice-tests.html ; phone... read more

A friend of mine recently posed a question to me: "What exactly IS a career student? Is that the guy that has been in his senior year of high school since 2009?" No, young grasshopper, a career student is not that guy. That guy or girl is what we call a senior-senior, and he or she is usually a pretty awesome person that just really enjoys high school. I came up with the term "career student" (peep the tagline) in an effort to describe the types of high school and college students that might be interested in my services and/or what I hope students that use my services will become. A career student is a student that treats their academic life like a professional career. I know a lot of career students, and yes, you want to be one of them.  Career students have certain qualities that they have acquired with lots of effort and support. Anyone can be a career student (even people that HATE school). A lesson I learned after high school... read more

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