Tampa FL English Tutor Tips for Learning Vocabulary Words for Middle Schoolers

Posted on 7th September 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

I recently added a new client for Tampa English tutoring in Carrollwood. I normally only tutor ages 6-12 and adults, but this client has a terrific 5th grader who wanted to improve vocabulary and writing skills.

My wife, a middle school teacher, advised me to look into using the Frayer Model  to help this young student expand her vocabulary.

There are a number of wonderful  web sites on the Frayer.  The Frayer Model helps students make connections with the word they are trying to learn.

This image created by Eddy Van 3000. See more of his beautiful photos on Flickr. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Only.

The Frayer model divides a page into four equal squares. The word goes in a circle in the center of the page. Although versions of the model differ somewhat, each square invites the student to make a different kind of connection.

In the upper left square of the Frayer, students might write a definition in their own words. In the lower left, they might write a sentence or two using the word. In the upper right square of the Frayer, they might describe what the word reminds them of. In the lower right, they might draw a picture to go with the word.

The person I tutored this week became engrossed in making connections. I recommend at least trying the Frayer Method to teach vocabulary if you haven’t. It’s engaging and especially effective with students who are visual or enjoy drawing.

Here is a link to a PDF of a blank Frayer model.

If you would like to have an English tutor help your child improve his or her vocabulary, reading or writing this school year, contact Eric Anderson, Tampa English Tutor at 813.787.8959.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 9/7/2009 9:35 PM


Tampa English Tutor Reveals 4 Keys to Better Writing

Posted on 5th March 2009 in Tampa English Tutor

Some students give up on writing better because they convince themselves that only “born writers” can write well. Born writers begin life looking for an outlet for a Dell laptop so that they can bang out 500 words before nap time.

(Photo by Lucas Cobb and licensed under Creative Commons Attribution Only.)

Let’s begin from these premises: Writing is a skill, and mere mortals can learn to write well.

I remember a job interview for a web content writing job I had with a CEO of search engine marketing company. “The way to rank a website on page one in Google isn’t a secret, but it requires work that’s tedious,” he said. “Most people aren’t willing to work at it for as long as it takes to achieve.”

Tampa English Tutor thinks that’s equally true of learning to write well. They may not act on the knowledge, but most students know how to improve their writing:

  • Read Good Writing – Find good writers and read them. Good writing can be found in the Wall Street Journal,

Tampa Tribune, and Sports Illustrated. Read the best writing you can find about topics that interest you.

  • Practice Writing – Writing better requires writing frequently. Start a blog, keep a journal, and make time for writing.
  • Revise Your Writing – You are not a bad writer because your first draft sucks. Good writers separate themselves from average writers by their willingness to revise more often and more extensively. Even when you’re convinced your piece of writing is a final draft, set it aside. Look at it again after a day or two.
  • Proofread Your Writing – Tampa English Tutor Axiom: Trust not the MS Word spell checker to catch grammar or spelling errors. Make proofreading a habit.

Students who use these four keys are destined to become clearer thinkers and better writers.

Tampa English Tutor Eric Anderson is a Stetson University graduate and the owner of I-Tutor-English (http://www.I-Tutor-English.com). The company provides affordable private English and history tutoring in New Tampa and Wesley Chapel. Reach Eric at 813.787.8959.

Posted by Tampa English Tutor at 3/5/2009 3:11 AM

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