Spring Break Essays

April 20th, 2015

Spring break is supposed to be a time for students to relax and enjoy a week or two off from the monotony and stress of school.  Unfortunately, some teachers do not see it that way and choose to assign homework anyway.  One student, Ken, came in for help on a monstrous essay that his teacher had assigned him over his spring break.  

 

Not only was this paper assigned over spring break, but the prompt was difficult and vague.  On top of that, Ken’s teacher told him that the grade for this paper would be put into the grade book forty times.  This caused Ken a lot of stress.  Ken and his tutors Charlsey and Laura brainstormed ideas for his thesis and concepts he could use for his supporting arguments.  The group session was very helpful because the three were able to bounce ideas off each other.  After Ken had a clear plan for his essay, he was able to draft an outline and have it looked over before he went home to find concrete details and develop his arguments.  



After taking a few days to flesh out his essay, Ken brought it back to revise and fine tune it with his tutor Richard.  They worked through the complicated topic to ensure that Ken did not have any logical fallacies in his arguments.  Richard read through the essay to make sure that Ken did not make any grammatical mistakes.  After hours slaving over his essay, Ken finally had a finished product he was very happy with, and could enjoy the rest of his now stress-free spring break.  

Applying to Colleges

April 2nd, 2014

As you begin to think about applying to college, you need to think of different ways to diversify yourself and make your application stand out. You are more than a G.P.A. and an SAT score! How can you challenge yourself to be different? One of the best ways to do so is to engage in meaningful and interesting extra-curricular activities. If chosen correctly, you can greatly improve your application and help yourself land a spot in college. So what types of activities do schools like to see? Below is a list of ten EC’s that may just help you be a slightly more competitive applicant than your friends. Below, I have compiled a list of both general and specific activities. Whatever you decide to do, try to take a leadership role and stay very committed to your role. By no means should your list be limited to ours, nor should you feel obligated to have every activity on your list of experiences. Rather, find something that you love, stick with it consistently, and make a positive impact. The following are organized in NO PARTICULAR ORDER:

 

· Sports: Colleges love seeing students engaged in sports. It shows that you are able to step away from your studies and do something completely different. It shows that you are well-rounded and have abilities in addition to your academic ones. Work hard and try to score a leadership position (such as captain of your team). This shows leadership and good work ethic.

· Student Government: This shows colleges that you can communicate with your fellow-classmates and teachers for things that are important to the greater good. It illustrates leadership, ability to prioritize, and the ability to determine what is important. If you were elected, this also shows that you are able to appeal to your classmates and convince them of your abilities to lead.

· Volunteer for the Underserved (Community Service): This is a very broad topic. This can incorporate anything from providing meals for the homeless to offering medical care to citizens of third-world countries. Whatever you choose to do, make this a priority because it shows that you are a compassionate individual motivated to provide aid to those in dire need.

· Environmental/Animal Volunteering: Help out your local green club or volunteer at the animal shelter. It shows that you spend your extra time helping to make things better than they were before.

· Musical Activities: Are you a musician? Do you have a passion for audible beauty? Find a way to develop this interest. Join a band. Volunteer at a clinic that provides music therapy. Enter in music competitions and win awards so that you show that you have a passion that is apart of you. Colleges like to see passionate individuals involved in these types of things.

· Writing: If you are a writer, do something that requires this skill. Write music, poetry, articles for your school’s newspaper, short stories… Whatever you want! Writing is an invaluable communication skill that colleges love in an applicant. If you can find a club or put your writing in any type of publication (big or small), this will make you stand out.

· Start a Club: If you are interested in anything (hopefully you are interested in something), start an on-campus club. If a club for this interest already exists, come up with another club that provides something different. It brings like-minded people together and engages them in something they love to do. Just as importantly, it shows great leadership and initiative in you as a founder and leader of a club.

· Get a Job: Your parents aren’t the only ones telling you to get a job. Colleges respect the student who works. This is probably one of the less important EC’s on this list. However, it does show that you take responsibility seriously and that you have some degree of understanding of money.

· Learn a Language: Your Spanish teacher may care about the different between por and para. However, colleges LOVE multi-lingual students. Get involved in a mult-cultural club and learn how to speak a different language. It shows that you are more worldly and diverse. It also helps you communicate with a greater number of people.

· Follow your Passion: If you enjoy art, enroll in painting classes and stick with it. Paint as many pictures as you can. If you enjoy science, enroll in a summer research program at a university. This shows that you have interests and that you take initiative in your life and in making yourself a better, well-rounded person.

Summer Fun!

August 2nd, 2013

Summer School is ending… our SAT courses are underway and Fall is right around the corner! 

Many of the summer school classes ended this week and we have had a lot of students coming to the Study Hut for help through their classes. Geometry, spanish and government were three classes that many students were taking over the summer.

We have an SAT class going on at both our Manhattan and Redondo Beach locations. After the first 2 weeks, the students in Redondo went up an average of 100 points on their exams.

Many students have been starting SAT training so they do well on the SAT exams coming up in the fall. We have many families who are purchasing packages.

Remember, we have a 24 (12 – 2 hour) sessions, 32 hour (16 – 2 hour) sessions, and a 40 (20 – 2 hour) sessions packages! 

We also offer ACT Packages as well if you are interested!

We have a free diagnostic test for the ACT and SAT coming up this Saturday – August 3rd, and another one coming up in 2 weeks on August 17th!! 

With Fall right around the corner, students are calling in to reserve times and dates for the fall to come into the Study Hut. We have created a list and it’s first come/first serve.

We have also been really successful this summer with our reading/writing/math students who are in elementary and middle school that are preparing for their coming school year.

Contact us if you would like to know anymore information about any of these topics listed above.

Manhattan Beach: (310)546-2408 – Office Manager: Kristen

Redondo Beach: (310)540-5888 Office Manager: Justin 

  

Summer kick off!

June 28th, 2013

We have had a great start to summer tutoring! This week all our managers were out of the office for a Canoe trip down the Green River in Utah… but our tutors were in the office working hard and getting a lot done! Our managers go on a trip for a week once a year, and they canoed 70 miles down the river! What a huge success that is! 

We had many new students this week and we are super excited for what the summer’s going to bring! We had many younger students in here getting prepared for their next school year. We are open all summer.. Monday through Friday 10am until 8pm! 

Yesterday (Thursday) was a big day for us! We were preparing a lot of students for Mr. Hughes Geometry Summer School test today and for the Modern World History exam as well !

We have been focusing with the younger students on mainly reading, writing, and reading comprehension. It has been getting a slow start, but it will definitely pick up after July 4th!

We have a lot of great summer camps coming up starting July 8th and 9th! We have a new summer course that we are offering in the summer for Freshman that will be Sophomores in the fall. It is a Pre-SAT course that costs $650 and will be Tuesdays and Thursday from 6-8pm. It starts July 9th and ends August 15th (so a 6 week course). If you are interested – you can come in for an SAT Diagnostic test. The Diagnostic test will take an hour and forty minutes. You will complete 4 (25 minute sections) taken from past CollegeBoard SAT tests!

If you are interested you can contact Samantha@studyhut.com or rob@studyhut.com. You can also call our MB or RB office: (310)5462408 (MB) or RB: (310)540-5888

We are also offering a lot of SAT/ACT/ and HSPT Diagnostic tests coming up! We have one tomorrow – Satuday July 28th, Saturday July 6th, and Saturday July 20th! Let us know if you want to sign up! They are free and go from 8am to 12noon! 

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

iStudy

January 3rd, 2013

For centuries people have made use of their opposable thumbs by communicating information and art with pencil and paper (or sharp rocks on trees and cave walls). Now modern technology has brought us to the next level of thumb-use evolution. With the swipe of a single digit on a screen we have access to a plethora of activities. But does technology actually make studying more efficient for students? Here are a few things to consider when deciding between using a paper-pad and a virtual-pad.

Notes
When it comes to hand-written notes a student is engaged in the activity of writing. That means that they are an “active learner” participating in the process. One drawback of digitized notes is that it removes the hands-on factor. A student is reduced to a passive observer. If the material is not engaging they will easily get bored and gain nothing from their notes. On the other hand, today’s students can often take notes much more quickly through typing than through writing. They can also highlight important information by changing the format of the text (bold, underline, italicized) with the click of a button.

Assignments
Technology is also changing the face of presentations done by students. Poster boards are being replaced by PowerPoint. Some might argue that this robs a child of their creativity. How can they use their imagination without using scissors, construction paper, and pipe cleaners? Well, creativity comes in many forms. Many teachers are now requiring students to present their material by making group videos/short films. This allows average every-day students to become directors, producers, actors, and writers—something that was rare in the olden-days. This gives students the ability to make a presentation in front of the class without the embarrassment or fear that often accompanies public speaking. It’s a win-win situation.

Focus
When it comes to creating distractions, technology has paper beat hands-down. In years past a bored student had no other option but to doodle on their paper during class. And once class was over they could entertain themselves by interacting family and friends in the real world. Today, students can take advantage of the thousands of games and social media outlets their cell phones and tablets provide them with. They can appear to be taking notes or studying all through the night when in actuality they are playing hours of Angry Birds or “liking” every comment posted on Facebook.

In the end, technology is a powerful tool that has opened up brand new horizons for students to learn and apply their knowledge in creative and innovated ways. Though it has its obvious disadvantages, there’s no arguing with the fact that it’s here to stay. That being said, let’s try to make the most of it!

Hut 2 >> Hut 1

October 31st, 2012

For those of you who don’t speak math, this title translates to Study Hut Redondo Beach – located in the Riviera Village and affectionately known as Hut 2 – being much, much better than Study Hut Manhattan Beach (Hut 1). We at Hut 2 felt a recent blog post from Hut 1 warranted a quick, elegant rebuttal in the form of a blog post of our own. Of course this will come in a proper list of exactly why Hut 2 is undeniably much, much greater than Hut 1.

  1. Hut 2 may be smaller, but our reach extends far beyond that of Hut 1! Our extensive list of schools in the south bay we serve include: Alta Vista, Jefferson, Adams, Birney, Parras, Redondo High, Beryl Heights, Riviera Hall, Riviera Lutheran, Dapplegray, Miraleste, Rolling Hills Prep, PV High, PVIS, Peninsula High, Ridgecrest, Chadwick, Bishop Montgomery, Calle Mayor, Richardson, South High, West High, North High, and San Pedro High.
  2. With that many schools, it is natural that we tutor every subject imaginable. Whether it is math, English, science (i.e. biology, chemistry, physics, anatomy, etc.), history, reading, writing or foreign languages, we most certainly have a tutor available to suit your needs!
  3. The claim that Hut 1 offers more attention to its students than Hut 2 hurts us deeply.  Anyone who has been tutored at Hut 2 knows how flexible we are with our scheduling. We accept same day appointments and moving appointments with ease because we understand the needs of our busy students.
  4. The manager competition is no contest, especially since we have two! Justin and Tara keep Hut 2 running smoothly regardless of the chaos caused by finals, the SAT or college applications!
  5. The plain fact over here is that we are cool. Rather than a copycat younger brother, Hut 2 is more of an example of where the apprentice has far surpassed the master.

We will concede the point made by Hut 1 that both huts are actually great. What we should really be watching out for together are the El Segundo and Newport Study Huts that look to usurp us from our tutoring thrones!

Summer Writing Workshops

June 13th, 2012

We’ve all been there.

It’s the dreaded blank sheet. The writing assignment stares up from the table, but you have no idea where to begin. Should you start with the thesis statement? Gather textual evidence first? Maybe it’s better to just wing it and worry about editing later.

It’s a frustrating situation, but there is help! Study Hut is offering a series of writing workshops this summer designed to review the different types of essays and prepare students for the next level of writing.

Each grade brings new expectations, particularly when it comes to writing. If a student enters the school year even moderately unprepared, it can turn from a small setback to a major problem in a hurry. It’s tempting to regard writing in terms of black and white; there are inherently good writers and bad writers. That, however, is far from the case. Good writing is a matter of discipline, strategy and lots and lots of practice.

The Hut’s summer workshop is designed to be all of those things and more. Each week, we’ll spend one-on-one time with students going over everything from correctly citing a source to crafting the perfect topic sentence. From college applications to AP tests to middle school lab reports, strong writing skills are always going to help students succeed.

Each student has one-on-one time with a tutor, so we can adapt the program to fit any skill level. We’ve put together instructional, age appropriate materials that will help any student prepare for the next step in the great journey of mega-awesome skillstastic writing! Also, we promise to discourage made-up words like “skillstastic.”

Contact us today by emailing Samantha@studyhut.com for more information on the writing workshop. Sample topics include: thesis writing, finding and citing sources, topic sentences and using evidence effectively in narrative, analytical, expository, synthesis and literary analysis essays.

Teaching Style

April 25th, 2012

Working at Study Hut has taught me how to implement different learning styles for different kids. With some of my students, I have very hands on approach where I am constantly checking their planners and making sure they are on top of all of their assignments. In sessions like these, I am talking for most of the time. For my students that I know are trying their best and are just coming to tutoring for the few questions that they couldn’t figure out, I take a more observational approach. I watch them as they try and solve the problem, and try to assess where they are going wrong. Recently I have seen a lot of improvement in one of my 7th graders that has required a lot of hands on attention. He began coming to Study Hut about 5 months ago, and was getting a C or below in all of his classes. We discovered that his main problem was organization. I began to push him into writing everything down in his planner including soccer practice and piano lessons. The idea is to develop these necessary habits early on so that when high school and college come along they have the tools to cope with stressful schedules. After about a month of pestering him, he finally began to write everything down, and as a result has become much more motivated. The planner gives him a sense of direction, and he feels less overwhelmed with everything he needs to do. His mood has changed dramatically from someone with very little confidence and motivation to someone that is hopeful and much more excited about school. His grades are still not as high as we both want them to be, but I’m confident that we can raise them by the end of the year.

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