Personal Tutoring Session

July 17th, 2014

For a few sessions this summer, I’ve had the pleasure of working with a student named Rachel. Recently we have been going over Math, specifically, the circumference and area of circles. Like any other subject, it is important to understand the material conceptually in order to proceed in solving the problem. While working with Rachel, I made it a point for her to grasp the differences between such things as pi, the radius of a circle, the diameter of a circle, the circumference, and the area. In order to accomplish this, I presented her with problems in a specific order that would utilize what she learned in previous problems. For example I asked her to solve for the circumference with a given area. This required that 1) she knew the formulas for both circumference and area, 2) she understood the significance and meaning of each number she was solving for within each step and 3) she utilized what she learned from previous problems to solve the bigger problem. Overall, there has been a noticeable improvement in Rachel’s speed, accuracy, and conceptual understanding during her time at Study Hut.

The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

June 11th, 2014

Title: The BIG Secret to Preparing for finals

 

Do you have any friends who seem to breeze through their finals? While your friends are chilling out, are you stressing out?

 

How do they do it!?!

 

They know something you don’t know.

 

Don’t tell anybody, but I am about to let you in on a big secret. This secret will quite literally change your life- it can make you healthier, less stressed out, and happier.

 

Here’s the secret to properly preparing for finals: stop cramming.

 

That’s right, to ace your finals and to be less stressed out about them you need to stop cramming. Cramming up to the last minute pulling marathon all nighters is an inefficient and unhealthy way to study.

 

Instead of cramming, you need to spread out the work. Starting now, you should take a bit of time (not too little but also not too much) to begin reviewing old notes, problem sets, and exams. The key is for this to be a regimented and manageable review process. If you stick with it and do a little bit each day you will not have to do a lot the weekend before your exams.

 

 

The bottom line is that you are going pay now or pay later in terms of preparation.

You can coast now and “pay later” with caffeine-fueled evenings reviewing a semester’s worth of materials in a few days. This is the “drinking from a fire hose” approach. Not fun.

Or you can “pay now” by doing a little bit of preparation each night and spreading out the workload into something more manageable. Being well rested and healthy indisputably helps you perform better exams, this approach of spreading out the work means you will be able to cover more material in a smart way.

 

An additional benefit of being ahead of the curve when it comes to preparation is if you come across any questions you can ask friends or instructor for extra help and advice.

 

As Mark Twain (or maybe Agatha Christie) once said, “the secret to getting ahead is getting started.” There is no time to wait, start this process now without the unhealthy late-night heroics, and your mind, body, and report card will thank you.

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 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:

How to pick a major?

January 12th, 2013

When it comes to picking a major, it may not always be an easy choice. For certain students, they grow up knowing exactly what they want to be in life…. a fireman, a police officer, a doctor, a lawyer… the list goes on and on. However, for other students picking a major may be like getting teeth pulled… frustrating and painful.

During those 4 years of high school, some students begin to realize where they want to go to college and/or what they want to major in once they get there. The list of majors to choose from will differentiate depending on the University you attend. Usually, the larger the university, the more options of majors the University will offer. Many times, students will come across majors that they’ve never heard of.

So, how to pick a major you ask? Here are a few tips to help pick a major that you both enjoy and that will either impact your career or help you in the future.

1. Take as many lower-division classes as you can so that you experience a variety of classes that you might not have thought to major in.

2. Make a list of activities that you are interested/passionate about, that way you may be able to find a major that coincides with things in life that you enjoy.

3. Try to find a major that you could see becoming a career for you in the future. Therefore, you can study a major you enjoy learning about and hopefully your major will help you find a career that one day you will get paid to do. Sometimes, students choose majors that they are interested in, but then struggle to find a job after college when they can’t find a job that’s related to their major.

4. Pick a major that gives you a variety of different work to do. You don’t always want to be writing long essays. Hopefully your major offers you internships, hands on work, and first hand experience within your field. You want to have a variety of knowledge and experience when creating a resume and trying to find a job/career once you graduate.

Picking a major can be difficult but once you find the right major for you, hopefully you will enjoy going to class and learning new things about that major.

Whether you have known for a long time what you want to do in life, or just started thinking about it… college is a place to grow and learn a lot about yourself. College is a great learning experience and if you pick the right major… it can make going to make your college experience that much better!!

Winter Update

December 13th, 2011

The holiday season is upon as at the Hut! The place is spiffed up with holiday decorations, holiday treats, and good cheer to be found everywhere! The kiddos are having to learn to balance finishing schoolwork and the prospect of getting a break from learning! It’s holiday-itis! We tutors are doing everything we can to keep our kids in the ‘school” frame of mind until the holidays. We wouldn’t want all that hard work to leak away in a haze of candy and indulgent feasts!
The Study Hut is head and shoulders above “regular” tutoring places, we match our tutors with students on a one-to-one basis with experts in each field. We partner our efforts with each student’s school website, planner, etc, to provide exactly what each student needs to succeed in school! We welcome students of all levels. We even offer tutoring over the holiday break! This is a phenomenal time for our kiddos to catch up if they’re behind, or even get ahead! The improvement in a student’s work is measureable; we can actually see our students improving from session to session. As a tutor, it is extremely rewarding to see a student’s grades improve, especially if they come to us with little understanding of the material and/or poor grades. I have personally found, as a tutor at the Study Hut, that a student is more willing to open up and be themselves if they feel comfortable around their tutors. This is why students often get the same tutor each time they come in, so that we may build rapport with our kiddos and let them feel comfortable asking for help.
I think it’s fair to say that everyone at the Hut, both learned and learner, are enjoying the spirit of the season! We all look forward to a well-deserved break, and hitting the books again after the New Year!