If the implementation of the Common Core Standards has caused your child/teen to struggle, you are not alone. A recent article by Stedman Graham in the Huffington Post found that in terms of critical problem solving skills, American students ranked 27th out of 34 nations. Although this information is good to know, it is not as bad as it sounds. Critical thinking ability can be TAUGHT.
Improving reading and writing comprehension is the key. Some factors that influence reading comprehension include environmental distractions, limited vocabulary, lack of interest, and prior knowledge. Writing is also very important when it comes to critical thinking as students have to be able to respond to texts in a well-organized way and also interpret the prompt. Common Core tests require students to use evidence from the text, but also include their own analysis. For many students this can be challenging.
The brain can be trained to analyze, absorb, digest and respond to all sorts of information and this is where tutoring can be very helpful, especially as many of our tutors are English teachers and/or English Major Graduates. We can help your teen/child learn strategies to integrate reading and writing into a relevant, real world environment. Individualized attention where the tutor breaks down the writing process into annotating, teaching prewriting strategies using graphic organizers, paragraph organization, quote analysis, and editing can help build a confident reader and writer.