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Archive for the ‘Tutoring’ Category

A Balanced Approach to Teaching Reading

Sunday, April 14th, 2013

Consider the following two teaching methods in English Language Arts. Mr. Brown hands out a worksheet exercise to his first grade students on circling words that contain the same “ch” sound. This is an explicit exercise on phonics or basic skills instruction in reading. Mrs. Kato reads to the class and asks her first graders to write about the topic after the reading. Mrs. Kato was using the whole language approach to teaching reading. Which is a better method of teaching reading to children?

Research says that a combination of the two methods or balanced instruction may be the most effective way to teach the beginning reader. This balanced instruction involves teaching the relationship between letters and sounds in a systematic fashion, and at the same time, children are being read to and reading interesting stories and writing at the same time. Researchers claim that the combination method presents the best of both worlds in teaching reading.

Achieving Succes

Thursday, April 11th, 2013
Levels of student achievement have continued to decrease despite increases in the school resources applied to the learning process over the years.  Few educators would argue that standardized tests are the best measure of school effectiveness.  Yet, there are many technical issues involved in the tests themselves ad how the scores are reported and analyzed.

The reality is that the test results are concise and appealing to the public….. hence important to the school. They also are consequential for individual students, who need good scores to qualify for high school graduation, colleges, and scholarships. So, new approaches to assessment and better tests may be needed in the long run, but in the short run it would be of benefit simply to achieve higher scores. Two effective means to this end currently are available. The first focuses on the test scores directly, while the second reaches beyond the tests to each school’s curriculum and preparation of students to lead productive and fulfilling lives.  This is the technique that eTutor uses to improve the online teaching-learning process

Another effective approach is to develop the study skills which facilitate the learning process…..skills which are not covered in most school curricula. The deeper issue behind raising test scores is the instructional effectiveness of the school. Improvements here mean better-prepared individuals, lifelong learning, and progress for society. An important part of this improvement process involves assessing the needs in various aspects of the instructional program and its operation, then evaluating the progress which results from improvement efforts.


The Changing Face of Teaching and Learning

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Among the impacts of radical change is fundamental uncertainty, a knot-in-the-stomach feeling that what we normally do might not work this time. Fundamental uncertainty makes it easy to visualize a youngster, standing at the chalkboard with his hands in his pockets, completely stumped by the problem before him.

To complicate matters further, fundamental uncertainty has a companion malady …… uncertainty of role. In addition to not knowing what to do, many are beginning to question whether we should be doing (or not doing) what we’re doing (or not doing).  Online learning and the role of teachers exacerbates uncertainty.

America’s schools are not immune to the forces of radical change and the uncertainty it’s causing. In fact, some school people appear numbed by the magnitude of the events driving radical change. Like the young student, they’re stuck at the chalkboard, uncertain of what to do next.  Online learning is a force that educators need to reckon with.  Coming from the outside in, it will radically change the way schooling has traditionally taken place.  Yet, coming from the inside, the promises online learning offer will not be recognized.


Young Adolescents and Learning

Friday, April 5th, 2013

What are the specialized needs of young adolescents ages 10-15?  Why do we need to develop curricula and educational programs tailored to those unique needs? Researchers have found that young adolescents have the following developmental needs

  • positive social interaction with adults and peers
  • creative expression
  • structure and clear limits to physical activity
  • meaningful participation in families and school
  • opportunities for self definition
  • competence and achievement

Programs which meet the developmental needs of young adolescents use a variety of activities and strategies. As young adolescents have an orientation toward peers and a concern about social acceptance, work in small groups and advisory programs promote opportunities for interaction with peers and adults. Interdisciplinary team organization fosters feelings of belonging while advisory groups allow time and a small group for discussion of issues.

Achievement and competence is achieved through authentic assessment based on personal goals, challenging intellectual material focused on relevant problems and issues, and with recognition by peers and adults. The increase in the desire for autonomy can be addressed through learning strategies involving choice, a curriculum based on social and individual interests. Service projects and project based learning capitalize upon young adolescent’s creative expression and need for meaningful participation.

Numbers Don’t Lie?

Saturday, March 23rd, 2013

Numbers don’t lie….or so we are told. It can pay to be skeptical when you are given statistics and data. Ones to watch include:

  • The everything’s-going-up statistic. It is typically found in reports showing more people than ever are employed, are on welfare, etc. That’s right because there are more people than ever. More useful: The actual employment rate or the portion of the population receiving welfare.
  • The everything-is average statistic. Example: Someone argues that women can’t be combat soldiers because the average woman can’t lift as much weight as the average man. But many women can lift more weight than many men.
  • The best-fit statistic. Here the best numbers to support a case are used. Example: This year’s sales are compared with those of three years ago to show a 25 percent increase. They aren’t compared to higher sales two years ago, which would show a 10 percent drop.

How to get it right: Ask to see all of the numbers and make your own calculations.

Victor Cohn, Iowa State University Press, Ames, IA

The Trick of Nines

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

Is your child having trouble learning the “9″ times table? Here is a trick to help. Multiply any number by 9, and the answer will always add up to 9. Try it. 2 time 9 equals 18, and 1 plus 8 equals 9. 8 time 9 equals 72, and 7 plus 2 equals 9.

The trick works for very large numbers, as well, like this 8142 times 9 equals 73,278. 7 plus 3 plus 2 plus 7 plus 8 equals 27…and 2 plus 7 equals 9.

Give your child a calculator and let her try it for herself.

Almost?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

RISKS

Saturday, March 9th, 2013
  • To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
  • To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
  • To reach out for another is to risk involvement.
  • To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
  • To place your ideas, your dreams before a crowd is to risk their loss.
  • To love is to risk not being loved in return.
  • To live is to risk dying.
  • To hope is to risk despair.
  • To try is to risk failure.
  • But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
  • The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
  • They avoid suffering and sorrow, but they can not learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
  • Chained by their attitudes, they are a slave, they have forfeited their freedom.
  • Only the person who risks is free.

Anonymous

Face to Face Communicating

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Listening

Recently at a large convention I had an opportunity to view first hand the good and bad in communicating. These tips are great for anyone to use:

  • Always remember that you never get a second chance to make a good first impression.
  • Every individual is a communicator and has credibility with someone.
  • Be genuine and honest. If you don’t know, don’t guess.
  • Be enthusiastic. A spark is essential if you want to motivate enthusiasm in others.
  • Identify key communicators.
  • Use every available means to get people to “witness” quality efforts in action.
  • Encourage visibility.
  • Make communications a part of your objectives each year.
  • Don’t “PR people to death” suddenly.
  • Above all, listen. Listening is a sign of caring, is basic to building responsiveness, and is the key to confidence.

Innovation in Learning

Sunday, March 3rd, 2013

On-Line Learning

E-Tutor - On-Line Tutoring for K-12

Does your child or someone you know need additional instruction or an alternative way of learning? At eTutor, there are over 3400 Language Arts, Mathematics, Science and Social Studies lesson modules to stimulate the imagination of any child needing help in learning, or not. The lesson modules are fully integrated with the Internet. Students can use juried sites in order to enhance and reinforce concepts taught in the Study Guide.   Exercises, quizzes and exams accompany each lesson module. The ten part lesson modules are complete with pictures, diagrams, activities, worksheets and thought provoking assignments. Each lesson module has goals and standards that students will attain by fully completing the tasks.  Subscribe for your child today.