Chemistry Tutoring

March 5th, 2015

Chemistry can be very difficult. Students have so many things to memorize: rules for naming compounds, charges for different elements on the periodic table, whether or not a solute and solvent will form a precipitate. All this information can quickly become overwhelming for students, especially as the year progresses and concepts build upon one another. It is helpful for students to go over chemistry outside of class with a tutor to review concepts the teacher may not have explained thoroughly enough.

Chemistry tutoring is especially helpful when covering more difficult and complex topics. Jason worked with his student, who had fallen behind in chemistry class and was struggling to catch up. They started with the basics: families in the periodic table, elemental charges, ionic vs. covalent bonds. These building blocks helped the student begin to understand the higher-level concepts. It was no longer a mystery why certain compounds formed and other elements could not combine, or why an anion was formed instead of a cation. Now that what elements came together to form compounds was no longer a mystery, it was time to move on to nomenclature. Together, Jason and his student went through all the rules for naming different kinds of compounds. There are different rules for ionic and covalent compounds. They also reviewed how to tell which version of certain metals formed, and how to tell when to use an –ic or –ous ending. All the extra review really helped and Jason’s student was able to bring his grade up twenty percent!

Enrichment

January 27th, 2015

A lot of younger students may not need as much regular help with homework and assignments as high school students, but enrichment can be just as important. Enrichment helps students solidify the concepts that they learned in class. It also helps them get ahead of their classmates so they are more prepared for the next step.

 

Tutors will always go over any of the current homework the student has by going through problems that they have not solved with them and checking the student’s work on problems they have already finished. Reviewing the material makes sure that the student has a full grasp on the concepts that they are expected to know in class. Next, they try more difficult problems that take their concepts to the next level. Doing more challenging practice problems boosts student’s confidence and makes the problems they have been doing in class seem like a piece of cake.

 

Many students also work ahead with their tutors. This is especially helpful for student’s whose learning styles do not mesh with the teaching style of their teacher at school. They will go through the lesson and do example problems as well as a few practice problems. Learning the content before the material is presented in class gives students the confidence they need to participate in class discussions without being afraid of getting a wrong answer. It also makes sure that the student has someone one-on-one guiding them to make sure that they completely understand the key concepts they need to succeed.

Middle School Math

January 25th, 2015

Grace started coming to Study Hut because she was struggling in her math class. The way her teacher taught the was confusing, and she did not help the class try and keep up. There was very little time to learn all the new concepts that were being taught before the test. The homework did not help either because the instructions were vague and there were very few problems covering each topic that had been covered in class.

 

Grace began coming to Study Hut twice a week to work on math close to the end of the semester. She worked with her tutors Jason and Charlsey on the homework that had been assigned that night as well as the classwork she did not understand. Her tutors made sure to go through each California Common Core Standard with her. On the math learning targets that she did not do well on, the tutors made sure to review and teach her the topic. Then they did numerous practice problems together, until Grace felt comfortable doing the work on her own on higher level of difficulty problems.

 

She was worried because she thought that she would not have enough time to bring her grade up before the end of the semester. She made sure to bring in her study guide each week that she had a big test. With all of her hard work, Grace was able to raise her low D all the way to a B before the end of her semester!

Study Hut SAT Success

January 8th, 2015

Emily came in to Study Hut looking to raise her SAT score.  She had done a few SAT prep sessions before, but not consistently and was not happy with her current SAT score.  She knew that she could do better.   We created a custom plan of action for Emily so that she would be completely prepared before her next SAT.

 

She started to come in once to twice per week.  During her sessions, we would go through each concept on the test and make sure that it made total sense before moving on to the next one.  We also went over the best SAT strategies so that she could beat the test, and not be tricked by any trap answers to questions that she knew the answers to.  Between sessions, she had homework assignments reviewing the material that she had just learned, as well as weekly quizzes to not only test her knowledge, but to get her familiar with using the SAT strategies in action.  After we had covered all the material that would be on the test, we started doing practice test after practice test after practice test.  These were timed and without help, just like on the real SAT.  She got progressively better with each test that we ran through.  Finally, she took her final SAT and the results were amazing! She took the test and scored above a 1900.  She was much more confident with her score going into the college application process and cannot wait to hear back from all her schools!

Best Ways to Prepare for a Language Test

November 10th, 2014

Foreign language classes never fail to be a little more difficult than all of a student’s other classes, especially once they have advanced past the first year. Learning a language is a bit different from other subjects though, and requires some extra effort and patience to truly master it.

 

First, master your conjugations. Conjugating verbs is one of the first things you learn in a language, and that’s because you are going to use it in every single thing that you do. If you know that certain verbs are going to be on an upcoming test, make sure that you know how to conjugate and correctly spell them for every form, especially if they are irregular verbs.

 

Know exactly what each tense is used for and how to use it. A lot of language tests will cover any new tenses you have learned in the class and when to use them over other tenses you have previously learned. If a tense just doesn’t make sense to you and your teacher can’t clear it up, see a tutor! They can walk you through exactly what each tense is used for and will explain it in a way that your teacher hasn’t.

 

Make sure you know the difference between masculine and feminine words. In some languages the gender of the object will affect its adjectives and how the verb in the sentence is spelled.   Some teachers will count each of these things for separate points, so make sure that you know them!

Graduation and Catalina

June 21st, 2012

To all of you Hutsters – congrats on another great year! We are all so, so proud of all of your efforts this year. Please enjoy a safe and responsible summer.

Sam, Justin, Taylor, Rob, and SP are headed to Catalina for some kayaking, snorkeling, fishing, and unwinding after another great year for the Hut. Thank you all for your love and support as we powered through another awesome year of academics in the South Bay.

Great tutoring from local tutors

June 13th, 2011

Here at Study Hut, we’re more than just good tutors: we pride ourselves on being good human beings! After all, the same qualities that make a good teacher–passion, care, dedication, responsibility–also make a good person. That’s why I thought it was perfectly fitting that Study Hut participated in and had a team at last Saturday’s Relay for Life event in Manhattan Beach.

It was truly impressive to see my coworkers stay late and long after work in order to plan out team activities, and even more admirable to see them put in all the extra hours needed to fundraise for the American Cancer Society. After a long day of leading SAT prep, correcting Chemistry and Trig problems, and editing students’ essays, a box of whole grain crackers and a jar of natural peanut butter practically beg you to their side; however, my fellow tutors met up at 10 PM to figure out how we could raise money for such a worthy cause, and then took their usual day off to put on a car wash at Mira Costa High School. I was so proud of them for working to make a difference!

Because here at Study Hut, we are well-versed in the science of cancer: we pride ourselves on knowing and teaching biology, AP Chemistry, psychology, and anatomy. But we cannot know or explain the actual experience of having cancer. Instead, we can come together to support our community, whether in Manhattan Beach, the greater Southbay, or the nation as a whole, of cancer survivors and help fund research that will ease or prevent future suffering. I’m glad Study Hut got the chance to prove that it doesn’t just have the best tutors–it has the best people!

Tutoring for the Youngsters

February 28th, 2011

Young children are often overlooked when it comes to the tutoring industry. At the high school level, parents work hard to motivate and challenge their children academically. They pressure their child to work hard and get good grades at the hopes of the acceptance into a prestigious and well renowned school. Why not start at a young age?

Learning good study habits is imperative to the success of a student; not only in the school setting, but outside as well. Children need to learn study skills, reading skills, and good work ethic from the beginning. In the primary grades, students’ brains are developing at such a rapid rate that this time period proves to be the most crucial in a student’s life. By setting that foundation, the student will have a more transparent view of how to be an outstanding scholar. At study hut, we provide tutoring to all ages. In the younger grades, a student’s academics are primarily focused on literacy. We cater to children by assisting them with fluency, comprehension, and accuracy. The extra practice allows them to feel more confident and motivated in the classroom which produces overall better grades. Needless to say, extra tutoring for young students in the primary grades is extremely beneficial and should not be dismissed.

“A-ha!” Moments

February 17th, 2011

One of the most gratifying things about being a tutor at the Study Hut is when students have an “a-ha!” moment. We’ve all had a few of these; when nothing seems to be making sense and then all of a sudden, everything clicks. It’s a great feeling and one I personally enjoy seeing in our hut students.
Mason is a student at Palos Verdes High School and doesn’t particularly enjoy writing essays. He came in one day with an assignment to write about someone who has influenced his life in a positive way. Mason had a lot of great stories about his football coach but couldn’t figure out how to organize all of this overwhelming information into a structured essay. Mason asked, “Why do I have to organize this? It takes away from the fun of writing my story.” When I told him that an essay is a way of convincing the reader of something you believe in, everything clicked. “Ohhh I can totally convince you.” Mason said with a big grin. After I told Mason to tell me why his coach motivates him, not only was Mason listing positive attributes about his coach, but he was also giving me descriptive reasons and examples that helped support his argument.
After he told me everything, we got it down on paper in an outline format. Mason expressed that outlining the essay actually wasn’t as hard as he originally thought. He also even thought it was cool that he was able to write an essay about something that was important in his life.
Whether it’s writing essays, studying for chemistry or working out A.P. calculus problems, students are bound to have many “a-ha!” moments while working with tutors at the Study Hut.

Massive Finals Prep at West High!

February 10th, 2011

What began as a modest, experimental finals-season gesture became one of the busiest and most auspicious events that the Study Hut has ever participated in. Early in January, the Hut got in touch with Mary Lou Cordaro, who works with the library at West High School. The Hut volunteered its services for any West students ambitious enough to sign up for extra tutoring on the Friday and Saturday (January 21 and 22) before exams. A few tutors from each of the Hut’s branches signed up to work at “stations” according to subject, which students could move among during the three hours per day that we would be there. We expected a slight crowd, an atmosphere perhaps even casual (or as casual as possible with finals looming ahead). But Mary Lou, one of the most enthusiastic educators we have ever had the privilege to work with, tirelessly promoted the event until the roster had racked up the names of over one hundred students eager for all the help they could get their hands on.

Suddenly, it was all hands on deck. Subject stations were set up throughout the library’s spacious first floor. Textbooks were handed out. The library doors opened like floodgates, and the place was teeming with students. All grades were represented, and for three hours each day the students moved among the tables and classrooms to garner whatever study tips they could. To those students who stayed long, paid attention, and were reluctant to leave even at the two-minute warning, tutors passed out vouchers for free hours of final exam tutoring. Thanks to the students, tutors, and of course, Mary Lou, those were two of the most fruitful days in Hut history. After it was over, many students redeemed their vouchers before their exams, and several of them have begun to stay on for regular help.

Before January 21, while we had been looking forward to the event, we had not expected such bewildering success. It was a great educational experience, not only for the students, but also for the tutors, many of whom had never worked with such large groups before. And it was fun, to boot! As the Hut plans for its future, we are looking forward to many more tutoring opportunities like it. Thank you to the Mary Lou, the tutors, and the students who made this first one so great!