Why SAT Scores Matter Even More

Posted on 21st December 2012 in Tampa SAT Preparation

I read a very interesting article in The Wall Street Journal today about how state governments are increasingly giving out scarce scholarship dollars based upon merit (The Shift to Merit Stirs Debate). Georgia appears to be the state leading in merit allocation of scholarship dollars.

old stone stairway and arched doorway image

Image by Dynamosquito and licensed under CC by SA 2.0. See more at http://www.flickr.com/photos/dynamosquito/

As states seek to meet budget shortfalls, I predict that they are going to make getting state-funded scholarships like Florida’s Bright Futures more difficult.

As a SAT writing tutor and SAT reading tutor, I have helped students get more Bright Futures money by helping them increase their SAT or ACT scores.

The politicians in state legislatures are facing tough problems. We have more government than we can afford, especially if the economy does not grow at a much higher rate.

I think that politicians will lower the costs of these merit scholarship programs in the way that is easiest to sell to constituents — they will raise the required GPA and test scores. Help your student hit a moving target.

Make sure that he or she gets the SAT or ACT scores necessary to maximize Bright Futures.   Let me help! Paying a private SAT tutor for eight or ten sessions is a bargain if it helps your son or daughter hit the threshold for a higher Bright Futures’ award.

Eric Anderson is a Wesley Chapel, FL-based SAT and ACT tutor. He offers in home tutoring to students who want to excel. Call him at 813.787.8959.

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Australia's Northern Territory from biplane 1929

Tampa SAT Reading Tutor Recommends Mindful Midweek

Posted on 19th December 2012 in Tampa Writing Tutor

One of the very best ways to learn vocabulary is in the context of a piece of writing read for enjoyment. Much of required reading in high school isn’t much fun. I signed up for a free newsletter from Don Kuhl at The Change Companies that is fun to read. Don’s newsletter is called Mindful Midweek.

Australia's Northern Territory from biplane 1929

From Flickr Commons Project. No known copyright.

The newsletter is billed as an opportunity to “evaluate and recognize how the choices you make each day can bring joy to your life.”

What could be better than that, except perhaps improving your vocabulary while your bringing joy to your life.

The selections are generally short and include a word of the week that is used in context and defined in the margin.

Eric is a SAT English and writing tutor based at a secret location in Wesley Chapel. Call him at 813 787 8959.

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Ferris Wheel at Chernobyl

Insightful Op Ed in WSJ on Why Johnny Can’t Read

Posted on 14th December 2012 in Tampa Reading Tutor

Given that much of  my tutoring practices is dedicated to serving IB students, I am always surprised at the number of them who do not read especially well. Under the headline “Vocabulary Declines, with Unspeakable Results,” E.D. Hirsch, Jr., writes about some of the reasons that today’s students have such trouble with reading comprehension.

Three lines in the article that struck me as true were these: “Students don’t learn new words by studying vocabulary lists. They do so by guessing new meanings within the overall gist of what they are hearing and reading. And understanding the gist requires background knowledge.”

Ferris Wheel at Chernobyl

This photo created by Timm Suess. Licensed under CC by SA 2.0. See more of Timm's photos on Flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/lord_yo/. The photo is an abandoned amusement park near Chernobyl.

Part of the reason students are such poor readers is that they have not learned a great deal of  background that helps them decode difficult written material.

A stack of flashcards isn’t the way to go in most cases because students do best decoding new words in context and the lack of good comprehension is due to a lack of background knowledge to decode. The solution:  A reading program that includes fiction and non-fiction selections from a variety of disciplines can help poor readers gradually develop that background to get better at decoding. The gains come slowly, but–good news–they are cumulative.

Any parent of a child struggling with reading comprehension should read Hirsch’s Op Ed piece.

Eric Anderson is Language Arts tutor and history tutor based in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Contact him by phone at 813.787.8959. He makes house calls and can help your son or daughter become a better reader.

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Picture of black granite war memorial with inscription freedom is not free

Congratulations to USF and St Pete College Tutorees

Posted on 13th December 2012 in Tampa English Tutor

My last tutoring student finished his semester yesterday! Congratulations on a successful semester to all of my college English and writing students. I have greatly enjoyed working with you this semester. See you next year!

Eric Anderson is a private English and history tutor in Wesley Chapel, Florida. Contact him at eanderson216 at verizon dot not or by cell at 813 787 8959.

Picture of black granite war memorial with inscription freedom is not free

This photo is the work of Vinoth Chandar. Licensed under CC Attribution. See more of Vinoth's photos at http://www.flickr.com/photos/vinothchandar/

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Tampa English Tutor Recommends The Mailbox by Audrey Shafer

Posted on 5th December 2012 in Tampa English Tutor

I am reading The Mailbox aloud with one of my tutoring students. Both of us are enjoying the story. The novel has some wonderful humor and captures some of the joy of boyhood and having a best friend. It’s a good book for seventh through ninth graders.

If you are teaching or tutoring the book, you may want to review a wonderful resource created by Carrie Sanders, a teacher at Zionsville West Middle School. Check out her YA Resource Guide for The Mailbox.

pair of mailboxes on posts

This image created by Pocius and licensed under CC by 2.0.

See more of this photographer’s images in Pocius’ Flickr photostream.

The student is enjoying the story so much that he continually tries to borrow my copy to read ahead. Not a chance! I’m having too much fun!

Eric is a private Language Arts tutor in Wesley Chapel, FL. Contact him at eanderson216 at verizon dot net or by calling 813.787.8959. Your son or daughter can be a better reader and writer. I can help.

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