Succeeding in Summer School

June 11th, 2015

It’s difficult to keep up in summer school classes. Five to six hours a day of the same topic is a long time to concentrate. Not only that, but teachers are trying to cram in an entire year’s worth of material into just a few short weeks.

One strategy to make sure you stay on top of summer school is to make sure that you take amazing notes. Great notes are detailed, organized, and easy to read. Make sure that you are writing legibly. Organize your notes by topic. This way, if you are looking for information on a certain topic you can easily find it. Make sure to take notes on what your teacher is saying, not just the lecture slides. They often go into important, more detailed information than just what is on the slides. You can bet that that same information will be on the test.

Try and stay focused. The hours are long, but the tests are very frequent so you do not have time to slack off. If you miss a concept, make sure to see a tutor before you are tested on it. It is also a good idea to schedule regular tutoring sessions. One-on-one time with a tutor can allow you to explore the material in more depth and assure that you fully understand all of the concepts. There is very little time to play catch up because of the rushed schedule. Turning in all of your homework assignments is crucial. Do not get lazy because the lost points will add up and hurt you.

As long as you stay on your A game, summer school is an amazing way to knock out some classes quickly.

Middle School Social Studies

February 27th, 2015

Cooper started coming a few weeks ago to work on his general study skills.  He did well in class last semester, but his grades were beginning to slip this semester due to a lack of interest and effort.  He worked on study skills and social studies with his tutor Sara.

Sara worked with Cooper on pre- and post-reading strategies to help his retention.  A big factor in helping him remember key terms was folding his paper in half at the beginning of his lesson.  He wrote key terms on the left side and then their definitions and any other relevant information on the right side.  He could easily hide either side and quiz himself on the topics.  After this, he would put the large concepts within the section into a concept map.  Sara would have him explain to her why each bubble was connected and how they related.  At the end of a chapter, Sara would also have him summarize and compare the different time periods so he would not get similar periods confused.  He would also go over what the key accomplishments in each time period were, why they were important, and how they came about.

After working together for two weeks, Cooper told Sara that he had gotten a one hundred percent on his most recent quiz!  He thought the quiz was only going to cover the most recent lesson, but it was actually on the entire time period.  All the ways he had been studying with Sara helped him remember all the important information that he needed to succeed!

Achieving Dreams!

February 21st, 2015

 

Wyatt began coming to Study Hut halfway through eighth grade. He had an essay to work on so he worked with Tori. She taught him the general structure of a five paragraph essay. Wyatt’s mom e-mailed Study Hut the next day, saying that Wyatt felt “rejuvenated and inspired” after his session with Tori, so he started coming to Study Hut once or twice a week.

Tori helped him develop his critical thinking and writing skills for high school. She also helped him work on his application essays for St. John Bosco High School. Wyatt knew this school had an amazing reputation in regards to sports and he had his eyes set on the prize. He started his freshman year in the Fall of 2013 and has earned his spot on the honor roll every semester. He was at the top of his English class thanks to all the skills he worked on with Tori, and he always felt prepared for all of his assignments. His teacher was constantly impressed with his work.

Now he works on all of his subjects at Study Hut. He is has an incredibly busy schedule. He commutes to school every morning, and has training for football or basketball year-round. Wyatt recently got his first offer to play football in college and Tori could not be more proud. She said. “I often feel overwhelmed in my own life with school, work, and student teaching, but Wyatt’s commitment to doing what it takes to achieve his dreams truly inspires me to do what it takes to achieve mine. I could not be more excited for what the future has in store for him.”

 

Tori and Wyatt

Catching Up in Online Classes

February 20th, 2015

Online classes can be difficult to keep up with.  Students can go to class when they want, and skip a day or two without any tangible repercussions.  Lack of face-to-face communication with a teacher can be discouraging when topics do not make sense.  Many online schools also have confusing and frustrating homework submission guidelines and processes.  All these factors lead many students to put off online classes until the last possible moment at the end of the semester.

Connor came in over summer to work with his tutor, Laura, on his online United States History class.  The long blocks of text assigned for reading every night were dry, and hard to get through.  Laura was working on getting her teaching credential to become a history teacher, so making history exciting was an easy task for her.  She explained the importance of the events that Connor had to learn about and their lasting effects on society today.  Turning history into something relevant instead of some distant story that happened a long time ago made the material interesting again and much easier to work with.

Being able to tie together the past and present made Connor’s essays a breeze.  Laura helped him research his topics.  They then turned that research into pertinent examples that helped support his thesis.  Laura’s retellings of history also helped Connor to answer and respond to other students in all of his discussion board assignments for each unit.  With all of Laura’s help Connor was able to complete all of his assignments and finish his online class on time!

Study Hut SAT Success

January 8th, 2015

Emily came in to Study Hut looking to raise her SAT score.  She had done a few SAT prep sessions before, but not consistently and was not happy with her current SAT score.  She knew that she could do better.   We created a custom plan of action for Emily so that she would be completely prepared before her next SAT.

 

She started to come in once to twice per week.  During her sessions, we would go through each concept on the test and make sure that it made total sense before moving on to the next one.  We also went over the best SAT strategies so that she could beat the test, and not be tricked by any trap answers to questions that she knew the answers to.  Between sessions, she had homework assignments reviewing the material that she had just learned, as well as weekly quizzes to not only test her knowledge, but to get her familiar with using the SAT strategies in action.  After we had covered all the material that would be on the test, we started doing practice test after practice test after practice test.  These were timed and without help, just like on the real SAT.  She got progressively better with each test that we ran through.  Finally, she took her final SAT and the results were amazing! She took the test and scored above a 1900.  She was much more confident with her score going into the college application process and cannot wait to hear back from all her schools!

Summer Tutoring

July 9th, 2014

Imagine if each year you allowed three consecutive months to pass without ever considering diet or exercise; the result would be low energy, an underperforming immune system, and many other undesirable consequences. Just like any other part of the human body, the brain requires regular attention and maintenance to perform to its potential.  Students often struggle to get back into the swing of academics after a long summer break, as their brains have been stagnant for weeks on end.  Here at Study Hut Tutoring, we make sure to keep our students sharp through the summer time, allowing an easier entrance into the new school year and helping them to start strong and maintain that impressive GPA throughout the course of the academic year.

Summer tutoring offers many benefits to students.  For some, summer tutoring serves as a valuable time to assess the strengths and weaknesses of the previous school year, and to clear up and solidify conceptual understanding that they will need to progress to more advanced courses.  For others, summer tutoring serves as an opportunity to learn new material before being exposed to it in the classroom, giving them more confidence and an easier route to an “A”.  And still for others, we help with writing enrichment, summer reading requirements, and preparation for the Fall SAT and ACT.

Of course, we at Study Hut Tutoring also appreciate the value of leisure time.  Our founders, Rob and Sean, along with our tutors have been making the most of this summer by spending plenty of time on and in the ocean, be it to surf, spearfish, or boat across the channel to Catalina Island.  We will be seeing off our managerial staff on an annual leadership trip at the end of July, and look forward to building an even stronger team to help our students through the remainder of the summer and next school year.

If you would like more information regarding our summer tutoring services, or you would like to sign up your son or daughter for summer help to prepare for the upcoming school year, please feel welcome to contact us at info@studyhut.com.  Enjoy your summer!

Summer Prep at the Hut

June 24th, 2014

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Here is a comprehensive list of programs to help your  student stay ahead this fall.

– SAT and ACT classes both one-on-one and group courses. Our group course for SAT’s and ACT’s start after the July 4th weekend.

– Spanish 1/2 and Spanish 3/4 Workshops

– Elementary to Middle School and Middle School to High School Transition Sessions

– Algebra 1, Geometry, and Alg 2 Prep Classes which will start at the end of July. Joey will be teaching some of the courses in the Manhattan Beach Location.

– General Summer School Help

We are open Monday-Friday and you can contact our managers to book appointments for summer. Manhattan Beach Location: Kristen@studyhut.com – (310)546-2408, Redondo Beach Location: Justin@studyhut.com – (310)540-5888, and our El Segundo Location: Alex@studyhut.com (310)648-8526

Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

June 13th, 2014
Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

1. Start Early! – This is the most important one. The internet provides plenty of ways to waste your study time, but you’ll be happy you stayed away from Netflix and Reddit when the final finally comes.

2. Study in Chunks – Your brain works best in 50 minute intervals. You may feel studious after your 6 hour study marathon, but a tired brain doesn’t absorb information like a fresh one. Take 5-10 minutes breaks every hour to make sure you’re making the most of your study time.

3. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place – Studying in bed may sound like a good idea, but once you’re in bed, so will a nap. Find a place that works for you. It should be somewhere where you can focus, spread out your notes, and get in a studying groove. And if you get sick of one place, switch it up!

4. Know Your Teacher – Ask questions, take notes, review old worksheets. Figure out what your teacher thinks is important because that’s what will show up on the final.

5. Study Alone – Start with what you don’t know. Review your old tests, quizzes, and homeworks, and take notes on what you missed. Then spend some time on your own with each of these topics. Write down any questions you have because the next step is…

6. Study in Groups – Once you’ve figured out your own strengths and weaknesses in each subject, form a study group. Here you can ask questions you had on your own and answer some of your study buddies’. Explaining concepts and hearing them explained in new ways will strengthen your understanding of the material.

7. Exercise – Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and you may need all the brain blood you can get for finals week. It’s also a great way to take a break from book to soak up some sun.

8. Sleep – It may be tempting to cram all night, but
it may not help as much as you think. Give your brain a rest! When the night before the test comes around, be confident in the studying you’ve been doing all week and get some extra sleep.

The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

June 11th, 2014

Title: The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

 

Do you have any friends who seem to breeze through their finals? While your friends are chilling out, are you stressing out?

 

How do they do it!?!

 

They know something you don’t know.

 

Don’t tell anybody, but I am about to let you in on a big secret. This secret will quite literally change your life- it can make you healthier, less stressed out, and happier.

 

Here’s the secret to properly preparing for finals: stop cramming.

 

That’s right, to ace your finals and to be less stressed out about them you need to stop cramming. Cramming up to the last minute pulling marathon all nighters is an inefficient and unhealthy way to study.

 

Instead of cramming, you need to spread out the work. Starting now, you should take a bit of time (not too little but also not too much) to begin reviewing old notes, problem sets, and exams. The key is for this to be a regimented and manageable review process. If you stick with it and do a little bit each day you will not have to do a lot the weekend before your exams.

 

 

The bottom line is that you are going pay now or pay later in terms of preparation.

You can coast now and “pay later” with caffeine-fueled evenings reviewing a semester’s worth of materials in a few days. This is the “drinking from a fire hose” approach. Not fun.

Or you can “pay now” by doing a little bit of preparation each night and spreading out the workload into something more manageable. Being well rested and healthy indisputably helps you perform better exams, this approach of spreading out the work means you will be able to cover more material in a smart way.

 

An additional benefit of being ahead of the curve when it comes to preparation is if you come across any questions you can ask friends or instructor for extra help and advice.

 

As Mark Twain (or maybe Agatha Christie) once said, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.” There is no time to wait, start this process now without the unhealthy late-night heroics, and your mind, body, and report card will thank you.

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!