Tuesday, November 28, 2017

How Does Your Body Know You're Full? - Hilary Coller

Hunger claws at your belly. It tugs at your intestines, which begin to writhe, aching to be fed. Being hungry generates a powerful and often unpleasant physical sensation that’s almost impossible to ignore. After you’ve reacted by gorging on your morning pancakes, you start to experience an opposing force: fullness. But how does your body actually know when you’re full? Hilary Coller explains.

Lesson by Hilary Coller, directed by Sashko Danylenko.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

8 Steps to Tutoring Success

After you’ve decided to seek help, what’s next?
Ignoring a child's school problems or waiting too long to seek help perpetuates a cycle of frustration and failure. Here, an eight-step plan:

Step 1: Reality Check

When you or the teacher identify a problem, take a step back and consider the whole child. "Many factors could account for a child's falling behind. Rushing to hire a tutor should be the last thing you do," says Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, Ph.D., co-author of Einstein Never Used Flashcards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less. "Instead of slapping a Band-Aid on the problem, be a diagnostician and figure out the cause.”

"Your child could be tired," says Hirsh-Pasek. "Maybe he needs to go to sleep earlier, and you need to better enforce bedtime rules. Maybe he's not doing well because he's being dragged down by having too many high-fat snacks or fast-food meals. Or maybe he can't complete his homework because he's overscheduled and exhausted from too many extracurricular activities."

Step 2: Get Perspective

Talk to your child as well as his teacher or guidance counselor for their perception of the problem. Does he hand in homework assignments on time? Does he fidget in class or lose focus when the teacher talks? Does he seem unhappy or uninterested in school in general? Is his behavior disruptive in class? Lack of motivation or acting-out behaviors may be a sign that a child is having difficulty either understanding or processing information. Sometimes simply moving a child to a smaller class can make a difference. If that is not possible, ask if he can move his seat to the front row right near the teacher, which may prevent his attention from wandering.

Step 3: Consider the Best Setting

Once you've decided to find tutoring help, you need to determine what form it should take. Some children feel more comfortable working privately with a tutor in their own home; others are motivated by the dynamics of a small group and concentrate more easily when they are away from the distractions at home. They might benefit from a study group or supplemental class at a learning center. Also ask yourself: Does my child do better with men or women? Does he need lots of nurturing or a firm hand?

Step 4: Ask for Referrals

Whether you decide that a once-a-week meeting with a homework helper (say, an older student or moonlighting teacher) is sufficient, or that intensive remediation makes more sense, keep in mind that tutoring is only as good as the person who does it. Check with your child's teacher, the school office, and other parents for names of qualified tutors. Schools may have a list of tutors who work regularly with students, and may even be familiar with the teachers and course curriculum. Your school may also offer some sort of academic help — before, during, or after school.

Step 5: Meet and Greet

Meet the tutor or visit the learning center with your child so he feels a part of the process and you can see if there's a rapport between him and the tutor. Sit in on one or two sessions to be sure. Since anyone can advertise in the local newspaper that he's a tutor, check credentials. Your tutor should not only be knowledgeable in the subject matter, he should have experience working with children your child's age. If your child has a learning disability, the tutor should be trained to identify and work with youngsters with this specific problem.

Step 6: Discuss Plans

A skilled tutor does more than simply check over homework. She will assess your child's strengths and weaknesses, prepare individualized lessons, and use hands-on materials wherever possible. She should also consult and work with your child's classroom teacher. Finally, she should offer positive reinforcement so your child feels good about himself and his efforts. Ask if the tutor gives additional homework besides your child's regular classroom work as well as how she evaluates progress. Does she use standardized tests or other forms of evaluation? How often?

Step 7: Set a Timetable for Progress

Most tutoring relationships last several months to a year (meeting once or twice a week). Don't wait that long before asking for feedback. Talk to your child and the tutor after every session. Does she enjoy the sessions? Are her grades improving? Does she have more confidence with the subject matter? Is she feeling better about school in general? This informal observation, combined with her teacher's input, will help you determine if the relationship is working. And if it's not? It can take several months for a child's performance to improve, but if you sense something is not working, don't be shy about discussing your concerns with the tutor. If he's not responsive, find someone new.

Step 8: Stay Involved

Parents are part of the tutoring equation. Your involvement is necessary to make it work. Make sure the tutor has the phone number or email address of your child's teacher, a copy of the textbook and curriculum she's using (request this from the teacher or guidance counselor), and your child's past tests so he can see areas of weakness. Finally, be sure to reinforce skills at home. Ask the tutor for suggestions, look for ways to fit in real-world practice (cooking together is great for both math and reading), and don't forget to share books and stories often.

Article Source: Scholastic.com

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Monday, November 20, 2017

How Many Verb Tenses Are There in English? - Anna Ananichuk

How many different verb tenses are there in a language like English? At first, the answer seems obvious — there’s past, present, and future. But it isn't quite that simple. Anna Ananichuk explains how thanks to something called grammatical aspect, each of those time periods actually divides further. 

Lesson by Anna Ananichuk, directed by Luke Rotzler.

Friday, November 17, 2017

When to Hire a Tutor for Your Child

We all want our children to do well in school, but sometimes – despite our best efforts – they just need a little extra help.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Giving Kids a Voice During the Season of Giving

Teach kids that what they say and do matters.

November is a time for preparing for the holidays and giving thanks, but it’s also a time for using our voices.

It’s a time to set an example by using our voice for good and encouraging our kids to do the same.

As parents, we can be the example for our children in the ways we focus on supporting giving campaigns, donating to meaningful causes, or expressing our thanks for all we have. It can really be exciting to watch our children follow our lead, especially when holiday sales, promotions, and items saturate store shelves and advertisements at this time of the year.

Choosing one cause and empowering children to get involved alongside us is one step that we, as parents, can take. When our children realize how good it feels to give to others, there’s no telling how far they will take it.

Here are some ways to give our children a voice during the season of giving:

• Volunteering at a local thrift shop or soup kitchen;
• Holding a bake sale to raise money;
• Making crafts or small ornaments to sell;
• Gathering friends to write letters to government representatives or political leaders;
• Making posters to encourage friends to support a cause;
• Sending emails or letters to friends and family to teach them about a cause or campaign;
• Having a conversation with a friend about an important cause.

The possibilities are endless.

It’s really about having our kids learn about giving themselves and then encouraging others to join them. The more, the merrier—especially when it comes to giving back to the community and world around us!

Sometimes, just sharing stories about other children who have used their voices is impetus enough for our kids to speak up.

Article Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/giving-kids-voice-during-season-giving

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Can You Solve the Egg Drop Riddle? - Yossi Elran

The city has just opened its one-of-a-kind Faberge Egg Museum, with a single egg displayed on each floor of a 100-story building -- and the world’s most notorious jewel thief already has her eyes on the prize. Can you help the thief formulate a plan that will drop the most expensive egg she can get safely into her waiting truck? Yossi Elran shows how.

Lesson by Yossi Elran, directed by Artrake Studio.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

4 Ways to Help Your Reluctant Reader

If your child struggles to read, try these suggestions.

Editor's note: This blog post was originally published July 24, 2014.

No parent wants to hear, "Mom, I hate reading." But in all likelihood, at some point, many of us will hear it from one of our children. A few months ago, my son told me, "Reading is just something I am good at, not something I like."

I am pretty sure the sound of my heart breaking could have been heard from miles away.

What are our kids really saying when they tell us they hate reading?

1. It's hard.

Yes, reading is tough. Reading the wrong material is even tougher. As parents, if this is what your child means when he says he hates reading, your job is to find the right level of material for him to read.

2. I'm really struggling.

It's hard to ask for help, and children want to please their parents. Reading is something children see adults do easily, and they may feel ashamed to tell their parents they can't do it. It's simpler to refuse to do it because they hate it than to say, "I can't." It may be confidence, it may be some letter sounds that they need to practice, or it may be something much deeper than that. If you suspect your child may have a learning disability that is hampering her reading, talk to your child's teacher or pediatrician who can point you towards the proper local agency to have her tested.

3. It's boring.

In college, I had a textbook that was so boring I had to sit on the floor with my back against a cinderblock wall so that when I nodded off I would hit my head against the wall and wake up. Sometimes reading is boring, but it doesn't have to be for our kids...not yet, anyway. Ask him what makes it boring. As a team, take time to find him the right things to read. Maybe you skip the novels and dive into comic books, or forget fiction and read books filled with facts. Make it your mission to find interesting things for him to read.

4. I'd rather be outside/online/at a friend's house.

Sometimes it's a matter of shifting schedules to get kids to read for fun. No one thinks that something is fun when they are forced to do it. "Stop bothering your sister, go up to your room, and read!" doesn't sound like a treat. Staying up "past" her bedtime to read is a wonderful way to get reading in without making it compete with other activities. More than one voracious reader was created between being tucked in and lights out.

As parents we need to open up our minds to what a child who is reading looks like. Reading for many of us means reading a novel, but children can read so many other things. Before we decide that our kids really do hate reading, take time to see if what they are saying is: It's hard, I'm struggling, I'm bored, or I'd rather be outside.

So, what was my son saying when he told me he hated reading? "I'm bored of these early chapter book mysteries." I sat back and thought about what I was offering him to read and we switched it up together. Books full of wacky facts, Pokemon reference books, and sports magazines are his favorite things to read now, and I haven't heard a peep about him hating to read since!

Article Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/4-ways-to-help-your-reluctant-reader

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Where Do Math Symbols Come From? - John David Walters

Math is full of symbols: lines, dots, arrows, English letters, Greek letters, superscripts, subscripts ... it can look like an illegible jumble. Where did all of these symbols come from? John David Walters shares the origins of mathematical symbols, and illuminates why they’re still so important in the field today. 

Lesson by John David Walters, directed by Chris Bishop.