Tag Archives: Education

5 Things to do This August to Prepare For School

Irvine Tutoring Tips: 5 Things to do This August to Prepare For School

I know many students will roll their eyes at the thought of this post, but school is just around the corner, and it’s better to prepare now than fall behind. Don’t worry; you’ll still be able to enjoy your final weeks of vacation all while getting your brain in gear for the school year. Odds are you’ve been doing some form of school work, whether it be test prep for the summer ACT/SAT or taking a summer class. For those who haven’t even touched a book in weeks, that’s okay too! There’s plenty of time to get your brain back in shape.

As a private Irvine academic tutor, I know the importance of furthering your education over the summer. From applying to college to scoring high on important tests, students have a lot on their plates and can’t afford to take months off from learning. Luckily summer learning can be fun and focused on your interests – check out some of our past blog posts for ideas such as educational family trips and blogging.

Here are five things you can do this August to help you prepare for the first day of school.

1. Hire a Private Irvine Tutor

The best part about hiring a back-to-school Irvine tutor is that they work with your schedule. That way you can still fit in a few final summer activities without it interfering with your tutoring. Whether you are preparing for a specific class or just want to get the rust off in subjects such as math and science, our private Irvine academic tutors are here to help you succeed.

2. Make a Calendar

This one is particularly important for students starting college in the fall. With a higher level of education comes more responsibility. Don’t expect the University to hold your hand and make sure you are doing everything you need to before classes start. Check your school’s calendar and add any important due dates, meet and greets, etc. into your personal calendar. Keep in mind that some classes require you to read a book before classes start. There’s no shame in adding “start reading that book!” into your calendar.

3. For Parents: Review Standards For Upcoming Year

Most schools will allow you to see the learning standards for the upcoming year. These will include topics covered – especially helpful in science and social studies. For example, if your student is set to learn about California history in the upcoming grade, take them to CA Historical Museums over the summer. Not only will the give them a leg up, but help them put what they are learning into context.

4. Put Away Your Phone and Pick Up a Book

Let’s be honest, how many hours did you spend this summer staring at your phone? No judgment, just wanted to put that into perspective. Take a break from your phone and pick up a book. The good news is you can read something you want to read instead of an assigned book. Without even realizing it, you are improving your writing and reading skills while you enjoy a little book break (READ: 5 Ways to Get Your Kid to Love Reading).

5. Review How Last Year Went

Take a moment to review how your previous school year went. While it’s important to focus on your grades and test scores, think about why you scored the way you did. For instance, were you overwhelmed when you signed up for a Spanish club? Make a note of these things and plan your upcoming year accordingly. Learning from your mistakes and achievements can help make the year go much smoother.

It’s never too early to book your private Irvine tutor for the new school year. Call TutorNerds today for more information.

tutor logo Ask A Nerd! SAT Subject Tests Members of the TutorNerds team and our private tutors write every blog post. If you have any questions about our blog, please email us at pr@tutornerds.com.

6 Good Habits to Pick Up when Starting High School

These 6 Habits Will Get you Ahead in High School

8th graders are getting ready to wrap up the year and move on to the challenge of high school. They should think about a few good habits they can pick up that will help them with the transition. One of the biggest things all 9th graders can work on is organization. Transitioning to high school should also focus on excellent note-taking skills and the appropriate use of supplemental study materials. If students can pick up good habits sooner rather than later, they are more likely to enjoy both the academic challenge of starting high school and the social aspect of being older and more independent. High school can either be challenging yet fun or overwhelmingly stressful depending on a student’s introduction to this new phase of their life.

starting-high-school-habits

1. Note taking and annotation

One of the best habits students can develop is appropriate note taking and annotation skills. Many students breeze through a textbook without highlighting, underlining, or taking side notes. As a result, when they go back to study for the end of chapter quiz or to complete an assignment they don’t remember which information was relevant and which was not. This can add multiple hours on the clock every week and lead to frustration. Instead, students are encouraged to annotate on a computer document that they can’t lose quickly. Loose leaf paper can be lost just as soon as the notes are taken but a computer document aptly-named and labeled can easily be found later on.

2. General organization

General organization is also an excellent habit to develop. Students who are organized in each class will be aware of important dates and deadlines, know how much work they need to complete each day, and have a better grasp of the subject matter overall. Staying organized is a key to success throughout high school (READ: “5 Best Math Apps for High School Students”).

3. Supplemental study materials

When adjusting to high school, it’s important that students know how to utilize supplemental study materials appropriately. For example, SparkNotes or CliffsNotes are an excellent help to understanding a novel or story but should not be used as a shortcut. Study guides and outlines are also extremely helpful when it comes to test prep and assignment completion.

4. Socialization

Healthy socialization is also a huge part of adjusting to the 9th grade. Students will be meeting new peers and will have the opportunity to choose friends with good study habits and goals for the future. Making new friends is an important part of the overall balance of being in high school but excessive socialization, especially during school hours, can potentially become a detriment to a student’s good standing and academic success. It’s important for students to find a suitable balance.

5. Stress management

New high school students will often be adjusting to a higher level of stress for the first time. By junior year, this stress can be entirely overwhelming if students haven’t learned a work-life balance. In some cases, a student may need a tutor to help conquer challenging assignments and concepts. Students can also join a study group or meet with their teacher on a regular basis. Additionally, it’s important to leave time for sports or other extracurricular activities that help manage stress over time (READ: “4 Differences Between High School and College”).

6. Open lines of communication with teachers

Many students feel intimidated by their teachers as they enter high school. However, teachers are the best resource when it comes to understanding classroom assignments and general concepts. It’s a good idea for students to get comfortable asking questions in class as well as emailing the teacher or visiting during office hours to clarify information that will help them be successful throughout the next four years.

Get ahead and stay ahead in high school with the help Irvine private tutoring from TutorNerds. Call us today for more information.

tutor logo Ask A Nerd! SAT Subject Tests All blog entries, with the exception of guest bloggers, are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at pr@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us write.

Emotional IQ vs. Intellectual IQ | by TutorNerds

Emotional IQ vs. Intellectual IQ: How do they compare?

Emotional IQ is the ability to handle complex, difficult and sometimes very sad situations. It is also the ability to navigate intricate social situations. Some children simply have a knack for socializing and are farther along than their peers (want your student to grow more confident and develop social skills? Try one of our in-home Orange County tutors). However, at the end of the day, emotional IQ comes with experience and time. A 35-year-old with a 110 IQ will almost always have a significantly higher emotional IQ than a 15-year-old with a 140 IQ. Some things just come with time.

emotional-IQ-students

Intellectual IQ is the potential a person has, at any age, to achieve academically and to understand higher levels of thinking.

Gifted children (READ: GATE Testing) can find themselves in really tough situations if their adult counterparts expect them to have an adult emotional IQ. A 5-year-old has had 5 years of life experience, not 10 or 20 or 55. Even if their intellectual IQ is 130+ (the “gifted” cutoff), they still need time to grow and learn about emotional situations. Let’s look at some real life examples.

Emotional IQ vs Intellectual IQ: Example One

A second grader has an intellectual IQ of 135 but the emotional IQ of a seven-year-old. Her reading level is three grade levels above that of her peers and she easily gets bored with second grade books (Have you considered an Irvine private tutor for your child’s reading abilities? Check out: Reading Tutoring). It would be easy to give the child a fifth grade reading level book, but this could potentially be a big mistake. It’s really important for teachers and parents to look at the content of the higher level books and think about whether or not the student is emotionally ready to handle the content.

How would a second grader, no matter what their IQ, respond to learning about the Holocaust for the first time from a book? How would they respond to reading about the West Nile Virus in the newspaper? Content and skill are two very different things. It’s important to challenge a gifted learner intellectually while maintaining socially and emotionally appropriate content. Check out what these parents had to say about these books: ProTeacher.net

Emotional IQ vs Intellectual IQ: Example Two

A sixth grader, who happens to be gifted at math and has a 145 overall intellectual IQ, is struggling socially. Because he has a high IQ, he is expected to understand social situations that juniors and seniors in high school can handle. Just because he is a math whiz, doesn’t mean that he is able to have a relevant conversation with students five or six years his senior. Perhaps when they are 30 and 35-years-old respectively, the social situation will be quite different but a sixth grader will still needs to socialize with sixth graders, even if they are in different classes. I recommend that parents arrange time outside of school for their gifted child to spend with children their own age and have plenty of opportunity to just relax and have fun being 11-years-old.

orange-county-private-tutor

Emotional IQ vs Intellectual IQ: Example Three

A gifted child is asked to handle the academic workload of an adult. Many advanced and gifted learners are asked to not only take on the skill level of much older children or adults, but also adhere to the time table of an adult. Most of us sit down and concentrate at a desk for 8 or more hours a day and we have learned to cope with it. As adults, we know when to take breaks, when to get up and walk around and when to simply power through it. Children, no matter how smart they are, are not accustomed to sitting down for more than six hours in a 24 hour period. The beauty of childhood is to spend time outside, spend time with friends, and use the imagination. Adulthood will come all too soon enough and it is important that gifted children get time to simply be children. They need to laugh, play and have fun like all children.

Bottom Line

It’s essential to assess emotional IQ along side with intellectual IQ. The bottom line is that each child will have a potentially vast difference in their intellectual abilities. Some will be musicians, some will be engineers, and others will be artists or dancers. But a six-year-old is a six-year-old and emotional IQ generally doesn’t vary by more than a year or two if the child is under 18.

tutor logo Is your child twice exceptional? All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.

 Is your child twice exceptional? Teach.com

Summer School Survival Kit

Surviving Summer School

So you have to go to summer school. Although it does sound like the end of the world right now, feel better knowing that more and more students are spending the warm and breezy months of July and August in a classroom. For some of you it will be to catch up and for others it will be to get ahead. Test prep tutoring is also becoming more popular during the summer months. Lets’ face it, the school year is becoming increasingly demanding and your academic responsibilities will start spilling out into the warmer months with each increasing year. Rather than feel the impending doom of a 12 month study year, we can find some ways to survive summer school, study effectively, and even have a little fun. (READ: Education World: 25 Activities to keep kids’ brains active in summer)

summer-school

3 Summer School Survival Tips

  1. Schedule Early: Get out your calendar before you and your parents pick out which session you will be attending. Most summer schools offer more than one session so that you can work around your other commitments. Think about how tired you are likely to be after that last day of the academic year. Although it might be hard to believe, even tutors were high school students once and I know I would have needed at least a week to relax and unwind. On the other hand, waiting too long to start your summer program can leave more work as many concepts are easily forgotten if left on the shelf for a few weeks.
  2. Study Effectively: Studying the right way can greatly reduce the time spent with summer homework while at the same time increasing your ability to achieve a high grade and understand the material. Schedule a certain number of hours into your day to finish your assignments. Think of it as a mini school year. Make outlines, keep a planner, set time management goals and really give your undivided attention to your school work. You will be much more likely to fully understand the material if you sit down for two hours and work on the assignment from start to finish than if you study 15 minutes here and there in between other commitments. Studying effectively includes having an appropriate environment. These include your room, the library, and for those of you who don’t get easily distracted, a coffee shop. If you feel like you can study when you are on that family vacation, great, but be realistic. Studying in the car and on planes is often difficult and there are too many distractions to comprehend the bulk of the material. Your study environment should be quiet.
  3. Ask for help: Be honest with yourself about time management. If you were originally planning to spend the entire summer chilling out at the beach, the reality of summer school can be hard. If having a tutor to help you organize and get things done will help, then go for it. Having someone drop by the house each week can also encourage a consistency that is extremely important to successfully passing your summer courses. You can also enlist the help of your summer school teacher, parents and responsible friends to help you study and stay on track.

Summer school is becoming a reality for more students each year. At the end of the day, it’s mostly about balancing your time. You can still hang out at the beach, enjoy a summer BBQ, and spend time shopping at the mall or catching the latest action flick. Study hard, have fun and don’t forget to rest up for next year! Remember,  an Irvine private tutor from TutorNerds works with your schedule, that way you can get the most out of your summer classes and hit the ground running once fall semester starts.

Not taking summer classes? Don’t fall victim to the summer slump! Catch up on math or science, start your college admissions process with the help of our private consultants, or refine your foreign language skills; whatever it may be, we’re here to help!

tutor logo Coding For Kids: Whys it Important? All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.

Teach.com

 

Coding For Kids: Why’s it Important?

Coding for Kids: Why is it important and where can I find it?

Is coding for kids the future? Let’s discuss. Can anyone think back to or imagine themselves sitting in an elementary school classroom 25 or 50 years ago? How well do you think those students would have done in school without a pencil and paper? Not well at all. How would they have been able to communicate their thoughts, complete their assignments or provide proof that they had finished their work? Now let’s skip ahead to 2014. Today’s paper is a computer and today’s pencil is coding (READ: What is Coding?). It’s amazing how much things have changed.

coding-for-kids

Have any of you asked your seven year old niece to unlock your new phone? Perhaps after playing around with random buttons for half an hour, and then have her look at you like you’re so very silly not to be able to figure out such a simple thing? I have. Welcome to the Age of Technology.

One of the new tools younger children (elementary and middle school age) should take advantage of is coding, also known as computer programming. Let’s take a look at why coding is so advantageous for today’s students.

Five Reasons Why Coding is Advantageous for Kids

  1. Because coding is essentially as important as having a pencil in today’s educational world, not learning about programming could leave this generation of kids at a huge disadvantage. Don’t let them be left behind.
  2. When children learn one thing, they often learn other things as well. As an educator, one of the issues I see most is a lack of problem solving. Kids and teens are asked to do so much more today than I was back in my teens so it’s no wonder that finding solutions to everyday problems can be a substantial challenge. The younger a kid learns to figure things out for themselves and become self sufficient, the better. In the last decade I have only met one or two kids who could sit down at a computer and figure out how to code without prompting. Learning computer programming is challenging for most students, which is a good thing. They will be forced to problem solve, collaborate and ask questions in order to move on to the next step. The first time it will be really frustrating but, in the end, they will be able to brainstorm-an essential and underutilized skill-on their own. This will be a wonderful advantage later in life.
  3. Coding is starting to become a basic skill that can be used across many other disciplines. If programming and computers are the new pencil and paper, imagine all of the topics, subjects and disciplines that required the use of pencil 25 years ago. Pretty much ever one.
  4. Communication. Children can use coding to communicate their ideas with their peers, and later on, their colleagues.
  5. Creativity. Art no longer plays a large part in most children’s education (which is unfortunate) and many kids are finding it difficult to express themselves creatively. Coding-in particular animation and design-is a great way for young children to regain this all important form of expression

Coding is undoubtedly important for kids, but where can they learn it in the Orange County area?

  • Our very own UC Irvine offers technology camps for children and teens ages 7-17.
  • Coder Dojo is a not-for-profit (and free) institution also located right here in Irvine.
  • The Digital Media Academy offers technology summer camps with a creative spin. Many of the locations are held in California including UC Irvine.

It is important to remember that each child is different and will enjoy different activities. However, each child deserves the chance to have the basic tools to succeed in our current technological society. 15 or 20 years ago advanced computer skills were still considered a special skill while today they can help every child learn and have an advantage in the workforce later on.

tutor logo The California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit: What You Need to KnowAll blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.

The California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit: What You Need to Know

California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit and You

I have seen education change a lot in the past decade and the California Teacher Tenure Lawsuit is one of the more drastic changes I have seen. A good deal of the information is new and many questions are unanswered. I present three sides of the equation from three composite figures: Johnny Student, Mr. and Mrs. Doe, and Miss Jane. These, of course, are not real names but they do represent a good portion of Orange County’s population. (READ: Teacher tenure ruling in California)

california-teacher-tenure

Johnny Student

Why revoking tenure is good for Johnny:

Johnny has been struggling in school for many years. His teachers just don’t get his learning style and his grades are suffering. His teacher, Miss B, has only been teaching for 2 years but she is a fantastic, talented, hardworking teacher and Johnny really clicks with her. Unfortunately, Miss B has been laid off because of seniority regulations and Johnny continues to struggle. If the tenure laws are revoked, Johnny could continue to blossom and thrive academically with Miss B.

Why revoking tenure is bad for Johnny:

Miss B, Johnny’s excellent teacher, is concerned that she might get fired if her students’ test scores aren’t high enough. Johnny has been struggling for a few years and so his test scores are a bit low. If Miss B had tenure, she could focus on helping Johnny thrive academically without fear of losing her job. With potential new laws, Miss B is concerned about her livelihood and gives more of her time to the higher scoring students so that her class average is acceptable and Johnny begins to fall through the cracks (in this case, Johnny will need a private Orange County tutor from TutorNerds to receive the attention he deserves).

Mr. and Mrs. Doe

Why revoking tenure is good for Mr. and Mrs. Doe:

The Doe’s have been asking for help from their daughter’s teacher, Mr. G, for several months. Mr. G seems to never be available and their daughter is not doing well. It doesn’t really make sense because she has done so well for the first several years of school. No matter what they do, Mr. G is never available and doesn’t seem to be doing a good job at all so the Doe’s file a complaint with the school. It turns out that Mr. G has several previous complaints but he cannot be fired because of his tenure. The potential new laws can change all that. Mr. G is given points of improvement that he must comply with or he will be let go. The Does’ daughter’s education is back on track.

Why revoking tenure is bad for Mr. and Mrs. Doe:

Mr. A, the does’ daughter’s great new teacher, has some bad news. He wants to tell the Doe’s that their daughter is struggling with grades and behavior. He has some ideas that he thinks will help her and he would like to share them with the Does. Unfortunately, Mr. A doesn’t feel comfortable discussing anything negative with parents out of concern that he will receive too many complaints. His students’ scores are high enough so he sticks to basic teaching methods. After a few years, Mr. A is frustrated because he can’t reach out to many of the students that he wants to and he resigns to another profession. The Doe’s daughter is reassigned to Mr. G’s class for next year.

Miss Jane

Why revoking tenure is good for Miss Jane:

Miss Jane is new to teaching. She gives every day her heart and soul. She won teacher of the year her very first year of full time teaching. All of her students love her and her students’ parents think that she is the best thing to happen to 21st was the last one hired, she could lose her job any given Friday. Many other, less enthusiastic, teachers will get to stay if the layoffs come just because of tenure and seniority. With the potential new law, Miss Jane can stop worrying and focus on her job.

teacher-tenure

A few years later, Miss Jane starts to get distracted by other things in life and her quality of teaching begins to slide. She remembers that her job is on the line and so she keeps on task, makes extra time for her students and regains her top notch teaching skills.

Why revoking tenure is bad for Miss Jane:

Miss Jane is currently in college deciding on a major. Her older student colleagues tell her how easy it is to get fired as a teacher. Miss Jane compares the median salary for several professions and decides to go into another field. Her potential students never meet her nor do they benefit from her care and expertise.

Facts and Opinions about teaching in California

Fact:

Median salary for an elementary school teacher in Irvine, CA = $59,078

Median real estate and relocation director salary in Irvine, CA = $151,915

Median police patrol officer salary in Irvine, CA = $57,441

Median salary for a chief technology officer in Irvine, CA = $218,863

Median salary for a hotel manager in Irvine, CA = $109,178

Source: Salary.com

Opinion (but it’s really a question): Thousands of new, and potentially good or bad, college students need to declare a major in their junior year. Without tenure and seniority, how many will choose to go into teaching?

Opinion (but it should be a fact): Children deserve a free, high quality and equal opportunity education in the state of California.

Opinion (but it should be a fact): Teachers deserve to focus on their students and not worry about job security AND teachers who are truly unskilled and refuse to improve should look for another profession.

At the end of the day, we don’t really know yet if this is a bad or good thing. Like many things in life, it may be a mixed blessing. I recommend that parents stay informed, stay up to date and help their children stay academically strong by working with the teacher, learning how their children learn and providing support at home. (Read: More information on the teacher tenure lawsuit)

We’ll have to wait and see…

tutor logo Reaching for the Common Core Standards at an Early AgeAll blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal, so feel free to suggest what you would like to see us post about.

Orange County parents and students, listen up! Beat the summer slowdown with a private, in-home tutor. We work around your schedule so you can stay sharp while having fun in the sun. Read: 10 Reasons You Need a Summer Tutor. What are you waiting for? Call us.

How to Choose Your University (Part II) | TutorNerds | Orange County

Courses, Career, or Custom Fit: How to Choose Your University Part II

In this second installment of Courses, Career, or Custom Fit, we’ll be focusing exclusively on education. Placing courses, or academic programs and degrees, at the center of your university search is another way to narrow your choices. Students who follow this path tend to know what they want to study; some might say it’s a passion. They’re more interested in what the academic program has to offer rather than where the college is located. Read on to discover another way of choosing your dream school.

Stanford-Campus

What’s your passion?

If you’re certain you want to be a sociology major, fantastic! However, many students change their major in the first few years. As a backup plan, consider a second or third choice, and see if those are offered at the university as well. In your program of choice, take a look at what individual courses are offered and how often they are taught. Some universities rotate courses based on availability of professors or student desire. Ensure the program encompasses all that you’re interested in, taking time to ask students who their favorite professors are and what courses they recommend. Lastly, take a look at what senior projects are required, if any. Do you struggle with large final exams? Look for programs that require students to complete group or individual projects instead.

Check out the rankings

Is the university constantly expanding their psychology department, funding large research projects and enticing students to be more involved? Or has the program not changed in ten years, and seems to be forgotten? If the quality of your education is important to you, identify programs that are thriving. Professors who perform research or publish findings regularly are good indicators of quality programs. You could also utilize sources such as the Times Higher Education World University Rankings or the College Search function from the College Board to see comparisons between schools.

Are professors up to par?

Quality can be measured in many ways, so try obtaining information from a variety of sources. Admissions counselors typically insist their professors are the best, so try to query some students or teaching assistants as well. Websites such as Rate My Professors or My Edu may be good options, but remember many students have an axe to grind. Overall, every university has beloved and just average professors. Look instead for faculty who are involved with students and who have experience in your field beyond teaching.

Don’t forget the extras

If you start to struggle, are there resources to help? Talk with admissions counselors or students to find tutoring options or reviews of teaching assistants in the program. Are there clubs associated with your program that connect you with other like-
minded students? Remember, you don’t want to spend four years or more in your room. Look for universities that support different types of clubs and organizations. They are great opportunities to make friends, blow off some steam, and make connections that can assist you after graduation.

Tutors you can trust

tutornerds-college-orange-countyWhy should you listen to us? Because our Irvine in-home tutors have college degrees and know how difficult the application process can be. From writing your college entrance essay, to choosing the right school, TutorNerds is here to help. Just look at all the colleges our tutors have received degrees from. Are any of them on your dream list?

tutor logo Last Minute AP Study Guide | TutorNerds | Orange County All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal.

One last thing, summer doesn’t mean an end to learning. In today’s competitive world of college admissions, it’s crucial students spend the next few months improving and catching up. What better way to do that than with a private summer tutor? We work with student’s schedules so they can still have fun.

Last Minute AP Study Guide | TutorNerds | Orange County

Only One Thing Stands Between You and Summer: Finals

Like a cold, concrete wall, finals stand between you and the bliss of summer. We understand the struggle; we’ve been there before. But what if we told you finals don’t have to be that way. With a productive study schedule, and resources such as a private Orange County tutor from TutorNerds, any student can do well. Did we mention resources? What about a FREE resource? You’re already on it. That’s right, our education blog is a free resource for students, parents, and teachers. Further, we wish to bring you the most relevant and helpful content, so let us know what you would like to see on here in the future. Until then, let’s discuss finals; particularly AP finals.

tutor-study-finals-Orange-County

One of the most popular AP course series include: World History, European History, and US History. Many of you are taking the final exams for these courses in the next couple of weeks. Below are eight tips to the perfect, last-minute study guide. Good luck, Orange County!

  1. Make a Timeline – Stop by your local office supply store and get yourself a couple pieces of poster paper. Write down the various different cultures or events (depending on your subject) at the top and draw arrows to the other events that affected each other through time.  For Example, World War 1- 1914 (Franz Ferdinand) ———– Germany/terrible economy——–Rise of Nazi Party———- World War 11 (1939 Europe/1941 USA-1945). Keep your notes basic and use key words to help trigger your memory of each important event on the timeline. Using too much detail can be overwhelming if you are studying last minute, so keep it simple at this point.
  2. Use color coding – If you’re doing World History, choose a different color for each culture and mix together if necessary to show a blending or separation of cultures. For example, Russia could be green, and then the various new countries formed when they became separate from Russia could be blue and yellow (blue + yellow = green). Color coding can be a really useful visual tool to help understand how different cultures or events related to each other.
  3. Order a study prep book and have it shipped overnight – A test prep book can be enormously helpful because it breaks down the information into simple parts and highlights what you really need to know, as well as suggesting which topics will be heavily emphasized on the exam.
  4. Get a study group together ASAP – Call up your friends and arrange a few group study sessions at your local coffee shop or library. I bet that most of your classmates have the same questions that you do, and answering them together can help make the concepts clearer.
  5. Arrange for a private tutor to come to your home a couple of times before the exam – Because there won’t be much time, be sure to have your questions prepared in advance so that you can make the most out of those few hours. Many of our Irvine in-home tutors have taken AP courses in the past, so they’ll empathize with your situation.
  6. Go through the chapters of your text book and make a list of all of the major events that were discussed – Write one paragraph about each chapter that sums up the key events. Making a list ahead of time will ensure that you don’t miss anything. This will also help you not lose time on irrelevant material. Also, sites such as Quizlet.com offer great AP flashcards.
  7. Look in the glossary in the back of your book and write down any words, phrases or terms that you are unfamiliar with  Find the definition or relevance of each and write them down on flash cards. Carry them with you to school and study for 10 minutes each morning and each night. Try to memorize as many as you can before your exam. It’s tempting to add words you already know to the stack, but you’re only wasting time if you do.
  8. Write a practice essay – Even if you have done this in class many times before, it will be really helpful to be 100% comfortable with the essay portions. Who knows, maybe the essay on the actual final will be similar to yours.

The AP exams are just around the corner, so make sure that you spend these last few days wisely and give yourself the best chance at a 3, 4 or even a 5 score. You got this.

tutor logo California Common Core Standards Other Perspectives and Cultures” | TutorNerdsAll blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. Are you an education professional? If so, email us at info@tutornerds.com for guest blogging and collaborations. We want to make this the best free education resource in SoCal.

One last thing, summer doesn’t mean an end to learning. In today’s competitive world of college admissions, it’s crucial students spend the next few months improving and catching up. What better way to do that than with a private summer tutor? We work with student’s schedules so they can still have fun.

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College is worth it! Or at least we think so. That’s why it’s important to have a college educated Orange County tutor in your arsenal when applying to your dreams schools. We know the benefits of higher education transcend just an elevated income, yet it doesn’t hurt to take that into consideration.

Here’s an interesting read from the New York Times: Is College Worth It? Clearly, New Data Says

7 Things Parents Should Ask New Teachers | TutorNerds

A Little Homework for Orange County Parents

Issues with assignments or tests may not be linked to problems at home. In this case, it’s helpful to know what’s going on in the classroom; and this is where an involved parent is indispensable.  Whether it’s how the student is progressing in class or what resources may be available for extra help, having a good relationship with teachers is important for any caregiver. Ensure you build and maintain the best relationships by asking these important questions early on. With an informed parent, students have a much better chance of successfully completing a class. Finally, refer to this list for summer schooling as well.

Teacher-questions You may find some of these questions unnecessary and some very useful, so use at your discretion to ensure you have the best understanding of your child’s academic environment.

1. How do you measure academic progress in your class?

This questions attempts to discover if the teacher is focused on testing students regularly. If he is, it’s helpful to know how the tests are administered and what is generally tested. All this information can be used to prepare your child in the future.

2. If my student is struggling in class, how will you respond?

This is a question that, unfortunately, doesn’t get asked enough. For many parents, a string of bad grades on a progress report is the only evidence their student is struggling. To catch issues early, caregivers should find out what a teacher does when a student’s grades start slipping. This could be anything from a note home to the parents to a conference including the child.

3. What aspects of the class usually give students difficulty?

Again, anything you can find out ahead of time is valuable. Knowing what tends to confuse students gives caregivers an opportunity to work on those issues ahead of time. Take advance of these hints and work with your child early on to tackle the hard stuff.

4. On a daily basis, what should I be asking my child about your class?

Some classes require a lot of homework and others build upon concepts throughout the semester. Since a teacher constructs the class, she may know what would be helpful to review on a weekly basis. She may not suggest any check-ins, but it never hurts to ask.

5. Are there any resources you suggest we use at home?

Teachers tend to be the best resources when it comes to extra studying materials. Even if your child hasn’t struggled in the past or tends to perform well on tests, having these resources handy may be helpful in the future.

6. By the end of the year, what are the big concepts my child needs to understand?

Understand the big picture of your child’s class. Not only does this give you a better idea of what they’re learning, but it also allows you to keep them focused when they get bogged down in details. Sometimes, just realizing what the end goal is can be helpful to relieve stress and raise confidence in students.

7. Is there anything else I should know about this class?

You may not have heard about the optional study groups or the textbook’s online companion. It’s always worth asking this question since every class is different from the last.

Have questions about our Irvine private, in-home tutors? Read our TutorNerds FAQ page or contact us today!

tutor logo Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5 9) | TutorNerds | tutornerds.com All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. For educational guest-blogging, please email us at info@tutornerds.com

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest educational news, Irvine? Follow us on Facebook! Have a quick question in regards to our Orange County, CA, private tutoring services? Tweet us @TutorNerds

Attention all Orange County, CA, high school students grades 9-12: Enter our essay contest for a chance to win $500! The deadline is quickly approaching.

Teacher Appreciation Week (May 5-9) | TutorNerds

Teachers: America’s Most Undervalued Resource

“A teacher who loves learning earns the right and the ability to help others learn.” – Ruth Beechick

Take a moment this week to stop and ask yourself, “where would I be without the amazing teachers in my life?” Can you answer it? Probably not.

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It seems almost silly to label one week of the year “teacher appreciation week” when they continue to inspire year round. From the grade school teacher who wouldn’t let you give up on math, to the private tutor who helped you get a higher score on the ACT than all your friends, educators are a big part of your life.

Here at TutorNerds, we see first hand what an amazing job Orange County teachers do. Many of the students who come to us for help aren’t doing so because their teachers did a poor job, they just need a little extra help. Further, we understand that students learn at different paces, which is hard to accommodate for when course material must meet a tight schedule. In fact, most teachers will go out of their way to suggest a private tutor when they notice a student is falling behind.

The Pride of Orange County, CA

Orange County students achieve great things. Just recently, Kevin Lee, a student at University High School in Irvine, won the top science fair prize with his entry, “Strongly Coupling the Electrical and Mechanical Dynamics of the Heartbeat in a Diffuse Interface Model.” Kevin was awarded $1,000 and the distinction, State Science Fair Student of the Year.  There’s no denying Kevin Lee is one smart kid, but these events are also a reflection of California’s superb educators. For example, Rialto High School was well represented by Guadalupe Valero, who won the top choice for California State Science Fair Teacher of the Year.

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The success of our students is a result of educators who inspire. We at TutorNerds know this because our college educated private tutors have all had many excellent teachers along the way. That being said, how can we show our gratitude? The best teachers are simply content to see their students succeed, but they deserve something special this week. Below are 5 Simple Ideas to Celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week from Karen Bantuveris of cozi.com.

“1. Start Simple– A Teacher’s Gift from You” – Sometimes a hand-written note is the most sincere thank you.

“2. Involve your Kids” –  Include a drawing or note from your kid in with your own letter.

“3. Involve the Classroom” – Collaborate with the entire class on a week long pampering session.

“4. Involve your School” – Coordinate a pot luck breakfast for the teachers at your school.

“5. Extra Love” – Make sure every teacher feels appreciated by giving a small gift to every educator at the school.

Now that you have some tips, go out there and appreciate some teachers. One more thing, Happy Cinco De Mayo, Orange County!

tutor logo ACT Tips From a Private Irvine Tutor | TutorNerds | tutornerds.com All blog entries are written by Tutor Nerds. For educational guest-blogging, please email us at info@tutornerds.com

Want to stay up-to-date on the latest educational news, Irvine? Follow us on Facebook! Have a quick question in regards to our Orange County, CA, private tutoring services? Tweet us @TutorNerds

Attention all Orange County, CA, high school students grades 9-12: Enter our essay contest for a chance to win $500!