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showelott

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About showelott

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    Hive Mind Worker Bee

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    http://www.stellarscores.com

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    Seattle, WA
  1. I was in your shoes a year ago. We hired a Barton tutor for 2x a week. She LOVES her tutor and has made leaps and bounds in her reading. For the past year we've demphasized any physical reading and turned to audio books. (because her interest level outstrips her skill level at the moment) She "reads" several books a week - we've got through Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Spy School. She now has an unlimited budget for audio books. The second she says she wants to read a book, I immediately get the audio book into her hands. We have a Audible subscription, and Epic! subscription, and a Scribd subscription and we get audio books from the library. I wanted to start her on Latin, but our tutor said reading second language (where the same letters make different sounds) is incredibly difficult for dyslexics, and so pointed us to American Sign Language instead.
  2. I know this might be too late your your dd, but this might help other students in the same boat. Quick and easy ACT math hack: SLOW DOWN and focus on getting the first 30 questions correct. Here's why it works: The questions are arranged in order of difficulty, so the first 30 questions are the easiest ones on the test. It makes no sense to rush through and miss an easy question because now you have to get a medium or hard question right in order to break even. I also show students the scoring table so they can see they how many questions they can miss and still get the score they want. (By realizing they only need 45 correct answers, for example, it makes it easier to slow down and focus on those 45 questions, knowing they are going to "skip" 15 harder questions)
  3. Hire an experienced SAT tutor that can give her a couple sessions focused exclusively on the math. A few sessions can make a world of difference. (Many students increase their math score 50 points after one session because they start using better strategies) I want to love Khan Academy. I do love it for math review on targeted topics. But I don't love their SAT prep. They tell you how to solve that one problem. But they don't teach you underlying strategic solving techniques (draw a picture, make a chart, etc) that can apply to many problems. You can check with your local high school counselor to see if they have recommendations for test prep tutors. Or private college counselors often have favorite tutors they refers folks out to.
  4. Students do A LOT of growing and learn A LOT of school content between freshman year and junior year. I wouldn't be too concerned. If the student is 99% on other standardized tests, then I expected they will probably score in the same range on the SAT in a few years. I usually recommend that students don't start focusing on SAT until after their sophomore year. Here are my favorite books that help with both the content and strategy for SAT prep.
  5. @rlestina - I'd look for an SAT tutor, not a math tutor. (Full disclosure: I am a SAT tutor) The reason is that to do well on the SAT math section, you need to understand how to solve the math problem, not necessarily in the classic, formal way, but in a backyard-math sort of way. Most kids (esp. bright kids who are very comfortable doing classic formal math) simply never considered looking at math a different way - they are perfectly able to do so, but it just never occurred to them to look at it like that. (I had one student who used a fancy sequence/combination formula to find the answer. He got the right answer but it took too much time and he ran out of time by the end of the section. I showed him an easier, FASTER way to figure it out. He still got the answer correct, but his score jumped up b/c now he had more time to answer more questions.) It's also helpful to know what's tested and in what way. For example: 90% of the time when they are testing exponent rules, they test multiplying the same base or some variation of that. They only rarely test negative exponents and subtracting exponents. So instead of teaching my students ALL the exponent rules, I concentrate on adding the exponents. (unless they are shooting for a very high score, in which case I make sure they understand ALL the exponent rules)
  6. I agree that PRACTICE helps kids - they can learn how the test works, identify weaknesses, and practice their strategy and timing. You can download all 8 SAT practice tests from the College Board here. PRINT them out and take them on pencil and paper (One of my kids got a 30 point jump in her score just by working off a hard copy)
  7. Hear hear! I recommend that you plan a 6 month runway (though it usually only takes 2-4 months of real studying, depending on the kid)
  8. @lisabees - I have an unpopular opinion that I don't think 9th graders should waste one second of their time thinking, worrying about, or doing anything around the SAT or ACT. Most schools are now giving a 10th grade PSAT - which doesn't matter - those scores don't count (although I have heard of some summer academic camps asking for those scores). My advice for 9th and 10th graders is to master their subjects in school and start thinking about the SAT/ACT summer after 10th grade. I'm sure other folks take a different approach and they may have recommendations for you.
  9. @linders - Yes! You can totally do this! 1. Download and print out the practice tests from the College Board (they also have full answer explanations for every questions - they are of mixed quality, but at least it's better than nothing) (Each kid will need his own copy of the test - and it's also useful if you have a copy with all the answers already written it in - and any quick explanations. For example, I have my master SAT copy where I've already worked out all the math problems ahead of time (and double checked my answers) because - omg - how could I possibly figure out 464 different math questions on the fly?!) 2. Either give the boys the FULL THREE HOUR TIMED SAT or give them a timed math (which is actually two sections), reading, or writing section. Either you circle (or have them circle) the question number of the ones they missed. Give them another opportunity to try it. If they still don't get it, everybody gets to put their heads together (including you) to figure out why the right answer is right. They should also keep track of what sorts of questions they are missing so they can do targeted work on that subject later. (They should also track WHY they are missing it. I always thought that kids missed the questions because they didn't know the content - but they usually miss questions because they are rushing or didnt' read the question throughly , or made a "silly" mistake) 3. Now they're ready to talk about strategy. If they're under 600 in math, use Phil's SAT Math Game plan. The first chapter is EXCELLENT in laying out a strategy depending on your score goal. And he has terrific targeted math practice as well. If over 600, use Mike's PWN the SAT - same goes, great strategy info and amazing targeted math practice (but it's H-A-R-D!) 4. After they've tracked down their weaknesses and tried to fix them (ie - learn about fractional exponents or functions or pronoun antecendents), have them take another practice section. Remember that usually going slower and focusing on fewer questions leads to a higher score. Then sort of rinse and repeat. A great overall all-in-one book is Applerouth's Guide to the SAT. They've got 2-week, 4-week and 8-week study plans laid out in them. And for free resources: Mike's PWN the SAT blog Erica's The Critical Reader blog My blog :-)
  10. Each subject test is an hour long. It usually takes about 10 min for them to read all the instructions (at least it does for the regular SAT test)
  11. The College Board has published 4 Official SAT Practice Tests (Practice Tests 1-4) in their Official Study Guide that you can buy on Amazon for around $15. (which it sounds like you've already done.) But there are 4 more tests available! You can also download those 4 tests (Practice Tests 1-4) plus 4 more (Practice Tests 5-8) directly from the College Board's website here. You can also download the same 8 tests from the Khan Academy here. Rumor has it that the College Board will be releasing the 2018 version of their printed study guide with all 8 tests in it come May. (Here's the page on Amazon). (You can also download the entire Study Guide (not just the 8 tests) from their website here.) They'll probably be releasing Test 9 (which will be the May 2017 test) in September.
  12. Here's the College Board's page on how to request accommodations.
  13. :-) love Lemov - I hadn't seen his new book - thanks for the heads up - I'll check it out (I've got a reluctant reader at home and I've been pulling my hair out trying to overcome it!)
  14. Yes - I loved them both but they are totally different. Cal's Deep Work is about making space in your life for uninterrupted thinking and work. And Practice Perfect gives you specific strategies, skills and tactics to improve your performance - break down barriers to practice, normalize errors, call your shots, apply first and then reflect..
  15. I agree with @3andme. The ACT is blazing fast. And I wouldn't expect an 8th grader to be able to finish the test answering all the questions (often -spending more time on fewer questions and then just marking "A" for the ones you didn't get to will lead to a higher score). And don't read the science section - start with the questions and then go back to the charts and graphs and pull the info you need. For the love of ACT Science is a great book to help in the Science section. And I second the recc for Erica Meltzer Reading books - but they are heavy and dense and if your kid isn't already at a 600+ on the SAT it will be too much work (so I think that's about a 27 on the ACT?) Often, though, just working through a couple of authentic practice tests will help kids get a sense of the timing for each section.
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