Teachers on Call

Archive for June, 2013

Fun With French – Tips From Our Tutors

Learning French or any other second language does not have to stop in the classroom or with homework.   There are a ton of great websites, games and places to visit where you can have fun with French.

We asked our French tutors if they could give their best recommendations below:

Cook in French:  Think about all the great food you can cook and eat to learn French:  Baguette, Éclair, Crepes, Croissant, etc.   Also, take meals you would normally eat and see if you can name them in French.

Solve the Crime:  Can you solve the crime in French?  This website will provide all the clues.

TFO – GamesA ton of great games to improve French vocabulary, math, writing and science

Link to Learning – French as a Second LanguageGreat tools to assist students with everything from vocabulary development to verb conjugation.

Maison De La Presse – Bookstore:  Visit their store in Yorkville, where they have a comprehensive selection of French books including many bestsellers and children’s books.

Carnaval de Quebec:  Learn more about French culture in Quebec and potentially attend the February annual fair in Quebec City.

French TV Channels:  Expand vocabulary and speaking skills by watching age appropriate shows on TV5, Radio Canada and TFO.

Posted in: French Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

Be in the Moment this Summer: At Least Once a Day

I had my first parent-tears of joy today. I looked into my 3-month-old son’s eyes and the overwhelming love I feel for him came out in tears. His little legs working hard to hold himself up and his eyes engaged with mine, we were in the moment. We danced together and we just were.

As an ADHD coach to kids, adults and parents for the last 4 years, I have always started working with my parent clients with the disclaimer, “I am not yet a parent, and you are the expert of your children, I am here to walk alongside you, to help you with tips and tricks, and to be a sounding board for your world”. In essence, I work to help parents take a pause and to work on their own, or with a partner, to find solutions and build family goals that resonate with them.

As June hits, you may be feeling pretty exhausted, you may feel on different pages with your partner and/or your children, and you may feel like you are “just holding on for dear life”. I urge you to use your child’s ability to be in the present to help find some moments of peace this summer. By focusing on their needs, joys, gazes, and emotions, by standing “in their boots”, you may discover you, too, will find solace.

Set aside 10 minutes a day to get on the floor with your youngster and have a tickle war or crawl under the dinner table with them. Take a few minutes to look through baby pictures with your older teen and tell them about some of your favourite moments when they were little. Run off the dock, or arrive home wearing a funny costume. Spend a few minutes being silly, or playful, and try to use their ability to be in the present to connect.

The moment I shared with my son today was soon taken away by his cries for hunger and his need for a nap, but propels me through the challenges of being a parent with newfound energy nonetheless.

Short moments of connection are enough, and summer is the perfect time to remind yourself about the importance of just “hanging out”.  Ten minutes a day is all it takes: in fact for me, it was probably only two.


Laura MacNiven is the Director of Health Education at Springboard Clinic. Springboard specializes in ADHD and offers family coaching, ADHD testing, psycho-educational assessments, and a variety of mental health assessments. If you or your child needs support, please don’t wait. There is no time like the present. www.springboardclinic.com

Posted in: Special Education Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

Learn How to Grow Your Career

High school students and parents often ask about how they can learn more about career opportunities and how best to position themselves for the future.

Below are some helpful tips for any student to get engaged and begin to understand potential career paths.

Gain Real World Experience

The best way to learn about the careers that may interest you is to see first-hand what different jobs entail, both formally and informally.   On the formal side, there are numerous programs for students to learn about career options.  Take Our Kids to Work Day in early November is an excellent annual program where 200,000 grade 9 students spend the day at work job shadowing a parent, relative, friend or volunteer host.   Also, high schools provide Co-op programs where students can spend part of their school day getting on the job experience in a career that may interest them.    On the informal side, we would encourage students to speak with family and friends to learn more about their careers and the paths they took.

Keep Doors Open

As students consider what careers may interest them, it is important they keep as many doors open as possible.   Parents and students can leverage a variety of resources, including reviewing requirements for University / College programs, utilizing education professionals (ie. Guidance Counselors) and learning about the course curriculum and pre-requisites.

Get Practice

Both developing a good resume and being prepared for interviews are very important as students look to gain further experience.  We would recommend that students begin to build a resume early in high school and practice for future interviews. In addition to support from family or friends, there are numerous resources both online or through education professionals that can help provide guidance.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

Leave a Comment (0) →

Preparing For Exams

Exams can be a challenging time for any student.  Below are some helpful study tips to help you effectively prepare and write your exams with confidence.

Make a Plan

One of the keys to success is to begin studying in advance and avoid ‘cramming’ at the last-minute.    We would recommend making a study timetable based on your exam schedule with the appropriate balance between subjects.   Don’t try to learn everything at once and leave yourself a break prior to the exam day to get organized and summarize any outstanding topics.

Stay Organized

Once you have made a plan, it is best to go through your materials for the year or semester and begin making outlines of the areas covered.  See what areas you may need to focus on or where you may need to get additional support.

We would also recommend setting up a consistent study space that makes you feel as comfortable as possible.   Ensure that you have enough room to spread your text books and notes out along with minimizing any distractions.

Ask For Help

In addition to tutoring, there are many other resources to help students prepare.   Take advantage of your teacher(s) schedule to ask any questions about what is being covered on the exam and get comfortable with areas you are having trouble understanding.  Also, organizing small study groups can be effective, as long as you stay focused.   Use these sessions to go through any outstanding questions and also practice explaining answers to others.

Get Plenty of Rest and Eat Healthy

Both sleep and healthy foods have been proven to help your brain function and increase energy levels and focus.   Taking the appropriate amount of study breaks are also helpful to absorb and retain the materials being reviewed.

Posted in: Parent Education Resources

Leave a Comment (0) →