Often, students who think they are studying are not taking in what they are seeing in their textbooks and worksheets. When students team with their tutors to create our learning games, they learn to reframe their assigned work as questions and answers and to anticipate their teachers questions and answers. If you would like to explore this option, your tutor will work with your middle or high school student to create online flashcards and computer games for the material covered during homework sessions.
In between sessions, your tutor may ask the student to email to him/her notes on the homework, which we will also convert to flashcards and computer games--very handy for midyear or final exam prep and in subjects where a large quantity of information must be memorized, such as biology.
By participating in this process, students will hopefully strengthen their ability to perceive and integrate the main ideas in their reading and often make substantial gains in their time-management and organizational skills. Eventually, we hope that our students will add this kind of focused note-taking to their learning strategies.
METHODS OF PREPARATION
Ordinarily, our tutors work with their students on creating the bulk of learning game material by repurposing text material, teacher handouts and returned tests and quizzes as questions and answers during their face-to-face sessions. The dialogue about what to ask and what answer to expect for a particular question is the first step toward assimilating the material. This procedure lessens between-session prep (which we are happy to do but which we prorate at $50 per hour) to tweaking the material after the session, providing the HTML and JAVA script needed to run it, putting it up on our website and notifying everyone concerned of its availability.
Alternatively, our tutors may ask their students to send them notes on the homework between sessions, which we then convert to online flashcards and computer games. Although this is very handy for midyear or final exam prep and in subjects where a large quantity of information must be memorized, such as biology, it’s usually done week by week and not all at once at midyear or final exam time. However, it does work well if teachers provide end of the year review questions and assign the answering of these questions for homework.
If done entirely outside of sessions, preparation of every 25 questions takes the tutor at least 50 minutes and takes us at the very least an additional 16 minutes to convert it to java script and HTML, upload to our website and notify student, parent(s) and tutor of its location and availability. For every 25 questions prepared entirely outside of sessions, we cap the charge at $55 for 66 minutes of prep time.
- Scenario A All prep is done outside of sessions (thus, additional charges):
Recently, one of our tutors repurposed all Chapter 30-32 material in his Belmont Hill School student’s AP biology textbook in the form of questions and answers for efficient study for the upcoming AP bio exam and final exam, styling these questions similarly to the way in which this student’s teacher styles their tests. The student has some difficulties with processing and retaining the quantity and complexity of the material in this exceptionally challenging course and his parents have been very happy with the results from the creation and deployment of AP bio games.
In the case of this Chapter 30-32 AP biology material, the result was a total of 79 questions designed to test key conceptual points, as well as problem areas identified in the course of the previous session. In this particular case, the material is very complex and the parent has chosen to have all of the prep done outside of face-to-face sessions. This item will appear on the parents’ next invoice as a $157.83 charge for 189 minutes of work reading, assessing and formulating questions, converting to HTML and Java script, uploading to our website and notifying all concerned of the availability and location of this material.
- Scenario B Half the prep is done outside of sessions (thus, limited additional charges):
Teachers of information intensive subjects like biology and history typically provide their students with end-of-chapter homework questions and end-of-year review questions targeting areas upon which final exams will focus. In this scenario, the questions are already formulated and the answers are determined during face to face sessions with the student. The tutor then provides the office with likely sounding incorrect answers for each question, formatting choices (challenge board? electronic flashcards? matching? mulitple choice quiz?), types the resulting material and sends it to the office. Nora adds the HTML and JAVA script and notifies everyone of availability and location. For 79 questions, the charge would be approximately 95 minutes of prep time--$78.92 (or possibly less).
It is less costly and more beneficial for the student to type the questions and answers and email them to the tutor, in which case the cost would be less than $45 for these 79 questions, to cover our fact-checking, proofreading and tweaking the material, adding the HTML and JAVA script and notifying everyone of availability and location.
- Scenario C Use existing games (free):
If your son or daughter is studying material that is already available on our website because it was created for a previous student, there is no charge for using these materials with her tutor or between sessions. For instance, the following material was created a few years ago for a Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall 10th grader taking world history and now is proving useful to students who are studying the French Revolution. Though the questions, having been specifically designed with this teacher’s assignments and expectations, might not be as useful as customized materials would be, they are still very helpful.
These games, prepared for a Burlington High School 9th grader’s American History course, have proven to be useful to many of our subsequent students:
The following games have proven to be useful to many of our chemistry students in the 2 years since they were created for a Lexington High Junior.
And games like the following brought a Stoneham High School Senior’s grades in oceanography into the B range, a long way from the science grades he was achieving before we began working with him.
From this page one can access games designed for a wide assortment of novels, plays and poems studied by the Massachusetts middle and high school students who have worked with us since Lexington Tutoring, LLCs inception in 2003. The material comes from the hundreds of tests prepared by Nora during her former career as a high school English teacher and study guides provided by teachers of the students for whom these games were originally designed. They are intended to bring to the person who plays them while reading these works a deeper knowledge of the characters, themes, events and locations therein.
We suggest that you and your son or daughter work through a few of these games for a play, novel or story your son or daughter has already read in order to see how useful these can be in test prep and review and in order to investigate the possibility of having us customize a game for him/her.
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