Tampa English Tutor Taps Frank McCourt

Posted on 27th October 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

I have been working hard to try to find lessons that would interest one of my Tampa Language Arts tutoring students who is a reluctant writer. I  have been hard pressed to find anything that works to motivate him. I have tried having him read selections about sports and his hobbies to get him writing.

This week, I looked at Reader’s Digest Online and found an excerpt of Frank McCourt’s Teacher Man. Creative writing teacher McCourt  describes the many forged excuse notes he received and his inspiration to give his class the opportunity to polish their excuse-writing skills.

Photo by Linda Rose. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Only. See more of Linda's photos in her Flickr.

Although I think the mid-lesson visit by administrators to congratulate him on his creativity is blarney, it’s still a fun writing lesson that I intend to try with my student who is a reluctant writer.

I would love to hear from some middle school language arts teachers who have lesson plans that work to get reluctant writers writing.

If your son or daughter is in grades 6-12 and would like help with writing, contact Tampa Language Arts Tutor Eric Anderson at 813.787.8959.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 10/27/2009 12:56 AM

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Finding Time to Write in High School from DailyWritingTips.com

Posted on 13th October 2009 in Tampa Writing Tutor

I really like DailyWritingTips.com. Maeve Maddox’s post in reply to an AP English student who wondered where to find time to write is a good read. I think her advice to young writers is spot on. She mentions looking at coursework as an opportunity to write and becoming a critic of the writing in textbooks.

If a section of the textbook drags, why? If another section is interesting, why?

Great questions for anyone who wants to write better.

Image created by JoiseyShowaa. Licensed under Creative Commons attribution/sharealike. See more of his photos in his Flickr photostream.

She mentions that some young readers have difficulty getting idioms right when they use prepositions because they are not widely read.

I could not agree more. When I am tutoring a student in SAT, I can tell whether he or she has taken a Cliff’s Notes approach to reading assignments. I have a student right now who writes poorly precisely because she used study aids as a substitute for reading the assigned novels in her English class.

If you want to write better, I would encourage you to sign up for the daily writing tip by email from Dailywritingtips.com.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 10/13/2009 8:49 AM

Tampa SAT Tutor Says Good Luck on October 10

Posted on 6th October 2009 in Tampa SAT Preparation

I don’t know where I first heard this story, but I’m certain that it was in church. The pastor told a story about a man who complained that he was not getting much out of a bible study class.

The pastor asked him this question: “What are you putting in to it?”

As I have worked with students over the last several weeks and months to prepare them for the PSAT and SAT, I have noticed one thing. In nearly every case, the outcome on test day was decided many weeks before.

This summer, I worked with one student who was motivated enough to purchase extra test materials with his own money. He played a varsity sport, but still found the time to meet once and week, to do all of the assignments that I gave him, and to take a full practice SAT every week.

(This image entitled "November Rain" is part of a photo set by revolution. The photos are from a 30,000 km around the world cycling trip taken by two friends from Ireland. Image licensed under Creative Commons attribution only. That's motivated!)

This particular student is taking the PSAT soon. I anticipate that he will be a National Merit Scholar because he has invested the time and the effort to make it happen.

I have other students who simply won’t do the work required to achieve that distinction, although they could attain it.

Before I started tutoring English and history privately, I worked for Hillsborough Community College tutoring students with disabilities.
Some students decided that they couldn’t do the work at HCC because they had disabilities. Others made a different decision.

I recall one student who consistently earned the top test scores in her class despite competing on a playing field that was tilted against her. I saw a 50 year-old man spend hours in the learning lab to improve his reading so that he could thrive in the college classroom.

Although luck has very little to do with the scores that will be earned on Saturday, I wish all of my Tampa SAT tutoring and Tampa PSAT tutoring students good luck. It’s been a pleasure studying with all of you.

If you have not yet taken the SAT or PSAT and need some help preparing, please contact Tampa SAT tutor Eric Anderson at 813.787.8959.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 10/6/2009 11:39 PM


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