Just wanted to remind all our current and new clients that if you refer a friend to Beach Cities Tutoring and they book one month of tutoring you can receive $20 off one session. Thank you again to all our clients that have already referred. We are growing and helping South Bay kids to thrive:)!!!!
Monthly Archives: February 2015
- BCT Staff
- early childhood education
- Educational news
- homework tips
- Local Events and News
- Motivation and Study Skills
- motivation and tutoring
- Special Education
- study tips
- Technology in Education
- Test Prep
- Tutoring Announcements
In the NY Times, a recent study by Common Sense Media showed a dramatic decrease in teens reading for pleasure. What are the culprits? If you guessed video games, television, and cell phones you are definitely on the right track. Unfortunately, studies also link daily reading to higher intelligence, improved critical thinking and achievement.
Reading is not only a tool for learning but improves vocabulary, curiousity and overall exposure to the world and to different cultures. As a parent the best thing you can do is find a subject matter that interests your children. Some other tips include:
- Visit your local library or book store. They are both staffed with knowledgable people with ability to match kids with books.
- Set a good example — If your child sees you that you read regularly, she may be more inclined to follow suit.
- Dedicate Reading Time– Set a regular time in the home where everyone reads; no electronics allowed!
- Find books that you yourself enjoy, and then share them with your child. Find areas of discussion.
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.
In addition to tutoring, some of these resources are a great addition to supplement your child/teen’s education and learning during the school session, summer break and other vacation breaks. Best part is they are all free!
http://sciencenetlinks.com/ -This site provides free K-12 science lessons and activities, teaching tools, interactivities and podcasts for teachers, students and families.
http://www.kidshealth.org This site is the #1 most-trusted source for physician-reviewed information and advice on children’s health and parenting issues. It presents programs of light, moderate and vigorous exercise for K-5 to develop flexibility, strength and cardiovascular health.
http://www.educore.ascd.org – Resources to help implement the Common Core Standards.
http://www.watchyoulearn.org – Free educational videos for K-12 students about all different subjects.
http://undsci.berkeley.edu/ – Understanding Science was developed for K-higher education teachers and students to look at science, its principles and methods. It also has a resource library.
http://www.readwritethink.org This site presents 58 student interactive for gradesK-12 that develop skills in organizing and summarizing, inquiry and analysis, writing poetry, writing and publishing prose, and learning about language. For parents and students it has after school projects, activities, and games.
http://www.motivate.maths.org This site provides opportunities for students in grades K-12 to discover how math relates to life and other subjects.
If you are a middle school or high school parent you have probably heard of the videogame Minecraft. It is an open world game that has no specific goals and allows players the freedom to explore and create anything they want by placing blocks. It was only recently two teachers in Louisville, KY thought of incorporating Common Core Standards into the game in order to help students learn in a fun and engaging manner.
They did this with the help of the online community to make plug-ins that ask Common Core related questions every few minutes. Students get to compete and whoever responds first gets an in-game reward. The Louisville teachers, Jason and his wife Crystal Hubler funded the whole project. They created worlds that include areas modeled after historic time periods and locations as well as problem solving games and activities. This took 6 months and hours to prepare.
Feedback from students after taking the SBAC (Common Core tests) suggests that the game helped to increase their understanding of Common Core standards because it was tied to the game. The Hublers didn’t plan on selling it to schools to download and use but it could really take off now that the hard part is done.