Category Archives: Tutoring Guide

Pythagoras Theorem Explained

Ever wondered how Pythagoras Theorem, the so called 1st theorem of Elementary Mathematics is proven as such?

Here’s an interesting video and method which you can explain to your Secondary students!

Make your tutorials fun and interesting!

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Tutoring Guide Series: How to help a student who is lagging behind?

Drawing parallels from the famous illustration by Zhuge Liang, often recognised as the greatest and most accomplished strategist of his era during the Three Kingdoms period in China in novel Romance of the Three Kingdoms:

[A man has fallen into a terrible malady.

First the physician must administer hashish, then soothing drugs until his viscera shall be calmed into harmonious action.

When the sick man’s body shall have been reduced to quietude, then may he be given strong meats to strengthen him and powerful drugs to correct the disorder.

Thus the disease will be quite expelled, and the man restored to health.

If the physician does not wait till the humors and pulse are in harmony, but throws in his strong drugs too early, it will be difficult to restore the patient. ]

~ Zhuge Liang in Romance of the Three Kingdoms

A tutor can only effectively help a student who is lagging behind by first finding out the root cause of the student’s academic performance.

Each student holds a different lock and a personal tutor will have to find the key to the lock!

While it could be tempting to hasten the learning for the student in order to improve within a short time period, however the personal tutor or private tutor will have to understand that if the foundation is not laid and true understanding of the content is not attained, it will not be beneficial to the student as new content is being introduced.

Why?

This is because usually the content learnt in higher grades are based on the content learnt in lower grades and going up from one level to another e.g. (Primary 4 to Primary 5) would follow a T-shape trend for different topics- increase in breadth and also in depth.

So, help a student who is lagging behind by leveraging on what private tuition can best do- personalising and planning what is appropriate for the individual student. Prepare and customise lesson plans according to the student’s needs. Also, remember to explain and discuss with student and parent why your lesson plan will help the student.

Of course, to sum it all,  “administer” the right “medicine” for your student!

A Different Perspective to “Teaching”

“I cannot teach you.., only help you to explore yourself.” ~ Bruce Lee

“Think-Out-of-the-Box” Multiplication Method

Ever wonder that other than your calculator or the manual working method which you have learnt in Primary school, are there any other ways to do your simple multiplication sums?

Here’s one really interesting way to do it!

Have fun trying it out-the pictorial way of solving multiplication sums but we don’t recommend using it if not you will have a hard time solving 999 x 999!

Tutors and parents: Feel free to share this with your students or children as a fun exercise or as a way to wow them and show how fun Maths can be!

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Changing Education Paradigms

Ever thought of WHY people are in this “rat race” in the modern world where they  “paper chase” and teach their kids to do so too in a never-ending cycle?

Arguable, it is entirely human nature to better oneself’s prospect and yes..purely of own personal choice sometimes in the spirit to excel.

But what if you are inhibited by the education system that places emphasis on some field that you entirely do not have the passion to excel in much less to say about the talent to do so?And you want to really pursue something you dream of?

Then its important to understand how to get around it and pursue your dreams by paving your own way. “If there is a will, there is a way!” But first, understand how people in your own society views education and whether YOU are stuck in that paradigm or in a NUTS- No U-Turn Syndrome.

Start thinking differently and see things in a different perspective!

This video by RSA Animate- Changing Education Paradigms might help to get you started off. If you are the inspirational type of tutor from ConsultAtutor or even a parent who wants to fire up the passion in your child, watch this.

April Fools’ Joke in Math Class?

Think that April Fools’ Day is only for the cheeky and foolish ones? Wait a second, April Fools’ Day in school is a good day to exemplify to students how creativity simply do not have any boundaries, a little humour in class simply make lessons much more fun and interesting too!

No matter whether you are a tutor, parent, teacher or a mentor to someone, you can make a difference by being a cool educator. Enjoy!

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Edu-snips Series: Nurturing Bilingualism

What??

In recent years, the Singapore education scene have seen numerous debates on the emphasis on Mother Tongue languages in the education system vis a vis the practical use of our mother tongue languages in everyday use including the underlying societal and cultural meaning of practising them.

Generally, mastery of a language can be classified into 3 major categories- reading, writing and conversing. It is perhaps important to note that dialects do not apply as they are generally focus more on the conversation part of a language. It is understood that of the 3 categories, new learners are likely to exhibit difficulty in either one or two or the areas and strength in a minimum of one area. This is due to the learning style preferred which is unique to everyone.

By identifying your tutee’s or child’s learning style in languages would certainly be a good first step in trying to lay strong foundation in future learning and practicing of the language. However, it is important to understand that different teaching pedagogy would usually overlap one another in trying to achieve a same result i.e. a certain method or exercise that is used to stimulate say, the reading skills or the ability to recognise words would probably achieve the same objective as listening to the word and spelling it out on paper, although the latter is focused more on writing.

Now we understand how complex learning a language can be, let’s put down some structure with some suggested tips to nurturing bilingualism in your very own household!

Tips

1. Practice makes perfect, arrange for your child to speak both languages regularly. Create a conducive bilingual environment by making your child speak to Dad in English and Mum in Mother Tongue or vice versa. You surely wouldn’t want your child to speak solely English both in school and at home right?

2. If you think that English can be emphasised greater, given that all Maths, Arts and Sciences subjects are all set in English, head down to the library weekly as a family outing for some books picking! Choose more English books and get better by improving comprehension skills.

3. Want some balance to Mother Tongue, a good step to improve Mother Tongue language is first to understand and appreciate the language as a cultural ballast, especially in multi-racial and cosmopolitan Singapore! Immerse your child in the appreciation of the arts related to the Mother Tongue language by going for activities like Chinese Caligraphy or Indian heritage tours in musuems to drum up interest.

4. To set a good example for language proficiency, be a good role model as a parent or as an educator by speaking accurate and fluent English or Mother Tongue. Of course, an occasional “lah” or “loh” serves no harm since its how Singaporeans identify themselves with as long as its kept out of the composition papers.

5. In an unfortunate scenario that bilingualism is seemingly too difficult to master? Well, don’t stress up the children or students too much by enforcing a one-for-all approach, adopt a customised-for-one approach instead and perhaps allow emphasis to be on the conversational ability of the child first before moving on reading and writing when there are improvements. Passion makes all the difference, most of the time.

Last of all, start early as its usually the formative years that matters the most.

Now that we have 5 tips about nurturing bilingualism, do you have any to share?

Feel free to share by submitting your comment!

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