Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Good by July, Aloha August

Can it be possible???  July is nearly over???
I have teamed up with 40 fabulous stores for...
This is a FABULOUS 4 day event that is full of sweet deals, savings and 4 amazing giveaways!
Here's a peak at what you are being treated to...
Each day a new 'deal' will be posted by the 40 participating stores! 
Be sure to visit their Facebook, Instagram and/or Pinterest accounts to find the daily deals and codes you will use in the TPT search engine to find the sweet deals!
(you can also find the codes on the pictures at the bottom of this post)

In addition, you can find the links to all the participating stores well as 4 rafflecopters!
That is right...4 rafflecopters!
Each rafflecopter is for a $50 TPT gift certificate!
Think of all the wonderful resources you could score with that...and just in time for Back To School!

Please visit each rafflecopter and enter! 
Each one will generate a winner- and yes- you can win more than 1!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Here is a clickable list of all the participating stores!
Be sure to come by and visit our social media sites each day for these reminder posts:

 Enjoy the deals, samples and I wish you the best!
And most importantly, we all send our best wishes for a successful school year!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How do you advertise your tutoring business?

There are some basic advertising strategies most tutors use. Of course placing an ad in your local newspaper, or even on Craigslist. You can also post fliers around town with your information, and a scan code if you're tech savvy. My question has been this, what if those strategies still aren't attracting new students?

This summer I have been trying to find some new ways to get the word out about my services. Just this past weekend I had the pleasure of running a booth with my mom at our local Music Festival. She's a local photographer and needed an extra hand. When she asked for my help, I gladly accepted, and went to work putting together some information and a plan to promote my business.

First, I made these little cards to let interested passersby know about the classes I offer throughout the summer. I just placed them on the counter along with her pictures. Many people stopped and asked questions, but even more people just saw them and picked one up and walked away.

I'll just have to exercise a little patience to see if anyone contacts me or visits my website from that.

I also offered learning style assessments and tutoring consultations. I hadn't ever been to this particular music festival so I had no idea what the environment would be like. I learned a valuable lesson that this was NOT the right place for this offering. People were focused on the bands and the food.

However, I do have a couple other spots lined up that this might just work. n case it does, here is what I did. I like the assessment you can download for free HERE. I use this inventory for all of my new students. But it can get expensive printing all of those pages out each time. SO I made a quick little booklet that I can have on hand with the student's information at the top, and a scoring sheet inside. I will be able to stick these little pieces right in my students' files. I laminated the actual inventory pages so I can use them at venues such as the festival this past weekend, and the farmer's market I may attend in a couple weeks.

What about you? Have you stepped out of your comfort zone to try a new way of advertising? Do you have tip you'd like to share with other tutors? If so, we'd love to hear from you, leave your experience or top in the comments below!

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Tutoring and the Common Core

image from
There are certain topics we tend to try to stay away from: politics, religion, and Common Core. Unfortunately, no matter how we feel about government imposed education standards, we have to interact with them at one time or another. Maybe you have some students who attend a CCSS school. Maybe you don't. Maybe your area has recently adopted "The Core" or maybe they've just abandoned them. Either way, it's likely that if you haven't already, you will one day come across a student dealing with Common Core. So what do you do?

As a life-long student, I see it as a new learning opportunity. Rather than buck against the system, I'm for rolling with it, and doing the best I can along the way. This past school year, one of my long-term student's school adopted The Core. It wouldn't have been so bad, but they changed curriculums half way through the year! Talk about a headache, and a large handful of unhappy parents. It's easy to point fingers at the teacher, but fellow tutors, let's try to avoid that, and help our students' parents avoid it too. It is very likely they are having a hard time with this transition as well!

My student was a fourth grader, and I can tell you, some of that language and homework was CONFUSING at first. It was really helpful when I had his parents request that a textbook be sent home. It was then I learned his school was using "Go Math" (which I've recently discovered is a pretty common curriculum). Whether it's legal or not I'm not sure of, but most of the editions of this curriculum are available for viewing online as well.

It was the "new multiplication algorithm" that had us stumped. They were calling it the box method, and I was 100% lost! To make it that much worse, my student had had a substitute teacher for a couple days and his notes were scrambled, half his words half copied, and BIG pieces missing, like vocabulary and definitions! What did I do? I ran to my good friend Google. I typed in everything I could think method for multiplication, multiplying with a box, common core multiplication, two-digit multiplication in a box. That proved futile because NOTHING I found looked or sounded like what my student was explaining to me.

Partial Products

I then proceeded to request the help of some of the tutors I know online. I love the Facebook group #tutorchat the members there have proved to be a helping hand when I really need it! One of the members said this was similar to the lattice method. I was so relieved, I knew that word! And I knew how to make it work now. This was extremely amusing to me, because just months earlier I had been working with this very same student on multi-digit multiplication, using what I knew as expanded form multiplication. Once I figured this out, I could go back to my student and connect the two methods. He was flying in no time!

What's the moral of this little story? Just because you don't like it, doesn't mean you can't make it work. For us tutors, it is going to take a little more effort to work with The Core than teachers. We don't have the privilege of the in-house training and professional development they have. However, we CAN connect with them, and with other tutors who have been there and done that. We can set good examples for our students by doing our homework and spending the time to learn something new! And I don't care who you are, that pays off big in the long run.

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