Tutor Contribution + Solution Goals

Tips for Building Warmth

Have you ever been marked down on Standard 3.3:  Encouraging Language or wondered how to create a learning environment that is more comfortable for the student? This is one of the trickier aspects of online tutoring – if it is an area you feel you can improve in, you are not alone!

Yup Tutor and TQM Helen Herring seems to have an innate ability to make students feel at ease during a session and has drawn upon this skill to compile Tips for Building Warmth to share with the team. These suggestions are all very simple to implement, but they come with a huge impact!

Tips for Building Warmth

Although there are quite a few ideas to consider, we would recommend reading through the list to see how many of these you already implement, then slowly starting to fold 2 or 3 of these suggestions at a time into your daily teaching. Once they become habits, start adding in more so that you, too, can master this skill.

Helen will be receiving a bonus for proactively writing this article – and you can too! If you have an idea for something that would benefit the tutor community, please let us know at tutor.support@yup.com. Maybe it is a skill you have like staying in-tune with the student’s perspective, or tricks you can share for an area in which other tutors struggle, like keeping the student involved. We hope that you will consider writing articles for us so we can bring tutor contributions back to newsfeed posts!

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Guiding Students with Solution Goals

When your student feels stuck, there are a few key factors like positive language that make a world of difference in whether they give up or persist. One of these factors, and one that we haven’t discussed much, is the student’s awareness of how the current step fits into the overall purpose of their problem.

If students don’t understand why your questions or explanations are necessary, then it’s common for them to become impatient or disengage from the learning process. Instead, give students a sense of direction and context throughout the session by making objectives clear all the way to the solution. This way, students will better understand how their own participation will bring them closer to the solution, and will feel more willing to participate.

The brief infographic below uses examples to illustrate the ideas above. Check it out before your next session!

Happy Tutoring!

— Team Yup


Tutor Contribution: Mnemonic Devices

In a Nutshell: This tutor contribution comes from Tutor Quality Manager Sharon Matsuoka and discusses how mnemonic devices can help students commit important information to memory.

Some of you have “heard” me tell my log joke.  For me, it’s less of a joke and more of a fun mnemonic device.  So, say you have a problem like 2^(x + 3) = 5 and we need to solve it.  We’d tell the student to take the log of both sides, ask what happens to the exponent, etc.  At this point, you can tell the student the joke: “How do you get an exponent out of a tree?”  “You hit it with a log!”  Lol!  You get it?  Because the exponent’s an exponent so it’s in the tree.  Yeah…I’ll stop now.  Anyway, my students would always chuckle at my antics and some would inevitably roll their eyes, but they’d always remember, even into the following year, how to solve these types of equations.  

So, what are mnemonic devices and when can we use them?  Mnemonic devices are phrases or acronyms that can help someone memorize something, like “Please excuse my dear Aunt Sally.” or “SOH-CAH-TOA”.  Many teachers use such mnemonic devices, so I feel that if the student has this knowledge base (which you can test by asking: “Are you familiar with the order of operations?” or “Are you familiar with trigonometric ratios in a right triangle?” and the student responds by saying the mnemonic device), then that can be one of the first things you talk about while/after probing for understanding.  However, if the student has no such recollection, because we are focused on complete understanding, we don’t want to introduce these right away.  Instead, after we do the problem and explain the theory and reasoning behind the steps we’ve taken, we can then say: “Here’s an easy way to remember _.”  

What about you?  What are some fun mnemonic devices you know of?  What are the most helpful ones you find yourself using all the time?

Thanks for your contribution, Sharon! To submit your own newsfeed contribution, email us at tutor.support@yup.com.

— Team Yup


Tutor Contribution: What Exactly Is Common Core?

Our first tutor contributed article comes from Sharon Matsuoka, a Yup Tutor Quality Manager and math tutor who has been with us for over a year. Sharon takes a closer look at America’s recently implemented Common Core Standards and why they should be seen as a positive change rather than a cause for anxiety.

“Common Core” – By Sharon Matsuoka

Great insight Sharon– thanks for sharing your perspective with us! It’s a shame that these standards often get a bad rap due to misinformation. Share your own thoughts about Sharon’s article below!

Want to share your personal views on an education-related matter with the tutor community? Email us at tutor.support@yup.com!

— Team Yup