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!

Manhattan Beach Middle School Scholar Quiz

May 21st, 2013

The Manhattan Beach Middle School Scholar Quiz starts tomorrow and we are so excited to be able to help volunteer throughout the next few days to make the scholar quiz the best it can   be!!

Louise DuMont is the Volunteer Coordinator for the MBMS Scholar Quiz and we are excited to be working along side her! 

Our jobs are listed below:

Rob  – Reader
Sean – Reader
Sam – Reader
Nicole – Flag Judge
Rhiannon – Flag Judge
Kristen – Scorekeeper
Rita – Scorekeeper
Ashley – Scorekeeper
Mason – Scorekeeper
Andrea – Scorekeeper
Jeff – Alternate
Andrew – Alternate

THE COMPETITION:

 The preliminary rounds will be held May 22-24, continuing May 28 – 31 during lunch (12:30 – 1:05 pm) in various classrooms at MBMS.  The first day, May 22nd, runs a bit longer (12:30-1:20 pm) because two rounds of the competition occur that day. The Finals are scheduled for 1:15 pm on Friday, May 31 in the MBMS MPR.

 On our assigned volunteer days, we will sign in at the Volunteer Check-in Table at the front entrance to MBMS no later than 12:00 noon.  A brief volunteer meeting will be held each day after sign in.  The competition begins at 12:30 p.m. sharp!

 Scholar Quiz is a single-elimination event.  Only the winning team from each preliminary match will move on.  This means that at the end of every round, only half the teams advance.   Due to the number of teams competing, two matches will be played in each room on the first day of competition.

 THE QUESTIONS:

 Questions for the competition are taken from the areas of Math, Science, Literature, Grammar, Social Studies, Geography, the Arts, Sports, and Popular Culture.

 Each round of the competition is divided into two parts by a 1-2 minute half-time.

 Three types of questions will be asked — Toss-Up, Bonus and Lightning Round:

 1)Toss-Up Questions:  Both teams have 5 seconds, after the reading of the Toss-Up question is completed, to answer.  For Math questions, 10 seconds are given.  With Toss-Up questions, if the first team to answer does so incorrectly, the second team is given an opportunity to answer immediately.  The question is not re-read for the second team, nor is an additional 5 seconds given to answer.

 2) Four-Part Bonus Questions:  ONLY the team which correctly answered the preceding Toss-Up question may answer this question.  Teams have 20 seconds to confer before the Team Captain must immediately provide all four answers.

3)Lightning-Round Questions:   Both teams have 1–2 seconds to answer these 10 rapidly-delivered, theme-related questions.  With Lightning Round questions ONLY, if the first team to answer does so incorrectly, 5 points are deducted from that team’s score AND the second team is NOT given an opportunity to answer.

 ANSWERING THE QUESTIONS:

 Players will signal they are ready to answer Toss-Up and Lightning Round questions by raising their flags.  The first person to raise his/her flag receives the first opportunity to answer.

 If a flag is raised and a team is called upon to answer BEFORE the reading of a question is complete, the question will not be finished being read and the team must answer immediately.  If the answer is incorrect, the reading of the Toss-Up question will be completed for the second team.

 SCORING:

·   Toss-Up Questions:  5 points each.

·   Bonus Questions:  divided into 4 parts, each worth 5 points, for a maximum of 20 points.

·   Lightning Round Questions:  5 points if answered correctly.  However, 5 points are deducted for an incorrect answer.

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!!!

How to conquer the ROK

May 24th, 2012

Studying for any test all begins with organization. Compiling all your notes, classwork, homework, quizzes, etc into one concise organized study guide is a great way to start! You want to make sure to keep everything as tidy and ready to find as possible in a logical order in your notebook. Then when it comes time to start studying you won’t have to freak out! Pull all the vital information from all your resources and compile them into your study guide. Keep this as neat as possible as well and in a logical order. Outline form works great, separating material into separate sections in each chapter. Make flashcards for all important terms, people, dates an other key facts and review daily!

Preparation is also key. Make sure to start preparing at least 2 weeks before the test. Even studying for half an hour each day will help you be prepared by test day. Make flashcards each week and review your notes each day. As the test gets closer and closer get a game plan together of when, how long and what you will study each day. For example, what sections you will take notes on, create a part of your study guide for, and make flashcards. Never wait until a day or two before the test to start your reviewing and studying! Cramming will not be effective and will leave your brain overwhelmed.

Studying in groups by quizzing each other is also very effective. Once everyone has a good grasp on the material, get together with a few friends and quiz each other on the info. This will get your brain thinking in different ways and really test to see if you know the information. Anything you are rusty on, go back to the book and review the concepts, take notes, and answer the question you missed. Review, review, review in an organized fashion, make study guides, and prepare early! You will be in a spot to conquer the Rucker Rok!

Learning to Work to One’s Potential

April 30th, 2010

Yesterday was a busy Thursday. In fact, every school week there is a busy Thursday, whether you come to Study Hut Tutoring or not. With tests and quizzes, homework and projects, six classes of papers going in and out of the backpack everyday and all your friends jammed into one classroom, the task of managing a workload is impossible. Am I right? Let us take a quick look of how this impossible situation appears when our 8th grader Corey sits down for his tutoring hour. Corey is a very sharp student who is able to breeze through his pre-algebra assignments. He is very capable in other areas too. He is maintaining a strong grade in social studies, however, his grades dont reflect his intelligence.

So what is the matter? What do we do? How can we bump up these “C” grades up if Corey doesn’t need help with the actual subject matter? Lucky for Corey, the Study Hut knows exactly what to do. After speaking with his mom, I know she is frustrated with Corey’s sluggish performance around the house. So now Corey is at Study Hut, sitting down with me. The first thing I do is look at his daily planner. It is a bad sign when the whole thing is blank. The planner is the tool that fosters accountability, so if the planner is blank, Corey isn’t even accountable with himself, let alone with parents, teachers, and his tutor. The next step is manually going through the backpack. This is crucial to set the record straight and explain the reasoning and utility of behind using the daily planner.

After all, why do something if it doesn’t serve a greater purpose, save time, or help in the short term and in the long term. Young students are no different. You would never do a lot of things the right way if there was no direct or indirect benefit. After digging through every subject and organizing the folder, we see that there is a pile of old, completed work that can go into a folder and can be stashed away at home in the closet. The other pile was larger than I would like. This pile had a ton of incomplete work. Our plan from here on out at home everyday and at tutoring is as follows:

1)Write in the planner for every subject, during each class period, every week.

2) take notes each class period, everyday

3) make a list prior to tutoring of what we will be working on at Study Hut, and what will still have to be done at home.

4) Make one study tool (flashcards, outline, study guide, practice test) for each class each week.

5) show all of this to the tutor to remain accountable during bi-weekly tutoring sessions.

These simple tasks will, and have already started to, pull grades up, increase accountability, and lead to domination.