Summer Tutoring for Elementary Students

June 17th, 2014

Summer Tutoring for Elementary Students

Summer tutoring at the Study Hut is a great idea for any elementary aged student. Many people assume that tutoring is only for struggling students who need remediation. While tutoring is great for these students and will help them get back on their feet grade-wise, tutoring is also beneficial for students who are doing great in class, especially over the summer. The summer vacation is three months long, a very long time to have to remember everything you learned last year. And most teachers like to jump right in when class starts, as they have enough material to cover in a year without including weeks of review. The new Common Core standards emphasize coherence in mathematics, so students need to be prepared to build on the previous year’s learning. Here is the link for more info:

http://www.corestandards.org/other-resources/key-shifts-in-mathematics/

So, how do you make sure you are ready for these new standards? Practice! Tutoring is the perfect way to keep your brain active over the summer. Just like you have to work out to keep your muscles in shape, you have to keep your brain working to keep it in “school shape”. Tutoring will keep your study skills sharp and have you ready to go as soon as class starts. No more wasting the first week of school trying to switch your brain back into “school mode.” Was there a subject last year you kind of learned, but were never clear on? Maybe something that is going to make another appearance this year? (Long division? Fractions?) Tutoring will clear that up without the added stress of homework and other subjects and tests. Confidence is a key to success in school, and confidence comes from practice. With a little bit of tutoring in the off months, the next year will be a breeze.

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.

Top 10 Reasons The New SAT Will Still Be Tough

March 26th, 2014
Top 10 Reasons The New SAT Will Still Be Tough

The College Board recently announced that the 2016 SAT will have several important changes. While on the surface some of these changes may seem to make the test “easier,” here are some reasons why you’ll still need to practice, practice, practice.

10. You may have heard that the College Board is changing the SAT to get rid of obscure “SAT words” and thought that meant you could throw away all your flash cards. Think again! There’s no magic list of words that won’t be tested, and they will still test on words that will come up repeatedly in college work, such as “empirical,” or “synthesis.”

9. Along the same lines, each SAT will feature historical documents for your analysis, such as letters by Martin Luther King Jr. and the Declaration of Independence. Do you know what “Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes'” means? That’s a direct quote from the Declaration of Independence, which also features vocabulary such as “endowed,” “usurpations,” and “arbitrary.”

8. The penalty for wrong answers may be gone, but you’ll still need to focus and manage your time wisely to get as many questions right as you can.

7. The days of finding the answer for a reading comp passage right in the text are potentially gone. Instead, questions will feature graphs and additional information you’ll need to use to analyze an issue and come to a conclusion for your answer.

6. There will be more diverse reading passages from different subjects, including more of a focus on science, that are designed to reflect college-level work.

5. The math section will involve multiple steps to find a solution, and the questions will be presented in real world contexts. Get ready for a whole lot of word problem practice!

4. The College Board announcement stated that the new exam will focus on three main areas in the math section: Problem Solving/Data Analysis, Passport to Advanced Math, and the Heart of Algebra. If that doesn’t sound very straightforward, you’re probably right! The test preparers want to see your familiarity with subjects such as ratios, percentages, proportions, linear equations and systems, and complex equations.

3. The Writing portion has been replaced by the new Essay section, which is designed to mimic a college-level writing assignment. You’ll need to analyze the text, come up with an argument, and support with evidence from the passage using clear, persuasive sentences. The essay is currently optional, but some schools may require it.

2. On the bright side, one change that won’t make the exam harder in and of itself is that it is now offered digitally as well as on paper. However, even if you’re more comfortable taking an exam on your computer, you’ll have to make the judgment call of whether it’s worth the risk of tech issues.

1. It’s still the SAT! It’s a 4+ hour long exam, with math problems, reading comprehension, ands writing that is a large part of your college application process. None of the new changes change the fact that you’ll need to work hard and practice to get your best score.