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.

 

Top Ten A-Student Habits

April 3rd, 2014

Top Ten A-Student Habits

Staying Organized: One of the most important things a student of any age can do to stay on top of their academic game is to keep all necessary materials and information for every class in a place they’ll always find it. This definitely includes keeping and up-to-date and thorough weekly planner. How can anyone prepare for a test without knowing when it is scheduled?

Notecards

In-class Notes:

Proactive Studying: Studying is so much harder the night before the test. By doing just a bit of studying after a new lesson, the information will be much easier to remember when the time comes to prove you know it. Cramming for tests at the last minute only hurts your chances of actually retaining the material.

Improving Test-Taking Skills: Test-taking is a skill. In fact, it’s an entirely learned skill. You were not born knowing how to fill out a Scantron. In this way, any student who struggles on tests can develop the skills to ensure that their best efforts are reflected in their grades. Simple things like recreating test-taking environments while studying and working with practice tests and quizzes can improve scores by miles!

Eliminating Careless Errors: Perhaps the most common point deduction of all, small mental errors can ruin an otherwise heroic effort. This is essential with subjects like math, where one small mistake can turn into a whole page of mistakes. The best way to eliminate mental errors is to set aside time at the end of a test or quiz to double and triple-check their work. Everyone makes mistakes, but the key is to fix them before turning in your work.

Doing All Homework: This seems terribly obvious, but many students fall victim to leaving free points on the table in every class. Anything that yields credit and points for your student should at the very least be attempted. Of course there are extenuating circumstances, but when a simple worksheet can be the difference between an A and a B, it becomes crucial to cumulative grades.

Paying Attention to the Teacher: This is something that sounds obvious, but there’s a bit more to it. No two teachers are the same, and this can present a challenge in preparing in the most effective ways for any given assignment or tests. The all-star student should always be focused on the tendencies of their instructor. If your math teacher favors word problems on tests, you can focus the majority of your studying on those.

 

Confidence:

Health:

Applying to Colleges

April 2nd, 2014

As you begin to think about applying to college, you need to think of different ways to diversify yourself and make your application stand out. You are more than a G.P.A. and an SAT score! How can you challenge yourself to be different? One of the best ways to do so is to engage in meaningful and interesting extra-curricular activities. If chosen correctly, you can greatly improve your application and help yourself land a spot in college. So what types of activities do schools like to see? Below is a list of ten EC’s that may just help you be a slightly more competitive applicant than your friends. Below, I have compiled a list of both general and specific activities. Whatever you decide to do, try to take a leadership role and stay very committed to your role. By no means should your list be limited to ours, nor should you feel obligated to have every activity on your list of experiences. Rather, find something that you love, stick with it consistently, and make a positive impact. The following are organized in NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

 

· Sports: Colleges love seeing students engaged in sports. It shows that you are able to step away from your studies and do something completely different. It shows that you are well-rounded and have abilities in addition to your academic ones. Work hard and try to score a leadership position (such as captain of your team). This shows leadership and good work ethic.

· Student Government: This shows colleges that you can communicate with your fellow-classmates and teachers for things that are important to the greater good. It illustrates leadership, ability to prioritize, and the ability to determine what is important. If you were elected, this also shows that you are able to appeal to your classmates and convince them of your abilities to lead.

· Volunteer for the Underserved (Community Service): This is a very broad topic. This can incorporate anything from providing meals for the homeless to offering medical care to citizens of third-world countries. Whatever you choose to do, make this a priority because it shows that you are a compassionate individual motivated to provide aid to those in dire need.

· Environmental/Animal Volunteering: Help out your local green club or volunteer at the animal shelter. It shows that you spend your extra time helping to make things better than they were before.

· Musical Activities: Are you a musician? Do you have a passion for audible beauty? Find a way to develop this interest. Join a band. Volunteer at a clinic that provides music therapy. Enter in music competitions and win awards so that you show that you have a passion that is apart of you. Colleges like to see passionate individuals involved in these types of things.

· Writing: If you are a writer, do something that requires this skill. Write music, poetry, articles for your school’s newspaper, short stories… Whatever you want! Writing is an invaluable communication skill that colleges love in an applicant. If you can find a club or put your writing in any type of publication (big or small), this will make you stand out.

· Start a Club: If you are interested in anything (hopefully you are interested in something), start an on-campus club. If a club for this interest already exists, come up with another club that provides something different. It brings like-minded people together and engages them in something they love to do. Just as importantly, it shows great leadership and initiative in you as a founder and leader of a club.

· Get a Job: Your parents aren’t the only ones telling you to get a job. Colleges respect the student who works. This is probably one of the less important EC’s on this list. However, it does show that you take responsibility seriously and that you have some degree of understanding of money.

· Learn a Language: Your Spanish teacher may care about the different between por and para. However, colleges LOVE multi-lingual students. Get involved in a mult-cultural club and learn how to speak a different language. It shows that you are more worldly and diverse. It also helps you communicate with a greater number of people.

· Follow your Passion: If you enjoy art, enroll in painting classes and stick with it. Paint as many pictures as you can. If you enjoy science, enroll in a summer research program at a university. This shows that you have interests and that you take initiative in your life and in making yourself a better, well-rounded person.

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.