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Welcome to our blog! The goal of this blog is to bring relevant information to teachers, parents, and students alike. Check back frequently for study tips, classroom ideas, teaching tools, and important news from the education field.

For details on our tutoring services, check out our website.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Building Reading Confidence

Can you really do anything well if you have little confidence while doing it?  Confidence plays such a huge role in the success of mastering various tasks in our lives and mastering reading is no exception.  Some students go through their school years without experiencing the feeling of success while reading.  Students learn to read at all different levels and speeds and it is important to instill success in our students, even if the success seems minimal.  Learning to read and becoming engaged as a reader is a daunting task and can rarely be done unless our students have confidence in themselves.  Confidence allows students to overcome any difficulties in reading and it also helps foster a love for reading.  How often do we as adults continue to do something we feel we are not good at or have been told we aren’t as good as someone else?  Not often.  Children are no different.  They need to be confident that they are moving in the right direction and to feel successful as readers.  This article from is a great resource on how we as the adults and educators can help boost reading confidence.   

Study Tips for Your Learning Style

All students are unique in the way that he or she learns.  Our teachers at Smart Zone Tutoring are equipped with various methods to help individual students not only find their preferred learning style, but guide them on how to use that knowledge to study for upcoming tests and quizzes.  Smart Zone tutors use evaluative methods very early in the tutoring process to find the learning style and are able to incorporate the preferred method in each of the tutoring sessions.  By doing this, students will be able to independently practice study strategies and test taking skills.   This article helps outline various ways to help study depending on your learning style: Visual, auditory, or tactile. 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catch some Zzz's

Today's post is about how important sleep is. As an adult, probably have learned some ways to cope with lack of sleep, whether it be caffeine or energy drinks or listening to music loudly....or just learning to some how function at half speed. However, for children and teenagers, sleep is vital to their performance in school and thus needs to be an important part of their life.

Look and see what this article (excerpt below) has to say about sleep and kids:

School-Age Children and Preteens

School-age kids need 10 to 12 hours of sleep a night. Bedtime difficulties can arise at this age for a variety of reasons. Homework, sports and after-school activities, TVs, computers, and video games, as well as hectic family schedules might contribute to kids not getting enough sleep.
Lack of sleep can cause irritable or hyper types of behavior and may make it difficult for kids to pay attention in school. It is important to have a consistent bedtime, especially on school nights. Be sure to leave enough time before bed to allow your child to unwind before lights out.


Adolescents need about 8½ to 9½ hours of sleep per night, but many don't get it. Because of early school start times on top of schedules packed with school, homework, friends, and activities, they're typically chronically sleep deprived.
And sleep deprivation adds up over time, so an hour less per night is like a full night without sleep by the end of the week. Among other things, an insufficient amount of sleep can lead to:
  • decreased attentiveness
  • decreased short-term memory
  • inconsistent performance
  • delayed response time
These can cause bad tempers, problems in school, stimulant use, and driving accidents (more than half of "asleep-at-the-wheel" car accidents are caused by teens).
Teens also experience a change in their sleep patterns — their bodies want to stay up late and wake up later, which often leads to them trying to catch up on sleep during the weekend. This sleep schedule irregularity can actually aggravate the problems and make getting to sleep at a reasonable hour during the week even harder.
Ideally, a teen should try to go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning, allowing for at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep.


So be sure your child is getting enough sleep at night so that they are able to do their absolute best these last couple weeks of school! A good night's rest will do amazing things for your body!

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Keep those brains workin!

The responsibility to make sure your children are learning doesn't only fall on the teacher, it also falls on the parent too! And since your children aren't in school during the summer, you'll need to decide how you, as a parent, want to help keep your child's brain sharp. There are so many options, and here is an article that gives you specific things you can look for or questions you can ask of your child's teacher.

Of course, we recommend our summer camps that cover a whole range of ages and subjects! Be sure to stop by our website to check out our camps - we are SO excited about our camps and really want to help keep your children sharp! : ) Make sure you sign up soon because space is limited!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Test Prep

Happy Tuesday!

Here's a great article that gives you specific tips for how to prepare for a test - whether it be a standardized test or a general classroom test. While I have posted several links to test prep before, I believe that any additional suggestions could be helpful, especially for those struggling to figure out the best way to prepare for a test. I like this article in particular because it doesn't just give suggestion points, the author actually discusses how each tip can be beneficial.

And after you've checked out that article, be sure to look along the left side of the page to find more articles about all different areas of school/teaching.

Hope you find this helpful! Only a few more weeks of school, you can make it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Eat Smart too!

For most of our students, this week is a week full of testing. So I thought that it would be a great week to cover good things to eat in order to help your body and brain function at its highest!

I found a website that is chock-full of great foods to eat in order to help productivity, alertness, memory and mood. So look through these lists and see if there is anything you can get on your child's plate or in his/her tummy. As I was looking through these, a couple of the items listed would be great in a smoothie! I'm pretty sure any kid loves a smoothie, so that could be a perfect way to send your child off to school in the morning - with a memory and productivity boosting smoothie!

ALSO, make sure your child is getting enough rest. It takes a lot of energy to focus on something for an extended period of time and that extra sleep can make a huge difference! So make sure they're going to bed early enough to get all the sleep that they'll be needing to focus well this week!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Young Reader Strategies

Hi All, Happy Tuesday!

This week's post will help parents of young readers. I found this article and immediately liked it. I'm sure you've heard that it's important to read with your children, which it is, but here are some specific things that you can focus on while reading with them! Try a strategy or two each time you read together. This will not only help your children be aware readers as you pick things out together, but you are also modeling good reading skills to your child. A win-win right? Make it fun and enjoyable and you'll both have a good time!

So here's the website, please check it out!