Teachers on Call

Archive for October, 2018

How to Build Your Child’s Vocabulary

Child reading a book

Having a strong vocabulary helps students with reading, writing and expressing their thoughts and opinions.

We have reached out to our team of Reading and English tutors to get their advice on successful strategies to build a strong vocabulary.

1) Read Consistently:  Engage your child’s interest by picking topics they are interested in with new learning opportunities.  As you read together with your child, stop when there is a new word and help explain it through pictures, meaning by context or the root of the word.  It can be a casual conversation rather than a lesson.

2) Love the Library: Take advantage of your local library to build your child’s love of reading.  If you are not sure where to start, chat with your local librarian on suggestions based on your child’s interests and reading level.

3) Create a Word Map:  As you learn new words, write them on a post card or post-it note and place them around the room to help remember.

4) Use New Words: Encourage your child to use their expanded vocabulary often and provide positive feedback when they do.

5) Learn about Synonyms:  Expand vocabulary by challenging your child to use synonyms and mix up words.

6) Use Grown-Up Words in Conversations: By using more challenging words, children can be encouraged to ask for clarification and provide a chance to explain new words.

7) Label Items Around the House: For younger kids, this is a wonderful way to learn basic words.  Practice with them how to properly pronounce each word as they learn it.

8) Have Fun:  Play crosswords, word games, Scrabble apps or even a low key family spelling bee.

Posted in: English Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

How to Overcome Math Anxiety

Math Anxiety

One of the most common tutoring requests we receive relates to struggles with math and in particular, math anxiety.

For many students, doing math homework or the thought of writing math tests or exams can cause negative thoughts from the fear of failure.  It can also lead to challenges with the disruption of working memory, which is key to succeed in math even at a young age.

Math anxiety can be caused by a number of things including:

  • Public fear: Having a bad experience answering a question incorrectly in class
  • Time pressure on tests or exams
  • Reliance on learning math through memorizing procedures rather than truly understanding the concepts

We asked our team of math tutors for their advice on how to succeed with learning, studying and writing math exams / tests:

1) Ask questions from your teacher or peers, whether it is in class or after school

2) Be consistent & persistent.  Learn from mistakes and keep trying problems and questions that you have challenges in to learn.  Working consistently on math will help to build a base of skills over time.

3) Start small: For the first couple of days spend 15-30 minutes on math and as you build confidence work on longer and more challenging problems.

4) Make math fun through interests.  For example if a student likes sports, connect math to sports themes.

5) Practice regularly, especially if you are having challenges with a specific concept.  Having worked through a specific problem or question in the past will help you succeed during test or exam time.

6) Last and more important, have a positive attitude and re-position challenges into positive experiences.

Posted in: Math Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →

Halloween Math Activities

Halloween Math Activities

Fall is in full swing and that means the time-honoured tradition of Halloween is approaching.   Whether is it trick or treating or getting dressed up, Halloween is a fun activities for any family.

It is also a wonderful opportunity to incorporate math learning opportunities.

Our team of elementary math tutors has put together this wonderful list of Halloween math games:

1) Candy Math Game: Place a small sticker at the bottom of the candy with a math question.  You can vary the questions depending on the age of the student.  Turn the candy over and if your child answers the question correctly, they get to keep the candy.

2) Use pieces of candy as math manipulatives can be a lot of fun. A complex concept  can be a lot easier from being able to hold number concepts in your hand.

3) Sorting and Counting: For younger kids, have them sort their candy and then use it as an opportunity to learn how to count.

4) Guessing Game: Each person guesses how much candy they have in their bag at the end of the night.  If you have enough people you can even graph it.

5) Pumpkin pie and fractions. Bake or purchase a pumpkin pie and slice it up to learn about fractions.

 

Posted in: Math Tutoring

Leave a Comment (0) →