One of my students made a dramatic improvement in her freshman IB history class! Her mom found me on the Internet and I worked with her over Spring Break.
Yeah, I know.
I felt for her. It takes some dedication to spend an hour a day reading about the Romans and the High Middle Ages when the rest of the world is tanning poolside and catching up on Facebook.
Anyway, she gradually has improved her grade to a solid B. It was very gratifying to hear her say that “It feels good to be a chapter ahead in history.” From performing somewhat erratically on tests, she has become a consistent high B performer and has a shot at an A in the class!
(Photo taken Woofgang Strautd. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Only. See more of Woofgang's beautiful photos of Crete in his Flickr photostream. Below this photo is a good history lesson on Crete.)
One of may mantras is to get ahead and stay ahead. The IB program is tough for entering freshman because the history textbook is above the ninth grade level. It takes reading it with dictionary.com open for some students to decode the material.
And decoding is only the first step toward understanding and internalizing the material….
Because history is the course that requires the most reading in the freshman IB line up, it is one many students find hard. However, making the effort to get ahead and put yourself in a position to hear the lecture with a good basic grasp of the material makes getting a good grade a world easier.
It also takes the pressure off. I’m overjoyed that IB history tutoring in Tampa has worked so well for this student!
If your student is not doing well in IB history or regular American, European, or World History, please give me a call at 813.787.8959. I’d love to be sharing a student success story about your son or daughter in this space.
Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 4/30/2009 12:14 AM
As a former college English instructor, I can tell you that getting a poorly proofread paper from a student drives us nuts. Proofreading isn’t hard, so there’s no reason not to take a few minutes to make certain that your paper is right before you pass it in.
Here are a few simple ways to make yourself a better proofreader:
- Give yourself time – When you are setting aside time to do an assigned paper, give yourself an extra day or two to set your “finished” work aside. If you try to proofread a paper or other written assignment right after you finish writing it, you won’t see all of the errors. Set it aside and come back to it with fresh eyes. You will see things that you did not see the first time.
- Read your paper aloud – It is amazing how much better the ear is than the eye when it comes to catching errors. When I am tutoring writing, I find that even average proofreaders become better when they take this step.
- Read it backwards – Stick with me here. Sometimes reading it backwards will help your mind focus on the individual words. The extra focus on individual words many aid you in spotting spelling errors.
- Give it to a friend – If the honor code at your school does not forbid it, give your paper to a friend to read. When I am writing something for a client, I frequently ask my wife to read it before I send it out. Often, she sees what I don’t because I am too close to my work.
- Don’t rely exclusively on technology – As wonderful a tool as MS Word Spellchecker is, it is not a substitute for manual proofreading. When you type then for than, Word’s Spellchecker is no help.
One of the easiest ways to improve your grade in English class is to learn to be a better proofreader. I encourage you to try these techniques and see which ones work for you.
If you’re using a technique that didn’t make this list, I would love to share it with other readers of the Tampa English Tutor blog.
Students looking to improve their writing or crack the verbal parts of the SAT or ACT over the summer can call 813.787.8959 to reach Eric Anderson, Private English Tutor in Tampa, FL.
Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 4/11/2009 9:54 PM