Open Source Physics Simulations for O level and A level Physics!

AC Generator Model from Open Source Physics Simulations

If you are a passionate Physics tutor/educator and constantly imploring how to improve your delivery styles and methods, and to make usually static Physics  lessons come alive for your Sec 3, Sec 4 O’level Physics or JC1 or JC2 A’level Physics students, take a look at this interesting website with interactive applications developed and adopted in real life classroom teaching by Singapore Physics teachers!

Make lessons like vernier caliper reading, electricity, forces or kinematics come alive today and let tuition be much more interesting by adopting these applications in your curriculum planning for your tutees today!

Go to Open Source Physics Applications here or you can download them here.

Start making a difference today!

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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.

2010 Exam Practice Papers from ConsultAtutor.com Resource Centre!

Practice makes perfect!

ConsultAtutor’s Resource Centre has been updated with the latest 2010 exam papers!

Check it out now and download the CA2 papers in advance to see which papers are suitable to be included in your lesson plan early for your child/tutee’s exam preparation in July. There are currently 2008 to 2010 exam papers from top schools like Nanyang Primary, Rosyth School, Maha Bodhi Primary School, Nan Hua Primary School, Henry Park Primary School and more.

All SA2 papers have restricted access till after CA2, however to aid all PSLE students to prepare for PSLE in October, all prelim papers have been made available for download and practice.

Visit us at ConsultAtutor.com – Singapore’s Fastest Growing Tutoring Portal today!

Or

Go straight to download 2010 exam practice papers by clicking on the link!

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The Art of Learning: Note Taking Skills

notetakingGood learning skills can be cultivated from young. By knowing how to approach each new lesson or topic appropriately and by understanding thoroughly how you (one) yourself learn best, “learning how to learn” becomes a habit if practiced over time and could produce good results depending whether the correct field to learn is chosen in the first place of course.

In this series, we shall share with readers “The ‘WHYs’ and ‘HOWs’ of Note Taking”.

Importance of Taking Notes

  1. Organised notes will help identify core of important ideas in lessons.
  2. Documentation creates a permanent record to learn & remember later.
  3. Lessons may contain information not available anywhere else and its the only chance to learn it especially when tutors are sharing it from their personal experience.
  4. Lesson is where we learn what the tutor thinks is important and will facilitate learning more efficiently.
  5. Underlying organisation and purpose of the lesson will be clearer.

Note Taking Strategies

  • Before
  1. Make preparation to predict the organisation of the lesson (if possible)
  2. Check the lesson plan to check if the tutor will be going through the topic so as to convert information you have read into questions to ask.
  3. Complete outside reading or supplementary materials readup.
  4. Review any reading notes given prior to lessons or materials given and tasked to readup in prior lesson.
  5. Sit as near to the tutor in front as possible to eliminate distractions.
  6. Copy everything on whiteboard/transparencies especially the outline. (If its too much, ask tutor whether a copy could be passed around or emailed).
  7. Listen well with proper attitude.
  • During
  1. Write down the title/name and date of the lesson.
  2. Watch and listen to the tutor carefully.
  3. Listen carefully to the introduction whenever there is a new topic.
  4. Be brief in note taking. *Important: Understand what tutor says but not exact what tutor says. Understanding is the crux!
  5. Recognise main ideas by signal words e.g. importantly, especially, take note etc.
  6. Give special attention to details not covered in textbooks as they might help in your understanding.
  7. Copy down main points in summary to check whether you missed out or disorganised your notes.
  8. Ask questions about points you do not understand. *Remember: There are no stupid questions, only stupid people who remain stupid since they do not clear their doubts.
  9. Be attentive, listen, take notes until dismissal to prevent missing out any important points.
  • After
  1. Revise notes as quickly and as frequently as possible. Especially within the 1st 24 hours. Why? Check out the graph below.

    Forgetting Curve

    Forgetting Curve

  2. During 1st revision, compile and document reading notes and lesson notes.
  3. Review at least once a week and before next lesson. It takes hard work alright.

Now that you know better about good habits and good learning skills like note taking, be sure to stick to it and pick it up if you haven’t. If you are a personal home tutor at ConsultAtutor.com, try to inculcate it in your teaching method so as to cultivate good learning skills in your students!

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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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Tutoring Guide Series: Tutoring Professionalism (continued)

ConsultAtutor professional home tutor

Mastering Tutoring Professionalism

What does it mean by being someone’s “tutor”?

First, know the definition:

A tutor is a teacher who gives additional, special or remedial instructions and often privately.

&

Professionalism is about exhibiting professional character, behaviour and spirit.

To make it simple, here’s a list of how a tutor can exhibit professionalism (the points are not in any particular order, all are important!):

  1. Be punctual for all lessons and be well-prepared. (This very much applies to all professions and jobs..)
  2. Be reasonably well-dressed in appropriate attire. Ask the guardian/ parent if they are comfortable if you really, really need to.
  3. Be responsible and accountable. (Make sure you exchange contacts with guardian/parent and inform in advance of any unforeseen events if required)
  4. Always put yourself in the tutee’s/guardian’s/parent’s shoes and try your best to accomodate if necessary.
  5. Make  sure you are available to help if necessary. Extend your help and you’ll be appreciated, especially in exam crunch time. Its all about imparting your knowledge, right?
  6. Remember to make lessons enriching, interesting and fun as much as possible!
  7. Communicate, communicate and communicate! Improve on your delivery of speech!!
  8. Discuss lesson curriculum planning with tutee. Keep the guardian/parents updated, always.
  9. In scoring As, its “No goals, no glory” not “No guts, no glory”. Hold goal setting sessions with your tutee! Set reasonable, attainable goals and paste it on the wall in front of the study desk!
  10. Analyse and know your tutee’s learning style and adapt your teaching style to suit it. Read our Tutoring Guide Series on more about this.
  11. Last but not least, know the above 10 points and you are on your way to master tutoring professionalism! =)

A point to note is that tutors could act as mentors too. Advice based on personal experience for example, on studying methods sharing and exam preparation techniques like mind mapping or memory-tagging system can certainly show how much you can make a difference in your tutee’s lives.

Make the extra mile to make lessons more fun, more enriching and more impactful to your tutee today!

Share the same traits as what is described above? You might want to know more about tutoring via ConsultAtutor.com!

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