March 29, 2009

Americorps Travels to Fort Myers to Tutor Children and Repair Homes

by gabriella souza,, originally published in on 3/28/09

The workers fitted wooden boards into place, using drills to quickly anchor them.

Soon, the structure began to resemble a wheelchair ramp, and Shannon Hughes, one of the workers and an AmeriCorps volunteer, decided to test it.

"It’s walkable," she said as she hopped off.

But would it hold 63-year-old Thomas Blake’s wheelchair?

They were about to find out.

Friday’s project on Mitchell Court was one of many the eight AmeriCorps volunteers will complete during their two-week visit to Fort Myers. The volunteers took the four-day drive from Denver to repair homes with Fort Myers’ community development department and to tutor local children at the STARS Complex, a recreational center, and Franklin Park Magnet School.

This is the second group of AmeriCorps volunteers to come to the city. The last visit occurred during the spring of 2008. The work is paid for through a grant for which the city applied.

To read more, click here.

Filed under: Government

March 26, 2009

Westfield College Shares Tutors Through ETutoring

by Lesley Tanner, CBS3-Springfield, originally published on 3/26/09

Whether you need help with your Math assignment, learning a foreign language or even perfecting a move in ballet, the internet offers an array of videos and websites ready to teach you just about anything for free. And as students start looking for help in unconventional places, colleges and universities are offering online tutors of their own.

Westfield State College is part of a group of colleges that share free online tutoring responsibilities available to their students.

"We contribute a Writing tutor, but this also gives us access to an Accounting tutor, Psychology tutor, Statistics and Math tutors," says Lynn Zayac, Westfield State College’s Director of the Center for Instructional Technology.

Westfield State students simply log on to the college’s ETutoring site. There they have access to chat rooms where they can not only type their questions to tutors, they can also speak directly to the tutor of their choice. Kim Gelinas takes a mix of online and on campus classes at Westfield State and says ETutoring fits into a busy student’s schedule.

For more of this story, click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,College,Technology,Tutoring Practices

March 11, 2009

Tutor Profile: Patrick Tenbrink, Math Word Problem Superstar

From, originally published October, 2008, in Network Superstars

Picture a fourth grader. You’re helping her with math homework one day and she is presented with a word problem. She reads it and tells you that she doesn’t understand it. She begins to feel bored. Her focus disappears. You’re feeling confused because the student knows how to solve this type of problem.
You should ask yourself, "What would Patrick Tenbrink do?"

 Patrick is a junior at Duke University majoring in Biological Anthropology and Anatomy. He’s currently taking an educational psychology service learning course through Duke’s Program in Education that requires students to volunteer as tutors.

Patrick created an awesome strategy just for this type of situation.

Click on the following link to read more – click here.


(looking up Network Superstars from …)

Filed under: Research,Small Private Practices,Study Tools

March 3, 2009

10 Tips for Concise Writing that Tutors can Share

In the first edition of The Elements of Style, American English professor William Strunk Jr. urged his students at Cornell University to "Omit needless words":

"Vigorous writing is concise. A sentence should contain no unnecessary words, a paragraph no unnecessary sentences, for the same reason that a drawing should have no unnecessary lines and a machine no unnecessary parts. This requires not that the writer make all his sentences short, or that he avoid all detail and treat his subjects only in outline, but that every word tell."

In support of this goal, the Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers advice in the following 10 areas:

  1. Eliminate unnecessary determiners and modifiers
  2. Change phrases into single words
  3. Change unnecessary that, who, and which clauses into phrases
  4. Avoid overusing expletives at the beginning of sentences
  5. Use active rather than passive verbs
  6. Avoid overusing noun forms of verbs
  7. Reword unnecessary infinitive phrases
  8. Replace circumlocutions with direct expressions
  9. Omit words that explain the obvious or provide excessive detail
  10. Omit repetitive wording

For details on each point in printer-friendly or pdf formats, as well as practice exercizes, click here.

Filed under: Academic Learning Centers,Training/Education


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