Category Archives: Study Skills

Why Omega Learning Teachers Are Special

Omega Learning® Center recognizes how important teachers are. We appreciate all of our teachers, tutors, and staff here at Omega Learning® Center. Here are our top reasons why Omega Learning® Center’s teachers are so special.

Omega Learning® Center tutors believe in:

  • Providing opportunity for growth
  • Building student confidence
  • Achieving academic success
  • Encouraging critical-thinking skills
  • Communicating directly with schools
  • Utilizing a tutoring system

Omega tutors are teachers. Our tutors are qualified, motivated, and certified teachers who care about your student’s success.

Omega tutors are educated. Many Omega tutors have master’s degrees and special education degrees, and all must complete the Omega training/certification program.

Omega tutors produce results. Omega tutors achieve results using our AIM Tutoring System®. The average academic growth is 2.2 years after completing our program.

Omega tutors are local. Our tutors live and work in our community. They believe in the power of a strong education and its value for your student’s future.

Omega tutors are dynamic. Our tutors engage their students and our OutpAce® curriculum, including auditory, visual, and tactile instructional methods to achieve accelerated growth and lasting results.

Omega tutors are connected. Omega tutors send daily email updates to our students’ parents and schoolteachers to keep everyone informed on their Academic Team.

Omega Learning® Center is AdvancED accredited nationwide and provides tutoring and test preparation services for grades K-12. To find a learning center near you, visit OmegaLearning.com.

State Test Preparation

Schools require standardized benchmarking “high stakes” tests to determine each child’s level of curriculum comprehension. Most states administer the standardized tests yearly in the spring for students in 3rd through 8th grade. These standardized tests can have a significant impact not only to the school but also to your student. The state test results are vital and may affect your student’s academic placement in future years, and even prevent promotion to the next grade level. No matter how you feel about this controversial assessment tool, it’s important for your child do their very best.

Now your student can take the state test before it counts! Omega Learning® Center administers a free State Test Evaluation to help students better prepare for their upcoming state test. Omega’s free State Test Evaluation is an an initial state-specific test administered in a proctored testing environment. Omega’s State Test Evaluation also includes completion of practice test sections, review of missed questions, strategic remediation, and validated test-taking strategies. Students benefit by taking Omega’s initial evaluation test to help our certified teachers customize each student’s test prep program.

Schedule your free State Test evaluation today! Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school.

7 Tips To Prevent Homework Battles

1. Create a homework station.

It doesn’t matter whether there’s a space in your house set aside for homework or a portable homework station. Having a place to keep everything your kid needs for homework can help prevent organization issues and homework battles.

Help your child stock the homework station with paper, sharpened pencils and other supplies needed daily. When your child sits down to work, make sure they have enough light and few distractions. And when done, have them do a quick check to see if anything needs to be replaced for tomorrow.

 

2. Use checklists.

There’s something very rewarding about being able to cross a task off a checklist. You can help your child learn how good that feels as well as teach them how to keep track of homework. All he or she needs is a small pad of paper on which they can list their assignments for the day. As your child completes each one, they can cross it off the list.

 

3. Create a homework schedule.

A homework schedule can help your child set a specific time for studying (and schedule in breaks between subjects). Help your kid find a time of day when they are able to concentrate, when you’re available to help and when they are not in a hurry to get somewhere else.

A homework schedule can also help your child keep track of long-term assignments and upcoming tests. Use a large wall calendar to write down due dates and tests. Then your child can work backward to add in study days before tests and break projects down into smaller chunks.

 

4. Choose and use a homework timer.

Homework timers are a great way to help keep an easily distracted child on track. A timer can also give your kid a better sense of time.

There are many types of timers to choose from—what’s best depends on your child. If he or she is distracted by sounds, a ticking kitchen timer may not be the ideal choice. Instead, try an hourglass timer or one that vibrates.

There are also homework timer apps that you can program for each subject. And don’t forget that your phone probably has a timer built right in, too!

 

5. Use a color-coding system.

Using colored dot stickers, highlighters, and colored folders and notebooks is a great (and inexpensive) way to keep organized. Ask your child to choose a color for each subject. Have him or her mark assignment due dates and test dates on the calendar with a sticker of the right color.

Before you file homework assignments and study guides in the appropriate notebook or folder, use a highlighter or sticker to mark the page with the right color. That way if the paper falls out, your child will know what class it’s for.

 

6. Mix it up a little.

For some kids, studying is tough because they need to learn material in different ways. If your child is having a hard time with a writing assignment, help him or her talk it through or act it out first. Use vocabulary words in everyday conversation—even if you have to be silly about it.

For math, use household items to help them figure out problems. Teach fractions with slices of pizza, for example. And help your child learn spelling words by letting your child text them to you. You can even help  master new facts by setting them to music!

 

7. Check in and check up.

You can’t do your child’s homework for them, but you can make sure they are doing it. Checking in to see if your child needs help or just to let them know you’re around may ease their homework stress. And don’t forget to look over their work at the end of the day, too!

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/learning-at-home/homework-study-skills/7-tips-for-improving-your-childs-homework-and-study-skills

10 Study Tips for High School Students

College is hard and adapting to a new environment, culture and workload can make the transition to campus harder than students expect. But students who build strong academic habits now can alleviate some of the pressure. U.S. News collected tips from experts to help students find out which study skills and routines will help teens become star college students.

1.Ask for Help: College freshmen are often uncomfortable reaching out to their professors or tutoring services. Get in the habit of seeking  help when you need it now, and don’t wait until you’re falling, which may be too late to make a difference. Reach out to your teachers and take advantage of any tutoring or support services that your school provides. It can help you build the confidence and practice of asking for help that you’ll need in college, experts say.

2. Block Off Time to Study Outside of Class: You really have to force yourself to set that time aside and devote that time to understanding and trying to comprehend new material. Students may need to spend an hour or two  on college course work outside for each session. Getting in the habit of scheduling time to study will pay off in the long run.

3. Use Your Peers: Your classmates can help you better understand your material, experts say. Work with your classmates to absorb your lessons and build the communication skills you’ll need to survive group projects in college.

4. Get Organized. Encourage students to look through their syllabus, find out when exams and major assignments are due and work backwards to determine when to start working. Allow time to reach out for help if you need it.

5. Go to Sleep. Staying up late to binge-watch Netflix will be even easier to do when you leave home, but pulling all-nighters in college and downing energy drinks to cram for an exam can negatively affect your grades.

6. Eliminate Distractions. Technology can be a great study took, but if you get lost every time you log onto Snapchat or Twitter, it may be time for you to disconnect.

7. Maintain Your Health. College is stressful. Eating right and staying active will  help you keep your mind sharp. Students tend to do better when they have at least some sort of exercise incorporated into their daily activities.

8. Track Your Habits. Do you study better in your room or at the library? Do you need visual aids or recorded notes? Do you need more study time for math than English? Being self aware can  help students create a schedule that matches their needs. They need to be aware of their weaknesses and strengths coming in and they should know after high school what courses were the hardest for them.

9. Stop Procrastinating. Sometimes it’s not even that they’re struggling with academic content. They’re just not organized and they’re not managing their time effectively. For that reason, they could do poorly in certain courses. Students who wait to the last minute to study or do assignments score worse than their more prepared peers.

10. Work on Your Soft Skills. Read, write and learn how to work in teams. These tasks will help you build the communication and critical thinking skills that will help you ace your classes.

http://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/slideshows/10-college-study-tips-that-high-school-students-can-master-now

How To Overcome Test Anxiety

It’s test day. You accidentally left your pencils and pens at home, you spilled coffee on yourself rushing to the exam room after missing your alarm, then you sit down and get hit by the worst case of the butterflies ever. Your stomach hurts and you can’t concentrate on the questions in front of you. Can anything else go wrong?

Most students feel nervous before exams — especially the biggies, like standardized admissions tests, midterms and final exams. A little stress during an exam is good — you need some adrenaline to get you motivated to work through a test. But too much anxiety, as the all-too-familiar scene above illustrates, is not a good thing.

Besides making your test-taking experience miserable, too much anxiety can hurt your test performance. Below are some ways to help overcome test anxiety.

MAKE SURE YOU’RE PREPARED

Whatever you do before an exam, do not cram the night or morning of the test. Doing so not only increases your pre-exam anxiety, but it isn’t usually effective in helping you study. Instead, space out your studying over at least a few weeks’ time. Study no more than two to three hours in one sitting before taking a break.

Besides studying, being prepared for your exam means having all the test materials you need ready to go on the day of your exam. Pack your pencil case, zip-top bag, or small pouch with whatever supplies you need for the test. This might include pencils, pens, a calculator and your school ID. Lastly, get to your test on time or early to avoid extra stress.

TREAT YOUR BODY WELL

Getting enough sleep and eating well in the days leading up to an exam, and on the morning of an exam, can go a long way in keeping anxiety at bay. A lack of sleep and nourishment can mess with your hormones and leave you frazzled before your exam. Always eat breakfast on the morning of an exam, and if you are allowed to bring water and a snack for a longer test, do so (because we all know how annoying rumbling stomachs are).

Exercise can productively help you alleviate some of the stress you may naturally experience before the test. Try going for a 15 to 30 minute walk the morning of your exam to help clear your head.

BE CONFIDENT

A little confidence can go a long way in helping you relax before a big test. When you walk into the exam room, visualize yourself getting through the exam with ease. Take deep breaths and think about all the preparation you’ve done that will help you succeed.

TAKE THE TEST STEP-BY-STEP

Once you’re working on the test, focus on getting through one section at a time. If you find yourself getting stuck or anxious about one section, move onto the next part then return to the unanswered questions at the end. Continuing to progress through the exam will help keep you relaxed.

Never panic if you can’t figure out the answer to a question, especially the first time you see it. Remember, you can always return to a question if you don’t know the answer right away. Other questions on the test may jog your memory or you may remember a fact as you cruise through the rest of the exam. Essentially, when it comes to test-taking, just remember to keep calm and carry on!

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: http://college.usatoday.com/2016/07/02/how-to-overcome-test-anxiety/

Tutoring Success Story

Ben was an average student who was active in sports, but he lacked the motivation and organizational skills to succeed in class. His parents knew that once Ben starts falling behind in class, he stops trying altogether. When Ben ended up with poor grades on his report card, Ben’s parents decided it was time to seek academic help.

They went to Omega Learning® Center first, where Ben was given an academic assessment called the Woodcock Johnson IV. The academic assessment showed skill gaps in math calculation and applied problems, which required more advanced critical-thinking skills. Once Omega realized which academic areas Ben needed to improve on, Omega’s certified teacher built him a customized tutoring program specifically for him with remediation and individualized instruction. Ben had the same tutor each week and his tutor worked with Ben’s schoolteachers, keeping them informed on the progress Ben was making at Omega.

After completing Omega’s math program with multi-sensory instruction, Ben increased his math and science grades from “C’s” to “A’s” in school and his post-program assessment showed a 2.6 year increase in math calculation skills!

Omega Learning® Center can help your student achieve academic success this school year. Omega’s tutoring programs include but not limited to reading, math, science, writing, test prep, SAT prep, ACT prep, homework help, study skills, and more!

Click here to find an Omega Learning® Center near you.

5 Ways to Reduce Test Anxiety

The average student feels at least some level of anxiety before an important exam. But for some individuals, that stress can be severe.

As schools administer an increasing number of standardized and high-stakes college admissions tests, it is important to learn how to combat that anxiety. The following five strategies can help you overcome exam-related stress.

1. Breathe: Close your eyes and take three deep breaths.

Pause a moment after inhaling, long enough to mark the change from in to out. Then exhale evenly and fully before beginning again.

Breathing may sound too easy to be useful, but deliberately expanding your chest to take a deep breath relaxes your muscles and encourages them to work normally again. As a bonus, the increased flow of oxygen helps energize your brain. Best of all, this technique takes only a moment, so use it just before your test begins or during a particularly difficult section.

 

2. Set aside time for Yourself: You may feel a tremendous pressure to dedicate every waking moment to studying, but it is still important to allot part of your schedule to resting and reconnecting with the people you love.

Go on a walk to enjoy the fresh air, eat dinner with your family, play with your pets or brew a cup of tea.

This is not permission to procrastinate. Research show that your brain requires time to integrate knowledge. If you never slow the flow of information, your mind becomes saturated at a faster rate than you can store new data.

Downtime is a prescription for becoming more focused and capable, when used in moderation. Set a time if you must, but do not neglect your joy, especially while preparing for an important exam.

 

3. Exercise: Multiple studies have proved that physical exercise is a remarkably effective antidote to stress.

Like the breathing exercises outline above, exercise prompts you to focus on your body rather than your worries.

Many students carry their stress in the bodies, and exercise moves your muscles, increases blood flow and works out a good percentage of body knots. When you return to studying, your focus will be much improved.

The most useful side effect of increased blood flow is the increased circulation that extends well beyond the end of your exercise session. Blood carries oxygen, and your brain must have oxygen to work properly while you review. Nothing will decrease your test stress faster than realizing that you are learning and making progress.

 

4. Sleep: There is a persistent and damaging myth that pulling an all-nighter indicates your seriousness when preparing for an exam.

In truth studying all evening is the worst possible response to anxiety. Not only is it nearly impossible to remember material read at 3 a.m., but a lack of sleep clouds your mind the next day and perhaps into the week beyond.

Worse, fatigue damages your resilience. Stress is hard on your body. Breathing exercises, downtime and exercise can alleviate the effects of anxiety, but none of them will  be as effective as sleep.

Sleep is how short-term memories formed while studying become long-term memories that can be recalled during test-taking.

 

5. Take control of your preparation: Too often, academic stress comes from feeling a lack of control over a situation.

While other people will be writing the test questions and grading your answers, you have the power to prepare. Creating a schedule with concrete goals will give you a sense of progression as you complete required tasks before the big day.

For example, if a student is struggling with preparation for the verbal section of an exam, give them a goal of memorizing a list of 500 vocabulary words over the course of two months. It sounds like an intimidating and ambitious goal, but when broken down into pieces, the student realized that 10 words per day was a very achievable task.

At times, stress is unavoidable, especially when preparing for major exams. A little stress is a strong motivator, but a lot of stress is harmful and hurts your performance. Use the techniques outline above to keep your balance.

Omega Learning® Center also offers remediation and test prep. Our tutors help your student efficiently study and prepare for tests using study skills including validated test-taking strategies, improving listening skills, note-taking skills, and time management.

Click here to find an Omega Learning® Center near you.

Source:http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/2014/05/26/5-ways-to-reduce-anxiety-on-test-day

8 Tips for Crafting Your College Essay

The college essay matters. Your essay reveals something important about you that your grades and test scores can’t—your personality. It can give admission officers a sense of who you are, as well as showcasing your writing skills. Try these tips to craft your essay.

1. Get started by brainstorming

Starting the essay can be the hardest part. Brainstorming about your personality traits and defining your strengths is a good place to begin.

2. Let your first draft flow

After you’ve gathered your notes, create an outline to organize your essay and decide where you want examples to appear. Now you’re ready to write your first draft. Don’t worry about making it perfect. Just get your ideas flowing and your thoughts down on paper. You’ll fix mistakes and improve the writing in later drafts.

3. Develop three essay parts

  • Introduction: One paragraph that introduces your essay.
  • Body: Several paragraphs explaining the main idea with examples.
  • Conclusion: One paragraph that summarizes and ends the essay.

4. Be specific

Give your essay focus by figuring out how the question relates to your personal qualities and then taking a specific angle. Make sure everything you write supports that viewpoint. Read about how some students conquered the essay.

5. Find a creative angle

Katherine, a college freshman, had to describe why she would make a good Reed College student for that school’s essay. “I am a huge fan of Beat Generation writers, and many of the West Coast Beat writers attended Reed,” she says. “So I related my love for writing and the Beats to why I would be a great fit for the school.”

6. Be honest

The essay question might ask you about your best quality, an experience that shaped you or the reason you want to attend a certain college. Don’t be tempted to write what you think the admission officers want to hear; answer the question honestly.

7. Get feedback

Show your draft to family, friends or teachers. Ask if it makes sense and sounds like you. Consider their feedback and make changes, but keep your voice. High school senior Dana warns, “Make sure the essay is in your own voice. If at some point you read over your essay and you hear your mother’s voice, something is wrong.”

8. Proofread and make corrections

Read your essay over carefully to check for typos and spelling and grammar errors. It’s best to ask someone who hasn’t seen it yet to take a look as well. They’re likely to see mistakes you won’t catch.

Omega Learning® Center offers Tutoring K-12 with certified teachers for every subject in school. Stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/essays/8-tips-for-crafting-your-best-college-essay?affiliateId=cbhomeinit&bannerId=init-8-Tips-College-Essay-Slot4

Retake the ACT, SAT or Change Exams

Sometimes, despite hard work, your SAT* or ACT* score is disappointing. Don’t lose hope, though; if you took the standardized test early in the college application process, you may have time to retake it. But should you retake the same one, or consider changing course and registering for the other college entrance exam instead? Weigh these considerations before you decide.

1. Avoid unnecessary testing: Determining whether an SAT* or ACT* score is sufficient is an art unto itself. If you did well – or well enough – on the SAT* or ACT*, do not worry about completing the other exam too.

  • A high score on both tests offers you no benefit over an equally high mark on just one exam. Your time is limited, and you would do better to focus on other elements of the college admissions process.

2. Consider the causes of your poor showing: If your score was disappointing, consider why. Did you struggle with the exam content and format, or did circumstantial elements complicate matters?

  • Many factors can affect your testing performance, including anxiety, fatigue and illness. With illness, chances are slim that you would face the same challenge twice.
  • Anxiety and fatigue are states that you can affect to some extent. Extra preparation time before your next test date can give you a chance to address these issues constructively.
  • But should you change exams? If your poor performance was primarily due to circumstances or a lack of preparation, you should retake the same test. You will have less preparation to do, since you are already familiar with the format. You will also have a ready-made guide to which sections you should concentrate on studying.

3. Compare formats: In some cases, the SAT* or ACT* format may have actually worked against you. With the redesign of the SAT*, there is less separation between the two major college entrance exams, but there are still some differences.

  • The SAT* has no dedicated science section – though science is included elsewhere. The SAT* also has a slightly different format for its math portion, and it allows students more time per item.
  • For the ACT*, if you did very poorly on the science section, for example, you may benefit from registering for the SAT* instead. Conversely, you may have a strong science background that could help you score well if you switched to the ACT*.
  • Before deciding, take at least one full-length practice exam for the new exam you are considering taking. Do not just compare your results to a simulated national average. The practice tests cannot exactly match the curves used in the real versions, so look for whether the alternate exam format was noticeably better for you.
  • If you take the ACT* practice test, did you benefit from the faster pace? Some students produce their best results when they cannot overthink answers. Or, did the slower pace of the SAT* reduce your anxiety?

4. Weigh your time constraints: Learning a new exam format and a fresh set of strategies can be time-consuming. Do you have several months available to focus on an entirely unfamiliar test? Despite the similar content of the two exams, the different pace necessitates distinct answer-optimization strategies.

  • If you have a single month before your last possible test date, concentrate on improving one or two key areas from your first exam. A month is sufficient to drill into a topic and see results.
  • If you have two to three months available, however, you have more options. How much time can you devote to test prep over that span? If significant time and you have identified structural advantages to switching, then do so.
  • Changing exams may pay large dividends, but it is hardly a surefire method for improving your score. Consider the causes of your poor performance, the differences between your test options and your available time before taking your next step.

Omega Learning® Center offers a SAT*/ACT* Evaluation Test in a proctored, simulated environment. An Omega certified teacher will review your SAT* and ACT* test results and build your test prep program. For more information and to reserve your seat, stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you.  http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

**SAT is a registered trademark of the College Board, which was not involved in the production of, and does not endorse, this service. ACT is a registered trademark of ACT Inc.

Source:http://www.usnews.com/education/blogs/college-admissions-playbook/articles/2016-10-03/choose-between-retaking-the-act-sat-or-changing-exams

Athletes with Learning Disabilities

Many of our kids idolize professional athletes. They spend hours upon hours watching those sports stars score, leap, dive, and tackle their way to Super Bowl titles, Olympic gold medals, Heisman Trophies, and World Series record books. What they don’t see are the years and years of hard work to get there. The hours spent practicing. The sweat and tears. The sacrifices. The failing. The trying and trying again. The falling down and getting back up again.

And for many athletes, we don’t see the years of struggle in school due to learning disabilities. Learning disabilities are not handicaps; rather, having a learning disability simply means that some people’s brains work differently than others. They don’t learn in typical ways. They learn differently.

Here are some professional athletes who have struggled with learning disabilities.

Michael Phelps, Olympic swimmer and record-breaking medalist has long dealt with ADHD.

Michael Phelps’ mom, Debbie, told ADDitude.com, a site dedicated to providing strategies and support for ADHD & LD, that after Michael was diagnosed with ADHD, “It made me want to prove everyone wrong. I knew that, if I collaborated with Michael, he could achieve anything he set his mind to.” Michael and his mother worked together with teachers to help him meet with success in school.

Simone Biles, Olympic gymnast, hailed as the best gymnast of all-time, has ADHD and this summer, she tweeted:

Having ADHD, and taking medicine for it is nothing to be ashamed of nothing that I’m afraid to let people know.

Biles’ tweet, sent to her hundreds of thousands of followers, resulted in a flurry of responses from people saying that they, too, have ADHD and support her confidence in sharing.

Michelle Carter, Olypmic shot putter, has ADHD and dyslexia.

Carter told ESPN, “I could not sit down long enough to study.” Eventually, though, Carter found success in school with the help of tutors and found a sport in which she excelled: shot put. Her hard work and dedication resulted in a place on the U.S. national team and a scholarship to college.

Other professional athletes who have learning disabilities are:

  • Justin Gatlin, professional track star and Olympian, has ADD.
  • Tim Tebow, professional baseball player and professional football player, has a form of dyslexia.
  • Magic Johnson, former professional basketball player for LA Lakers, has dyslexia and ADD.
  • Chris Kaman, professional basketball player, was diagnosed with ADHD and also language processing disorder.
  • Brandon Knight, professional basketball player, has visual/ special processing issues.

Omega Learning® Center understands that every child is different and that each child learns a different way.  Omega accommodates to students who have a learning disabilities including visual and auditory processing disorders, dyslexia, dysgraphia, ADD/ADHD, and more. To learn more about our programs, stop by an Omega Learning® Center near you. http://omegalearning.com/find-tutors/ 

Source: http://www.scholastic.com/parents/blogs/scholastic-parents-raise-reader/8-pro-athletes-learning-disabilities