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10 Ways to Help Your Child Succeed In School

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself.” – John Dewey

Education is a valuable tool that can set children up for a successful future.  As a result, children getting the best out of their education is vital.  So, how, as a parent, can you come alongside your children and support them in their education?  Here is a suggested list of ways to help your child succeed in school.

#1: Set Up a Morning Routine

Rushed mornings can carry over into your child’s day.  We all know that there are days when hurried mornings cannot be helped, but for the most part, establishing a morning routine will help your child’s day start off right.  Just like children benefit from a routine at school, so too can they benefit from a predictable morning.

#2: Get to Know Your Child’s Teacher

This may seem like an obvious step, but it can be easy to become preoccupied with other priorities.  However, taking the time to meet and get to know your child’s teacher will open up the lines of communication.   When concerns or questions arise, having already developed a rapport with your child’s teacher will make possibly difficult conversations a lot easier.

#3: Volunteer at School

Furthermore, getting involved at your child’s school can be helpful in your child’s success at school.  You will be directly engaged with your child’s education by volunteering for field trips, after school activities, or in class help. With your help, your child will benefit from a more meaningful school experience.

#4: Stay Positive about Education

School is hard work, and when your children are feeling overwhelmed they are going to feel like their school experience is a negative one.  What they need is an education advocate.  By focusing on the positives of education and continuing your education through schooling, reading, and other learning activities, you will show your children why education can help them go a long way in life.

#5: Read Together

Children need to be able to read fluently, comprehend what they are reading, and analyze the text in order to excel in school.  Reading together provides you with the opportunity to help develop these skills.  Read together and talk about what you are reading with your child in order to build these skills and aid him or her do well in school.

#6: Talk to Your Child

Talking to your children about their day and what is going on with them is an important step to helping your child succeed in school.  This way, you will know what is going on with their friends, schooling, and other activities.  Even if your child is in the stage where his or her answers to your questions are “fine” and “good”, at least they know that the lines of communication are open, and they can come to you when they are ready to talk.

#7: Provide a Study Space

It is extremely helpful for students to have a quite place to study and get their homework finished. This can be as simple as a desk with a few office supplies on it.  What this does is provide a focused learning environment that children can consistently go to to get their assignment done.

#8: Prioritize Study Time

Make sure that your children are studying and getting homework done before moving on to other activities like TV and video games.

#9: Continue Learning over the Summer

Ever heard of the summer slide?  This can really affect a child’s learning as studies show that children can lose a full month’s worth of school learning over the summer.  Combat this with continuing education over the summer through reading, classes, and tutoring.

#10: Hire a Tutor

This may be last on our list, but it most certainly should not be a last resort.  Tutoring is a great opportunity for your child to get ahead, catch up, build confidence, and even more.  Check out our latest blog to find out why tutoring can help your child.

Conclusion

These are just some of the many ways you can support your children in their school.  Can you think of any other ways to help your children with their education goals?

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Required Reading Summer Course at Oxford Tutoring

Don’t let your summer go to waste! Try our Required Reading Book Club course to study the novels you will be reading in the upcoming school year.

Sign up for an Oxford Tutoring summer course today! (949) 681-0388

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http://www.oxfordtutoring.com/summer/irvine-schedule.pdf

 

Posted in Child, classes, Education, family, Homework Help, Individualized Tutoring, K-12 Tutoring, Learning Activties, summer, Uncategorized

Activities for Active Minds

With summer coming up, there is an old saying that comes to mind – “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”  Regardless of grades and class performance, the vast majority of students I see are bright people who are looking for a challenge to which they can rise.  As someone who was once a student bored in classes, I very much understand the need for something to keep the mind active and engaged.  To stamp the word “OLD” on my forehead, many of the options below were not available to me when I was the ages of my students, thanks to the evolution of the Internet, but all are great options for minds that need a little more engagement.

Project Gutenberg

For readers with voracious appetites, Project Gutenberg is going to be your new library.  All of the books on the website are in public domain (no longer have copyright protection), and the library is still growing, to include readable versions of the stories, as well as audiobook versions of many stories, and many works in languages other than English, for the multilingual reader.  While you won’t find the latest fad book on Project Gutenberg, you will find everything from classic stories that have more than stood the test of time, such as the Sherlock Holmes stories, to stories about the myths and legends for various cultures, perfect for children.

Project Euler

For the more analytical mind, Project Euler is a way to test your meddle against mathematical and algorithmic problems.  Many of the problems are designed so that thinking about the puzzle can take some time, but, with a good method, the actual process of getting the answer will take less than a minute.  Some of these can require some programming savvy to solve, but that just means it’s time to…

Learn a new skill

Be it picking up programming, or starting a little carpentry, learning new skills and picking up new hobbies not only fills time, but provides a great brain-boost – studies are showing that learning new, challenging skills boosts memory.  There’s a number that floats around, that it takes 10,000 hours to master a new skill, but don’t let that daunt you – that’s if you’re looking to master it to the level of doing it professionally.  Thinking about learning the ukelele?  It only takes about 20 hours of good practice, in any skill, to get to the level of doing it as a proficient hobbyist, which is little more than maybe a few weekends before you start serenading friends!  (Unless you’re like me, and don’t have a singing voice.)

TED Talks

Looking for a good new word?  Here’s one: “portemanteau.”  It’s the term for a word created by mashing two other words together, like “education” and “entertainment” to make “edutainment.”  (Fun fact: Portemanteau is itself a portemanteau of “porter” and “manteau”, both French, respectively meaning “to carry” and “coat,” meaning “coat hanger” or “coat rack.”)  Edutainment is a great way to pass the time, and I find TED Talks to usually be very mind-opening and a good place to find new perspectives on things.  The videos range from the methods used in human beatboxing, to ways to revolutionize 3D printing, to how pickpockets get away with their thievery.
Also, that number in the previous section, 20 hours?  Learned that from another TED Talk!

The Moth

Like a good story, but want something a little more “real” than the works of literature? Storytellers at The Moth present true stories told live at events around the country without the aid of notes.  The stories can be streamed online for free from their website, and can range from hilarious to dark, but all of them keep it real.

What If?

A personal favorite of mine, “What If?” takes the absurd questions people have, and answers them with science!  Randall Munroe, the author of the xkcd webcomic and (at the time of this posting) two best-selling books, addresses such varied topics as “What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light?,” “If every person on Earth aimed a laser pointer at the Moon at the same time, would it change color?,” and “What if New Horizons hits my car?”  Often infused with the question of “What if we tried more power?” to ramp up just how much the questions can push the boundaries of reality, these “Seriously Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions” are sure to delight!
… despite how many of them, as we add more power, turn into doomsday scenarios.

Summer classes at Oxford Tutoring Center 

According to the students reading this post, I just wrote the most evil thing I could – I’m encouraging classes during vacation time.  However, Oxford offers more than just preparation for the next school year.  We have new classes for Speech and Debate, Building a Computer, and an Introduction to Programming course with some very cool design work that many of our employees want to take.  If any of those topics sound interesting to you, be sure to sign up before they take all the spots!
Contact us at 949-681-0388.
Posted in Education, ELA, English Language Arts Tutoring, essay, Homework Help, Individualized Tutoring, K-12 Tutoring, Learning Activties, Uncategorized, Writing, Writing Tools

Elements of an Essay – Introduction Paragraphs

So far, in our elements of an essay blogs, we have learned about thesis statements, body paragraph and transitions, details, and commentary .

Today, we want to take a look at introduction paragraphs.   Remember that introduction paragraphs are the heart of your essay.

This is because your introduction is the first impression that your readers will get off your essay.  If it does not interest them or they do not like what they read, then they will not take the time to read the rest of your paper.

 

What should an introduction paragraph look like?


An introduction paragraph should consist of three parts:

A hook

This is your chance to grab the reader’s attention with a compelling statement.

Background Information
This is where you connect the hook to the thesis statement.

Thesis Statement
A thesis statement is an opinion that can be proven and is worth proving to others.   For more information on how to write a beautiful thesis statement, check out our thesis statement workshop.

 How do I write a hook?

A hook should grab your reader’s attention and make them want to read your essay all the way until the very end.  

There are many different ways to write a hook including:

  • A literary quote
  • A quotes from well-known people
  • A rhetorical question
  • An anecdote
  • A statistic

 

What is an example of a literary quote?

If you were writing an essay about persevering through difficult times, you might consider beginning your essay like the following example:

“Tomorrow is another day.” This quote by author Margaret Mitchell from her 1939 novel Gone with the Wind, emphasizes that no matter what uncertainties and trials we are facing today, the new light of tomorrow can provide us with hope for the future.

A literary quote can be a powerful statement drawing readers in with descriptive language.

What is an example of a quote by a well-known person?

Perhaps you are writing an essay about leadership. You may want to write an introduction starting like this:

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness, which most frightens us.” Here, Nelson Mandela, revolutionary politician and philanthropist, explains our fears are much more about achieving success than they are about failing. 

A quote by a well-known person can inspire your reader to think deeply, desiring to keep reading so they might understand the reason for including this quote.

What is an example of starting your paper with a rhetorical question?

Let’s say your essay is focusing on bullying. Using a rhetorical question to start your introduction paragraph could look like this:

How would you feel if your child came home, crying and distraught, telling you about another student at school who had called him horrible names?

A rhetorical question encourages the reader to become invested in your essay.

What is an example of an anecdote?

Maybe your essay is about courage. You could start your essay with an anecdote like this:

A close friend of mine fought in the Vietnam War. He admitted that he was terrified every time he to go into battle.  Even so, he is one of the most courageous men I have ever know.  Courage is not defined by the lack of fear, but by the ability to take action in the face of fear.

Using an anecdote will present the reader with a real person or story, allowing them to be more invested in your essay.

What is an example of a statistic?

If your paper is about divorce, maybe your hook could look like the following:

Fifty percent of marriages end in divorce. This well-known statistic reflects the ever-changing family dynamic.

A statistic creates authority, leading your reader to trust you and your opinion presented in your essay.

How do I write background information?

Background information is a bridge that will connect your hook to the thesis statement.

The goal is to show why your hook and thesis statement are relevant.

Depending on what type of paper you are writing, the strategy for writing your bridge will be different.

Background Info for an Informative Essay

For an informative essay, after the hook, write sentences that detail information that will help your reader understand the topic.


For example, if you were writing an informative paper on the devastation of the Black Plague, it would help the reader to know details about the time period in which the Black Plague took place, how many died from the disease, what areas it affected, etc.

Background Info for a Persuasive Essay

For a persuasive essay, after the hook, give the reader information about the argument.

For example, if you are writing a persuasive paper on how Peeta is better for Katniss than Gale, you would present both camps, telling the reader why some people support Gale and why others support Peeta.

Background Info for an Analysis of Literature Essay

For an analysis of literature essay, after the hook, give the reader technical or contextual information about the novel or topic to make the thesis easier to understand. 

For example, if you are writing about how Fitzgerald, in his novel The Great Gatsby, includes various aspects of Daisy’s character in order to make her dimensional, you could define
characterization and discuss aspects of Daisy and Gatsby’s personal relationship. 

 

Check back in next week for the conclusion paragraph.

Need for information about the introduction paragraph? Call us to set up an appointment today. (949) 681-0388.

 

 

 

 

 

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10 Study Tips to Study More Effectively in 2016

2016

The New Year is just days away.  For many, it’s a fresh start; a chance to re-evaluate decisions made in the past year and their results.  Was my money well spent?  Did I make exercise a priority?  And if the answers aren’t to the individuals liking, the New Year provides an opportunity to make some changes.  At Oxford Tutoring, we suggest, in the next few days before the New Year, students take the same action, focusing particularly on their studies.

Ask yourselves a few questions: Did I get the grades I wanted this last semester?  Did I put the effort into school that I wanted to?  Did I feel prepared for the tests I took?  If your answer to any or all of these questions is no, then most likely it is time to evaluate your study habits, then consider adopting some new ones so that you can start off 2016 academically strong.

Study

Here is a list that we at Oxford Tutoring have compiled of tips to study more effectively in 2016.  Even if you choose to use only one of the tools, you are already in a better place for 2016 then you were in 2015.

 

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#1: Get a Planner

PlannerIt seems simple enough and it is.  But planners are an often overlooked option for preparing to take exams.  And don’t just buy a planner, make sure that you actually use it!  There you can put down every upcoming test,
every project, every deadline.  You can even add checklists, use different color pens, utilize post-it notes or develop whatever system necessary to help you get organized.

Why does organization matter in becoming a more effective studier?  Keeping track of upcoming tests and events will help you be prepared.  If you know what is coming you can prepare for it.  And your grades will not suffer from those inevitablely forgotten assignments which can quickly add up if you aren’t paying attention.

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Furthermore, putting down everything on paper is an excellent way to clear your mind.  Worries about deadlines can often creep into our subconscious and nag at us even if we do not realize it.  With all your to do’s written down, your thoughts have room to breathe and focus on the task at hand.  It will be easier to study and easier to retain information with a clear mind.

 

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#2: Plan Ahead

Plan ahead

Now that you have purchased your planner and filled it up with tests and project dates, you have the chance to look down the road and see what lies ahead.  Which means, you can plan ahead.  Mark out time in your calendar to study.  Make it a priority, or set it up as a checklist that you make sure to complete before you move onto anything else.

Study all nightAdditionally, it is extremely helpful to study a little bit every day.  One of the biggest mistakes students make is that they prepare for their tests and write their papers the night before.  This works against you in several ways.  First of all, the stress level alone means you are not going to be as present while studying.  Secondly, trying to cram week’s worth of learning or writing into one evening is an excellent way not to learn.  Lastly, because you have jammed all that information into your brain just for one test, chances are once the test is over, all that information is going to fall away.  This will be detrimental come final’s time; and, even more harmful in classes like Math and Science, where concepts build upon one another, meaning that it is necessary to have a firm foundation of one formula before being able to understand another.

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#3: Determine Your Learning StyleLearning style.jpg

In order to be able to study the most effectively, it is imperative that a student knows what study habits work for him or her and what study habits do not.  Many students do not take an assessment on their learning style until college, if then.  Meaning that they may have spent years struggling through studying simply because they did not know  there were other resources available to them based on how they learn.

There are three main learning styles: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic.  A quick break down of these styles is that visual learners retain information through what they see.  These are usually the students that all of their friends are jealous of because they can remember facts just by viewing them.  Then, there are auditory learners.  These are the students that do best recalling knowledge if they have heard it out loud.  Lastly, kinesthetic learners are those that require touching and moving in order to best understand what it is that they are learning.

To figure out what learning style you are, take the quiz.

 

apply learning style

#4: Use Learning Style Study Methods

Once you determine youR learning style, you can use suggested study methods to better prepare for tests.

Check out the following lists to get some ideas.

Study Tips - Visual

Study Tips - Kinesthetic

Study Tips - Auditory

 

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#5: Set a Scheduled Break

There is only so much information you can remember in one sitting of studying.  And while some may think that taking break is counterproductive in reality, breaks give your mind a chance to rest.  Therefore, you can come back to your study table refreshed and ready to take on more reading.

So get to know your own mind.  Do you tend to stop remembering what you are studying after 30 minutes, an hour, or an hour and a half?  Whatever it is, set an alarm on your phone as a reminder to get up from your desk and let your brain breathe.

For weekly tests, you probably do not want to take more than a ten minute break.  However, if you are preparing for a big test, such as a final or an SAT or ACT, taking longer breaks around 20 minutes is recommended.

Basketball break.jpgNo matter how long the break, do not, I repeat do not go on Instagram, play a video game or turn on the TV.  These activities are not actually giving your brain a rest.  Furthermore, you will most likely end up spending longer than your planned break and waste precious study time.  It is ideal to grab a healthy snack, get outside or go for a quick walk.  On your longer breaks, consider shooting hoops or playing a quick game of catch.  Exercise helps your brain in a number of ways, including fighting stress and improving your ability to focus.  (It’s true, really!)

If you are in a time crunch, instead of taking a break, switch subjects.  For example, if it is finals week, and you have a History final and Mathematics final on the same day, you may find it helpful to switch from History to Math after an hour and a half.

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So, schedule your break for a time that will be most helpful for you, and take that break you have earned it.  But do not, I repeat, do not go on Instagram.

 

study envionment

#6: Set up a Study Environment

Just as important as the way that you study is the environment in which you study.

Why?

Because much like your routine before you go bed, is the routine you Study deskestablish when studying.  For example, when you get ready for bed you might (hopefully) first brush your teeth, then wash your face, put on your pajamas, set your alarm, and finally hop into bed.  These steps, taken in the same order most nights, signal to your brain that it is time to sleep.  Forget one of your steps or add surfing the web while lying in bed to your routine, and you may find yourself tossing and turning.

take a tstThis is the same for when you study. If you listen to music while studying, your brain will associate the information you are learning with music.  So when you go to class and sit down to take a test, your brain will have a harder time recalling that information because it will be waiting for music that never actually plays.

Furthermore, the classroom environment is generally quiet, your desk is empty, and you’re sitting in a hardback chair.  So when studying try and mimic this layout and atmosphere.

 

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#7: Get Several Good Nights of Sleep

Speaking of sleep, getting several good night’s rest in a row is important.  When getting ready for a test, it is not enough to simpsleeply get in your eight hours of sleep the night before.  (And hey guys, it should be at least 8 hours.  Because, as an adolescent, your bodies and brains are working harder as they develop, studies  show that most teenager actually need closer to 9 1/2 hours to feel fully refreshed). Your body won’t feel the full effect of that rest until a couple of days later.  So, ideally, you want to be sleeping well for several nights in a row before a big test.

I can see many of you wondering, with all the studying I have to get done, how in the world am I going to get 9 1/2 hours of sleep, let alone 8?  Time management is key.  And if you take the steps mentioned above, you most certainly will have enough time to get the necessary sleep.

If, even after applying these study tips, you still do not have time to get enough sleep, you may want to look at the number of commitments you have made.  Between sports, school, extracurriculars and social activities, it is extremely easy to take on too much.  Many students think they have to do a lot in order to get into a good college.  But what will colleges appreciate more, a student who gets average grades because she has over-extended herself or a student who excels in the few activities she has committed herself to? Here’s a hint, it’s the latter.

Bottom line: go get some ZZZ’s.

 

Brain food icon

# 8: Eat Healthy Food

brain-food.jpgNot long ago a student was preparing for her finals, and her mother, knowing that she would have a lot of studying ahead of her, put together a care package of goodies to help her get everything finished.  This act was kind on her mother’s part, but the contents were cringe worthy.  Inside were salty pretzels, chocolate muffins, candy, soda and several other junk food items.  The irony here was that though her mother was trying to help her, this care package was not at all useful.  These foods would do nothing whatsoever to give her energy and the mental strength to get through finals, in fact these foods would work against her.

Eating “brain food” is another simple way to make your study time more effective.

Check out the chart below for suggested foods and their benefits.

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Read an article about brain food here.

 

study group

#9: Form a Study Group

study group funnyMany do not discover the power of a committed study group until after High School;  however, students as young as Jr. High can find study groups valuable.  We’re not talking about a group of friends who get together for an hour, talk for half of it, take selfies for another 15 minutes, and do not get around to studying until it’s almost time to leave.

What we are referring to is a study group with committed students whose goals really are to improve their grades and do well on tests. Kids who want to goof off, talk, or not do the work should not be invited.  And if you cannot get school work done with friends, then look for other serious students in your class.

This can be helpful for a number of reasons.  First of all, discussion is a powerful tool for learning.  Also, if you are not sure about something, there are several students you can go to for help.  Between a group of minds, one of the students is most likely going to have the answer or your group can reason it out together.  Lastly, if another student is unsure, this gives you the opportunity to teach them.  When you get the chance to apply what you learn, you deepen your understanding.

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#10: Set an End Goal

Maybe, you are the type of student who knows exactly where you want to be in ten years.  Maybe you know exactly where you want to go to college.  Or maybe you are just trying to make it through the semester, so please stop talking about goals, thank you very much!  Regardless of where you are at, it is important to have objectives, whether they be short term or long term.
Star Wars Yoday GoalNot sure where you want to be in the future?  Take a few moments to reflect.  Decide what grades you want this semester.  Think about the college of your dreams.  Even go as far as what type of job you want.  Write them down.  Go back to them throughout the semester to remind yourself of what it is that you are working so hard for.

What is your motivation? What keeps you getting out of bed in the morning and going back to school every day?  All this time you are putting to school is not in vain.  You will use it down the road whether it seems like it or not.

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At the very least, school is a stepping stone to get you to where you want to get.  So when you feel overwhelmed and like you want to throw in the towel, remember your purpose for studying.  You are headed somewhere, and there is a reason for giving school your best effort.

. . .

Untitled-2We hope that this list gave you some helpful tips to study more effectively in the New Year.  Even if using just a few of these tips end up making your studying more efficient, then it was worth the effort of applying these tools.

Which one of these tips sound the most helpful?  Are there any tips not on the list that you use to study?

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© Oxford Tutoring 2015

Julia Author PicMeet the author:  Julia Myres is an ELA instructor at Oxford Tutoring who has been working with students for over 10 years.  She builds up her student’s confidence in the subjects they struggle with through encouragement and support.  Striving to make her students ready to tackle even the most difficult concepts as they move up in their education, she motivates her students to take their education into their own hands and thrive.

Contributors:

Alex Claude:  Alex Claude is an SAT and ACT ELA Director and an ELA tutor at Oxford Tutoring.  He takes the time to get to know his students so he can learn and apply how to best teach them.  Alex teaches his students how to effectively communicate through writing, and how to analyze informational texts and novels.

Jason Orens: Jason, a Math and Computer Science Instructor has been tutoring with Oxford Tutoring for over nine years.  Utilizing the student’s existing knowledge and a touch of humor, Jason strives to remove students mental barriers between themselves and the difficult, technical materials.  He combines his years of tutoring experience and expertise in the fields of Math and Computer Science to give his students the tools they need to succeed in these challenging classes.

Yuriko Lord: Yuriko is a Math and Science instructor who has been tutoring at Oxford Tutoring for over eight years.  Fully invested in her students, Yuriko sees her students through the demanding Math and Science courses, motivating her students through encouragement, accountability, and by challenging them to take their education into their own hands.  She incorporates visual and auditory tools into her tutoring method in order to best reach her student’s learning styles and educational needs.

Posted in Computer Science, Education, Individualized Tutoring, K-12 Tutoring, Learning Activties, Math Tutoring, Mathematics, Science Tutoring

I’d Rather Be Playing Board Games

“Tuna boat!”  I roll two dice and get two sixes.

“Give me 12 coins!”

My friend Bob (whom I love to have owe me money) passes me 12 coins so I can build my Radio Tower.  I am now one landmark away from winning the game.

What am I doing?  I am playing Machi Koro, a game from Japan that allows players to build their own cities based on how they roll dice.  Yeah, I am a Math and Science instructor; I am supposed teach math and logic in a serious manner with piles of books, dusty chalkboards, and knitted eyebrows.  However, what if I can build problem-solving and reasoning skills in a fun and interactive manner with my students?  It is possible through games.  I am talking about tabletop games, but not the traditional Monopoly or Scrabble (these are also great games).  There are a lot of tabletop games that encourages you to do math in your head (from basic arithmetic to counting principle to probability) and strategize.  Listed below are two games I have played, found enjoyable, and believe will help develop anyone’s (child or parent) reasoning skills.

Machi Koro

In Machi Koro, each player has 5 “landmark cards.” The first player to build all 5 landmarks, wins.  How do you build a landmark?  You must have enough coins to build the landmark.  How do you get coins?  You roll one die or two dice.  Depending on the number on the dice, player(s) may collect coins from the bank or from (an)other player(s) based on the cards that allow you to collect coins.  You can also use your coins to purchase other cards with certain abilities (red cards occur first and allow a player to steal coins from another player; blue and green cards occur simultaneously, but blue cards allow everyone to gain coins, whereas green cards allow one player to gain coins; and purple cards have abilities that vary).  So how does Machi Koro incorporate math?  Besides learning how to count your coins, you also learn to: 1) analyze cost/benefits of different cards; 2) calculate the likelihood of a particular number being rolled; and 3) formulate strategies on how to gain the most number of coins during turns.  For more information, check out the publisher’s website: http://idwgames.com/shop/machi-koro/

Evolution

In Evolution, each player can design species with different characteristics.  Everyone begins with one species and can assign either no character cards or up to 3 character cards.  Character cards allow a species to: 1) gain more food (either from the food bank, watering hole, or from another player); 2) defend against predators.  If you don’t want assign character cards to your species, you can discard them to increase your species population size or body size.  If you increase the population size, the species requires more food.  If you increase the body size, it may become more difficult for a predator to eat you.  So how does Evolution incorporate science?  When you design your species, you need to strategize about what will best help your species adapt to the round/environment, considering the amount of food available at the watering hole and potential threats from other players.  Like Machi Koro, it also requires you analyze the cost/benefits of your species.  Just like in nature, if a species does not get enough food, the population size decreases (even to the point of extinction).  For more information, check out the publisher’s website: http://www.northstargames.com/products/evolution

What’s so great about board games?

There are several benefits to teaching these essential Math and Science skills through tabletop games.  First of all, this gives the student the opportunity to apply the Math and Science skills are learning from their textbooks and classrooms. In addition, these type of activities tend to hold a student’s attention for longer periods of time, especially since we are usually tutoring them after they have already been “hitting the books” all day.  There is also the added benefit of these board games stimulating a student’s creativity.  Lastly, it can make learning math and science fun!  There are games that help build English and vocabulary skills too, but I’ll leave that up to my English Tutoring colleagues. =)

Meet the author: Yuriko is a Math and Science instructor who has been tutoring at Oxford Tutoring for over eight years.  Fully invested in her students, Yuriko sees her students through the demanding Math and Science courses, motivating her students through encouragement, accountability, and by challenging them to take their education into their own hands.  She incorporates visual and auditory tools into her tutoring method in order to best reach her student’s learning styles and educational needs.

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