SAT Study Guides: Apps & One Cool Book

Acing the SAT … there’s an app for that. No, really, College Board has a question of the day Twitter account you call follow to give your social media a little more substance.

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Available on iTunes, is a new SAT Math app by Michael DeRosa featuring digital flashcards that focus on learning concepts rather than memorizing information. Find over 2,600 question combinations here.

Also available on iTunes, is the English vocabulary app by ExamBusters with over 1,000 common SAT words. Find synonyms, antonyms, sample sentences and parts of speech.

But are apps as effective as taking pen to paper? My two-cents, you want to overload your brain with as many ways to study and learn information as possible. If you’re an auditory learner, apps may be the way to go (in addition to taking as many practice tests as possible, and working with a tutor). If you are a tactile learner, perhaps you might want to make your own flashcards. Take my learning style quiz and figure out what kind of learner you are. You can never be too prepared for standardized tests, and although you may dread studying, the more prepared you are, the less you will experience anxiety. Remember, avoidance is a form of anxiety, so the more you procrastinate and put off studying, the more anxious you are making yourself. If apps can help you get into the study groove, why not give them a try? But don’t rely on them.

I also recommend this cool not-your-everyday SAT study guide, written by my colleague, writer, former tutor, and Bonobo enthusiast, Elliot Schrefer, Hack The SAT for strategies and sneaky shortcuts on how to up your score. 51WrSpr2Q0L._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_

 

UPCOMING SAT TEST DATES: March 8 and  May 3, 2014 Register Now!  

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[Parents] How To Help Your Kids Develop Social Skills

Illustration ©Megan Fisher

Illustration ©Megan Fisher

Children and adolescents often find it difficult to communicate with their peers or adults in an effective manner. Because school is the place your child spends the majority of his or her day, it is where he or she will develop social skills and acquire a social status or identity. Psychologists have written extensively about social status and its imprint on a child’s identity. Below is an excerpt outlining a general spectrum of social statuses:

“Some children are well endowed with social skills. They are popular and very well liked by all or most of their peers. Some seem to have a knack for making friends and getting along with others. They are very friendly and outgoing and always seem to be at ease around people. Other children are popular because they are on the school football team, play in a band, can draw very well or are really good-looking. Popular students are typically the leaders at school. They are self-confident and influential.

Many students are not really considered popular but are pretty well-liked by their peers and have a number of friends. This group of children usually comprises the majority of the students in a class. These likable children feel good about how they relate to others but may, at times, worry about what their classmates think of them. Some children are shy, quiet and timid. They may have one or two close friends but not a large group of friends. While other students like them, they do not get involved in many activities in or out of school. They tend to feel awkward or uncomfortable around people they don’t know very well. Shy children usually aren’t unhappy about how they get along with others but wish that they could feel more comfortable and be more involved. Some shy children become anxious in social situations.

Other students are ignored or unnoticed by their peers. No one really dislikes or likes them. These children are not the ones picked first for activities, but they are not the ones that are teased or bullied either. They are usually social adept. Some of these children don’t like being ignored but others don’t mind because they are more interested in solitary activities or prefer interactions with adults more than with peers.

The children who have the most social difficulty at school are those that are rejected by their peers. Other children really don’t like them and may not treat them well. Rejected children are those that are picked on, laughed at, talked about, teased and bullied. They are widely disliked, excluded from activities and may be ostracized by their peers.” – Candy Lawson, Ph.D. “School and Social Skills”

Does your child have difficulty approaching new groups of children?  Is it a challenge for your child to make friends due to his or her shyness?  Are social situations a scary prospect for your child?  Is problem-solving in the classroom or in everyday life an issue? If the answer to these questions is “yes,” then you might be interested in enrolling your child in a social skills class. Holly Reichlin, a colleague of mine who is a certified speech pathologist, educator, and learning expert in private practice, is running a Brooklyn-based social skills group for children of varying ages. Her social skills groups explore the nature of peer relationships through the use of plays, book making, and games designed to nurture verbal and non-verbal communication and social skills.

Groups can be an ideal way to address social skills in young people because they foster a supportive, collective, safe, yet simultaneous “real world” setting for children to practice adaptive social skills. Says Holly, “I’d like to see your children become detectives. Through a process of role playing and problem solving, they can unveil the mysteries of the social spectrum.” Social skills like confidence, curiosity, cooperation, and communication are essential to learning and go hand-in-hand with developing resilience, and scholastic success.

Holly’s social skills classes address children of different ages (5-8; 8-10; 10-13; adolescents) and distinct interpersonal needs. Please contact her directly for more information.

il_fullxfull.214758801Holly Reichlin is a certified speech language pathologist who has had a school-aged private practice in Brooklyn Heights for over 20 years. She has also been a teacher of the speech and hearing handicapped in the public schools for over 30 years.  She has collaborated with parents, teachers, school psychologists, learning specialists and counselors when treating her clients. You can contact her at speech@pegas.us

Find Your Optimal Learning Style

What makes you tick? How do you learn best? Take our diagnostic quiz and find out.

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To get the most out of studying, first figure out how you learn best. Things like environment, motivation factors, and personal preferences can affect how you work. Keep track of what cues enhance your performance, and be sure to update your study plan accordingly.
1. Noise Level: Music / Quiet
2. Light: Bright / Dim
3. Temperature: Warm / Cool
4. Atmosphere: Formal / Informal
5. Rate your motivation: High / Low
6. What motivates you more? Parent / Teacher
7. Rate your persistence: High / Low
8. Do you like a lot of structure in an assignment? No / Yes
9. Do you like to work in groups or alone? Prefer Group /Prefer Alone
10. Do you like to have an authority figure: Present / Not Present
11. Are you an auditory learner? (You are a good listener, you respond to books on tape, you understand best when you read aloud)
12. Are you a visual learner? (You use diagrams, maps, and webs to help you sort information and label ideas)
13. Are you a tactile learner? (You respond well to learning tools like puzzles and flash cards)
14. Are you a kinesthetic learner? (You have good hand-eye coordination, you like to do experiments, you respond well to activities)
15. You work best in the: Morning / Evening

 

Why Tutoring?

Why Tutoring?

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The road to academic success can be exasperating for students struggling to develop effective strategies to read, write, think critically, or even stay organized. Does your child seem to get it in class, only to come home and feel lost and frustrated? Do you find yourself criticizing your child’s study habits? Are you looking for someone to mitigate scholastic anxiety?

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Individual instruction relies on communication and trust, and simultaneously builds confidence in even the most reluctant students. At Brooklyn Bridge Tutors, we will design a learning strategy specifically for your child, based on his or her learning style. As an experienced educator, student advocate and counselor, the director of Brooklyn Bridge Tutors, Jill Di Donato, often works with students who have learning differences and school-related anxiety, as well students who just need a little boost in self-confidence.

Students who’ve worked with Jill have gone on to attend premiere NYC middle and high schools, from private schools to exclusive-entrance public schools like Stuyvesant, Hunter, Bronx Science, NEST + m, Beacon, Bard, and LaGuardia as well as top colleges like Brown, Mount Holyoke, Columbia, Barnard, Princeton, NYU, Northwestern and many more!

About Jill: Jill Di Donato is a writer and educator in New York City. Her debut novel, Beautiful Garbage about the New York City art scene in the 1980s is available on Amazon. She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Liberal Arts Department at the Fashion Institute of Technology and teaches fiction and nonfiction workshops in Barnard College’s Pre-College Program.

In 2006, she founded Brooklyn Bridge Tutors, a holistic approach to learning that offers individual student tutoring, student advocacy, small writing salons, parent seminars, as well as expert guidance in the middle, high school, and college entrance process. As a learning expert with pedagogical training from Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Jill has over 10 years experience in student advocacy and offers a holistic approach to learning. What does that mean? She will work individually with a student to diagnose his or her learning style and tailor an approach that meets each student’s needs. She uses a mindfulness practice to help students alleviate academic anxiety, and has piloted writing programs that activate agency through the discovery of voice.

Her services include subject tutoring, (fluent in private and public school curriculum grades K-12) essay writing support, standardized test preparation, (state tests in math and ELA, ISSE, TACHS, SSHAT, SAT I and II, ACT) study skills, academic advisement, school entrance support and counseling, as well as mind-body strategies to relieve academic anxiety. She is an expert in working with students with learning differences and disabilities, and maintains strong relationships with parents, school administrators, psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, and community outreach programs.

To consult with Jill or to schedule an appointment contact didonato.jill@gmail.com or call 917.655.8290