Friday, January 18, 2013

Three Tips from a Tutor: How to Get Ahead (a message to parents to pass to their children)

This transcript comes from a math tutorial that I put on a DVD.   The script is an approximate summary of the program.

Worth a look:  Maria Andersen about "Learn This"

Three tips from a tutor 
It’s a free day
No school.
The student is ill and at home.  Or your child has finished her homework…   

Good.  Don’t let schooling get in the way of your education. 

You have an opportunity to extend your child’s education.  Homework is finished!?  Terrific.  Ten more minutes with the extension program. 

1.  Challenging problems in math.
   Go to this page for FREE TIPS about MATH 

2.  Words on your kitchen wall
and on the bathroom wall.  Get the words from an SAT practice page on 

3.  Continuing education…
  do a Google search on Littky, Dan Pink, Thomas Friedman, double moon shot, Nancy Snyderman, Rob Becker and what should students learn.  Visit

That’s enough…   If you want more, the program continues… 
I’m a former math teacher and I currently tutor. 

I’ve read a lot about learning styles and this DVD will equip you with information to try new web sites and new techniques for your children. 

Let’s start by giving you the techniques and then I’ll explain the items by going step by step. 

Here are some cool web sites for math. 
Look for the homework section and look for the puzzles.   Bring the WONDER of math alive for your child. is my web site for explaining learning styles. 
These are fabulous sites.  But the most important information is this:  your child should be asked to do challenging problems, not repetitive boring work.  At some point, the benefits of math are learning to enjoy the mathematical thinking. 

These tips come from a course that I took to become a better math teacher.  Dr. Sally Robison suggested many of these links.  I’m a better teacher because of her work.

How do Chinese, Japanese and German kids study a new math course?  They do one or two really interesting problems in 45 minutes.  The teacher asks for multiple ways of solving an interesting problem.  That’s the critical issue here.  Every learning style should be given a chance to express how they arrived at an answer, even if the answer is wrong.  Then the teacher shows the way out of the forest.

If you don’t have the patience to sit with your child to talk about challenging problems, find a tutor or create a math club.  I will personally visit any child or school that has printed out and worked out the answers to the challenging problems.

But the answers are given!  Yes, and the children should explain how they got the answers.

If you hear nothing else on this DVD, please listen carefully.  Go to and click on some of the CHALLENGING problems at the tour of the site.  Try this now.

You will bring new life into the math life of your child.

Why is this important? Because Thomas Friedman scared me.  We need to up the ante, increase the stakes, invest in the next generation and raise the bar.  We need to focus on a moon shot effort to improve schools and our standards.

I repeat.  A box of delicious Turkish delight Florida Style candies to any child or group of kids who can meet this high standard.  Call me at 954 646 8246  954 OH MUCHO if you complete the 75 challenging problems on the web site.

Middle School Math Problems

More Math Problems

The second breakthrough that you will carry away from this DVD lesson is called “Print and Post”.  You will print the SAT words that you find at this web site. 
Print that list, post those words in the bathroom and kitchen and read from it.  Did your teacher exalt your work today?

Okay, now we can relax and talk about the theories behind these two exercises…

1. Brain Research

2. Learning Styles and Howard Gardner

3. Thomas Friedman globalization

4. Dan Pink and a whole new mind

5. The Big Picture and Dennis Littky

6. John Stossel and the recent 20/20 report on education

7. Emotional intelligence
8. Math standards, the National Council for Teachers of Math

9. Cooperative teaching methods
10. Portfolios and exhibitions instead of written test 
Stand and deliver

11.  Words to your cell phone 

Let’s begin with brain research. 

There’s a structure in the brain called the Corpus Callosum.  It connects the emotions and the ability to verbalize.

Ask a boy, “How are you today?” 


Ask a girl, “How are you today?” 

OKAY, I GUESS, BUT I’M WORRIED ABOUT my friend Minnie and my mom is kind of not in the best mood, and… 

The difference is the connection between feelings and words.  Most girls can tell you what they are feeling.

This difference impacts how math can be taught.

Let’s look at how we create memories.

If you feel or experience the new item, you will remember it longer. 
Memorize Bukra 

Bukra – tomorrow. 
Remember that.

The more connections that I make between the new word and what I already know, the longer I will remember the item. 

Pink  =  wardi

War between Diana and Charles   that’s the war di.  She wanted pink.

If I show you pink and Princess Di, you will remember it more.  Don’t think of pink elephants.

We remember with humor, with emotion, with something that is out of place – the extreme of imagination.

How did you learn
stationery and stationary?  
Which is STAND STILL and which is a place for PAPER?

Stand still  A is in the word STAND

The word PAPER ends in ER    station ER y store.   

I created Math for to reach girls and artistic people who don’t like math.  You will learn about learning styles.   Go to and take their learning styles web questionnaire. 

I have effective teaching methods, but if the child doesn’t want to learn or hates the subject, some anger management might be needed.  That’s why the kit includes “For Teens,” an audio CD about anger management. 

But a child might point out:
“I’m not angry at the teacher, I’m just bored.” 

REPLY:  Then don’t use that audio CD, just jump right in with the videos …  There’s a hunter DVD where I talk about preparing for the SAT – and kids can start preparing in middle school.  

There’s social math and Leslie math. 

You’ll see.  The purpose of this DVD is to give you the information you need to ask the right questions, such as “how do I get to look at those DVDs, Mr. Mac?”  and “how do I persuade my child’s teacher that performance of understanding can be done in more than one way?  Just as there are many learning and teaching styles, there are also several ways to assess learning.” – print the list.  

Boys and Math 
Visual and Active math
We boys need something new. 
Action.   If your boys need special attention, it’s because of brain structure.   Demand attention.

Math teachers are particularly insistent that students should know algebra before the end of 8th grade or 9th grade.   Who cares when as long as it’s before 12th grade?  Some kids pick this stuff up later.  

Girls and Math 
Start with a google search and know that there are differences in brain structure so there should be differences in how the math is presented to most girls.   These are trends, there are exceptions and the purpose here is to say there are a variety of ways to learn math.  Look for teachers who use cooperative and social methods.

SOMEONE WHO TALKS A LOT can often help girls learn more math.

We started with these principles. 

a) brains are different 

b)  teaching styles need to adapt to learning styles

c) any teacher who fears math or fears writing should be open about the fear AND should openly ask for help from another teacher.  “I hated math at school and I hope I never see another quadratic equation.”  DON’T allow that to be said … it’s a bad example to kids.

d) Dennis Littky has a remarkable school because he puts relevance and relationships on the same level as academic rigor.  If there is nothing else that you do today, at least pick up the phone and call me to ask for the Small Schools booklet.  Or go to my web site and click on Small School Booklet.
d)  written tests are important AND there are ways to prepare students for life.  Exhibitions should be emphasized over writing.  If you want to debate this point with me, let’s meet for coffee.  I’m buying.  954 646 8246.  I find that the strongest opponents to Bill Gates’ new Three Rs turn into the strongest advocates.

e)  Students need more than teachers.  They need mentors.  Get more adults to volunteer in schools.

f)  Videos should be taken of classes.  Then kids could watch the video and get the main idea.  Who needs notetaking when there is a video available to doublecheck the notes?

g) We need more languages in school.  We need teachers enseignant en francais and mentioning words now and then in Hindi and Chinese.  Where is Bangalore?  Guangzhou?

2.  Ken Robinson and his talk about Creativity in Schools (do a Google Search)

3. Thomas Friedman globalization 
The world is flat is a fascinating book.   Go to and learn more.

4. Dan Pink and a whole new mind 
The right brain sees the big picture.  The left brain focuses on procedures and obvious details.  Guess which provides the great insights….
We have two half brains.  

See also Dan Pink's recent free FLIP Manifesto and his book about motivation called DRIVE

5. The Big Picture and Dennis Littky
Exhibitions and portfolios are more accurate and better at inspiring learning than written tests.   Written two page narratives are better than letter grades.  If you want to know what else Dennis Littky suggests, go to   Ask to hear the audio CD

6. John Stossel and the 20/20 report on education 

Small schools could be the answer

LEARN ABOUT ONLINE EDUCATION (excellent video lecture by Dr. Bonk)

7. Emotional intelligence 
65% of success is not related to test taking and grades in school.
Can your child recite William Blake and explain the purpose of education?  Education helps us see a microscopic world in a drop of water and genetics in plants.  We can see trillions of cells on our body and we can divide time into billionths of a second.
Here’s how Blake put it… To see a world in a grain of sand and a heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of the hand and eternity in an hour.

8. Math standards, the National Council for Teachers of Math
Take a deep breath.  Not everything is necessary.

9. Cooperative teaching methods 

Work together, not solo… except if you are an intrapersonal learner…

10. Portfolios and exhibitions
instead of written tests
Stand and deliver
Build a track record, not a series of 25 problems for homework.  Work on truly interesting problems.   Build a portfolio of challenges.    See

11.  Words to your cell phone 

Send the email address of the phone…  let me text your word for today.

I hope I will see you 

book RA

I will look at a book tomorrow.

Bukra = tomorrow. 

That’s the power of learning on the edge. Learning in the instant.  Now you just need 5 or 6 more exposures and you will know bukra. 

Remember what the Belgian boy said on 20/20, in the John Stossel report: 

Guten tag, allo, bon jour, ciao, sabah el kheir, hello.  Try that, American kids. 

If you like this style of outreach, please note that you received this DVD without cost.  You can help pay for more of these outreaches by hiring me to tutor your kid or by buying the Mr. Mac series of math and language tips.  See my web site to get prices.  Resolve To has one set of items. 

Does your child complain that “I don’t understand the teacher” or “My friends understand but I don’t”?  Does the teacher say that your child is just lazy or the teacher doesn’t know how your child will learn to sit still or just follow the problems step by step?  There are different learning styles. 

  www   Learning Styles on line 

go to 
=============  BONUS 

What should you expect a substitute teacher to provide? 

I used to teach in a classroom.   I sometimes work as a substitute teacher.   I have some suggestions 

The list for substitute teachers

Anyone who has to be a substitute teacher or anyone who wants to help the substitute have a better experience, go through these ten tips 
1.  what is hydroplaning?   What happens when it’s stopped raining and the highway is just a little wet? 

2 for languages. 

3.  ipods for garrison keillor and science ,  and other shows on national public radio.   If you are using an ipod, here are some things to put on your ipod.  Download some files for students to listen to. 

Subscribe to 
for history   

4. show a mentor on video.  Get the free segments from or call 954 OH mucho    +1 954 646 8246  or call SteveEnglishTeacher on Skype

5.  When on vacation, a day off, go to, bibbi  building international  or go to the great challenge for a candy box.  Find it by going to and click on challenging problems 

6.  Collect bad driving videos.  Come on kids, what is the worst example of bad driving that you saw?   Describe it.  Make sure you get it on video next time 

7. Explain a musical song or poem.  The gambler, the coward of the county.  1776  is anybody there?  Does anybody care?  Does anybody see what I see?   Put those questions in google and see what great lyrics appear.  Explain the star spangled banner.  Recite the words to the national anthem and to America the beautiful.  Explain those lyrics 

8. Recite the “I can” poem.  search... Courage comes from the soul within,...  by Edgar Guest

9.    Snopes.  Yes I mentioned it before, but visit it again.  You have a day off, go there.    Read every article that you find interesting in 

10.  Don’t hurt your ears.   Ipods are fun but protect the little ear hairs. 
Do a search on Dan Pink, Thomas Friedman, double moon shot, Dennis Littky and learn some new ideas..

What should students learn? 
Just ask that one question.  I bet your students will have an opinion. 
That will make a good day as a substitute teacher.

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