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

Personal Tutoring Session

May 27th, 2014

Working at the Study Hut affords us tutors the freedom to delve deep into the student’s subjects beyond that what they do in class. I recently had a student who didn’t have much work in her high school biology and Spanish classes (what we normally work on) so I improvised and pulled out some knowledge from my university psychology classes. She was learning about the brain in her biology class, but the class only touched on the basics of the brain’s anatomy. After we covered the material from her textbook, we spent the rest of the lesson going in depth on the structure of neurons and synapses, the anatomy of the brain and nervous system, and a brief overview of neurotransmitters.

Since she grasped all the necessary information quickly and effortlessly, we also previewed a couple of interesting neurological disorders that highlighted how the brain works, and how it sometimes fails to work. Specifically, we talked about a neuropsychological disorder known as ‘hemispatial neglect’. It primarily affects patients of strokes and causes them to neglect one side of their bodies. They aren’t blind, and they have sensations in those areas, but they they do not recognize or are not aware of one side of their body. For instance, if you were to punch one of these people on their neglected side they wouldn’t see the punch coming, but they would feel the pain. This lack of awareness leads the sufferers of this unusual and startling neuropsychological disorder to do things like apply makeup to one half of their face or only put on one sleeve or pant leg.

I loved teaching this student about a subject that I was passionate about, and it was something that went beyond the scope and focus of an average high school class. Here at the Study Hut we have the flexibility to delve deep into subjects that students may not be exposed to in school but that may pique their interests.

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.

The Rigors of PV Curriculum from a USC Alum

April 1st, 2014

The Rigors of PV Curriculum from a USC Alum

As a former student at Palos Verdes High School ( www.pvhigh.com ), I have found that the Study Hut curriculum for PVHS Math, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish, and English are perfect for the PV High curriculum. The PV school district’s expectations for Math classes, ranging from Geometry to Calculus, are very high and the homework and study workloads show this. At Study Hut ( www.studyhut.com ), I give one-on-one tutoring to help students understand and manage their challenging Algebra, Algebra 2, and Geometry workloads. Adding to this, most students are required to take Biology and Chemistry. From my experience as a Natural Science major at USC ( www.usc.edu ), I can personally attest to the very high level and challenging requirements that Palos Verdes high school students face.

At Study Hut, I help students in understanding the difficult materials, as well as in preparing for their tests (whether they be finals, AP, SATs, or SAT 2). Spanish 1 and Spanish 2 are also requirements for PVHS students and during my time at PV High, I remember that many students also take Spanish 3 and Spanish 4. These classes can be especially problematic for students who have never taken Spanish before or are not used to the verbal and written demands of the classes. At Study Hut, I really enjoy helping students improve their Spanish vocabulary, as well as their grammar and pronunciation. With all of these subjects, it really works to my benefit that I have taken the classes that I tutor at PV High (a lot of times with the same teachers), so I have a good understanding of the expectations and style of work that PVHS requires for a good grade. Adding to this, the atmosphere and tutoring style encouraged at Study Hut meshes well with Palos Verdes High School students and generates very positive results.

Personalized Meetings in the Classroom

March 7th, 2014

Personalized Meetings in the Classroom

 

In the beginning of spring 2014 semester, Laura, Justin, and I had one-on-one advisement sessions with Mr. Mullen’s AVID (http://www.avid.org) class at Palos Verdes Peninsula High School (PVPHS). We split the class up into four groups & had each freshman student bring up their grades, as well as a write-up of their future goals for spring semester. The main objective of these one-on-one meetings was to assess & acknowledge the strengths and weaknesses in each individual’s academic performance, analyze certain areas in which the students needed improvement, discuss their past history of success & setbacks, visualize how they should go about working towards those improvements, and how they could tackle their educational struggles so that they may be able to achieve their end goals.

During these mini break-out sessions, I noticed a pattern with a couple of my Biology students. Nicco, Sarah,Tessa, and Annie, talked about how hard it was to retain all the information their teachers expected them to digest & how they continued to struggle with this particular subject. I informed the students that they should be delegating at least 45 minutes per day to Biology because the subject requires a lot more memorization than most of their other subjects. In addition, I advised them to take advantage of all the resources available to them, whether it’s their textbook, materials given out in class, valid online resources, or even videos from places like www.khanacademy.org.

I felt that these individual conference meetings were very beneficial to the students because each student goes through their own distinctive battle. As an AVID tutor, my goal is not only to teach the appropriate set of skills, but also to ascertain students’ attitudes towards school and their self-perception as learners. Furthermore, by uncovering the root of their concerns about school & listening attentively, I develop relationships with my students based on mutual respect, thereby opening their minds to learning and applying skills.

Finals Season coming to an end…

January 29th, 2013

We did it! We made it through finals season!! Last week was a long week here at the Study Hut.

Last week we went to different schools and helped them study after school for a few hours.

We went to  Peninsula High for 3 hours and at Palos Verdes High for 5 hours and the weekend of  the 19th/20th – we went to West on Friday afternoon, West again on Saturday morning and  then to South on Sunday for free Finals Tutoring in the library.

We had such a great turn out at  each session.

I tutored in Spanish on Friday afternoon from 3 to 6 in the library at West. There were over 100 students who came and another 100+ on the waiting list to participate in the free tutoring.

When the students came into the library, there were signs hung up on both the 1st and 2nd floor of the library, with the names of all the different subjects that we helped tutor in. The High School also sent some of their students to help tutor as well with us which was greatly appreciated.

We tutored in multiple subjects – Algebra 1 & 2, Trig, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish – just to name a few.

Each student chose to either be tutored in one subject for all three hours – or be tutored in three subjects, one subject per hour.

For my first hour I had about 6 students – 2 in Spanish 1, 2 in Spanish 2, and 2 in Spanish 3. Then for my 2nd hour – 5 of the 6 students went to a different subject so I tutored a student one-on-one. Lastly, for my final hour, a few more students showed up and I finished with 5 kids. My subject was one of the smallest groups. I enjoyed having a small group since I was able to help each student individually.

Both the Science and Math subjects had about 30+ students in their group.

We always enjoy going to other schools before finals to help them study and we also helped many AVID classes study for their finals – including Newport and PV High.

This finals season went really well and we are proud of all the students!!

How to study for Science

December 6th, 2012

Biology can be a complex subject to grasp. Difficult terminology and concepts, typical of chemistry and physics, partnered with vast and often times redundant biophysical processes make General Biology, AP Biology and SAT Biology a hotbed of tutoring activity. Relating specific concepts within daily notes to the seemingly endless volumes of information in Bio texts is paramount to success in the classroom and on standardized tests.

Developing teaching and testing strategies that work is our passion. Our tutors formulate a step by step approach to address problem areas within the subject matter. Our tutors focus on relating in-class information to everyday case studies and experiences to help students identify with the subject matter. We feel that resolving conceptual errors and becoming versed in basic biological processes is the first step to success in Biology. Using advanced placement tests, practice SAT’s and in-house report cards, we are able to assess, in real-time, the progress our students are making.

During our one-on-one sessions, we provide a tailored experience that partners with the pupils own personal study strategy. We provide a wide range of study materials: Texts, workbooks, flashcards, SAT Prep, SAT Tests and online materials are all resources we utilize in order to help students gain a better understanding of the subject matter. Students are also paired with extremely capable and knowledgeable tutors who are familiar and have a background in subjects such as Biology, Chemistry, and Physics. We do our very best to deliver the most advantageous tutoring session for each individual student.  Working with a tutor is much like working with a personal trainer:  we are here to make your “work out time” more efficient so your results are better and come faster.  We are not here to do their work for them, but to help them make the most of what little time they have!

Hut 2 >> Hut 1

October 31st, 2012

For those of you who don’t speak math, this title translates to Study Hut Redondo Beach – located in the Riviera Village and affectionately known as Hut 2 – being much, much better than Study Hut Manhattan Beach (Hut 1). We at Hut 2 felt a recent blog post from Hut 1 warranted a quick, elegant rebuttal in the form of a blog post of our own. Of course this will come in a proper list of exactly why Hut 2 is undeniably much, much greater than Hut 1.

  1. Hut 2 may be smaller, but our reach extends far beyond that of Hut 1! Our extensive list of schools in the south bay we serve include: Alta Vista, Jefferson, Adams, Birney, Parras, Redondo High, Beryl Heights, Riviera Hall, Riviera Lutheran, Dapplegray, Miraleste, Rolling Hills Prep, PV High, PVIS, Peninsula High, Ridgecrest, Chadwick, Bishop Montgomery, Calle Mayor, Richardson, South High, West High, North High, and San Pedro High.
  2. With that many schools, it is natural that we tutor every subject imaginable. Whether it is math, English, science (i.e. biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, etc.), history, reading, writing or foreign languages, we most certainly have a tutor available to suit your needs!
  3. The claim that Hut 1 offers more attention to its students than Hut 2 hurts us deeply.  Anyone who has been tutored at Hut 2 knows how flexible we are with our scheduling. We accept same day appointments and moving appointments with ease because we understand the needs of our busy students.
  4. The manager competition is no contest, especially since we have two! Justin and Tara keep Hut 2 running smoothly regardless of the chaos caused by finals, the SAT or college applications!
  5. The plain fact over here is that we are cool. Rather than a copycat younger brother, Hut 2 is more of an example of where the apprentice has far surpassed the master.

We will concede the point made by Hut 1 that both huts are actually great. What we should really be watching out for together are the El Segundo and Newport Study Huts that look to usurp us from our tutoring thrones!