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I’m sure you have heard your kids complain about how math is useless and they are never going to need it in real life. Who cares what time one train coming from the west and another coming from the east will pass each other? But really, middle and high school students need real world math skills, including lessons on business, finance, savings, taxes, insurance, credit, paychecks, budgeting, etc. We have experienced tutors who can teach business/math life skills to all ages from as young as 3rd grade through 12th. Please inquire for more info and feel free to look at some of the curriculum online.
Beach Cities Tutoring is offering summer classes for students of varying ages in executive functioning, mindfulness, and stress management! Often very smart children and teens struggle in school because they lack these skills. Please inquire for more info and registration info. We also offer this type of service on an individual basis. Angela who will be conducting the classes has a Phd in Transformative Learning and 30 years of teaching experience.
Students may no longer be able to get away with 3 years of math and an easy senior year. The CSU system approved a resolution this spring changing the current requirement of 3 years of math to 4 years for incoming freshman.
It is recommended that the 4th year may include a course in mathematical reasoning such as statistics, computer science or coding, which helps students create computer software.
CSU figures point to the need for more rigorous math requirements. Last fall 27% of freshman, or 17,653 students, needed remedial or “developmental” courses in mathematics. Almost the same number had not taken a fourth year of high school math.
The UC system is also looking at changing their math requirements to 4 years but since most of their applicants already take 4 years, the issue is not as urgent.
We already have a high demand for math tutoring in elementary and middle school with our current system, so as more emphasis is put on math and Common Core Math, we will be expanding as far hiring even more highly qualified math tutors who can help students excel in math.
As computers and technology are rapidly being integrated into the curriculum including state testing, it is crucial that your child know how to type quickly without looking at the keys rather than using the “hunt and peck” method. Below are some great programs that your child can use to improve their typing skills.
Keybr- http://www.keybr.com : This program uses your students’ test results to create typing lessons at their skill level instead of just repeating random letters. It also makes them type real words to improve their learning.
Nitro Type- http://www.nitrotype.com : Nitrotype involves a car racing game in which typing speed and accuracy help the student win the game. Students are taught the home row keys and from their build on that as they continue to practice.
Typing Club- http://www.typingclub.com : This program teaches student to touch type using the correct fingers. It is good for beginners and those looking to improve their speed.
Dance Mat Typing- http://www.bbc.co.uk/guides/z3c6tfr : This is a great program for younger users as it features cartoon animals as the “teachers.” After each level passed, the animals sing and dance. The program contains different levels that focus on teaching different keys and is very interactive.
Kindergarten classes have amped up a lot according to research from the University of Virginia between 1998-2010. When I was in kindergarten we learned our letter names/sounds, number recognition, and maybe how to write our names, but now kindergarten students are expected to read sight words, read short stories, write and spell words and sentences as well as do addition, especially in Manhattan Beach. We even had nap time and play centers. Kindergarten addressed basic concepts, but definitely targeted socialization and learning how to behave appropriately in the classroom.
Recent research has found that academic expectations on kindergarten students are much higher now than in 1998 and kindergarten classrooms resembled first grade classrooms of the 90s. In 2010 verses 1998, 80% kindergarten teachers believe kids should learn to read in kindergarten verses 31% in 1998. The length of the kindergarten day has also increased in addition to the intensity of instruction. Kindergarteners even receive homework now and 29% of Kindergarten teachers use standardized tests at least once a month.
If you are unhappy about the changes, they are likely to stay with the institution of the Common Core Curriculum and the increasing competitiveness in the global job economy and job market. Unfortunately, art, music, and discovery play will suffer at the costs of full speed academic instruction.
So what are the implications and how can you help as a parent?
Not all kindergarteners are mature and not all kindergarteners learn at the same rate. Possibly the heavy focus on academics can hinder children from other types of valuable earning experiences. However, one on one tutoring can help support your child whether they are excelling and need a challenge or struggling to learn specific concepts. In a one on one setting, children can receive individualized help that targets the academic areas they are struggling with in a low stress environment at their own pace. Tutors can also provide high interest, challenging material for those students who are bored in school. Years ago, I would never have thought of offering tutoring for kindergarten students, but in today’s times there are many benefits. It is easier to catch up when the material is simple as after grade three students are expected to be able to read at a high level for understanding, make inferences and cite textual evidence as well as solve complex math that even many parents have difficulty with. Being proactive now will save lots of heartache later.
With the competitive nature of South Bay schools, early childhood tutoring offers young children chances to learn in a one on one environment, at their own pace, and in the comfort of their own home. This provides them with exposure to kindergarten concepts in a very low stress environment so when they get to kindergarten they have confidence and are able to perform, as many of the Common Core activities are very challenging and can be frustrating to young children.
Children taught at an early age usually benefit in the following ways: improved social skills, less or no need for special education instruction during subsequent school years, better grades, and enhanced attention spans. Likewise, some researchers have concluded that young children enrolled in pre-school programs usually graduate from high school, attend college, have fewer behavioral problems, and do not become involved with crime in their adolescent and young adult years (Education Corner)
Children’s brains are more malleable and they can learn foreign languages a lot more easily at a young age. Tutors can address concepts such as number recognition, counting, addition, phonemic awareness, letter-sound recognition, blending, reading comprehension, summary, writing of letters. Because students are not in a large class, the tutor can adapt the lessons to the child’s mastery of concepts and continue to review mastered concepts without fear of falling behind. Tutors can also adapt the lessons to the child’s interest. They can use games to keep young children motivated and stimulated. If you are interested in this type of tutoring, please contact us as we have specific tutors that have specialized in early childhood education 3 years old to 8 years old.
I know what you are thinking. Math instruction sure has changed since I was a kid. More and more parents complain that they can’t even help their own children with elementary school math problems. So what’s the difference?
If you have heard of CGI math, but don’t know what it meant, you are not alone. CGI stands for Cognitively Guided Instruction.
So how does it differ from math instruction of the past?
In the past math classes focused on calculation and rote memorization of specific formulas to solve a problem. However, with CGI instruction, students are asked to think about the many ways they could solve a problem and explain how they got their answer. There is NO LONGER ONE CORRECT METHOD only. In addition, students are not first taught any strategies. They are expected to develop them on their own and then justify why they used them to solve the problem.
What are the Pros and Cons of CGI Math?
- Students can use their own creativity to find solutions to a problem
- CGI puts more responsibility on the student to publicly explain and justify to their friends and teacher their method to solving a problem.
- Teachers can encourage original thinking and guide each student according his or her own developmental level and turn of reasoning.
- Students have to come up with their own ways of solving the problem without any instruction first. This can be very frustrating for many of our students with learning differences and for students who do not have a strong mathematical knowledge base from earlier grades.
- Students who thrive on explicit (direct instruction) feel frustrated and are struggling. They may give up on math or develop negative attitudes toward the subject.
For all the parents that feel that they do not know the main goals of the CCSS standards and are interested in to know what future benefit they hold for their children, this link will clear up a lot of confusion. I hope it is helpful.
Wondering what jobs will be the fastest growing in the US by 2020?? If you guessed jobs in computer science, you are correct! These jobs are growing two times as fast as the national average for job growth. By 2020, there will be 14 million jobs but only 400,000 computer science students. So how can you get your kids involved in coding at an early age? Participate in “Hour of the Code.” Seek computer science tutoring. Build confidence in girls in math and science as in 2013, only 19% of girls took the computer science AP exam. When it comes to choosing a college major only .03% of girl select computer science. Also, ask your high school counselors what the prerequisites are for Computer Science AP. Even some middle schools offer classes in coding… Culver City Middle School… Go PanthersJ!
Below are some great resources to help your kids with coding at home!
Hour of Code and Beyond at http://www.code.org
CSUunplugged at http://csunplugged.org/
15+ Ways of Teaching Every Student to code
Teaching Kids to Code, an EdSurge guide
Harvard’s Scratch Curriculum Guide