December Newsletter 2010

December 22, 2010

The first semester is over, and winter break is upon us. This is an ideal time to evaluate how your student feels about their academic progress.  Parents can take advantage of this down time to address challenges and set goals.  Students that have struggled academically thus far can evaluate the type of support they need to be successful and those that are thriving academically can raise the bar higher!

Each student has his/her unique strengths and weaknesses, but the most common areas of need have been in math.  We have had an inordinate number of requests for high school geometry tutors this year.  Another high demand area has been in the area of Academic Coaching.  Our tutors have successfully aided student that struggle with organization and lack of initiative in their academic endeavors.

Whatever area your student is struggling in make it a point to address it now before the hustle and bustle of school begins next month.

Education in the Movies – Waiting for Superman

The movie educators,students, and parents have been waiting for hit the big screen this fall.  The controversial documentary by Oscar winner Davis Guggenheim examines why so many public schools are failing and how it affects five students and their families. The documentary outlines the need to dismiss “bad” educators, the break-up of teachers’ unions, and the benefits of privatization.  It also emphasizes the startling statistics that the United States ranks 25th in math and 21st in science, compared to students in 30 developed countries, and children living at poverty level are most affected by the system’s failure.

To learn more about this movie visit this site Waiting for Superman

Christmas gifts that are educational and entertaining

Are you looking for a Christmas gift that will be both educational and entertaining?  There are many educational gifts that focus on academics but are so fun your child won’t even know that he/she is learning!  One of the best gifts we gave our children was a Leap Pad when they were younger.  They played it frequently and we witnessed academic results from their “so called” game.

Here are a few ideas that will bring a smile to their face this Christmas:
1. Ant farm and insect kits This is great for younger children and a great educational gift.  They will watch ants go about their jobs!  Or, watch the full transmogrification of live ladybugs from small larvae to adults.  There are many interesting ideas to explore on this topic.
2. Science Kits Choose from several fun science kits that will interest children of all ages.  The younger child may want to explore how bubbles are formed while the older youth will be fascinated with a Hydro – Wind kit.  The options are endless and a fun way to interact with science.
3. Leap Pad Is a talking book that comes with an interactive “magic pen” that works like a hand-held computer mouse.  It’s an excellent source for those wanting reading help as the computer will incorporate activities that develop vocabulary, spelling and phonics awareness.  They also offer other books that introduce geography, math and other academic venues.
4. Board games: There are numerous education related board games on the market.  Choose games that require tactical maneuvers and well planned strategy, such as, Checkers, Chess, Qwirkle, Flip 4, and Blokus, Scrabble and others.

Final Exams in December

Families please keep in mind that final exams are mid -December.  It’s a good idea to start preparing early!

Final exam preparation:
1. Start preparing early: Make a commit to spending time each night preparing.  This will prevent last minute cramming and ensure a better grade.  It will also allow the opportunity to ask questions that may present as you are preparing.
2. Know what to study: By determining the type of final you will be taking will dictate  your approach to studying.  Will the exam by comprehensive, covers all of the information for the semester) or will it be a non- comprehensive final, (information from the last exam).
3. Study hard subject first:  Focus on subjects that are challenging first.  You will want to be as alert and energetic when studying subjects that you find difficult.
4. Use the 3R system: Read – Recite – Review has proven to be effective.  Read through the section once, then look away and summarize the section in your own words, then read through the section again to see if you understood everything.
5. Use flash cards: Educators encourage students to make use of flash cards, these are an excellent way to review.  When preparing them the student uses multi -senses which reinforces the material.
6. Make a schedule: First you will need to figure out your time line and estimate how many hours you will need to spend studying for a particular exam.  Next, decide how much time you have to study each day.  Finally, make a schedule using the estimated number of hours you’ll need to master each subject.  You will need to take into account that there will be numerous activities that will arise that sound a lot more fun the studying, but by consciously making the decision to study and follow your schedule will pay off in the in.  For a short time studying will need to take precedence over other activities.
7. Review old tests: Students should review tests and homework to identify errors to see if there are patterns of weaknesses.

We hope that you have a wonderful holiday season and thank you for using Four Points Tutoring!

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