One of the questions I am asked most frequently is if I offer one on one tutoring. My answer is always the same. In the vast majority of cases, I do not offer one on one tutoring because I do not think it is as effective as small group instruction. We are conditioned to think that being the only person or having someone’s total attention is better when in fact, in most circumstances, the opposite is true.
The purpose of tutoring is to offer support to students that are finding one or more of their classes to be challenging. They take these classes in a group setting. The teacher has a set curriculum she must cover and she can only spend a certain amount of time on each topic. In a one on one tutoring situation, the student is in the driver’s seat and the amount of time spent on any given topic can stretch indefinitely. Now initially this may sound like a good thing. If a student is having trouble with a particular...
How to Prepare for the ACT - A Step by Step Guide
Junior year is a pivotal year in high school. You are more than half way through your high school years. You have probably started looking at colleges and you have to take your ACT test. Taking the ACT or SAT is big part of deciding where you will go to college and what scholarships you may qualify for. If you are undecided about which test to take, check out my post comparing the two tests. https://www.positiveachievementtutoring.com/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-the-act-and-the-sat
Once you have settled on the ACT you need to decide how to prepare for the test. Let’s face it. Junior year is busy. You are taking challenging courses. You have extra curricular activities. You may have a job or a volunteer position. Those courses we mentioned, well they come with homework, and now you want to add studying for another test??? How in the world are you going to manage that in the time you have. The following tips will help you...
As a result of e-learning, a lot of us are becoming more involved in our children’s education. For most of us, it has been A LONG time since we took our last math class and we learned things differently when we were in school. How are you supposed to help your child learn math at home when you aren’t sure how to do it yourself?
One of the most important qualities for learning anything is confidence. Confidence increases with familiarity. An important tip to help your child learn math at home is to show them how much math they already see in their everyday life. Use examples such as:
The ACT and the SAT are both tests that are used for college admissions and scholarships. All colleges accept both scores. Neither test is preferred for college admissions over the other. Both tests have four sections given in a predetermined order. Both tests contain passage based reading and writing sections. They both test math concepts (although the topics covered and the presentation is different) and students abilities to interpret charts and graphs. They are similar in length. Without the essay, the ACT (2 hours and 55 minutes) is 5 minutes shorter than the SAT (3 hours). With the essay the ACT (3 hours 35 minutes) is 15 minutes shorter than the SAT (3 hours 50 minutes). So what is the difference between the ACT and the SAT?
The SAT gives about 25 % more time per question.
ACT English/ SAT Writing and Language
In these uncertain times the need for time management has never been greater. Three months ago student’s days were largely scheduled for them. They were in school for 8 hours, often had athletic or club commitments, homework, and maybe a part time job. Finding time for dinner or even sleep was a challenge. With the closures of physical schools and the implementation of distance learning due to CoVid-19 students suddenly find themselves more in command of their day. This can be a mixed blessing. Schools are shut down. Most activities have been cancelled. Social commitments are very limited. This means students have more time available, but they have to use it wisely.
If I had a nickel for every student who told me they weren’t good at math…. Wait that sounds like a word problem and is probably making at least some of you anxious. Math Anxiety is real and by all the current jokes and memes on FaceBook, it is alive, well and growing. While humor is a good way to diffuse tension, all of the current discussion of the difficulties of teaching our children math just feed the idea that math is hard.
Math anxiety is an actual physical response to the prospect of having to complete a math task. For some students it causes their heart rate to increase. They may become sweaty or shaky. For all students, math anxiety consumes some of their working memory making it harder for them to do math. It is kind of a chicken or egg proposition. Do students have math anxiety because they aren’t good a math or are students not good at math because they have anxiety. Regardless of which came first. Math anxiety is...
There is a misconception that the study of math is the study of numbers and that other than the variables found in some problems, letters and especially words don’t matter. Little emphasis is given to teaching math vocabulary and the importance of math language. More than 80% of my students cannot tell me the title or describe what they are currently studying in math. When they enter the tutoring room and I ask them what we will be working on today, the VAST majority say, “Section 9.2” or “Chapter 3.” When I ask what those sections are about, they are at a loss to even describe the process. Regardless of the topic being studied, the ability to comprehend the specific vocabulary and describe the concepts and processes using subject relevant vocabulary is fundamental to learning. It impacts a students ability to express themselves clearly. It is fundamental to test performance. If you don’t understand what the question is asking, how can you hope to...
Leveling the Educational Playing Field Goes Way Beyond That
Things are changing so fast these days that it is hard to plan beyond the next hour. Schools have had to implement distance learning programs almost overnight. Whether or not students will be back in the classroom in the fall and what those classrooms will look like is anyone’s guess. These uncertain times have certainly provided an opportunity for new circumstances. One of these is the question, should the SAT and the ACT be eliminated from the admission requirements at some colleges.
There has been a movement toward the elimination of the SAT and the ACT for the last few years. Some colleges took this step well before the CoVid-19 pandemic. The school of thought is that these tests are “wealth biased.” That is more than just the “Varsity Blues” scandal where wealthy parents paid proctors and admissions directors to doctor test scores and other application materials....
How To Create an Effective Home Learning Space
Never before has it been more important to understand how to create an effective home learning space. Remember just a few weeks ago when our students needed an efficient place to do their homework. Well, now ALL of their work is “homework,” so it is more important than ever to provide them with the best possible learning space.
You do not have to spend hours watching HGTV or scanning Pinterest, thousands of dollars at IKEA, or hiring a professional designer to know how to create an effective home learning space. In fact, you don’t even need to have a dedicated room. All you need is the proper atmosphere and attributes, good lighting, and convenient supplies.
Atmosphere and Attributes:
First, when considering how to create an effective home learning space, consider your child. Are they easily distracted by noise or visual stimuli? Are they able to work independently for periods of time or...
No-one knew in January, or even February, that schools would close and ALL students would be learning from home. We didn’t have time to prepare and many of us are struggling. While there isn’t any magic pixie dust, here are the top three things to make home learning more effective.
We are conditioned to behave in certain ways in specific locations. When you walk into a library or church, you speak softly. When you lay down in your bed, you get sleepy or at least relax. The second example is very important. Your child’s bed is not a productive work space.
Single Use: The first thing you can do to make home learning more effective is to designate a work space. If possible provide a small table or desk to be used specifically for school work.
Multi-Use: If that isn’t feasible, create a different atmosphere when working at a multi purpose space. For example, if...