READ !!

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READ!

Books
There are so many awesome genres or topics and so many enjoyable books that you can choose from.
Think of your interests, and then go find a book, novel, or collection of short stories – and read.
https://www.goodreads.com/list/tag/novels
Often, people say, “I just don’t have time to read.”
Well, I am here to tell you that you do have time to read.
You don’t have to dedicate hours and hours to reading (although there is nothing wrong with that!).
If you want to get started, read 10 pages per day – only 10 PAGES!
At this rate, you will read approximately:
9 regular sized novels / year (100,000 words – 400 pages)
Or
15 young adult books / year (60,000 words – 240 pages)
Or
30 middle grade books / year (30,000 words – 120 pages)
Of course, these are just averages. Many novels are shorter than 400 pages and some are much longer. I am just finishing a novel with 1,044 pages. (Neal Stephenson’s Reamde)
Still, you get the idea. Slow and steady wins the race. Okay – so there is no race. That’s the whole point!
You don’t need to get bogged down. A few pages each day – every day, and you will retain the thread of the story, but you can still get everything else done in the day.
There are so many things to learn in books.
So much excitement that many people are missing.
Give reading a try – you can take your time and “live” in the moment if you like a particular character or scene.
I hear you. You are thinking, “I am reading this, aren’t I?” But reading blogs and blurbs and bits is not the same thing.
(I do thank you for reading my Blog, however.)
Each kind of reading can be entertaining and educational – but reading a good book or set of stories is quite a different animal.  (Yes, e-readers count – the book doesn’t have to be printed on paper.)
Try it out – and encourage your children, friends, parents, etc. to try it out as well.
I hope you have read at least two or three novels before the end of summer!

L.T.L. Tutoring Central

Studying for an Exam

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Tips for Doing Well on Exams

Test yourself before the examination.

You should practise the information you have been learning. You may work in a group, but make sure the group isn’t just a social gathering in which very little “study” is accomplished.
By self-testing you will be able to monitor how well you have mastered the material. It is much better to find out what you don’t know before the exam. You will have time to brush up on weak areas or information you have forgotten.

Find out as much as you can about the exam.

  • What kind of exam will it be: multiple choice, true/false, short answer, essay?
  • What material will be on the exam?
  • What is the relative importance of different topics on the exam?
  • What is the time limit for the exam?
  • If the teacher doesn’t automatically give you this information, ask him/her. Usually teachers are receptive to students who want to know how to prepare.

Try to predict what might be stressed on the exam.
If the teacher has stressed certain areas in class, these are probably going to be on the exam and likely to count for more marks.

Learn the teacher’s testing habits.
Looking back at a teacher’s previous tests and exams will give you an idea of his/her general format and the kinds of questions he/she usually asks.
Some teachers tend to look for details while others look for the “big picture” or general themes and ideas – knowing what a teacher is looking for can reduce the amount of preparation time, but – even better – can increase the accuracy of your preparation.

During review, ask yourself questions you think might be on the test.
If you have used SQ3R and solid note-taking tips, you will know the key points and major ideas of the course. With some practice, you will be able to predict many of the questions that will actually be on the test. Preparing to answer these questions beforehand will put you miles ahead – answering the same or similar questions on the exam will be easy!!

Prepare for the type of test questions you expect.

Maintain a healthy lifestyle before the test.
• get a good night’s sleep
• eat breakfast (if the exam is in the afternoon – eat lunch)
Your mind will work better if you take care of your body.  They are not exclusively separate entities.

If you really must cram for the exam, do it intelligently.
Pick out the most important parts of your notes or text for study.
Scan and survey for general information.
Note: Try to break yourself of this habit of procrastination and cramming for next time – use the tools you have at your disposal now to schedule and follow through with a PLAN to reach goals.

Be anti-social right before an exam.
Do not discuss the exam with other nervous students just before the exam.  This will make you second-guess yourself and increase anxiety.

Becoming “Test-Wise”

These strategies help you to work smarter not harder.

Making it or breaking it in the first five minutes.
• Put your name on the test papers or answer sheets.
• Read and understand the general directions.
• Don’t skip over the directions – listen to instructor’s additional directions (if any) – underline any key words in the directions.

Do you need to answer all of the questions or is there a choice?
How are you supposed to record my answers? – pencil, pen, on the test sheet / separate sheet or booklet – special pencil for computer scoring?

Survey the entire test.
• How many questions are there?
• How many pages, and are they all there?
• Are their different weights given to different sections or questions? (Knowing this will help you divide your time appropriately –giving more time to the heavily weighted sections.)
Jot down initial thoughts.
As you survey, you may want to jot down key terms or ideas that pop into your mind. You will be able to use them in your more thorough answer later.

Plan how you will spend your time during the exam.
Portion out your time according to the worth of different exam sections.

REMEMBER: Always leave a few minutes at the end to review your work and ensure you haven’t made any silly mistakes – especially important for essay type answers.  You might be surprised at what you find!

If you need further information on any of the topics here or more study tips, please contact me.

Come join me for some personal tutoring, online lessons, more study tips, or sign on to the mailing list at:

L.T.L. Tutoring Central

Let’s Keep Learning!

Email:  tutoringcentral@hotmail.com

Skype:  tutoringcentral

Your Brain!

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While preparing my new online course about essay writing, I inserted a picture of a brain in the proofreading section and this got me thinking beyond the obvious connection.

In the course, I am discussing the importance of proofreading and editing one’s work.  There are many tools one can use including various spell / grammar checking software, the old-fashioned dictionary or proofreading books (yes, they still exist!), or have a friend help out. (Pick a smart friend by the way.)

The picture of a human brain is included to remind students that software does not catch all possible mistakes.  In fact, sometimes it is quite poor at helping with corrections. (Yes, even Grammarly fails miserably in many cases.)

Thinking about this made me happy!

I am happy that the best “computer” of all is still very useful, and we have it with us all the time carried in a neat little container called our head.

The brain is such an amazing organic “machine” which is somewhat analogous to a computer or mechanical device; and, yet, it is not.  It is far more than strings of 0’s and 1’s or even the finest gears.

It is true that a computer can list all kinds of facts and information, but none of it is useful without the brain.

What good is any of it without some intervention of the human intelligence?  In fact, to retrieve the list of facts, sites, and blogs took someone acting and using the ultimate “computer” in the first place.

Once the information is retrieved something needs to be done with it – connections need to be made, new networks to show relevance, explanations on application, revealing the importance either as a reminder or to explore something original, etc.

The computer will do none of that.

So, the computer and various software programs as tools are very useful and amazing, but they are not replacements for the brain or thought.

Learning is not limited to being able to Google something!

And I am very happy that it isn’t.  Perhaps one day computers will be more organic, emotional, intuitive, and capable of more complexity than they are now.  (At some point, however, do they stop being computers anyway?)

In the meantime, let’s not ignore or neglect the amazing organ we have with us for 70-100 years (how long did your last computer / device last?), working 24 / 7 and capable of constant improvement.

Use the tools available – yes!

Always use them; however, with the intent to add to, expand, and improve the best “computer” ever – YOU!

Ron Johnson

http://www.tutoringcentral.com

Skype:  tutoringcentral

Free Live Online Class – Writing in English!

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The course is up and running, but here is an opportunity to attend a free live online lesson!

Writing in English

Come join me on May 21 at 7:30 pm (EDT).  Even if you cannot attend live, join, and you will have lifetime access to the recording of the live class.

Of course, I would love to see you!

Free live class:

http://www.wiziq.com/online-class/2783536-writing-in-english

Writing in English course:

https://www.wiziq.com/course/103351-basic-english-writing-course

You can start this course at any time and complete at your own speed.  The lessons will continue to be available to you for as long as you want to access them.

Check the website for other online classes.

www.tutoringcentral.com

It’s not about the Grades!

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You may think this is an odd or even irresponsible thing for a tutor to write (or think) – but it is true!

I have tried to encourage my students to forget about the grades and, instead, aim to do their best work and to gain the most knowledge from their studies.

#1  The knowledge is what counts.

The whole enterprise of education is to help disseminate and gain knowledge – the ability to reason, think, and draw conclusions.

What does a “C” a “90%” or a “Level 3′ mean in all this?

Not much!

In fact, students receive grades for all sorts of reasons – not always connected to the acquisition of knowledge.

I have seen a high school student (more than one actually) score in the 90% range for mathematics; yet, she could not tell me what 3 x 3 is without a calculator.  (Also, if she made a mistake on the calculator doing this same operation, she would not recognize the error.)

So what, exactly, does the 90% mean?

Here is another true example.  A student received a B+ (77%, Level 3+) in his English class; however, he was unable to write a full sentence by himself.  In fact, he was unable to dictate a sentence very well and a paragraph was beyond him even with the dictation – scribe method.

So what did the mark / grade measure?

Simply said, it wasn’t very useful.

The student, himself, did progress. The gains he made should be recognized, and he should be commended for his own personal growth.  Providing a “grade,” however, was not an essential part of his knowledge acquisition or growth.

#2    The grades will follow.

If the focus is on using solid study strategies and gaining new knowledge, then the grades will come anyway!

Even if grades remain an essential part of educational assessment, focusing on them does not help.

Look to the content of what you are learning and spend your energy on getting to know the material.

There are those who want to give up on grades all together, and I understand why.

I am, however, still pleased to see some marking scheme in certain areas.

For myself, I like to see that I have conquered 80% or 90% of a given set of math questions, for example.

This does not mean that if I get 50% I give up!  It just helps me to know where I need to focus my energy. In other words, I obviously didn’t comprehend that unit fully.

So, maybe we don’t need to throw the baby out with the bathwater but a new perspective could help.

#3     Students get it!

Over nineteen years, I have seen lots of students – many with learning challenges of one kind or another.

Each one has known that his/her “A” may or may not be connected to the material he or she has learned.  Students know when they have truly done well and when they haven’t.  The are happy to get the grade, but time and time again, students have admitted that they don’t know how they got an “A” in a class they barely understood.  They know when their mark is based on an IEP or some other standard (although it isn’t always clear what that standard might be).

They have all appreciated that in private or small group tutoring classes they can be more honest about grades and actual knowledge.  Not only are they happy to be more honest with themselves; but, often, they begin to excel with new vigor, recognizing that beginning at their “START” point, they don’t have to think or worry about “the score” at every juncture.

Why keep up the charade?

It is time to rethink!

Finally – what does the picture on this blog have to do with anything?  Well, you tell me – put your thinking cap on!

It doesn’t matter how slowly you go….

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“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.”   Confucius

What a wonderful quotation!

So many of my students get frustrated because the school requires them to reach certain levels at particular ages/grades – and, yet, they are not ready!

The goal of education is to learn – to improve – to enjoy – and to gain an understanding that we didn’t have before (or to remind us or build an additional tentacle to our network of knowledge).

If you are in grade 7 but have a limited (or non-existent) understanding of addition, subtraction, multiplication, and/or division – are you ready for algebra and complex fraction operations?

No!

And there is no shame in that.

Start where you are.  Take one step forward.  And then another.  And another.  And so on until the foundation is secure. Before you know it, you will be ready to learn those fractions!  (Or write an essay, book report, chemistry formula, etc.)

If you stop, however, then those fractions will forever be a mystery to you.

So, keep moving forward.  Keep challenging yourself, and you will be surprised at what you gain!

www.tutoringcentral.com

Tutoring Central Store

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Well, I know I haven’t been blogging much.

I have, however, been working away at getting more items online.

I have set up a little store via teacherspayteachers:  https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Store/Ltl-Tutoring-Central

Also, I have uploaded a basic writing course to Wiziq – but it is still in progress, more about that later.

On the website, there is an offering for photo-prompt writing lessons.  The form is all ready to go!

So, you see I have been busy after all.Featured image

Well, that’s enough about me.  Let’s hear about how things are going for you!  I look forward to hearing and reading about everyone’s adventures.