Back to school!!

September 3rd, 2014

Back to school!

It’s that time of year again! School bells are ringing and classes are officially back in session. Sharpen your pencils, change your calculator batteries and dust off your backpack. Check the shopping list from your teachers and fill in any gaps.  Some important things to remember:

-A planner! Arguably the most important thing you need for the year. A planner will keep you organized and ahead of the game all year, and take the stress out of trying to remember assignments and due dates.

-Highlighters. These are great for critical reading when you need to mark passages or important quotes, or for marking your answers in math

-Sticky Notes. Need to remember a page in a textbook? Mark a date in the planner? Make a to-do list? Remind yourself about anything? These will do the trick without damaging your books.

-Hole punch. Papers aren’t going to fit in your binder without one of these! Really useful if you hate your assignments flying out of your binder or getting crumpled in the bottom of a backpack.

-Colored pens. Using different colors to make notes or color coding your outlines and flashcards will keep you organized and help with recall later.

And most importantly, schedule your tutoring sessions! The Study Hut is gearing up for the school year, with some fresh new faces and a lot of new school supplies. Things are already getting crazy here, the first round of tests are coming up fast!  Whether you need an extra push with schoolwork or want to practice for standardized tests, we are here for you. We have several diagnostic tests coming up for SATs and ACTs, as well at tutoring in all subjects. Need help in math? Got an essay to write and don’t know where to start? Just want to get ahead? Come on by! Our goal is to help students be successful.

Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

June 13th, 2014
Top 8 Study Tips for Finals

1. Start Early! – This is the most important one. The internet provides plenty of ways to waste your study time, but you’ll be happy you stayed away from Netflix and Reddit when the final finally comes.

2. Study in Chunks – Your brain works best in 50 minute intervals. You may feel studious after your 6 hour study marathon, but a tired brain doesn’t absorb information like a fresh one. Take 5-10 minutes breaks every hour to make sure you’re making the most of your study time.

3. A Clean, Well-Lighted Place – Studying in bed may sound like a good idea, but once you’re in bed, so will a nap. Find a place that works for you. It should be somewhere where you can focus, spread out your notes, and get in a studying groove. And if you get sick of one place, switch it up!

4. Know Your Teacher – Ask questions, take notes, review old worksheets. Figure out what your teacher thinks is important because that’s what will show up on the final.

5. Study Alone – Start with what you don’t know. Review your old tests, quizzes, and homeworks, and take notes on what you missed. Then spend some time on your own with each of these topics. Write down any questions you have because the next step is…

6. Study in Groups – Once you’ve figured out your own strengths and weaknesses in each subject, form a study group. Here you can ask questions you had on your own and answer some of your study buddies’. Explaining concepts and hearing them explained in new ways will strengthen your understanding of the material.

7. Exercise – Exercise increases blood flow to the brain, and you may need all the brain blood you can get for finals week. It’s also a great way to take a break from book to soak up some sun.

8. Sleep – It may be tempting to cram all night, but
it may not help as much as you think. Give your brain a rest! When the night before the test comes around, be confident in the studying you’ve been doing all week and get some extra sleep.

Personal Tutoring Session

May 27th, 2014

Working at the Study Hut affords us tutors the freedom to delve deep into the student’s subjects beyond that what they do in class. I recently had a student who didn’t have much work in her high school biology and Spanish classes (what we normally work on) so I improvised and pulled out some knowledge from my university psychology classes. She was learning about the brain in her biology class, but the class only touched on the basics of the brain’s anatomy. After we covered the material from her textbook, we spent the rest of the lesson going in depth on the structure of neurons and synapses, the anatomy of the brain and nervous system, and a brief overview of neurotransmitters.

Since she grasped all the necessary information quickly and effortlessly, we also previewed a couple of interesting neurological disorders that highlighted how the brain works, and how it sometimes fails to work. Specifically, we talked about a neuropsychological disorder known as ‘hemispatial neglect’. It primarily affects patients of strokes and causes them to neglect one side of their bodies. They aren’t blind, and they have sensations in those areas, but they they do not recognize or are not aware of one side of their body. For instance, if you were to punch one of these people on their neglected side they wouldn’t see the punch coming, but they would feel the pain. This lack of awareness leads the sufferers of this unusual and startling neuropsychological disorder to do things like apply makeup to one half of their face or only put on one sleeve or pant leg.

I loved teaching this student about a subject that I was passionate about, and it was something that went beyond the scope and focus of an average high school class. Here at the Study Hut we have the flexibility to delve deep into subjects that students may not be exposed to in school but that may pique their interests.

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.

Top 10 reasons why our students love coming to The Study Hut!

March 11th, 2014

We interviewed multiple students in our office today and here are the top 10 reasons why our students love coming to the Study Hut!

1. I love coming to the Study Hut because the tutors are all really easy to talk to which makes it easy to ask questions when you’re confused. – Charlotte

2. I love coming to the Study Hut because the tutors help to keep me organized and help me prepare for upcoming things in school. – Nikki

3. I love coming to the Study Hut because it has a laid back but very productive atmosphere where I feel comfortable. – Pratt

4. I love coming to the Study Hut because I’ve been coming here for years and the people who work here are like family to me. – Isabelle

5. I love coming to the Study Hut because I have many friends here and my subjects become more clear after my sessions are over. – Josie

6. I love coming to the Study Hut because it has helped me to improve my grades. – Isabella

7. I love coming to the Study Hut because it has great snacks and healthy foods like Apples and Bananas that I can have during my tutoring sessions. – Alex

8. I love coming to the Study Hut because the tutors make learning fun and easy to understand. – Ben

9. I love coming to the Study Hut because they have locations in the area which makes it convenient since I can choose which location I want to go to depending upon where I live. – Nicole

10. I love coming to the Study Hut because they help me not only with regular tutoring but they also help me with my SAT training. – Alex

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!!!

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

My tutoring sessions from this week!

March 15th, 2013

Here at the Study Hut we have a unique teaching method that seems to work very well. At the Study Hut we hope to empower students. Here’s what it says on our website:

“Our tutors are young, local, and experienced.  We offer one-on-one subject tutoring, SAT test prep, and a variety of other services.  Students love coming to Study Hut because it’s cool and they see results. There are many large, impersonal tutoring companies out there. Study Hut is proud to say that we’re not one of them.

Instead of using a “one-size-fits-all” method, we focus on each student’s unique learning style and teach to his or her strengths. Our tutors emphasize progress and growth for all students at all levels—no matter how unmotivated or defeated they may start out feeling.

Our highly trained tutors have all graduated from local high schools and universities. Study Hut tutors have experience teaching every subject you can think of, from elementary school through AP high school courses, we have done and seen it all.”

I am one of the tutors here at the Study Hut and proud to work for such a great company. I normally tutor elementary and middle school students and truly enjoying working with each of my students! Here’s a story about one of my personal tutoring sessions!

I tutor a little girl whose a 1st grader and together we work on her homework packet. Each week she has a different number of packets… each for a different subject including but not limited to – Math, Social Science, Literature, and English. She mostly struggles with math (subtraction)… and refers to the numbers as “big numbers” – which make her nervous. During tutoring we work on the homework packet and if she gets it done early we play Word Bingo since Bingo is her favorite game.

Some of the assignments in the packet include coloring different pictures and words – which the little girl certainly enjoys! We work on pronunciation of words, spelling words, definitions, and other fun assignments.

The little girl also has started to learn Spanish, so we work on Spanish vocabulary as well and basic phrases every week. I write the words down for her in English with the Spanish translation and she always highlights the English words with a highlighter. She studies them at home and does a great job!

Every student you tutor is different and they each work well in their own ways.

Finals Season coming to an end…

January 29th, 2013

We did it! We made it through finals season!! Last week was a long week here at the Study Hut.

Last week we went to different schools and helped them study after school for a few hours.

We went to  Peninsula High for 3 hours and at Palos Verdes High for 5 hours and the weekend of  the 19th/20th – we went to West on Friday afternoon, West again on Saturday morning and  then to South on Sunday for free Finals Tutoring in the library.

We had such a great turn out at  each session.

I tutored in Spanish on Friday afternoon from 3 to 6 in the library at West. There were over 100 students who came and another 100+ on the waiting list to participate in the free tutoring.

When the students came into the library, there were signs hung up on both the 1st and 2nd floor of the library, with the names of all the different subjects that we helped tutor in. The High School also sent some of their students to help tutor as well with us which was greatly appreciated.

We tutored in multiple subjects – Algebra 1 & 2, Trig, Calculus, Biology, Chemistry, Spanish – just to name a few.

Each student chose to either be tutored in one subject for all three hours – or be tutored in three subjects, one subject per hour.

For my first hour I had about 6 students – 2 in Spanish 1, 2 in Spanish 2, and 2 in Spanish 3. Then for my 2nd hour – 5 of the 6 students went to a different subject so I tutored a student one-on-one. Lastly, for my final hour, a few more students showed up and I finished with 5 kids. My subject was one of the smallest groups. I enjoyed having a small group since I was able to help each student individually.

Both the Science and Math subjects had about 30+ students in their group.

We always enjoy going to other schools before finals to help them study and we also helped many AVID classes study for their finals – including Newport and PV High.

This finals season went really well and we are proud of all the students!!

Prep for Summer

February 28th, 2012

It may seem a tad premature to write about summer programs, but here at The Study Hut we are always thinking ahead of schedule. The sunny California weather also helps put in a good summer mood. This summer we are excited to introduce new programs for all ages!

Summer is a great time to get caught up on SATs, college apps, and enrichment for the younger ones. The Manhattan and Redondo Beach Study Huts are soon to be equipped with programs for each of those areas.

For starters, we will have reading and writing programs for kindergarten through 8th grade. For the youngsters, we will have reading workshops that target phonemic awareness to prepare them for reading. 3rd-4th graders will have the opportunity to participate in fluency workshops. 5th-8th graders will have the opportunity to take a writing workshop that will be geared toward writing perfected five paragraph essays. Each student will be provided with a private tutor that will guide them toward success.

As for the students at the High School Level we will have both math prep (Algebra 1, Geometry, and Algebra 3/4) and SAT courses. These classes will be in a group setting and will give each student a preview on each of these subjects prior to enrolling so they can have the benefit of starting out with flying colors.

Finally, we will be offering one-on-one tutoring sessions specifically geared toward helping students with their college applications. Such topics to be covered are their personal statement, financial aid, the actual application, resume, and interview skills. Summer is always a great time to get ahead of the game with college apps. Who better to help your child prepare than a tutoring center that has helped numerous students get into college?

Although we just got finished with ski week, we are geared up for the future and can’t wait to implement our new programs! Stay tuned for more info!

xoxo,
The Study Hut Team