Run For The Rabbi

 

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Top Tutor Families…

Thank you so much for those of you who have donated to such a great cause.  I’m ecstatic that I have hit my goal of $500 and want to increase it to $1,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. The Broad Street Run is less than 1 month away, so please consider donating. Rabbi Ben David we are all fighting for you!

Here is a link to my gofundme page…every dollar earned will be donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.  I was having a difficult time deciding how much to donate.  Keith & I will be donating $1 for every mile of training!  So far I’m up to 44 miles… $44 donation!

 

 

 

Posted in Uncategorized

National Little Red Wagon Day!

What a wonderful day for adults and kids to spend time together and to celebrate their imaginations!

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Who knew this was a National Holiday?!?!

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National Red Wagon Day is celebrated the last Wednesday in March!  If you have a cute picture to share, even if it’s from when your kids were small, please post!  I love to see the Top Tutor families (then and now)! 

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Share some fond memories from when your children were little!

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Posted in Uncategorized

National Epilepsy Day

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National Epilepsy Awareness Day is observed annually on March 26th.  The day has become known as “Purple Day” as people are encouraged to wear the color to increase awareness of Epilepsy.

According to the World Health Organization, nearly 50 million people around the world live with epilepsy.  While it is not contagious, and in many cases there is no known cause for the condition, sometimes the cause is due to disease or injury such as stroke or infection.
 
It is a treatable condition, but it can be confusing especially for children.  In some parts of the world, treatment may be difficult to get.
 
Wear purple and use #EplilepsyAwarenessDay or #PurpleDay to post on social media.

HISTORY

Purple Day was started in 2008 by Cassidy Megan of Nova Scotia, Canada to encourage awareness of epilepsy and to cast away some of the myths that cloud the general public’s view of the condition.  While other awareness days  had been observed in the past, Purple Day and its founder have begun to get a bit of a following and awareness is spreading around the globe.

Posted in Elementary School, High School, Middle School, Parent Info

Surviving Middle School: #4 Self Advocacy

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Self-advocating is the ability to be able to speak up for what you need and is a skill that many students need to be taught.

 

Middle school is the perfect time students should practice this powerful skill. They may need guidance on when and how to reach out to their teacher (in person- before, during or after class OR via email right after school). This important skill helps students make connections with the teacher, as well as take ownership of their grades. It isn’t always easy, but this skill is beneficial for your child’s long term success.

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Teaching Your Child To Self Advocate

  • Discuss with him/her their strengths and weaknesses.
  • Positively reinforcement and praise them when they speak up in class or send an email to their teacher.
  • Let your child try to figure out a solution to a problem before solving it for them.
  • Encourage your child to stay after school or pack a lunch for extra help.
  • Remind him/her that asking for clarification and help is a great skill.
  • Practice, practice and more practice! They may need help with wording, eye contact, body language, timing, etc.

By this age, it is important that your child is self-aware and knows his or her strengths and weaknesses. If your child struggles with reading and comprehension, they should be able to go to their teacher and say, “Reading takes me a long time because I need to reread some of the paragraphs so I can understand it better. Would it be OK if I have a little extra time to finish the book?” Practice the mini conversations with your child so their teacher has a better understanding of how they can help as well! Teachers are there to help your child and can be a valuable resource.

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When students self advocate, they:

1) Build confidence & realize they CAN learn.

2) Figure out additional ways to overcome challenges in school (with out depending on their parents).

3) Take ownership of what they are learning.

4) Develop independence and ability to empower themselves.

Posted in Elementary School, High School, Homework Help, Middle School, Parent Info, Studying & Test Prep, Time Management & Organization, Tips For Success, Uncategorized

Surviving Middle School: #3 Grades & Goal Setting

Goals

Students should be monitoring their grades on a weekly basis. If you care more about their grades then they do, they will never take ownership of them.  They need to learn to keep organized and go to class prepared, otherwise their grades will reflect negatively. When they monitor their grades, and take responsibility for their work (or lack of), they can see how much a missing homework assignment or a poor quiz grade affects them.

 

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Set SMART Goals!

Specific    Measurable    Action plan    Realistic    Timely

It is extremely important for middle school students to learn how to set SMART Goals (chart) that are appropriate. If they set ones that are unreasonably high (straight A’s all year in all subjects), they will be set up for disappointment. Helping your child set goals for each marking period, perhaps for each subject, is more reasonable. Be specific! For example, “I will review my notes from Spanish class each night for 10 minutes” or “I have a Language Arts project due in 5 days, so I will work one requirement each night.”

See attached SMART Goals (Visual)  and SMART Goals (Chart).

Posted in High School, Homework Help, Middle School, Parent Info, Time Management & Organization, Tips For Success, Uncategorized

Surviving Middle School: #2 Time Management

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Once your child has a good homework and organization system in place, they should incorporate after school activities (such as sports, music, birthdays, dances, chores, religious school, etc.) into the system to help with time management.  If they see upcoming events, they can plan out their time accordingly.  Having some sort of weekly or monthly planner definitely helps. 

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There are only 24 hours in a day… what they do with the time can make all the difference.  Figure out how much “free time” is left after sleep, school and mandatory activities. How much time is spent watching TV? On social media? Or hanging out with friends? Managing your time appropriately will help get the most out of each day!

I’ve attached a Time Management Chart and the Time Management- Have To’s, Must Do’s, Like To’s CHART  that we give to many of our Top Tutor families.  This is how to utilize this support:

1)    Have your child write down a list of 5 things they “HAVE TO DO” on a weekly basis (eat, sleep, homework, etc). This is a “priority” list and always needs to be done each week.

2)    Next, have them write down things they “MUST DO” (clubs, sports, music, chores, etc) each week for school and at home.

3)    Finally, have them write down what they would “LIKE TO DO”. These are optional and extra activities.  If there were enough time they would love to do items from this list during the week. (Learn a new skill, join a new club, hang out with friends, etc).

4)    Take this information and input into the “Time Management Chart”. Have your child fill it in completely for a week. Be honest! This will allow them to see where and how they are spending their time. 

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Making a “To Do Lists” and checking off items that are completed is a great visual for students.  They feel a sense of accomplishment as they check each item off the list.  The items on the list should be based on what needs to get accomplished each day/week.  Not every item may get checked off, and that is ok! 

 

 

Posted in High School, Homework Help, Middle School, Parent Info, Time Management & Organization, Uncategorized

Surviving Middle School #1- Homework & Organization

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Remember work space should be CLEAN….”A place for everything and everything in its place.”

Clean and neat work space.

Lighting- is the space well lit? If too dim, it may make your child tired or become unfocused. 

Energy levels- give them a snack or break after school before starting homework.

All materials -(books, binders, worksheets, etc) ready to go!

No distractions- remove phones, games and other sources of distraction so they can focus!

 

Finding The Best System

Keeping yourself well organized is so incredibly important for success and will save you a valuable amount of time! Each student is different. Do you need to use a planner? Is a calendar with reminders on your phone better for you? Post-its?  Checklists? Weekly or monthly visuals? To do lists? Color coordinating? What ever works best for you, may not work for your middle school student. Relying on “just remembering” is difficult when multiple assignments and responsibilities start to pile up.  Encourage them to try different methods and once they find something that works, they will be motivated to continue and own it!

Here is a link to one of my favorite planners …  Student Planner- Middle & High School

It is great for middle and high school students because it offers a place to write daily homework, but they can also see what is going on for the week & month. I strongly encourage students to use their planners for not only their homework, but for other parts of their life as well such as sports, music, birthdays, dances, chores, religious school, etc.

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Supplies

A homework space should be CLEAN and neat, with all necessary supplies (calculator, pens, pencils, sharpener, notecards, extra paper, etc.) ready to go!  Each subject should have it’s own binder with dividers that separate notes, homework assignments, study guides and graded assignments.  If a kitchen table or counter is most convenient to help your child when cooking, keep all the supplies in a basket and set up the “homework station” daily.

Homework is assigned for a good reason… to practice and instill the lessons of the day. Remember, what you put into it is what you get out of it!

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Estimate The Time

It’s a good idea for students to estimate how long each assignment should take.  Not only does this “chunk” their work, but it can help them keep focused for smaller periods of time.  For some students, setting a timer can help keep them focused.  Homework becomes more manageable in 20-25 minutes blocks rather than looking at ALL of the homework assigned at once.

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Posted in Homework Help, Parent Info, Studying & Test Prep, Time Management & Organization, Tips For Success, Uncategorized

Happy Pi Day

pi day

Happy Pi Day! This National holiday is celebrated on the 14th day of the 3rd month each year.  We celebrate the first 3 digits-  3.14 (March 14th) of the constant pi. Many celebrate this Mathematical holiday by watching Life Of Pi, having a slice, or even a pie eating contest.

So what exactly is Pi?  The ratio of a circumference of a circle divided by the diameter is represented by Pi.  It has been calculated to over one trillion digits beyond the decimal point.  Pi is a non-repeating and non-terminating decimal.  It’s typically abbreviated as 3.14.

Pi Day is EXTRA SPECIAL this year because it’s “Rounded Pi Day”… When rounding pi to the ten-thousandth (that’s four numbers past the decimal point), it comes out to 3.1416, matching today’s date — March 14, 2016.  

Posted in Math, Uncategorized

TOP TEN SKILLS To Surviving Middle School

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As a middle school teacher, I find it amazing how much kids grow from 6th-8th grade. They learn so many skills in such a short period of time.  Some students can develop these skills on their own, but most need help and guidance.  Here is my list of TOP TEN SKILLS that middle school students need to succeed! Over the next week I will share some helpful information about each of them so stay tuned…

1. Homework & Organization

2. Time Management

3. Grades & Goal Setting

4. Self-Advocating

5. Making Good Friend Choices

6. Group Work

7. Note Taking

8. Study Skills

9. Test Taking Strategies

10. Self-Regulating Stress & Emotions

Top Tutors can help your child with any of these skills.  If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact us- info@TopTutorsLLC.com or (601) 568-2440 and we would be happy to help your child have a successful school year!

Posted in Homework Help, Parent Info, Standardized Test Prep, Studying & Test Prep, Tips For Success, Uncategorized, Writing

Calm and Confident for the Standardized Test

Dear Ms. Weiss:
I write to give my highest of praises to your wonderful employee, Sabrina.   After having her work with my son, Chase, for over a month,  I felt utterly compelled to write to you.   I have to say, Sabrina is a fine example of what being a great teacher stands for–patience, encouragement, kindness and intelligence.

Sabrina did such a great job with Chase preparing him for his standardized test!  Sabrina was so thorough.  She knew just what to key into with Chase, and did so!    She also brought practice tests for us and answer keys, on subjects that only she would know that Chase would benefit from.   And very interesting, Sabrina’s calm demeanor was such a help to Chase and to me.  This is a true testament to her nature, as dealing with the public and their children around standardized testing cannot be easy.    Yet she does so with so much grace and ease.    Her calm demeanor and attitude while teaching him subjects that he did not know was one of, “Of course Chase will get these concepts!”   and therefore, he did.

As an attorney practicing law in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, I come into contact with a multitude of lawyers, witnesses, judges and people from all walks of life, everyday.   Specializing in litigation, I can tell you that my job is to know people.  And I know that your Sabrina Mammi is a GREAT REPRESENTATIVE of TOP TUTORS, LLC.  and she deserves kudos.   Thank you again for knowing what you have in your employee Sabrina Mammi.  Keep up the good work Ms. Weiss in knowing good people and great employees when you see them!

Very truly yours,

Tracy R.

Posted in Testimonials