- 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
Due to our high demand of requests for writing tutoring, we would like to offer private small group writing instruction for groups of 2-6 now and during the summer. Students will receive Common Core based writing instruction. They will learn how to write a proper introduction, body paragraphs with textual evidence embedded, and conclusion paragraphs. They will also learn how to edit and revise their writing. Writing is one of the most valuable life skills. Not only will it help students excel in all of their core subjects, it will help them succeed in life. Inquire now for discounted rates based on group size and more information about specific tutors.
Who doesn’t love public speaking right? I would guarantee that the thought of it makes 90% of students want to pee in their pants. What’s better than being judged in front of all your peers? Well, public speaking is a crucial life skill that many schools fail to teach. Summer is a perfect time to engage your child in creating their very own TED talk and instilling the value of being a strong public speaker in any future career.
First, introduce your teen to appropriate TED talks so they can view some models. I have posted some below but you can research on your own as well.
Challenge them to come up with their own topic of interest. If your tween or teen is having problems thinking of their own idea, here is a link with a bunch of ideas that they can develop: http://wordgen.serpmedia.org/s_weekly2016.html. I have also posted a list of topics below
After they have watched some TED talks and have chosen their topic, introduce the TED talk format:
Students will need an opener, thesis, at least two pieces of evidence appropriately framed, explanations of their evidence, and visuals that are catchy and engaging. Finally make sure to to include a strong conclusion. Students should plan their script and the total talk time should be 1.5-3 minutes. Once they have practiced, film them and allow them to critique their own performance. They can share the talks with their friends and family if they like and knowing teens they may even want to post it on Youtube…..
ADDITIONAL TOPIC IDEAS
Should single gender education be an option for everyone?
Should the government impose a mandatory year of service?
What is the purpose of school?
When should we consider someone an adult?
Junk food: should schools sell it?
Do professional athletes deserve multimillion dollar salaries?
Should students be paid for performance in school?
Are green technologies worth the investment?
Should middle and high school students be required to meet a grade requirement to participate in sports?
How should organ recipients be chosen?
When is it okay to lie?
Are after school jobs helpful or harmful to students?
Should American students be required to learn a second language?
OTHER IDEAS: What are you personally interested in? (Challenge option)
Benefits of kids sharing rooms
Having a pet
Benefits of more recess
Importance of breakfast
Cell phones in school
Benefits of growing your own food
School sports: harmful or helpful
Extended school day
Year round school
Laptops for all students
School lunches longer
School should start earlier
A pet for a family
Healthier school lunches
Low/no cost college
Benefits of handwriting
Typing as a separate class
1: 1 device at school
Siblings v only children
With the advent of Common Core, writing has become a crucial part of all subjects. Students must explain their reasoning and how they come up with solutions in math, write multiple paragraph essays in history and write complex lab reports and evidence based paragraphs in science. One of the most important parts of writing include prewriting and editing. Both of which students hate to do. They often just want to start writing and end writing when they finish the physical act of writing. However, prewriting or brainstorming can greatly improve students’ ability to organize information in their writing. In addition, the editing checklist can offer an organized way for students to check all aspects of their writing and revise it before turning it in. Editing checklists cover grammar, organization, paragraph structure, and word choice. So before child yells out “I’m done!!” Make sure you take advantage of the resources below.
If you want a great summer reading comprehension resource for middle school students with Common Core math, science and writing links, check out the below link:
Topics range from a variety of issues including but not limited to the below. In addition, you can have your child choose a side on an issue and write a persuasive essay. Our tutors are also available for writing tutoring over the summer.
While teaching theme can be challenging as students often confuse it for the main idea, I have found several great resources and wanted to share them. Theme is valuable because it the basis or purpose for reading literature.
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 case, your kiddos have a bunch of energy from the Halloween candy. You can put it to good use with this site:)!!! I found it as I was looking for interactive Ancient Egypt stuff but it has EVERY SUBJECT:)!!! It’s great as it is very interactive AKA NOT BORING for your K-5th graders:)
It includes all subjects from Spanish, to English, to Math, Science, Social Studies and even typing. I definitely plan to use it in my class but you can have your child use it at home. The best part is that the lessons are fun!
I agree that most students fear writing. However, I have found lots of practice, using graphic organizers for prewriting, and individual mini-conferences with each student while the others are working independently or in small groups helps tremendously. I also believe in giving students a choice of essay topic as if they enjoy what they are writing about they are more motivated. Whether it involves a novel, a persausive topic, or research topic, providing students with a choice allows them to feel more in control and not as overwhelmed.
Before we talk about editing, I cannot stress the importance of pre-writing! I tutor tons of students of all ages and you would be suprised at how many either were never taught how to prewrite (concept maps, brainstorming, outlining etc) or were taught but still have no idea how to use this tool. Pre-writing allows students to focus on the topic and also to structure their writing so that it progresses logicially. No matter what the grade level from elmentary to high school, pre-writing is extremely effective and necessary. In addition, once students complete their pre-writing they gain confidence that the actual essay writing comes a lot easier.
Finally, to address the individual min conferences, I am pretty detailed in my annotating of mistakes but not only do I acknowledge the mistakes, I also offer examples of how to fix them or rewrite the sentence. At the end of every student’s paper I bullet point the strengths and weaknesses of the essay. This helps the students see what they did well and what the need to improve on. Unfortunately, if you don’t conference with students, many will just look at the grade and never look at the essay again. All my experience has been been in the middle and high school RSP English department so my classes have been a lot smaller than the average English class. It is too bad that not all students can have such small classes as I know conferencing and grading takes an exorbitant amount of time.