Tag Archives: singapore tutors

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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Using Apple’s iPad as a Teaching Aid

Ipad teaching

iPad as an Education Tool at Wake Forest University, US by Ken Bennett

Apple’s iPods, iPod Touch and iPhones have revolutionalise the way we lead our lives side by side with smart electronic gadgets. The design and ingenuity of a platform created by AppStores have created a new phenomenon of Apps or applications that basically bundles up mutiple uses of every single app into a one stop shopping gateway for features, utilities, games you name it. In the advent of the iPad, life with such smart gadgets has just gone up another level.

With the introduction of Apple’s iPad, new ways to teach and educate our young has emerged-in a wave. Schools in various parts of the world have started pilot projects on using iPad as a teaching aid, leveraging on its large screen, intuitive interface, portable slim design and of course, the multitude of application softwares that are accessible with a touch on the screen. No more CDs, no more bulky desktops, no more oversized monitors that obstructs teacher-student’s view and best of all, convenience.

If you are an educator like a ConsultAtutor Personal Home Tutor at ConsultAtutor.com, think of whether you can customise your lessons further according to the students’ needs and make lessons more interactive, fun and enriching using teaching aids like the iPad and its various wonderful apps that are increasing by the day. The pedagogic potential of iPad with its apps is immense and this is probably the beginning to how enhanced learning will become in the future.

Well, just an interesting point to note- the iPad’s isn’t the first and it definitely won’t be the last innovative education solution. The “Pad” term coined by Apple isn’t new either, our very own Singapore schools have in fact, once pilot tested iPad’s so-called “predecessor” albeit to a lesser extent- the EduPAD.

The EduPAD

Find out more about the iPad and its educational Apps or EduApps that you could employ/ customise here or here and start making a difference to your students’ learning experience!

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Preparation for PSLE starts now!

PSLE Boy

Success can be sweet.....if you are well prepared

It’s the beginning of the school year and an exciting learning journey lies ahead!

For 2011 Primary School Leaving Examination (PSLE) students, it is a pivotal year that will determine which secondary schools to spend the next 4 years and a whole lot difference in learning experience depending on choice after the examinations.

With less than 11 months counting down to the PSLE, it is of paramount importance that preparation is made now if not preferably earlier during P4 and P5. Nevertheless, it’s still not to late to make up for lost time and prepare for that run down to the finishing line.

Here are some tips for you as a parent or a ConsultAtutor Personal Home Tutor alike to make preparations for the PSLE:

  1. First of all, assess the weaknesses in terms of subject or individual topics of the student. Attempt to understand or analyse the reasons that contributes to the weakness including inappropriate learning styles, poor exam time management or lack of basic foundation knowledge.
  2. With that (point 1) in mind, set a realistic target in terms of grade or raw score including interim ones i.e. SA1 for all subjects. Write it out large and clear on paper or print it out in colour on an A4 sheet of paper. Paste it using Blu-Tack or glue in front of study table so that every time the student studies, he will be able to see the goals right in front of him.
  3. Next, analyse in detail previous two major exam papers to identify any trends in the marks scored per section and answering techniques used. E.g. high score in MCQ but low score in Open-Ended. Combine analysis with reasons identified earlier in point 1 and try to come to a conclusion on how to improve.
  4. Come up with a relatively detailed lesson plan that maps out every lesson to be covered according to the conclusion made and source for proper lesson materials. Exploration of teaching styles in the first few lessons could be made too to see which works best for the student based on judgements made in point 1.
  5. Make sure that enough practice is completed and corrections in particular are to be clarified and gone through. In fact , to a certain extent the total amount of time spent to prepare for a subject is proportional to the final attained raw score (grade) of that subject. Remember, practice, practice and practice is important!
  6. If required, it is advisable to help the student set a timetable to manage time well in order to ensure sufficient preparation before the PSLE. Stick to it and be diligent!

Last but not least, ask a ConsultAtutor Personal Home Tutor for Homework Help in order to clear any doubts fast, encourage the student to think deep in order to fully understand the topic and keep learning from mistakes made in practices!

As the saying goes, “good preparation is equivalent to half the battle won”. Be prepared and any student could fulfil their potential and do well in PSLE!

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Edu-Snips Series: Type of Tutors available at ConsultAtutor.com

choosing teachers

To choose a suitable personal tutor for your child, it is best to understand what are the different classifications of tutors available before selecting one that is most suited for your child’s learning needs.

In general, there are 4 types of tutors with varying qualifications and experience- 1. Undergraduate tutors , 2. Part-time graduate tutors , 3. Full-time professional tutors and 4. Current school teachers

In detail, here are some of the descriptions and information you would require to make an informed decision. 

1. Undergraduate tutors: Tutors in this category are mostly tertiary students in polytechnic and universities. As they are still pursuing their education, they are able to understand the present demands of the competitive education environment very well and are usually able to form a close rapport with the student. They are clear about the latest syllabus and model their teaching style well according to the latest trends e.g. incorporating e-Learning as teaching aids during lessons.  Undergraduate tutors mostly have minimum above average qualifications to scholars on the top end. In general, they teach on average 1 to 5 students a year and have teaching experience ranging from 1 to 5 years accumulated from peer tutoring experience in schools, private 1 to 1 tutoring or from teaching in tuition centres.

2. Part-time graduate tutors: Tutors in this category are mostly qualified graduates/ professionals who teach part-time tutoring 1 to 1 or in tuition centres. They are generally more experienced than undergraduate tutors in terms of number of years taught and are clear about the latest syllabus granted that they have been consistently teaching after graduation. Also, as they are more mature, they are able to effectively act as a mentor to some students and even share their real-life working experiences if relevant to subject taught. Excellent ones usually have stellar track records with previous students. Part-time graduate tutors have minimum qualifications of a diploma, degree, Masters degree or Doctorate.  In general, they teach on average 1 to 3 students a year and have teaching experience ranging from 1 to 5 years accumulated mainly from private 1 to 1 tutoring or from teaching in tuition centres.

3. Full-time professional tutors: Full-time professional tutors mainly consists of ex-school teachers and full-time graduate tutors. They teach private tuition as a profession and are highly experienced. They communicate with students very well and are able to identify learning styles or weaknesses in different types of students easily. As they focus only on teaching unlike school teachers who have to handle administrative tasks, full time professional tutors are highly focused in providing the best customised curriculum to each student as they spend all their tutorial time teaching. They know the latest syllabus like the back of their hand as they teach day in day out usually to quite a number of students of the same level and subject. Qualifications-wise, they range from Diploma holders mainly teaching Primary students to Graduates, NIE trained Graduates and Doctorates who teach Primary, Secondary, Junior College and Tertiary students. In general, they teach on average 8 to 15 students a year (1 to 1 not incl. small group tuition or class tuition in tuition centres) and have teaching experience ranging from 3 to 30 years accumulated mainly from school teaching (ex-school teachers), private 1 to 1 tutoring or from teaching in tuition centres.

4. Current school teachers: Current school teachers are teachers teaching in schools but give tuition enthusiastically to a selected few out of their free time. They are familiar with the trends such as syllabus and examination settings changes. They are trained in National Institute of Education (NIE) and have been certified to possess relevant skills to teach effectively.  In general, they teach on average 1 to 2 students a year due to their busy schedule and have teaching experience ranging from 5 to 30 years accumulated mainly from school teaching and private 1 to 1 tutoring.

Just a point to note: The rates of the tutors are in general increasing in order from 1 to 4.

Now that you are clear on the type of tutors available, we hope you will be able to make an informed decision at ConsultAtutor.com!

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Exam Preparation Tips for PSLE

examstress

You don't have to end up like this. Be prepared!

With the Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE) drawing near and other major examinations like O’ Levels and A’ Levels not too far away, have you planned on how to tackle the examinations effectively and strategy for the different papers?

Well, fret not as this week we will be sharing some examination preparation tips with everyone involved in clearing this major hurdle of every student in Singapore. I’m sure you have heard of the renowned quote- “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail”, so what does it actually mean when coming to preparing for PSLE especially when a Primary 6 student is still at a tender age of 12 to know it by themselves?

It is very important to understand that examinations is like a “game”. In fact, it is a “game” with rules. Indeed examinations are a test of one’s knowledge in various subjects, but doing well in examinations does require some wit and strategies. We will share some of these examination tips that will aid in the preparation.

Different types of questions are set by the examiner to test on various qualities and academic ability of a student. They range generally from Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ), Short Answer Questions (SAQ) and Essay type. Each require different skill sets and strategies to score well in them which you will find out more below.

Examination strategies and tips

Multiple-Choice Questions (MCQ)

  • Study and understand general ideas well
  • Memorise key terms, theories and related concepts for quick recall to questions at a limited amount of time
  • MCQs are really good to prepare and practise using Past Year Papers. Get them, practise and check the answers!
  • Allocate enough time for each question. You should already know the Time(min)/Question when you are entering the examination hall.

Short Answer Questions (SAQ)

  • Classify various concepts and ideas
  • Use mindmaps to link inter-related concepts if required
  • Write summary sheets while paying attention to writing out key terms and corresponding explanations
  • Again practise, practise and practise! Check the answers and do corrections by writing it out.

Essay

  • Creativity for compositions and analytical skills for comprehension questions requires different strategies. For compositions, start planning the outline of the essay before quickly putting it down on paper to get you rolling. For comprehension questions, prepare well by practising often, underline or highlight key phrases for clarity.

Tips and tricks

  • Bring a wristwatch and put it in front of you on the table to remind you of the time. Ensure that the time is the same as the hall’s one before examinations commence.
  • Allocate your time well such that you already know how much time to spend on each section. This will prevent being overly stubborn and losing precious marks trying to solve tricky questions in front and ending up having no time to complete easy ones at the back.
  • If need to, we would advise bringing 2 calculators for the exam in case one gets faulty or run out of batteries.
  • If in any doubt of your paper or print quality, do raise your hand and ask!
  • Always check that you completed all questions till the last page!

The list we have provided above is by no means exhaustive. There are many other ways that a student can adopt to suit his/her learning style and cognitive abilities. Many of which including the above mentioned ones are adeptly shared with students by our ConsultAtutor Personal Home Tutors as the study setting and personal guidance rendered to the student over an extended period of time encourages so.

Start by asking your child or student whether he is clear about the examination formats for the different subjects and apply appropriate strategies as required to achieve the goal set. As the saying goes, “Prepare well and half the battle is already won!”

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Know your child’s predominant learning type: V,A,R or K?

Ever wondered why when you are back in Primary school some teachers want the class to read a passage aloud, take part in numerous role plays, learn new words using big pictorial cards and why when you are in Secondary school some teachers seem to “teach less” and allow you and your classmates to take more charge in the learning process by organising more group discussions etc.?

If you haven’t realise it, educators-teachers and tutors love to explore various teaching styles to suit the student’s learning style such that the delivery method and style bring about the most effect in a student’s learning. At various stages of a child’s education, pedagogies like assessment styles and delivery methods differ greatly. Hence, it is important for you to understand your child or student’s (if you are a tutor) predominant learning type in order for learning to be most effective in terms of skills vis a vis academic results.

In general according to Fleming’s VAK/VARK model, there are 4 types of learning styles:
1. Visual learners
2. Auditory learners
3. Reading/ writing -preference learners
4. Kinesthetic learners

In summary,

1. Visual learners prefer to learn by seeing and learn better via visual aids like diagrams, mindmaps, slides, animation etc.

 2. Auditory learners prefer to learn by listening and learn better via lectures, group discussions, audio-cds, podcasts etc.

3. Reading/ writing preference learners prefer to learn by reading or writing and learn better via  jotting down notes, preparing summary sheets, reading prepared handouts etc.

4. Kinesthetic learners prefer to learn by experience and learn better via hands-on projects, science experiments, labwork etc.

Teachers who conduct classes for a number of students can identify and implement various methods of instruction to suit the class in general or a ConsultAtutor Personal Home Tutor can customise tutorials (delivery methods and teaching aids) specially for your child/student’s learning type after a period of observation.

Know more about your student/child’s predominant learning type today! I’m a V type. How about you? Share with us by taking part in the poll below or if you are unsure, try finding it out by doing this questionnaire before polling.

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Perapera…kun?

peraperapic

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you ever struggled to flip through that really thick and clumsy Chinese-English dictionary in search for a translation of a word or phrase? I’m sure many of you if you are not using the handheld electronic dictionary, would have experienced the inconvenience of trying to count the number of strokes in a Chinese character and flipping through the pages of the dictionary but to realise that you ended up in the wrong page as you counted wrongly.

With the recent debate on adjustment of Mother Tongue weightage in PSLE, the highlight has been put on the teaching methods, learning tools and curriculum for the Mother Tongue language.  In particular, those students that may find the Chinese language to be especially difficult to learn due to their predominantly English-speaking background certainly feel that a change or improvement is required.

In light of this, as part of our EduSnips series, we shall introduce to you the Perapera-kun translator! So what is the Perapera-kun Translator and what does it do to help students and educators?

 The Perapera-kun translator is a add-on for Mozilla Firefox internet browser, another immensely popular browser other than the Internet Explorer. This add-on is amazingly useful for students who are weak in the Chinese language and would want to improve by seeking for fast and immediate(almost) translation without the hassles of flipping dictionaries or inputting into handheld dictionaries. The Perapera-kun Translator immediately pops-up a box with an English translation as your mouse hover over the Chinese word or phrase. Hence, this tool greatly reduces the time lag and cumbersomeness in trying to translate and comprehend physically via a dictionary or an electronic one. Imagine reading an interesting article with lots of difficult Chinese words that you would want to learn in a breeze! 

Students and educators can definitely use the Perapera-kun Translator to great effect when reading or sourcing for interesting Chinese articles like from our local omy.sg or even tapping into the huge range of Chinese internet resources via baidu.com. And for our ConsultAtutor Chinese Language personal home tutors, you might want to leverage on this tool as a stepping stone to how you can make your Chinese tutorials more fun and enriching to the students in ConsultAtutor’s One-to-One Tutoring Program using the vast resources available on Chinese websites! Be creative and explore to refine and broaden your teaching method and styles!

How to install and use Perapera-kun:

1. Download Mozilla Firefox (if you haven’t)

2. Download the Perapera-kun Translator (version 2.1 ) add-on

3. Download the Chinese-English Perapera-kun dictionary (scroll down the page and look for it)

4. Go to any Chinese websites like Sougou,  ZaoBao or Omy

5. Enable the translator by clicking on the star at the bottom right hand corner and hover across any Chinese word or phrase you would like to translate

6. Enjoy surfing using the Perapera-kun Translator!

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