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!

10 Reasons to get a tutor

May 29th, 2014

1. During the school day, teachers’ attention is spread among many students. A tutor can create a targeted plan for your child’s specific needs.

 

2. Today, kids have increased access to technology, busy parents, and have extremely busy schedules, all of which can potentially distract them from their studies. Time with a tutor gives them the time to focus only on homework or studying.

 

3. Tutors have the time to explain a concept in several different ways, instead of having to move class along at a certain pace.

 

4. Tutoring can also teach study skills, which can then be applied to what’s going on in school.

 

5. Even for students who are doing well in school, tutoring can provide a competitive edge to do even better.

 

6. Summer tutoring can prepare students for upcoming difficult subjects, such as algebra, or reinforce what was already learned that year so September isn’t spent playing catch-up.

 

7. For high school students, individual or small group tutoring can be essential for APs and SAT subject tests.

 

8. For younger kids, tutoring can help boost standardized test scores.

 

9. A tutor can be a useful sounding board for an upcoming project, paper, or exam, and can help prevent the stress and frustration of leaving an assignment for the night before.

 

10. Whether it’s third grade math, high school chemistry, or middle school history, tutors have expertise in their subject and can make it more engaging and maybe even fun.

 

The Value of Academic Reinforcement

April 16th, 2014

The Value of Academic Reinforcement

 

In almost two full years of working at the Study Hut, I’ve been able to see just how important supplemental education (in many forms) is for today’s young students. It’s nuanced at times, but there are myriad ways that seemingly inconsequential aspects of learning can change everything. Some of these things are just natural aspects of putting college students and grads in a room together and telling them to talk about academics, but in my tenure here I’ve watched the company grow and I’ve grown as a tutor and a person along with it. A particular session comes to mind here, and not because of how unique it was, but because it was extremely typical.

 

One of my weekly students, who we’ll call John Conner, came to me earlier this year to study for a history final. We hadn’t worked much together on history to this point, and John needed to catch up on almost everything covered on this test–we had our work cut out for us.

 

The first thing he asked me was: “Wait, so do you have this all memorized?” It was an honest question, and legitimate. Intuitively speaking, one would probably need to know a lot about US History to prepare someone study for a final exam nearly from scratch, but because of the way we work at the Hut, the way the Hut taught me to teach, and the very nature of supplemental academia, the session wasn’t about what I knew. It was about what John needed to know. We spent that hour combing through the text and his in-class notes to piece together what we agreed were the areas of importance. We spent the time looking for the questions, not the answers.

 

What I mean by all of this is that knowing is never part of my job. It’s about finding out, whether that means learning the material along with the students or just learning about the students themselves. The achilles-heel of today’s schools is the inability of schools to teach on a more personal level with each student. Of course, it’s a numbers game and it would be impossible for even the greatest instructors to personally teach lessons to all of their kids. But that’s the point. Because we’re in a unique position to help bridge the gap between teacher and student, concept and practice, we can always provide an invaluable set of tools for students of all kinds.

 

My knee-jerk reaction to John’s opening question was to say, “No, but you will soon.” This, to me, was the job in a nutshell. We don’t have the answers to the test your student will take, but we might know where to look.

From iLead to AVID, Study Hut covers ground in the South Bay!

March 6th, 2014

From iLead to AVID, Study Hut covers ground in the South Bay!

Study Hut has had the privilege to extend our tutoring services to local high schools in the South Bay, including South High, Palos Verdes High School and Palos Verdes Peninsula High School. We are able to do this by orchestrating in-class programs like AVID (http://www.avid.org/) in the Palos Verdes Peninsula Unified School District and ILEAD through the Torrance Unified School District. In a typical AVID or ILEAD class, Study Hut will send a number of tutors (typically ranging from four to eight) who each specialize in variety of academic subjects. Our tutors then have the unique opportunity to break the class into smaller groups of students based on subject each student feels that he or she need the most help with.
Last Tuesday was an awesome day at both South High and Peninsula! We arrived at South High for ILEAD at 8am to offer additional tutoring on late start mornings. We then separated the students into a “Math and Science” classroom, and an “English, History and Foreign Language” classroom. Tori and I were put in charge of English, History and Languages room. After an hour of answering questions about everything from World War I and the differences between Preterite and Imperfect in Spanish, our manager Justin was nice enough to take us out to a quick breakfast to refuel before we headed up to PVPHS to tutor in AVID for their third and fourth periods.In AVID we like to take a more hands on approach by encouraging the students to break into groups and take turns writing their questions on the board. Their peers then use their notes and textbooks to help them solve their problem. In my English groups in AVID, we had some remarkable discussions about Animal Farm (my favorite) and determining Direct Objects vs. Predicate Nominatives.

Scholar Quiz 2013!! June 2nd @ the Manhattan Beach Country Club!

June 4th, 2013

Scholar Quiz 2013 – Blog part 1

We had a great turnout at our first ever Study Hut Foundation Parent/Teacher Scholar Quiz on Sunday June 2nd at the Manhattan Beach Country Club! 

We had 16 teams participate at our event, and the event lasted from 4pm until 8pm. The winning team’s name was WB and the Funky 3. 

The teams were parents and teachers from all the surrounding areas including Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach, and Hermosa Beach. Many teachers from the schools participated including: Palos Verdes, West High School, Manhattan Beach Middle School, and Mira Costa High School. 

The questions that were asked ranged from all different subjects, including English, History, Geography, Pop Culture, Math and many more! 

We had a silent auction as well which included restaurant certificates, jewelry, signed memorabilia from the Kings Hockey Team, cupcakes from Susie Cakes, and many more. 

Many local merchants donated silent auction iteams, including but not limited to wine, plants, hair appointments, free tutoring sessions, and music lessons. 

We also had raffle tickets that we sold ($5 for 1 or $20 for 5 tickets). The people who won, received a trip for 2 nights (air fare not included) – and they can pick from over 50 different destinations. 

We served Hors d’œuvres while the event was going on including but not limited too: Quiche and dumplings – and we also had a cash bar outside that overlooked the tennis courts. 

If you would like to donate to the Study Hut Foundation, you can log on to our website at StudyHutFoundation.org and click “Donate” 

As of right now we have 13 students that attend the Study Hut Foundation and next year we are hoping to bump it up to 50 students. We are seeing improvements already in their grades and have changed the way that the students view going to school. 

Thanks to all the teams that participated! Congrats to the winners! Thanks again to everyone that came out and supported our event! We really appreciate it!

Stay tuned for Part 2 and more pictures in the next blog! 

STAR Testing!

April 16th, 2013

Let us help your student put the “Star” in STAR Testing!!! 

Each spring, students in grades two through eleven take a STAR test. The STAR Program looks at how well schools and students are performing. Students take tests in math, reading, writing, science, and history. Teachers and parents can use test results to improve student learning.

The STAR Program includes four tests: the California Standards Tests, the California Modified Assessment, the California Alternate Performance Assessment, and the Standards-based Tests in Spanish.

The STAR Program for 2010–11 has four components:

  • California Alternate Performance Assessment (CAPA)—The CAPA is an alternate performance assessment to the CSTs in English-language arts (ELA), mathematics, and science. It is an individually administered assessment for pupils with significant cognitive disabilities who have an individualized education program (IEP).
  • California Modified Assessment (CMA)—The CMA is an alternate assessment to the CSTs in ELA, mathematics, and science for eligible pupils who have an IEP and meet the CMA eligibility criteria adopted by the SBE.
  • California Standards Tests (CST)—The CSTs are criterion-referenced tests that assess the California content standards in ELA, mathematics, science, and history-social science.
  • Standards-based Tests in Spanish (STS)—The STS are criterion-referenced tests aligned to the California content standards for reading/language arts and mathematics.

STAR Testing is just around the corner with test being given between April 17th and May 3rd, depending on your school.

STAR Testing is important because:

– Helps place kids in the appropriate class each year

– Used to appropriate funds in the district

– Can identify subject weaknesses in a student

– Colleges are starting to look at them to help determine admittance

– Some teachers give extra credit for doing well. 

We have access to past tests and can help your student prepare to do their best and knock it out of the park. 

Don’t wait… book your appointment today (7 days a week)! 

Contact samantha@studyhut.com or call 1-310-546-2408

Hollywood’s Magic Castle!!!

April 12th, 2013

This Sunday Hut 1 is going on a trip to the Magic Castle!!  The Magic Castle is the showplace for some of the greatest magicians from around the globe. We also take great pride in showcasing the magnificent building that houses the Magic Castle. Built in 1908, this storied mansion has watched Hollywood grow and change for over 100 years while never losing its original charm.

The Magic Castle is the private clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts, Inc, a very special organization devoted to the advancement of the ancient art of magic. The purpose of The Academy is to encourage and promote public interest in the art of magic with particular emphasis on preserving its history as an art form, entertainment medium, and hobby. Beginning with a charter membership of 150, the Academy has grown into a world-renowned fraternal organization with a membership of nearly 5,000.

Dinner is served at the Magic Castle in an atmosphere of Victorian elegance. Entreés range from simple but elegant pastas to lobster and Filet Mignon. The Castle’s menu also includes excellent seafood and vegetarian fare. Now enjoy fantastic food and magic with your family! The Castle is open Sat. and Sun. for brunch and offers three performances, Palace, Parlor, and Close-up. Invited guests welcome!

If you’re a magician, you just like magic or you would like to be able to entertain guests at a very exclusive private club in Hollywood, The Academy of Magical Arts has a membership category just for you!
If you have received a guest card from a member, you can find lots of information to help plan your visit, including the dress code.
The Academy of Magical Arts offers a basic magic class for adult beginners. This class can provide you with the skills you need to develop your own magical routines and prepare for a successful AMA Magician membership audition.
The Magic Castle features some of the finest award-winning magicians in the world with all new magic acts each week in our showrooms.

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!

Adelia’s Summer Enrichment

July 25th, 2012

This summer, as manager, I have been presented with the opportunity to actually tutor! Normally, the hustle and bustle of the Hut prevents me from my real passion, teaching. One of my regular and favorite students in here over the summer is Adelia. She has diligently come in twice a week throughout the summer to study Spanish and Geometry. I admire her confidence and motivation to get ahead of the game and become prepared for the classes she will endure in the fall.
Starting out with Spanish 5/6 in the fall she went ahead and bought the book that her high school, Mira Costa, uses so that I can start teaching her the material. Once fall comes she will be prepared with the vocabulary and will be strong with the grammar. Throughout the course of these few weeks she has already improved in both her retention of vocabulary and her ability to speak and comprehend the language. Last year, I tutored another student in Spanish in preparation for Spanish 2. He excelled in his Spanish class receiving a high B opposed to D+ he received the semester prior. A little elbow grease in the summer goes a long way when it comes to learning a language. I have the confidence that Adelia will be able to start and finish this year strong.
Similarly, math skills are just as important to maintain during the summer. Adelia already has a solid understanding of the primary concepts in Geometry and will have gone through the first few chapters of the Mira Costa Geometry book by the time summer has ended.
Most kids are resistant to summer tutoring and believe that it will take up their entire summer. Adelia, however, is extremely active. She owns a horse is Palos Verdes and rides him every day. She is extremely happy with her progress she has made this summer at Study Hut.
Not only can we provide enrichment for math and Spanish, but also French, English, reading comprehension, physics, history, biology, chemistry and whatever else, you name it, we have a tutor for it! Bring it on fall semester!

FInals

January 16th, 2012

Ah, final exams. That glorious time of year. (I’m just kidding; I’ve heard finals called many things, and “glorious” has never been one of them). They are daunting, difficult, and above all, important to your final grade. But the good new is that they CAN BE BEATEN! (Huzzah!) It all depends on HOW you bring the fight to them. Luckily, that’s kind of a specialty here in the Study Hut.

Now, it’s difficult to write a catch-all strategy that will help you study for ALL of your finals. Mainly because you’re going to be using completely different methods for completely different tests. You wouldn’t study for a geometry test the same way you’d study for history. HOWEVER, there are similarities. Number one (and this should be completely obvious, but you’d be amazed how many people don’t do it): Give yourself enough time. Finals are not like other tests. You cannot start studying for them a few days before, and expect to be all right. Ideally, you should have started studying for each test AT LEAST 2 weeks before the test date. Remember, these tests include everything you’re studying now, PLUS everything else you’ve studied in the semester. You need time to review concepts, do practice problems, plan essays, ask questions, etc.

Number two: Organization. The very first thing you should do, before even cracking open your text book, is set up a schedule for yourself. This may sound like a chore, but you would not believe how much pressure it takes off of you. It’s a lot less scary to look at a list of things you need to accomplish than it is to stare at 6 months of notes and not know where to start. For example, I’m working with a student who has to study for a History final, covering 6 chapters and about 400 years of history. SO, we set up a schedule that he’d study exactly one chapter per night for six days (not too hard to do). Since he started so early (see Tip 1), by the time he’s done with those six chapters, he’s going to have a full week left before his test. Now, he can use that week to go more in depth, bring problems to his teacher, and make himself more confident before the test. It’s a lot easier to study a huge amount of material if you break it up into small pieces, and have ample time to do so.

And number three: Confidence. Finals are stressful. We’ve all been there. Make sure that you get a full night’s sleep the night before. And (this is huge), don’t go nuts cramming 15 minutes before the test. By that point, you know everything you’re going to know. Give yourself that 15 minutes to decompress. Just close the book, and trust in the fact that you’ve put in the proper work. You’d be amazing what a difference it makes to go calmly into a test.

If you follow this tips (and of course, come see your friends at your local, neighborhood Study Hut), you’ll greatly increase your chances at doing well on your final exams. Good luck!