Biology Tutoring in Torrance

November 19th, 2015

Picture this: you’re sitting in your room trying to start your biology homework. #1- Where does cellular respiration occur in the cell?  You’re drawing a complete blank. The cytoplasm? The chloroplast? Mitochondria? What about the endoplasmic reticulum – smooth or rough? Wish you had some help? You can find great biology tutoring in Torrance here, at Study Hut Tutoring.

The cell cycles are the most challenging part of the year for many biology students. Here are all of the cycles listed in chronological order and grouped by function and location:

  1. Daytime – chloroplast (plant cell only)

Photosynthesis (thylakoid)

Calvin cycle (stroma)

  1. Nighttime (aerobic – with oxygen) – mitochondria

Glycolysis (cytoplasm)

Krebs/Citric Acid cycle (matrix of mitochondria)

Electron Transport Chain (inner membrane of mitochondria)

  1. Nighttime (anaerobic – without oxygen) – cytoplasm

Glycolysis (cytoplasm)

Fermentation (cytoplasm)

BEFORE YOU LOOK AT THE PICTURE BELOW, try this on your own: draw a big rectangle. Inside the rectangle, draw a chloroplast (circle with smaller circles inside of it), then draw a mitochondria (jelly bean-shaped oval with a squiggle inside of it). Now try to place all of the cycles above on the drawing, connected by arrows. If you can, add some important inputs/outputs of each cycle (H2O, CO2, O2, ATP, sunlight, glucose, etc). Does it look something like this?

 

Biology Tutoring in Torrance

 

1) During the day, the plant

– uses the chloroplast to make ATP (via photosynthesis) and

– glucose (Calvin cycle) to store up energy.

2) At night, the plant will take the glucose it made during the day (via Calvin cycle) and

– break it down (glycolysis) to

– make energy (Krebs/ETC).

3) If the plant does not have access to oxygen, it will do

– glycolysis and

– fermentation (instead of Krebs and ETC).

Need someone to help you draw it? Look no further. Biology tutoring in Torrance is easy to find, affordable, and easy to schedule. Within minutes of calling, you’ll be able to schedule one of our many experienced tutors for a one-on-one tutoring session to help you with that tough bio homework or study for an upcoming test.

Newport Biology Tutor

November 3rd, 2015

Are you having trouble in biology? Do terms like thylakoid, carbon fixation, meiosis, and apoptosis sound like gibberish to you? Don’t worry! We can help.

Here are 5 useful resources our Newport biology tutors have found that can help!

  1. If it’s photosynthesis that is giving you tons of issues, this is an easy-to-read and thorough study sheet put together by a Newport Biology Tutor from the Study Hut team. It covers everything from terms to structures to processes.
  2. Biology is a very visual subject. It is all about processes that are happening all around you, and even within you. Reading about it in a dry science textbook robs it of this vivacity. This website, CellsAlive, has some great animations that give these concepts life. Check out this animation of mitosis: http://www.cellsalive.com/mitosis_js.htm CellsAlive also has videoes of common biological processes as they happen in real life. For example, here is a video (with some great sound effects added) of what happens to a bacterial colony when it’s invaded by a virus: http://www.cellsalive.com/phage.htm
  3. If your biology book is overwhelmingly large, and incredibly daunting, BiologyCorner has clear, concise concept maps that can help condense the information to a more manageable, bite-size morsel. It has  pictures, coloring pages like this one (don’t laugh!  They’re really helpful!) puzzles, and quizzes.
  4. If it’s not precisely the material that’s giving you issue but you just have a hard time studying, you can use things like Chegg’s free flashcard app to put those flashcards right on your phone. That way whenever you have a free second (in the car, waiting in line, as you’re falling asleep) you can run through them. Science shows that spaced repetition increases memory. If your phone is actually the problem, not the solution, you can download apps like SelfControl Freedom (free), Disconnect (free) that will lock you out of the internet or your entire phone for a certain amount of time.
  5. So maybe you’ve tried these things and it still does not make sense. We’ve been there. For some, biology is just another language. Luckily we have Newport Biology Tutors that can translate biology into a language you can understand! We can make it fun and memorable and give you the one-on-one attention you need to dominate this biology class. To make an appointment or if you just have a few questions, fill out a contact form to the right, or call us today at 949-226-1573.

Newport Biology Tutor

A Personal tutoring session

May 22nd, 2014

Today I got to work with one of my students, Eric, on his ninth grade biology homework assignment covering natural selection and evolution.  He has a quiz coming up so his homework reviewed the sections in the book.  While working through the problems, Eric and I had a great discussion about each of his answers.  We came up with lots of examples for the different terms he had to know.  The example that stuck most with Eric was how the finches that flew to the Galapagos Islands represented the founder effect of genetic drift.  By geographically isolating a small population of a species, the genetic variation is limited causing the species to change and adapt to the new environment.  He enjoyed thinking up other situations in which the founder effect could be applied.

The one topic that confused Eric was the Hardy-Weinberg principle for genetic equilibrium.  This is a tough concept to understand because it theoretical and complex.  First off, we had to memorize the conditions that are necessary for this equilibrium to take place: very large population, random mating, no natural selection, no immigration/emigration, and no mutation. We talked about why those criteria are necessary for keeping the allele frequencies constant and that helped him remember each of those restrictions.  After establishing the basis for the Hardy-Weinberg principle, we went over how to calculate allele and genotype frequencies.  This uses two different equations and can be confusing at first.  After showing him how to use the equations to solve for the frequencies, I gave him some practice problems.  After a rough start, he did really well by getting the last three questions right.

After a quick review at the end of the session, Eric was much more confident about the material that was on his quiz.  We got a lot done during the session and he improved a lot!

How to Ace Bio

May 20th, 2014

How to ace Biology class

  1. Learn Latin! No, you don’t have to be fluent, it is a “dead language” after all. But knowing your Latin roots is a valuable help. Biology is full of strange words that need to be memorized. Endotherm, hemophilia, cephalization, echinoderm, autotroph, mesoderm…the list goes on. It can get overwhelming, and you aren’t going to remember everything. The good news is that knowing your Latin roots will let you “fake” your way through words you’ve never seen before, and remember words that you probably knew a while ago. Take echinoderm. If you know that “echino” means spiny, and “derm” means skin, you know you are talking about something with spiny skin. What has spiny skin? Sea urchins! Echinoderms are members of the sea urchin family, including sea stars and sea cucumbers. How about autotroph? Well, “auto” means self, and “troph” means food. Self food…what organisms make their own food? Plants! Now you can avoid being bogged down in big scary looking words, even if you have never seen them before.
  2. Pretty colors. Biology involves more than writing. You need to be able to recognize images and figures, as a lot of biological learning comes across visually. Would you rather explain what a cell looks like with words or with a picture? A picture is usually much easier to understand. This is where the colors come in. When you are labeling and drawing figures for different biological concepts, try to use different colors for the different pieces. This will help the image stick in your mind, and differentiate between the important parts. When you think back to remember the image on a test, it will be much easier to remember what “the purple part” of the cell was rather than the gray part in a gray picture. Color coding your flashcards works the same way; the color will help the word stick in your memory and your recall will be faster.
  3. Repetition. Let’s face it, biology takes a lot of memorization, more than most subjects. You are going to have to sit down and memorize the process of cellular respiration, the different amino acids, the phylogeny of birds. The fastest and most reliable way to do this is to write down the info. Then write it again. And again, and again, and again until it becomes easy. Physically writing down information you have to know can really cement that info in your long term memory, especially for things that aren’t pictures, but just words or names you have to know. Instead of passively looking at a textbook page, fill up pages with the Krebs cycle if you need to, or the reactions of photosynthesis, or the structure of amino acids. By test time writing the whole thing down will be second nature, and getting an A will be a piece of cake.

Buckle down and prep for Finals in advance

November 26th, 2012

The four weeks between Thanksgiving and the winter holiday break can be the toughest lap of the academic race for many students. Everyone loves to buckle down and cram for the “last lap” before Finals in January, but this “second-to-last lap” in December is brutal. With tons of distractions, from family coming into town, holiday shopping, and making sure to enjoy the holiday spirit, it comes as no surprise that many students have a tough time focusing on their tests and assignments.

But this is not the time to be distracted. In fact, this is the most crucial season of all. These four weeks are a perfect time for teachers to play catch up. Oftentimes, teachers will try to cram in two full chapters or units during this brief period, and the effects on students’ grades can be tremendously impactful. Some students will be distracted and choose to focus time and energy on interests other than school. These students will pay the price come January, and many grades will be far too low going into the break to be brought up. Other students will realize the incredible opportunity in front of them. They will buckle down, hit the books, and earn excellent grades on the tests, quizzes, and assignments offered.

For math classes, including geometry, algebra, trigonometry, and calculus, the methods and concepts discussed this month will probably be the toughest content you will see on your first semester Final Exam. Keep this in mind, even if you are feeling overwhelmed by the material. If you can master these tough concepts now by studying in advance and working with your tutor, your holiday break will be significantly less stressful, and your Finals preparation in January will be a much easier process. This holds true for other classes too, including history, Spanish, English, biology, chemistry, physics, and even your elective classes.

Study Hut Foundation getting going

November 6th, 2012

Study Hut Tutoring and our entire team are ecstatic to announce that the Study Hut Foundation has officially opened its first office. For those of you unfamiliar with the Study Hut Foundation, it is the non-profit arm of Study Hut. Our mission is simple: to provide additional educational opportunities to underprivileged students.

We signed the lease on Friday, and we will begin getting the office ready for studying and tutoring by January 1st. This process will include everything from buying tables and chairs, to sharpening pencils and filling the candy bins….hehe….The office is located in Lomita (very close to Harbor City as well) and is located on Narbonne Avenue, right across from the public library. We will be serving students from many neighboring cities, but the convenience factor is definitely there for Narbonne High School students, so we will be working closely with counselors, teachers, and administrators. We are seeking students who need the help most, and also those who are most eager to use the assistance in a positive way.

The first goal of the Study Hut Foundation is to bring some of the same college preparatory services that we provide our current Study Hut students to less fortunate students in the local area. This will benefit the entire community, and will provide additional opportunity to local students who show the potential and desire to achieve. We will provide scholarships for subject tutoring in math (algebra, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, precalc, etc.), science (biology, chemistry, physics, etc.), English, writing, reading comprehension, history (European history and U.S. history), government, economics, psychology, Spanish, French, and more. Additionally, we will offer SAT prep, ACT prep, and other test prep services, all free of cost.

Our team will consist of current tutors, as well as volunteers from local high schools and universities. We will specialize by subject, and we aim to provide the best service possible at the best possible price (free)!
For those of you interested, we will be adding a page for the Study Hut Foundation to our website shortly, and there will also be opportunities for donations and support in the near future. Stay tuned!

Time for our team to take off the party hats and roll up their sleeves. The Foundation is here!

Saying Goodbye to a Few of Our Own

August 21st, 2012

Here at The Study Hut sometimes saying goodbye is a happy occasion. As the summer is coming to an end so we say goodbye to a few of our tutors. Not to worry! Their departure is not due to sub-par performance or conflicts between other tutors, but because they are once again joining the ranks of US college students or are exploring the world in hopes of expanding human knowledge.
We are happy to see one tutor off to Columbia University this fall. Jenna who has worked with us this last year came to us already with some teaching experience. She had taught and substituted for a few of the lower elementary grades after finishing school. Now she is going for her Masters degree in education. We are always happy people using their skills to teach other and help others.
Another tutor will also be leaving not just us, the whole United States. Jenny, after a few years helping kids in our Redondo office, is packing up and leaving for Australia. A marine-bio major, Jenny spent time studying sharks while in school. Now she plans on continuing that hobby/love. She will be camping out on the remote coast of Australia tracking, recording, and studying the local shark behavior. After a few months she will then be attending graduate school in Australia.
We wish Jenna and Jenny the best of luck on their new adventures.

PV AVID Finals tutoring

January 11th, 2012

Study Hut tutors could not be more excited for the big Finals push. We have students from AVID coming in for private tutoring all week, but we also have a huge event scheduled for Saturday. As in years past, we will be hosting an all day tutoring and study session on campus at Palos Verdes High School. We will have access to multiple different classrooms, and tutors will get to go into different rooms and help students with the specific subjects they need most help with.

This year, there will undoubtedly be math tutoring, science tutoring (including biology tutoring and chemistry tutoring), history tutoring, from World History and EHAP to U.S. History, Government, and Economics tutoring. Math tutoring will include algebra tutoring, geometry tutoring, algebra 2 tutoring, pre-calculus tutoring, trigonometry tutoring, and maybe even some calculus and FTS tutoring.

We will also, of course, have English tutoring, writing tutoring for students with an upcoming final paper, Spanish tutoring (all levels), and probably a few other subjects as well.

The event is free (and required!) for all AVID students, and speaking from past experience, it is an extremely productive event for all students involved. The teachers always come to support, supervise, and offer their knowledge as well.

And best of all, we are getting El Taco Man ordered, so he will be showing up with his cart, and all the tacos any young man or woman can eat. Does it get any better than this? I think not. See you on Saturday.

High school Costa focus

December 8th, 2011

Mira Costa students oftentimes step in with these colossal texts, and they report that they do not understand anything from cover to cover. Study Hut understands that AP Biology is extremely difficult but the process of absorbing the information does not always have to be painful. Geometry is just a bunch of lines, trigonometry is sin, cos, and tan, and calculus is a stretch. HS students are generally good with simple memorization and arithmetic calculations, so what is preventing them from scoring well on exams? Students largely lack the skills to study, prioritize, and break down complex information into absorbable energy. Study Hut is a catalyst in that we assist in making things simple and easy to understand. Students know the material, they understand the general concepts, but the learning process stops at simple understanding. We assist students in achieving the next couple steps — we assist students in absorption, digestion, distribution, and finally, regurgitation and waste management. We use simple memorization to facilitate the absorption process, but when it comes down to digestion, it requires a bit of reverse engineering. We assist students in approaching the concepts through different perspectives — that is exactly what exams ask for — a different perspective. Continuing, distribution is achieved through using the information to bulldoze through the coursework, testing for weak points and patching up where patching is needed. Ultimately, the zenith of the learning process is regurgitation — Study Hut aims for this point in that students will only exceed the average academic expectations when they are able to do what we do — spit the information back out so that others can understand it! Waste management comes last. Mira Costa HS students always come in with glitches. We assist in flattening out the wrinkles in the information, fixing the glitches, making sure they understand the formula to the dot so that they will not use the wrong one on exams, checking they understand that DNA and RNA are not just different strands of nucleotides. Study Hut makes studying easy.

Biology project!

November 2nd, 2011

I don’t know who manages the Hut’s Facebook page, but could you forward this picture to him or her? It’s Alex’s awesome cell diorama for her bio class . . . and it’s a cake!