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.

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.

A proud tutor story!

May 1st, 2013

I tutor a girl who is in the 7th grade and she has a twin sister – both in the same classes. These 2 girls have been struggling in all their classes and have not been receiving the best grades (though as a tutor I knew they could do much better).

We bought the girls planners – so that they could get organized and write all their assignments down instead of using only their IPAD. We really want to help them get their grades up before the end of the year – and I feel like it can happen! I tutor one of the twins and another tutor helps her sister.

For many students, it’s only one or two classes they are focusing on – but these girls need help in all their classes – English, Spanish, Science, Social Studies, and Math.

I am very well versed in Spanish and math – my two best subjects – and not so well in English, Social Studies, and Science – but it’s nice to tutor these subjects – not only to help my student but also to reteach myself things that I have forgotten about over the years.

So together, my student and I have made a good plan and we are on the same page – with preparing ahead – doing flashcards, section outlines, and section reviews right when she finds out she has a test.

Last week we knew she had a Science test – so we prepared very early instead of her waiting until the last minute and not studying and also not telling me she had a test.

We worked on the Cardiovascular system and studied all about the heart, veins, lungs, capillaries, arteries, and many other interesting subjects. 

Long story short – she came in today and told me she got a 91% on her test and her sister got an 83%. She told me she wanted to scream with excitement when she got her test. Today, we then studied for her Social Studies test for Thursday and she really wants to get another good grade!!!

Going away to college

April 11th, 2013

Yesterday, our RB Office Manager had a meeting with a student named Claire and her dad Jeff!! She is a Junior in High School and about to be a senior… and JUST now decided that she wanted to take the ACT.

The girl does well in Science and scored a 27 on her ACT Diagnostic test. Claire told our RB Office Manager that she had taken the SATS but about a year and a half ago, so not very recently.

The problem the student had was that she has been so focused on her grades and pin pointing exactly what she wants to major in, instead of focusing on what school she wanted to go or the area she want to live in.

Claire was focused more on her future and where her major was going to take her, that she did not stop to think about what location she wanted to go to college at, or the area she wanted to surround her self by.

When going to college, you have to think about not only what school you want to go, but also the area you want to live in. From LA to New York, there are so many schools across the United States, and each city is so different and unique, and each offer different things.

Make sure to spend time at the colleges of your choice, because it’s not only about the education, the classes, and the majors a school may offer, but the city it’s it or the surrounding area can also make a huge impact on your college life in either a positive or negative way.

College can last anywhere from 3 – 6 or more years and you want to make sure you choose a college where you are going to get a great education, but you have to make sure you can feel at home and feel safe and secure in the area that you want to live in.

Free Tutoring at MBMS on Wednesday Mornings!

March 5th, 2013

Every Wednesday at 8 a.m. – Study Hut Co-Owner SP, MB Officer Manager Sam, and Nicole go to Manhattan Beach Middle School to tutor students for an hour for free during the school’s late start. They have been going to the Manhattan Beach Middle School since the middle of January and each week more students attend the one hour free tutor hour. The tutoring takes place in Mr. Lub’s Classroom (Room 103). One of the Study Hut tutors made a sign to put at the middle school on Wednesday mornings letting students know where the tutoring will take place so hopefully each week more students will attend.

We started the first week with a small turn out, but each week a few more students show up. This past week they had 15 students – the most students they’ve had yet. The tutors bring doughnuts with them – which all the students look forward to. Along with the tutors, the school supplies a cart of books so you can work on any subject you need. Many of the same students come consistently every week, allowing the tutors to get to know the students on a more personal basis.

The tutors have had students come in for help in every subject including but not limited to Spanish, English, Math, Reading, and Science. The tutors have worked on many assignments with students including book reports, homework, studying for tests, organizational skills, arranging classes for High School, and many others. Usually during the hour, a few students work on the same assignments which makes it easier to  help more students at one time.

Along with the tutors, MBMS also sends in classroom aids to help during the hour and make sure that everything is running smoothly.

Again, the tutoring takes place in Mr. Lubs Room (103) from 8 – 9 a.m. during the late start hour! We hope to see you there!

 

 

Things to Keep in Mind for the New Semester

February 5th, 2013

Finals are Over!  Some Things to Keep in Mind for the New Semester!

We here at the Hut are proud of all of our students for conquering the recent wave of finals. It was a wild week for all of us, but we made it!

While all of you students have earned the right to relax a bit, we wanted to remind you of the academic opportunities a fresh semester brings about. Remember that time you had to scramble before a final exam to land that awesome grade you wanted? With your grades resetting, now is the perfect time to make your next finals a breeze. A clean slate means you can quickly grab and hang on to that ‘A’ you want. The work at the beginning of the semester is much easier than at the end. If you keep yourself diligent with homework and early assignments, you’ll have a much easier time come finals. Just think: wouldn’t it be nice to go into your math final knowing that the grade you get on it couldn’t drop you to a ‘B’ even if you lit it on fire?

The passing of finals also offers us the opportunity to assess the strengths and weaknesses we had the semester before. Even if you didn’t get that grade you wanted in that tough class, you’ll be able to learn from the experience. Now, you can adjust your study habits to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

All of this is the perfect opportunity to make sure that you keep those stress levels low by the time finals pop back around. It’s about always learning, even from our shortcomings. As always, we’re here to help.

 

 

Is Freshman Year important?

January 15th, 2013

We are halfway through another school year, and for some of you that means that High school is right around the corner. Since there are 4 years of High School, many students don’t ever think that your Freshman year really is an important year… so I am here to tell you that freshman year really is an important year !! 

Freshman year is a new start for a lot of students…new school, new friends, new teachers/classes.. and every student wants to make a good first impression. For most students, going to a new school can be a big adjustment. Even if you have older brothers or sisters, naturally students will want to pave their own path and create their own reputation. Freshman year will be a chance to find new friends, join interesting extracurricular activities, and adapt to new teachers and their different teaching strategies.

New School: What you decide to do in High School will impact your future… and if you start off on the right track, hopefully your future will turn out bright.
When applying to colleges, they look for not only good grades but also consistency with sports, clubs, and organizations… so when you’re a Freshman, you should try to join either a club or extracurricular that you are passionate about and that you will stick with throughout your 4 years of High School.

New Friends: Usually when you attend High School you will be mixed with new people which is always fun and exciting. These new students could turn out to become some of your closest friends, and Freshman Year is a great way to break the ice and meet new people since you’re all going through the same experience.

New teachers/classes: In terms of new classes and teachers: each year, the learning curriculum will become more vigorous and the work load will become longer and more strenuous. The grades your receive your Freshman year are as important as the grades you receive the most of the years, though Sophomore and Junior year grades are weighted more on your GPA.

Learning to study for Finals will be new to all Freshman, since for most Freshman this will be their first time taking Final exams. Final exams are usually cumulative and there are good strategies to help you when taking the exams. Since grades are always important,  the study habits that you use or learn from others will hopefully improve over time and can help you not only through High School but college as well.

As you can see, Freshman year is very important and can make a good or bad impact on you, depending on your experience. Here’s to a great first year!

 

 

Do I need my daily planner?

January 10th, 2013

Do you need your daily planner? The answer to that is an easy one and the key point is organization.

Organization: The structure or arrangement of related or connected items.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A daily planner is always useful and can be a great way to keep organized depending on the type of person you are.

Having a daily planner can always come in use. Since daily planners are usually small, you can carry them in your backpack, a purse, or other small places.

Here are different ideas of things you can write down in your daily planner:

– Homework or assignments from class.

– Meetings or appointments you have scheduled: Dentist, doctor, tutoring, sports games or practices, meetings for an organization like band or a club, study groups, and so on.

– Phone numbers for friends and classmates – that way you can have a copy of their numbers in case you lose your cell phone. It is recommended that you have a study buddy for each class, that way you have someone to contact in case you miss a class or need information about something your teacher said.

– Your planner is also a great place to write down your class schedule.

– Notes that come up during the day. A planner is always handy so you can write things down and always have a piece of paper to write on. Some people use their planner to scribble down information that they don’t want to forget during the day… i.e: Song names, lyrics to songs, directions, plans you made with friends for after school or on the weekends, and other crucial information.

If you don’t want to use a planner, there is always the option of buying a desk calendar or one that you can hang on your wall. Being organized can be very helpful and make your day a lot more efficient.

Back to School Shopping

August 17th, 2012

As a kid, one of my favorite times of the year was when my parents would fork out money for me to go back to school shopping. I would go with my mom to pick out the newest styles. Requirements were new shoes, a new backpack, and at least three new outfits, one for each day of the first week of school. My brother and I would always want to wear our new shoes right away, but were forced to wait until the first day of school.

Along with the back to school shopping came orientation. Mira Costa has their orientation this week as well as Manhattan Beach Middle School. This was always exciting because the students got to see which teachers they had, and also,more importantly, which friends made it in the same class.

Now that I am no longer in school I see more of an importance on the preparation academically rather than the outfits and classes. Students are starting to trickle into The Manhattan Beach Study Hut to get their mind in gear and ready for the whirl wind to begin. Most students need refreshers on math and Spanish. It is extremely important for the seventh graders to come in and review their foreign language. Spanish, French, Latin, and even Chinese are subjects the middle school offers. These are such new topics to the students that they often forget how to conjugate a verb. However, after a simple refresher they are ready for the school year. Moral of the story, don’t forget about tutoring when you are shopping for back to school. The Hut is open for appointments!

AP Tests

April 19th, 2012

With AP tests just around a corner, I’m sure a lot of you are just now realizing what that whole last year of extra long AP homework assignments and tests were for. The AP class is meant to mimic the difficulty of a college course, and as a high school student it is very important to do well in both the class, and the test. Why is it so important? Because if you do well it shows you are ready for the level of classes that you are going to encounter at the college you’re applying at. If you do poorly, it shows a lack of preparation to tackle such high difficulty courses. Passing the test also gives you a head start to your college credits, and at times can even save you from taking a class. So it is important that you go into this test as prepared as possible.

To help gauge your preparedness, we at the Study Hut have two days where you can take a free AP practice test of your choosing. These are actual College Board tests, so it’s as close to the real thing as you can get. Study up, and come by the Hut on Saturday 4/21 or 4/28, and the tests will be administered from 8am-11am. If you are interested in taking advantage of these practice tests, send a confirmation email of the date, and test you would like to take to Samantha@studyhut.com

Study your notes, and if you feel like the year has gone by and you’re just as lost as you were in the start, buy an AP Study Book, which are available at most bookstores. They contain all the information you need in a refined way, and also have practice tests with full explanations.

Study hard boys and girls, and prove to them you’re ready for college!