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Archive for 'Math Tutoring'

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

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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.

 

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SHAD 2019 – Summer Enrichment Opportunity

SHAD is a summer enrichment program where high potential high school students spend 4-weeks in July living at a host university campus outside their hometown and engage in experiential learning in STEAM & Entrepreneurship. It’s an opportunity for promising students to meet like-minded peers, explore Canada and gain an immersive university experience. Participation in SHAD is recognized by university admissions & scholarship providers. Students walk away transformed, empowered to make a difference and with a lifelong network.

Who can apply? SHAD looks for students who are: creative, involved in their community and keen learners. Application for SHAD 2019 are open and due by November 19, 2018.

Can my student afford it? A range of bursaries are available, ensuring that the program is accessible to students with demonstrated financial need. Last year, SHAD gave away over $1 million in bursaries to ensure that the cost of the program is never the reason a student does not apply.

Where can I get more info? Contact Jess Tang, Outreach Lead at jess@shad.ca to receive promotional materials for your school.

Posted in: Math Tutoring, Science Tutoring

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Get Ready For The Best Back-To-School Ever!

Returning to school after months away is a big transition for students in all grades, but the road back doesn’t have to be bumpy. Our tutors shared six easy to implement tips that’ll prepare you and your child for the best back-to-school ever:

Adapt your family’s routine: Transitioning to school is easier when preparations begin in advance. Adjust bedtimes and family routines at least two weeks before the bell rings. Talk about why these changes are happening so your child understands it’s about healthy routines and setting up everyone for success.

Set goals: Sit down with your child and review June’s report card. Together make goals for the upcoming school year and consider any additional academic support or tutoring they may require.

Create a dedicated homework area: Organize a homework space that’s quiet, has a comfortable chair, and good lighting. Keep it stocked with papers, pencils, sharpeners, erasers and any other supplies needed.

Make a family command centre: The school year is smoother when papers are organized, and dates are in view. Consider a bin with each family member’s name on it. Place a calendar on the wall and leave a space for the school year calendar and any classroom calendars that come home. This may be the perfect place to dock personal electronics too.

Begin with books: Ease back-to-school jitters and evoke feelings of excitement with the help of school-themed books. Visit the library or bookstore to get some books about school, moving, making friends or even about bullying. Books give children the words to express their emotions and will help open up meaningful conversations between your and your child. 

Before bed routine: Mornings are much less stressful when things are packed the night before. As part of their pre-bed routine, ask your child to organize their knapsack with everything they need for school the next day—refer to the family command centre calendar to know what’s needed. This step will help eliminate forgotten library books, signed notes, and running shoes. 

If you love back-to-school shopping as much as we do, you’ll love this fun giveaway! Our friends at Staples and Raincoast Books are gifting one lucky Teachers on Call fan a back-to-school prize pack.

Staples is gifting the winner a $100 Staples gift card and select school supplies. 

Raincoast Books is gifting the winner six books! Once Upon a Chef, The Truth About My Unbelievable School, What Can a Citizen Do?, The Pout-Pout Fish and the Bully Bully Shark, Delilah Dirk and the Pillars of Hercules, and Seven Rules You Absolutely Must Not Break if you want to Survive the Cafeteria

Entering is simple. You can win the Staples and Raincoast Books prize pack by entering below! We’ll announce the winner on August 27th.

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Contest is open to Ontario residents only.

Posted in: Math Tutoring, Parent Education Resources, Science Tutoring

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Spring STEM Ideas

Spring STEM Ideas

STEM is becoming a very popular buzz word in education and you may be hearing a lot about it.  So what is STEM and how can it benefit your child?

It stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math. Exposure to STEM subjects can help students develop important problem solving and critical thinking skills from a young age, and prepare them for school and future careers.

Here are five suggestions to help students get excited from our math and science tutors:

STEM Experiments

Students can try a series of STEM based projects from making their own slime at home to conducting science experiments. If you are looking for a guide check out  Try This! 50 Fun & Safe Experiments for the Mad Scientist in You.

Books

Visit your local library or bookstore to pick out books with STEM content for students of all ages. There is no shortage of books to choose from starting with picture books to older content. Looking for inspiration? A few of our favourites include Charlotte the Scientist is Squished and  Innovation Nation.

Extracurricular Activities

Encourage your child to look into STEM based clubs, extracurricular activities, and after school programming. Tap into STEM related interests like coding and robotics.

STEM Role Models

Know someone in a STEM-related job? Invite them over for coffee or dinner and let your child learn and pick their brain about what they do.

Educational Field Trips

Extracurricular trips are a great opportunity to expose students to new learning experiences. Visit your local science centre, museum or aquarium for some enriching adventures outside of the classroom.

Looking for additional STEM inspiration? Feel free to check out our website and social media for more ideas.

Posted in: Educational Technology, Math Tutoring, Science Tutoring

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Spring – Fun & Educational Activities

Spring Educational Activities

With the weather getting warmer and the days longer, spring is a wonderful time to get outside and incorporate nature into education.

If you are planning to plant flowers & herbs and watch the leaves bloom, there are plenty of educational moments to take advantage of.

Here are some of our favourites:

English:

Use a journal or diary to track how the flowers, plants and trees are blooming and write daily about how rain, sun, insects are affecting their growth.  At the end of the spring look back at the diary to see what made the garden, plants or trees grow successfully for next year.

Math:

Use planting and gardening to learn about counting and how many seeds you need to plant.  As you plant the seeds, use this as an opportunity to learn measurement around the area of the garden and how you can space the seeds out.  If you don’t happen to have a garden, visit a park and a pick a favourite tree to count the leaves and try to measure it’s height and width.

Art:

Help make arts and crafts using springtime ideas such as flowers, trees, fruits and vegetables.  Some ideas could including painting, taking pictures and making paper shapes.

Science:

Grow your own plant or vegetables using seeds.  Learn about how and why it grows with light, water and other nutrients.

What are your favourite springtime educational activities?

 

 

Posted in: English Tutoring, Math Tutoring, Science Tutoring

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6 Tips to Help Study for Math Tests

 

 

 

 

 

Your daughter or son has a math test coming up next week.   How can you help them build the right Academic Coaching skills to study and practice properly?

We asked our team of math tutors for their advice on building the right math study skills.   Here are some of their tips:

1) Start Studying Early: Plan ahead is a sure way to succeed when studying for any test.  Studies show that spacing studying sessions apart is far more effective than cramming the day before.  Break up the different math topics in the test into different study sessions.  This approach also builds a foundation for review closer to exam time.

2) Know Your Math Vocabulary:  Make sure your child knows all the key terms so when they read the test questions they are able to distinguish what type of problem it is.  For example they should be able to identify the difference between questions for a sum versus a product.

3) Understand and Practice the Format of the Test: Although students may know the math content, sometimes the format of the test can throw them off.  For example if the test has longer problems, work on practicing the steps required to answer the question.   For multiple choice, learn the process of elimination to get to the more likely answers.   Also practice in advance reading the directions of each question or section on the test.

4) Homework: Doing your homework regularly helps a student become familiar with basic math concepts and build a foundation for future grades.  It also helps in test situations where there is a time limit.

5) Practice Notation: Sloppy handwriting can lead to the wrong number reviewed by the teacher.  Be sure that your that a 9 does not look like a 4. Also when doing adding, subtraction, division and multiple practice lining up digits so they do not become misaligned.  For longer math problems, ensure the steps are neatly laid out and show the logic of how you got to your answer.

5) Be Well Rested and Healthy:  Eat well, have a good sleep and most important go into the test with a positive attitude!

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STEM Education Over March Break to Keep Learning Fun

With the March Break coming up fast, it’s time to start planning activities to keep your child engaged over the short break.

One of the best ways to pack some education into the spring break fun is to try STEM-related activities. STEM stands for science, technology, engineering and mathematics, and focuses on combining these four areas into a powerful learning that connects to real-world experiences.

Our friends at Indigo make it easy to foster your child’s interest in STEM during March Break with blocks, books, and DIY activities that open up possibilities to budding inventors and engineers. We’ve gathered a few of our favourite choices, and Indigo is offering them all to one of our lucky readers!

LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox

With the LEGO BOOST Creative Toolbox kids can customize and build their own talking robot friend named Vernie. An extra neat feature is that Vernie responds to voice with facial expressions that directly correlate to it’s mood. The LEGO BOOST is a great way to encourage your children to participate in STEM, as they complete fun activities and code their own robot friend.

Ultimate Slime DIY Tutorials

Making slime is all the rage these days, and this book that includes over 100 Slime recipes, that don’t use Bora, won’t disappoint sticky-loving kids. Creating slime is an amazing STEM activity that allows children to explore chemical reactions, different properties and perform tests. The Ultimate Slime DIY Tutorials book offers so much fun for over the March Break.

Ada Twist, Scientist

This wonderful book is about the inquiring minds of children and is a direct celebration of STEM. Follow along as Ada Twist and classmates open the conversation about gender roles and bring a very welcome perspective into women and science.

Klutz: Make Your Own Bath Bombs

Kids can scientifically transform their bathtime by learning the science associated with creating the best fizz-including chemical reactions. Using different molds, children can mix together ingredients to create colourful bath bombs.

Gumball Machine: Build a Machine that Really Works

Little engineers with a sweet tooth will enjoy the freedom to create their own working gumball machine using easy-to-follow instructions that show kids how parts work together to create a machine.

Iggy Peck’s Big Project Book for Amazing Architects

This is the ultimate STEM book for kids, with over 40 fun design and STEM projects, from doodling and drafting to blueprints and building. Iggy Peck takes little readers on a fun adventure with a unique mix of art skills, science and technology to create some stable structures. This activity book will give children the chance to invent new gizmos, design dwellings, imagine a new cityscape and more.

We’ve partnered with Indigo for #KidsBreak this year, with an #IndigoKidsBreak prize pack to keep kids having fun while they are off school. Value approximately $325.


Entering is simple. You can win the Indigo prize package of all our favourite items  by entering below! Contest is open to people living in Ontario, and ends March 8th.

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Posted in: Math Tutoring, Science Tutoring

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Pi Day – 5 Ways to Celebrate

Pi Day (March 14) is almost here!

What is Pi?  It is one of the most famous numbers in Math that represents the ratio of every circle’s diameter to its circumference.   It is unique since it’s digits never end or never repeat.   However, since it goes on forever we use 3.14 to approximate its value.

To learn more, click the video below:

Educators and mathematicians around the world have made March 14th as the day of celebration.

Here are five fun math activities from our tutors to get engaged:

1) Enjoy Pi themed foods -Have a Pizza Party.  Remind your kids that it represents the ratio of circle’s circumference to its diameter.   Have them measure both the circumference and the diameter to see it in real life.  Once you are done, cut the pizza into different slices and learn about ratios.

2) Create a collage: Cut out numbers of newspapers and magazines to make a work of art.

3) Make a paper chain with a different colour representing each digit and see how far you can make the chain

4) Expand vocabulary with a themed words contest.  Challenge your kids to come up with as many words that start with Pi in 5 minutes.  Ie. pink, pick, pimple and pizza.

5) Read about it: In Sir Cumference and the Dragon of Pi (A Math Adventure) turns math concepts into memorable stories.

Have a wonderful time celebrating math!

Posted in: Math Tutoring

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5 STEM Websites for Kids (that are fun!)

STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) is an important area of focus in the classroom and at home.  One of the questions we often receive, is how do I engage my daughter or son in STEM?

Fortunately, several of our Math and Science tutors, have shared their 5 favourite and fun STEM websites for kids:

1) The Science of Winter Olympics: With the Winter Olympics around the corner, the NBC Learn team has teamed up with the National Science Foundation to prepare 16 videos about how Math and Science impact sports.   There is an opportunity to learn about gravity, friction, speed and the biology and chemistry of the human body.

2) Science Bob: This website covers everything about science, including research tips, experiments and a Q&A section for everything you were wondering about science.

3) Cool Math Games: Excite your younger kids with this fun and interactive website that covers all things math, including numbers, logic, skill and strategy.

4) National Geographic Kids: This website inspires young adventurers to explore the world through games, apps, maps and videos.

5) Brain Pop Jr: This site and it’s older version Brain Pop offers tons of educational videos and games in areas like math and science along with social studies, art and history.

 

Posted in: Math Tutoring, Science Tutoring

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