The Students Tutors Love

September 29th, 2014

It’s no question that education is a two way street. Teachers, parents and tutors are united in their efforts to bestow kernels of wisdom on the younger generation. Likewise, students soak up information like a sponge. But when one is out of sync with the other, it’s a situation where full learning can be lost in the wind. However, being a tutor of many years now, I can honestly say there are a few key qualities I’ve seen in students that make the flow of learning right as rain. Not to let educators off the hook (two way street, right?), but students can certainly learn from the following ideas on how to be a student tutors will love. 

ORGANIZATION
It seems like a cliche, but Office Depot and The Container Store are the keys to 50% of learning. As human beings, we naturally codify, order and pattern information into compartments in our brain for easy retrieval. That’s why highlighters and binders and all the other trinkets sold at these stores will help students learn and retain information. Tutors love it when their students show up organized and ready to learn and review. When students are organized, they’ve done half the work!
PARTICIPATION
As mentioned above, learning is a two way street, which means interaction, asking questions and providing feedback are key to a good study session. Studies show that repeating ideas out loud will help students understand and retain new information better than simply listening. That’s why questions are great! Activities such as games and exercises will also maintain participation.
GOOD ATTITUDE
Who doesn’t want to be in good company? This goes for both the teacher and student. A good attitude can go a long way in building trust, keeping focus, and developing a strong report. Furthermore, having a good attitude might even surprise the most unsuspecting student because a positive mood opens our minds to learning something new. What tutor doesn’t love for their student to learn something new?

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.

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.

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.

 

Parras Middle School 2014 Science Fair

April 30th, 2014

Parras Middle School 2014 Science Fair

It’s Science Fair season once again! We are excited to return as judges to Parras Middle School in Redondo Beach on Wednesday May 14th. The students have been hard at work hypothesizing and experimenting and we cannot wait to see what they have come up with this year! As we saw last year, there is no limit to a child’s imagination. The most talked about and memorable experiment amongst our tutors was titled “Fat Cats: Is your cat overweight?” in which a student “interviewed” several cats of various weights and tested their mental abilities. He theorized a high correlation between heavier weights and lower mental ability. In conclusion, he found significant evidence that proved his hypothesis to be true.

To prepare for this year’s science fair, we are currently working closely with the Parras science teachers to create a unique grading rubric for each student’s project and presentation that will correspond with the project guidelines that have been provided to the students. Last year, each student took his or her turn presenting their project to a pair of judges. After they completed their presentations, the judges asked them a series of questions about their experiments and findings.

It was a great experience last to year to see some of our regular students in action at their school, presenting projects some of us tutors even helped them create! We are looking forward to this year’s science fair and hoping we can help make it a fun and memorable experience for the teachers, students, and their families. It is our greatest pleasure to give back to a community that continues to give us its infinite support.

Get out of Debt now

April 22nd, 2014

We are a nation of debtors.

 

These days it seems that everyone you talk to- students, teachers, artists, mechanics, architects, entrepreneurs, anybody & everybody is heavily in debt.

 

…but not financial debt.

 

Financial debt is something you can pay off. This is a more pernicious and dangerous debt…SLEEP DEBT.

 

According to a study from Harvard Medical School [1], for most folks if you get less than 5 and half hours of sleep in a 24 hour period, you’re in sleep debt. As sleep debt increases, your performance, energy, level, and your mood suffers. Not to mention that it interferes with your metabolism, blood sugar, and body weight maintenance.

 

If one does not get enough sleep over enough days, the deficit can hurt your performance as much as pulling an all nighter.

 

When it comes to studying and academic performance, sleep debt is an even bigger threat. Sleep debt slows cognition and damages your memory. Pulling that all nighter to crank through a project or cram for your exam is a recipe for failure. You’ll forget what you learn, be more cranky & groggy, and damage your health. Who wants that? Sleep!

 

Remedies and tricks to get your zzz’s:

 

1) Be BORING. Our bodies like routine, structure, and regularity. Even if you have an unpredictable schedule during the day, try to institute a regimented lights-out/awake schedule

 

2) Take Notes. Do you really need 7 to 8 hours to be at top performance. The only way to find out for sure is to keep a sleep log. Log your wake up time and guestimate as best you can when you actually fell to sleep and see how much sleep you are actually getting. The facts may surprise you

 

3) Pay your taxes. When I say taxes, I mean your sleep taxes. Instead of waiting for one big lump sum to “catch up”  your sleep debt, you should instead make little payments along the way. Get the full 7-8 hours instead of attempting Herculean heroics on the weekends with a marathon sleep session

 

 

Bottom line from the study: you better get your 7 to 8 hours of ZZZ’s, otherwise your grades and your health could be in big trouble.

10 Reasons Why Mira Costa High School Is Really Great

April 17th, 2014

10 Reasons Why Costa Is Really Great

1. People help each other out
Costa has so many clubs dedicated to helping charities locally and globally. Students and teachers join together to raise money and volunteer for things they are passionate about! And that is really cool. Many clubs raise money, some raise awareness, but the important thing is that Costa students really care about giving back to the global community.

2. Amazing new buildings!
New science buildings that ensure students get amazing hands on experiences and get to use new equipment. Even some of the older buildings have amazing technology and help make learning fun.

3. Everyone is blonde
Blonde is like a recessive gene or something, Costa is basically a crazy science experiment focused on furthering the blonde population. Its totally true because of science.

4. You meet friends for life.
You meet some of the people you will be friends with for the rest of your life. And you get like 6 hours a day to bond with them. And if you haven’t met your BFF so far– there are like 2,000 students. You probably haven’t met them yet.

5. Our sports teams are great
We win games. Run fast. Throw balls through hoops. CIF and stuff.

6. The teachers really care for students
Teachers at Costa are among the highest rated in the nation. Our teachers go above and beyond what is asked of them. Teachers are always going out of their way to like be positive role models, inspire the youth and write awesome letters of recommendation. They are pretty great.

7. Students are (over) achievers
But in a really positive way. We have way more AP classes than most schools, and we have to make more sections to accommodate all the students who want to take them. And if you get in over your head with your overachiever ways there’s always Study Hut to back you up!

8. Everyone has a secret talent.
At Costa, people have all these crazy secret hobbies like jiujitsu and rhythmic gymnastics. It makes the student body really diverse and also probably home of many future Olympians.

9. Amazing student activities and events
Costa ASB throws great school functions like dances, pep-rallies and more. Its fun to release some stress and see a student dressed up in the crazy horse costume.

10. You genuinely get an amazing education
Academics are taught, but life skills are learned. Students from Costa are well equipped to go to college and start making positive changes is the world. Costa paves the way for students to discover themselves and where life might take them.

MBMS Wednesday Morning Free Tutoring

October 17th, 2013

Study Hut

We have started tutoring at Manhattan Beach Middle School again on Wednesday mornings at 8am during late start!

We have had a great turnout these past two weeks and have been getting a lot of good press from the school!

The last two times we have been at the Middle School we had 20-30 students show up both times which is better than the turnout from last year.

We are in a new room this year on the 2nd floor and have a lot of space for the students.

We have three tutors that attend the Wednesday morning tutoring to help the students out in any subject that they need.

We have two teacher aids that sit with us in the classroom to help out and facilitate the morning.

The students love coming to eat doughnuts since we bring doughnuts in the morning to get the students pumped up and excited to come to Wednesday morning tutoring.

We will be there every Wednesday at 8am to help students during late start and we hope to see a lot of students there!

If more students start to show up we may extend into another classroom to make sure that we have enough room for all the students!

Many of the students there on Wednesday worked on math and Social Studies.

Only a few of the students who come into the Wednesday morning at students at the Study Hut, so we have enjoyed meeting new students and hoping that they will come to the Study Hut as well!

So far we’ve had a great turn out and MBMS has been great to work with and have worked with us during every step.

Let us know if you have any questions or you can call our Manhattan office at (310)546-2408 with any questions or inquiries that you have!

New SAT Group Course Starts Tonight!

March 12th, 2013

For the past 7 weeks, we have held 2 group courses to help students prepare for the SATs. Our group courses took place on the nights of Tues/Thurs and Mon/Wed from 7-9 p.m.

The cap for the SAT classes are 10 students and P.J. and Josh were the teachers for the SAT course. The January group course helped the students prepare for the March SAT exam that just took place this past Saturday, March 9th.

HIGHLIGHTS: Victoria, one of the 10 students in P.J’s SAT Group Course, went up 300 points from the help of the SAT course!

HERE’S THE IMPORTANT PART: Our next SAT course starts TONIGHT…. and we have 4 SPOTS LEFT!! P.J. will be the teacher for this SAT Group Course which will help students prepare for the May SAT test. We are only offering one group course on Tues/Thurs!!

We will have one week off for Spring Break so please keep that in mind. If you would like to sign up for our group course please contact our MB office manager Samantha … samantha@studyhut.com or call the Manhattan Beach Study Hut: (310)546-2408.

We have many tips that we share with our students on how to succeed on the SAT – and today our 1st tip comes from Andrew, one of our SAT tutors.

1st Tip: “Lookout for extreme answer choices in the Critical Reading section! If the answer choice contains strong words like ‘never, always, must, impossible, cannot, only, all, none, etc,’ then it is likely incorrect.”

 

 

Lastly, if you don’t want to be in the SAT Group Course, we also offer 3 different SAT Packages: 40 hour, 32 hour, and 24 hour (prices range depending on package you pick). We also do private one-on-one SAT tutoring. We have wonderful SAT tutors including but not limited too: Rhiannon, Kristen, Jeff, Frank, Rita, Josh, and Andrew! One-on-one private tutoring costs $100 plus a $65 materials fee.

 

Is Freshman Year important?

January 15th, 2013

We are halfway through another school year, and for some of you that means that High school is right around the corner. Since there are 4 years of High School, many students don’t ever think that your Freshman year really is an important year… so I am here to tell you that freshman year really is an important year !! 

Freshman year is a new start for a lot of students…new school, new friends, new teachers/classes.. and every student wants to make a good first impression. For most students, going to a new school can be a big adjustment. Even if you have older brothers or sisters, naturally students will want to pave their own path and create their own reputation. Freshman year will be a chance to find new friends, join interesting extracurricular activities, and adapt to new teachers and their different teaching strategies.

New School: What you decide to do in High School will impact your future… and if you start off on the right track, hopefully your future will turn out bright.
When applying to colleges, they look for not only good grades but also consistency with sports, clubs, and organizations… so when you’re a Freshman, you should try to join either a club or extracurricular that you are passionate about and that you will stick with throughout your 4 years of High School.

New Friends: Usually when you attend High School you will be mixed with new people which is always fun and exciting. These new students could turn out to become some of your closest friends, and Freshman Year is a great way to break the ice and meet new people since you’re all going through the same experience.

New teachers/classes: In terms of new classes and teachers: each year, the learning curriculum will become more vigorous and the work load will become longer and more strenuous. The grades your receive your Freshman year are as important as the grades you receive the most of the years, though Sophomore and Junior year grades are weighted more on your GPA.

Learning to study for Finals will be new to all Freshman, since for most Freshman this will be their first time taking Final exams. Final exams are usually cumulative and there are good strategies to help you when taking the exams. Since grades are always important,  the study habits that you use or learn from others will hopefully improve over time and can help you not only through High School but college as well.

As you can see, Freshman year is very important and can make a good or bad impact on you, depending on your experience. Here’s to a great first year!