Teachers on Call

Archive for May, 2013

How Can I Help My Child With Math?

When parents call us for a math tutor, this is one of the most common questions we hear.

Below are helpful tips for you and your children toward maximizing success in math.

Make it Fun with Real World Examples

There many examples to point out how math is fun in our daily lives.  For younger children, use anything from counting items in nature to helping cook a meal or telling the time.  For older students, there is a ton of geometry and algebra in trip planning, sports and playing games.

Focus on Math Concepts First  

It is important that children initially focus on mastering the concepts versus memorizing rules or processes.  This is relevant for younger children with learning the basics of numbers to older children developing an understanding of solving relationships and variables.   Once children have a strong grasp of the concepts, we would then encourage them to work through additional questions or problems.

Use Strategies for Word Problems

When students encounter word problems, it is helpful for them to develop a set of strategies, which could include:  drawing a diagram, jotting down a summary of the key points and reading the question several times.

Stay Informed

Stay up to speed with the latest topics your child is covering.  Your child’s teacher is an excellent resource if you are looking to stay ahead of the current material. There are also plenty of online curriculum resources through the Ontario Ministry of Education and the Toronto, York, Peel, Halton and Durham school boards.


Posted in: Math Tutoring

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10 Apps You’ve Probably Never Heard Of

Ipad Students

As educational technology continues to play a larger role in the classroom, below are 10 apps worth exploring:

Dragon Naturally Speaking: Easy to use voice recognition application powered by Dragon® NaturallySpeaking® that allows you to easily speak and instantly see your text or email messages

Mathemagics – Mental Math Tricks: Learn and practice the tricks of mental math calculation in a fun and engaging application

Learn French – MindSnacks: Rated by Apple as one of the best educational apps of 2011, this app makes learning French fun

Roller Journal: Helps kickstart writing and journaling using fun and interesting questions

Discovery News: From the people who bring you the Discovery Channel, be up-to-date on the latest breakthroughs and cutting-edge technologies

Mixeroo: Teaches children about music in a fun and entertaining way

Flashcards Study Helper: Create your flashcards and carry them around in convenient digital format. Perfect for studying on the go!

Math Ref: Great homework resource with over 1,000 helpful math formulas, figures, tips and examples

Note Taker: Powerful app for writing and organizing handwritten notes, diagrams and other items on your tablet

Kid Art: Fun app for children to draw and create pictures on a tablet


Posted in: Educational Technology

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What’s Your Learning Style?

Every child has a different learning style in which she or he learns best.

While children use all senses when learning, most tend to learn best through one particular sense.  Knowing and understanding your child’s learning style helps her/him learn most effectively.

Below are some learning style descriptions and strategies you may find helpful.


Visual Learners

Visual learners learn best through seeing and visualizing information.


    • Take detailed notes with the main ideas highlighted
    • Practice visualizing information through pictures, graphs, charts and flashcards
    • Sit near the front of the classroom to avoid other visual distractions


Auditory Learners

Auditory learners learn best through listening, discussing and talk through ideas.  They interpret the underlying meanings of speech through listening to tone of voice, pitch and speed.


    • Review and learn materials through reciting them aloud
    • Study with a friend to discuss and hear the information
    • Consider using an audio recorder to tape and review notes before a test or exam
    • Take advantage of adaptive technology software to learn and review materials


Tactile Learners

Tactile learners learn best through doing and direct involvement.  They have strong motor memory and learn through movement and touch.


    • Provide opportunities for hands-on / active participation
    • Translate what they are learning into something that can be touched
    • Focus on one task over a short period of time
    • Avoid working in one constant area and allow ongoing movement
    • Take frequent short breaks when doing homework and studying

Posted in: Parent Education Resources, Special Education Tutoring

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Transitioning to the Summer Break

With the school year drawing to a close, the summer holidays provide an opportunity for you and your family to enjoy additional time together and reflect on the past year.

While the holidays can be an enjoyable and relaxing time, the change to a different schedule may pose challenges to your child’s routine.

We have included some tips that may be helpful for you or any friends as the summer approaches:

Ease the Routine Transition

  • Review your child’s routine in advance
  • Post a family summer schedule, including blocks of unscheduled time
  • Prepare for scheduled activities.   If they are attending day camp, visit the location ahead of time and engage with counselors

Engage Your Children

  • Involve your child when preparing for family trips and activities
  • See if s/he would like to help contribute to a family calendar of events
  • Review the summer plans you have made to date

Encourage Summertime Learning

  • Summer is a great opportunity for your child to get ahead, build stronger learning skills and improve on areas
  • Take advantage of the extra time to read, play games and visit places you would not normally attend during the year



Posted in: Parent Education Resources

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Sports: A Winning Formula for Kids

Physical activity is essential to a child’s growth and development as it can have a positive impact on students’ physical, mental, and social well being. Staying active and playing sports can teach a child about the importance of learning new skills and developing positive outlets.

In particular, physical activity can have a constructive impact on students’ achievement, readiness to learn, behaviour, memory and creativity.


Sports and Exercise Can Help Children Learn:

  • Sportsmanship
  • Problem solving outside of the school
  • Working within a set framework of rules
  • Responsibility
  • Meeting and interacting with friends who have similar interests


Fitness at Home / Community

Not all physical activity must be in the form of organized sports. Physical activity can occur in and outside the household, and within local community facilities. Here are some ways to keep your kids staying active:

  • Incorporate physical activity into the daily routine. From household chores to an after-dinner walk with family, keep your family active every day.
  • Keep a variety of games and sports equipment on hand. An assortment of balls, hula-hoops, and jump ropes can keep kids busy for hours.
  • Be active together. It will get you moving and kids love to play sports and activities with a parent.
  • Limit time spent in sedentary activities, such as watching TV, going online, and playing video games

With summer right around the corner it is important to choose sports that work best for your children.   These activities are fundamental to their development and overall well-being.


About the Author

Jason Handelsman is the Head Professional at Gwendolen Park Tennis Club.  A Tennis Canada Instructor and NCCP Coach, Jason has completed a post-graduate degree in Primary/Junior Education at Wilfrid Laurier University.

For further information about Gwendolen Tennis Club and the variety of programs the club has to offer please visit:www.gwendolentennis.com

Posted in: Community, Parent Education Resources

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