Why should we learn maths… what’s the point?

Why should we learn maths… what’s the point?

There are so many reasons why learning maths is important.

Firstly, did you know that learning maths is actually really good for brain development? Yep. That’s right, studies have shown that learning maths can improve the development of various regions of the brain, how cool.
Second, learning maths furthers an essential life skill … problem-solving skills. That is one skill that every employer asks about, and you hear teachers talk about. Problem-solving skills are so important not only in a careers aspect, but also in day to day life, and maths is super important in developing that skill.

Maths prepares our minds for encountering real-life problems. Maths allows us to break things down and to think analytically and critically. Think about when you solve a maths equation. You have to think through it systemically and think about which process or method you are going to undertake to solve the equation; it really gets you thinking about how you will solve the problem. Problem-solving in maths provides the basis to develop essential life problem-solving skill. It teaches you to think about the knowns and unknowns in the situation, break things down and take it step by step, and think about all the possible solutions.

Now think about all the real-world applications. Think about taking your dog to the veterinarian with a poorly tummy… the veterinarian needs to look at the problem, and step by step, think about what is wrong with the dog before providing possible solutions. Think about working with technology, and imagine a computer crashes. The worker needs to use their problem-solving skills to figure out why the computer has crashed and think about what they can do to fix it. There are so many real-world applications that require the systematic problem-solving skills we learn during our maths classes. These will continue to become important no matter what career path you choose in life. Problem-solving skills are one of the most desired and important skills that employers look for in candidates, and maths is the class to help you excel in this skill.

Maths makes our lives easier

But the basic mathematical skills we learn, can provide us with knowledge which makes our lives easier. We use maths to tell the time, work out our finances, and follow a baking recipe. We are surrounded by maths all the time, and it is important we understand it. Maths is a universal language. Think about it… if you travel to Italy on holiday and pick up a menu to order dinner, you may not understand the words, but you will understand the numbers. Unlike English, maths doesn’t need translating and can be understood by all different cultures. The language and alphabet may change from country to country… but you know what doesn’t change? Maths. And how cool is that? You could be on the other side of the planet, and they will know that 1 + 1 = 2.

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Coping with Study Stress and Burnout

Coping with Study Stress and Burnout. If studying has got you feeling stressed and burnt out, please know, you are not alone.
Here we talk about some strategies which will help you in coping with study stress and burnout.

Make A Change: Why Study Goals Matter.

Some students experience performance anxiety over clearly setting their study goals, as they become overly focused on being ‘the best’. But students should focus on doing better than last time. This not only sets small achieveable goals, but it is better for their mental health.

Coping with Study Stress and Burnout

Coping with Study Stress and Burnout

If studying has got you feeling stressed and burnt out, please know, you are not alone. Study stress and burnout are so common, whether you are a primary, secondary, or university student. Studying can be hard and exhausting, and you are not the first or last person who has ever felt this way. Just know, you are doing your best, and I, for one, am so incredibly proud of you.
Let’s talk about some strategies which will help you in coping with study stress and burnout. It is important to note, that everyone is different, and different methods work for different people in different circumstances. So take these tips, and do what you feel is right for you.

Tip 1.

Create reasonable goals and deadlines for yourself. Now the keyword here is reasonable. When studying, it can be so tempting to want to finish everything at once. However, we are only human at the end of the day, and our brains can only take so much before we burn out. If you create goals that are too difficult to accomplish, it can sometimes make you feel more stressed. So, it is important to know your capabilities, cater to them, and create goals that you know you can accomplish and complete to the best of your abilities. Everyone is different. Everyone learns at different paces, don’t compare your progress or study goals with those around you. You need to do what works for you.

Tip 2.

Break down tasks into smaller tasks. Now this point ties into tip one of making reasonable goals. It is not reasonable to complete an essay in a day. So try breaking down your essay into parts and work on a different part each day. For example, if you have an essay due, make a goal of finishing a paragraph a day, then leave a couple of days to read over and edit the essay before it is due. Breaking down workloads into smaller pieces makes it much more manageable and less stressful. For example, if you need to complete a maths module within a week, break down the questions, so you complete a few a night and still complete it on time.

Tip 3.

Plan (diary, calendar etc.) time management. This may seem like a simple one, but planning can be a major step in keeping organised and helping reduce stress. Everyone is different, whether you prefer an electronic calendar, a whiteboard, an old fashioned diary. Just make sure you have some way to keep track of your deadlines, work schedule and any other appointments you may have.

Tip 4.

Stay Healthy. (food, hydrate, exercise, sleep) our brains and bodies only work as well as the fule we give them. Imagine you have a brand new fancy car and you try to water down the petrol you give it or try to run it with no petrol at all. What do you think is going to happen? The car probably isn’t going to work very well, or at all. The same happens with our bodies. The key here is to keep up your movement (30 minutes a day), eat healthily and don’t skip meals.

Tip 5.

Takes breaks and do the things you love. Your life cannot be all work and study. Make sure you set aside a dedicated amount of time (30 minutes to an hour) to do something you love.
Also, break your study up into manageable chunks. For example, do an hour worth of study and take a 5-minute break, have a drink, make a sandwich. Remember to do this away from your study/workspace. Give your brain a chance to reset.
Then get back to your study with a refreshed brain.

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Why should we be excited to study maths?

Why should we be excited to study maths?

Maths is exciting. Let me tell you why.

It is full of fascinating ideas and concepts, and maths is needed and hidden in our everyday lives. How does the Sydney Harbour Bridge stay standing? How did humans get to space? How was the Eifel Tower built? How was the invention of the technological device you are using to read this sentence right now possible?

Maths, of course. Maths is a tool that has allowed the creation of the most wonderful human inventions on earth. And maths is a tool that will enable many more amazing inventions to be created in the future.
Who knows? Maybe you will be the next person to create a new and exciting invention using maths. Maybe that mathematical invention will further human medicine, or maybe that mathematical invention will further our technological advancement. The possibilities are endless.

Maths is a subject which applies to all aspects of life and careers. Want to be a doctor or nurse? Maths is used to calculate medications. Want to work as a builder? Maths is used to determine the lengths and quantities of building materials. Want to be a real estate agent? Maths is used to calculate house prices and mortgages. Want to work in retail? Maths is used to determine prices, budgets and profits. Maths has a never-ending pile of real-world applications.

So if maths is going to be a huge part of your everyday life, you may as well have fun learning it. Get excited when you’re doing maths. Treat every topic as a new opportunity to learn something which will help you in the future. The possibilities that come from learning maths are endless. And… nothing is more satisfying than solving a mathematical equation.

Our team of tutors are incredibly passionate and excited about maths. If you are finding it a little difficult to get up the motivation to study maths or you are stuck on a concept, why not reach out?
Give us a call on 0409 083 909 and one of our friendly team members will get you set up with one of our passionate tutors. Or you can enquire with the button below.

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Helping your child with spelling

Helping your child with spelling Developing essential spelling skills is critical for improving your child’s overall literacy competency and giving them the skills and confidence they need to begin reading and writing independently. If they are doing well with spelling at school, that’s great! But if they have trouble learning to spell, there are several usefulContinue reading “Helping your child with spelling”

Four Ways To Make Studying English More Enjoyable

Four Ways To Make Studying English More Enjoyable

What is your favourite topic to talk about? For some people, it is dinosaurs, for others, it is fashion, and for some people, it might be world travel. If you had to write 2000 words right now about your favourite topic ever, do you think you would be able to do it? You probably would, and, in fact, the challenge would probably be to stop writing. Because there is just SO MUCH, you could say about it. Now let’s look at the opposite perspective. Say you had to write 2000 words on a topic you weren’t engaged with. You could easily sit there for an hour without writing a single sentence because you just do not know how to start. This can be a difficult challenge to overcome when studying English texts that you are not particularly enjoying. Here are four strategies to overcome this challenge.

Approach the text from a conflicting perspective

A common criticism that English students have is that they find a text unengaging. Or they do not agree with many of the points discussed in class. Let’s say you were studying The Catcher in the Rye in English class. Your teacher was discussing how its protagonist, Holden Caulfield, embodies the early counterculture movement through his refusal to adhere to expected societal norms. When discussing this text, your teacher might ask you to analyse Holden’s actions and discuss whether Holden embodies independence and free-spiritedness.

What if you are not engaging with the text and maybe see Holden as a fake? Yeah, he claims to be all about independence and not toeing the line, but you might feel that he doesn’t act all that outrageously and is merely talk. That is an entirely valid view to have¸ provided you can back it up with textual evidence. If you can back up your assertions with evidence from the text, in the form of quotes, you do not have to agree with everything discussed in your class. In fact, it can sometimes be good to be a bit contrary, because not only is this evidence of critical thinking, it can also be fun!

Try to find something you enjoy about a challenging text

Many English texts can be challenging to engage with. Particularly if they are about a topic you are not really keen on. For example, some students may struggle to get into Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë. This is because it has a deep, complex narrative, which can be confusing unless you devote a lot of attention to it. Here’s a great tip to make studying a potentially difficult text both more enjoyable and engaging:
No one expects you to remember everything.
When analysing Jane Eyre, you do not need to remember every event in the novel. Further, simply reciting what happened in the novel would not be an effective analysis.

Instead, try to find something within a challenging text that you enjoy or relate to. Jane Eyre is a story about finding your place in the world, learning to be independent, and feminism. The headstrong protagonist learns to stand up for herself. If you find the overall story challenging, it can be helpful to focus on a specific theme or idea within the text that you find interesting and try to work some of these ideas into your analysis.

Doing so will make the study process more enjoyable. It will also strengthen your analysis because your writing will improve through discussing something you are passionate about.

Write from the perspective of your LEAST favourite character

To make studying your texts more enjoyable, write a creative piece, in the form of a journal entry. Do this from the perspective of your least favourite character. That is not a typo. When you start writing a piece from their perspective, it will help you better understand their motivations and views, and, in the process, it will aid you in your textual enjoyment.

For example, some of the texts you study may be framed in a rather black and white view of the world. Where there are ‘good’ guys on one side, and ‘bad’ guys on the other. However, ask yourself this question; do the ‘bad guys’ see themselves as ‘bad’? Or do the readers only see them as villains because the story is told from the perspective of the ‘good’ guys? If it was told from the other perspective, how might it change? What would be the same, and what would be different?

Not only is this a fun exercise, it can also help you improve your understanding of a text.

Take regular breaks when studying to keep things fresh

Remember not to work too hard. Studying English texts should be interesting and engaging. If you are feeling overwhelmed or burned-out when studying a text remember that it is okay to take a break. Relax for a bit and do something you enjoy. Call your friends, watch a movie, shoot some hoops, or do whatever it is that provides you with enjoyment.

This is effective in preventing burnout. It can also help your enjoyment of texts by freeing up your brain, and allowing it to think laterally about textual ideas. If you are sitting behind the computer for hours approaching the text from one perspective, your thinking could be restricted. This will limit your ability to express yourself. Taking some ‘me time’ not only prevents you from getting frustrated with a text. It can also help bring ideas to you, as you are not trying to force them to come. Once you have had a bit of a breather, you will be in a better position to get back to studying and enjoying a text!

Evergreen can help make your studies enjoyable and interesting

Evergreen Tutoring Services has a range of different English tutors, all of whom are skilled at helping students to engage with texts, and enjoy their study. If, after reading this, you would like some help developing strategies to find texts enjoyable and engaging, then please contact us today on 0409 083 909. After establishing your study goals, we will be able to work with you to develop a one-on-one tutoring strategy to help you achieve them. Doesn’t that sound like an engaging prospect?

Remeber: Studying English doesn’t need to be hard.

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About Evergreen Tutoring Services

Develop a passion for learning. If you do, you will never cease to grow. – Anthony J. D’Angelo Evergreen Tutoring Services is an exceptional tutoring service with high achieving and highly qualified tutors. Every tutor meets the highest standard possible to ensure they can give students high-quality educational guidance. We supply Tutors to those in PrepContinue reading “About Evergreen Tutoring Services”

Make A Change: Why Study Goals Matter.

Make A Change: Why Study Goals Matter.

Before getting into this article, take a moment to think about your favourite fictional series. Think about the characters, their relationship to each other, the storylines, how it developed over time, and so on. Now, imagine you had to introduce this series to someone who had never heard of it; can you think of some strategies for doing so? Let’s say your favourite series is the Garfield comic, about the sarcastic cat. You might want to tell a newcomer about what makes Garfield so cool, his relationship with his owner, fellow pets, and so on. But then, you think, you would need to explain how Garfield has evolved over time. You may need to explain why he looks different from how he was originally drawn and how his humour has changed. This may seem overwhelming, and that is why it is important to develop clear goals, and work towards them.

Therefore, before introducing a newcomer into the wonder that is Garfield, it is important to develop a strategy for how to go about this. The beginning is a good place to start. You could explain how Garfield began in 1978 as a slice of life comic strip about the daily musings of a witty cat and his socially inept owner. By taking small steps, you could develop a clear strategy for explaining how the series evolved from a small newspaper comic strip into the multimedia franchise it is today.

By setting clear study goals it is easier to achieve them

The same principle works with study goals. We at Evergreen Tutoring Services have occasionally seen students become overwhelmed by what seems like a huge task.

 “What I have to read all of Shakespeare’s Macbeth, understand its central themes, how the characters drive them and then write an essay on it? That seems like an enormous task!”

It may seem like an overwhelming task to begin with, but once you start breaking it down into manageable chunks, it becomes a lot easier and more doable.

It is important to pace yourself so you do not feel burned out. For example, The Great Gatsby may seem like a huge book when you first get assigned it, but can you think of some ways to make it seem more manageable? Setting clear study goals allows you to work at your own pace

Instead of trying to read the whole text at once, read it at a pace that you feel comfortable with. If reading one chapter a day feels more manageable for you, and it fits within your assigned class time on it, then read just one chapter a day. This strategy has the added bonus of actually being more effective for some students, as it allows them time to fully ‘absorb’ the individual chapters after reading them, as they have free time to reflect on the content.

Work at doing better than how you did before, rather than being the best

This is one of the most crucial study tips there is. Some students experience performance anxiety over clearly setting their study goals, as they become overly focused on being ‘the best’. On getting a 10 out of 10, straight A’s, being top of the class, and so on. While it is certainly great to aim high, it is also important to set realistic, clearly achievable study goals. For example, if you got a grade of 59 out of 100 for your last maths test, you might figure that if you study really hard, then for your next test, you can score a perfect 100. However, this can be a misguided mindset, as setting unrealistic goals can lead to getting stressed, burning out, and becoming upset if you do not achieve what you set out to do.

Never give up on your studies.

Instead, make your study goals work for you, in a way that suits your learning style. If you scored 59 out of 100 last time, you got just enough to pass the test, a D grade.

Instead of aiming for an A plus, strive to do a little bit better than you did last time, and commit to getting at least a C grade on your next test. Study a little bit more than you did for the last test, revise for two hours instead of one, and so on. Strategies such as this may seem minor, but they help develop a self-improvement mindset. And if on your next test you get a 65 out of 100, you will see that you have successfully achieved your study goal. You know what you can do then? Aim to get that little bit higher for the next one, working your way up to a score of 70, then 73, and so on.

Many little steps are equivalent to several large strides

By taking small step after small step, you are working towards achieving your larger overall study goals. Same with Garfield; you are not going to be able to effectively introduce your friend to the entire Garfield universe in one discussion, but by patiently discussing it bit by bit with them, soon they may be as much as a Garfield fan as you are. Then you can have epic debates about whether Garfield is better with or without Odie. Whether Macbeth’s overarching ambition led to his downfall. Whether the central theme of The Great Gatsby is that you cannot relive the past, and so on.

Contact Evergreen Tutoring Services to work at developing your study goals

If reading this article has left you wanting to find out more about how to clearly develop achievable study goals, and clear strategies for working towards them, then please contact Evergreen Tutoring Services today on 0409 083 909, for a short discussion about your study goals, and how we can help you achieve them.

We have some of the best tutors around, who specialise in everything from English to Mathematics to Personal Development, and by clearly discussing your study goals with us, we can help you develop straightforward strategies to work towards achieving them.

Remember: Aim to do a little better than you did last time.

Apply Our Methods to Maths and ‘Get’ With Maths Methods

One of the most rewarding aspects of learning is when you just ‘get’ something you previously struggled with. Perhaps you approached a text from a different perspective, worked backwards to solve a problem, or had a discussion with someone where they raised some points that you had not yet considered. That lightbulb moment can beContinue reading “Apply Our Methods to Maths and ‘Get’ With Maths Methods”

How to teach mental maths to grade’s 1- 3

Electronic devices have transformed the way math is taught in schools. Unfortunately, children’s dependence on technology causes many of their prior knowledge of mental maths skills to slip away.
However, it is still possible to teach students maths techniques that will help them mentally add, subtract, multiply, and divide. Parents and guardians, in particular, play an important role in highlighting the strategies that their children develop at school, when at home.

Why Our English Tutors Are Awesome and Amazing

Why Our English Tutors Are Awesome and Amazing

If you were to take the smartest rocket scientist in the world to a footy match, there is a chance they cannot make heads or tails of it. What’s more, take the most brilliant mathematician on the planet and ask them to write an analytical essay arguing how contemporary pop music is advancing social justice ideals through its progressive lyrics, and odds are they will look at you with a blank stare and an open mouth.
This is because EVERYONE is brilliant in their own way. If a fish judges its success on whether it can fly in the air, the poor thing is going to think it is a failure. Obviously, it is not a failure, it is brilliant in its own way. At Evergreen Tutoring Services, our English tutors excel in unlocking student potential and helping them tap into the special abilities they have always had.

Our tutors achieve these goals in a really simple way. They listen to their students, they hear their ideas, and they discuss with them some effective strategies for tackling an English essay, writing a comparative analysis, analysing a newspaper article, analysing the underlying metaphors in song lyrics, or even just dealing with life problems with a more analytical mindset.

I have met two, but never met a four

What’s a metaphor? What’s a simile? Is a textual analysis something you use to get better at a video game? Evergreen’s English Tutors have the answer to all these questions and more, and the best part about it is… they work with you at your own pace! No rushing through content. Nothing will fly over your head, as they are here to help you achieve your own potential.

As a hypothetical example, let’s say a student was given the following essay prompt in English class:

“William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet aims to deconstruct the fairy tale idea of romance, while Taylor Swift’s Love Story aims to rebuild it. Discuss how romantic ideals are presented across both texts, and how both present similar ideas about romance, in completely different ways.”

Now a lot of people would probably see a prompt like that and think… huh!? How can I answer something like that? Not Evergreen’s English tutors! They are skilled problem solvers, so they would immediately help students to get to the heart of the matter, by examining the similarities and differences between the two texts.

Breaking it down:

  • Both concern strangers meeting and immediately falling in love.
  • In both texts, their respective families do not like each other, and oppose the romance.
  • Shakespeare employs a cynical view of romance. By examining how the two characters are fuelled by hot-headed lust, which ultimately leads to their downfall. Swift presents a more nuanced view of romance. In which the characters actually sit down and discuss their problems together, work out a solution, action it, and then have a happy ending.
  • So, while Shakespeare’s text argues that teenagers are too emotionally immature and hot-headed to have a proper romantic relationship, Swift’s text presents the opposing view, arguing that if there exists true love between two people, nothing else matters.

Evergreen’s Tutors Problem Solve Conundrums Such As This

After reading this, you are probably thinking the obvious question; “when am I ever going to be asked this in English class?” and the answer is simple. Evergreen’s Tutors pride themselves on going above and beyond when it comes to helping with English, essay writing, general comprehension, and hey, let’s throw in the kitchen sink as well.

This is because through our lessons we can help impart valuable English writing and comprehension skills that can be used both in and outside of the classroom. What does writing an analysis comparing Romeo and Juliet to Love Story teach you? Aside from learning about the textual similarities between the two, an exercise such as this would also help with:

  • Learning to recognise similarities across general themes and ideas. You could then apply the same problem-solving strategies to perform a comparative analysis of the representations of dinosaurs and gangsters in movies. Discussing how they are both ostracised and demonised, sometimes justifiably, sometimes unfairly. Or, you know what? You could apply these same skills to writing a novel, writing a song, problem-solving in a video game, writing a cover letter when applying for a job, and so on.

This is because Evergreen’s English tutors are here to help you see both the smaller and bigger picture. They understand that sometimes you can’t see the forest for the trees, and they are here to help you see both.

What next?

If you would like to take some active steps towards achieving your English goals, and finally understanding what Shakespeare meant when he wrote, “If this were played upon a stage now, I could condemn it as an improbable fiction” in Twelfth Night (Hint: He was winking at the audience). Then please get in touch with Evergreen ASAP, on 0409 083 909. This is what distinguishes Evergreen, we are here to help you achieve your learning goals at your own pace, and even have some fun along the way. Doesn’t that sound like something Shakespeare would approve of?

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Helping your child with spelling

Helping your child with spelling

Developing essential spelling skills is critical for improving your child’s overall literacy competency and giving them the skills and confidence they need to begin reading and writing independently. If they are doing well with spelling at school, that’s great! But if they have trouble learning to spell, there are several useful strategies you can use to support your child’s competency in spelling as their parent or guardian.

Let’s first talk about mistakes children commonly make in their spelling;

  • Using the wrong consonant (e.g., spelling cat as kat)
  • Using the wrong vowel (e.g., spelling seat as seet)
  • Leaving out consonants (e.g., spelling kicking as kiking)
  • Leaving out a vowel (e.g., spelling plain as plan)
  • Writing only one consonant, when a consonant should be doubled (e.g, spelling butter as buter)
  • Leaving in an “e” that should be dropped (e.g., spelling riding as rideing)
  • Reversing letters (e.g., spelling foil as fiol)

Important first step! **

Before your child begins to comprehend and apply the following strategies into their spelling, it is important that they first know the meaning of the words they are going to spell, and as simple as that sounds – many parents and students will unintentionally skip this step with the assumption that they may already know it when in actuality they may have only had a partial understanding of the word (i.e.; they do not fully understand the definition and will not be able to use it appropriately in a sentence)

When attempting to spell a word, the first question we should teach children to ask is not “what sounds can I hear?” but “what does this word mean?”. This gives important information, which helps greatly with the spelling of the word.

When first learning to spell, it is important to allow children to spell words exactly as they hear them. Encourage them to sound out each letter in a word and write down the letter or letters that represent each sound, until they have spelt the whole word.

For example, they might spell lemon as l-e-m-i-n. You might then go over the correct spelling with them and help them make the correct replacements while ensuring you talk about the letters they are changing and why it was not the correct choice.

Now you can practise this as many times with as many words as they are comfortable with! Don’t forget to compare the changes!

Spelling strategies


Definition: a strategy to help students understand letter-sound correspondence and the individual parts that make up words.

Online phonics games and ‘printables’ are useful tools to help your child with letter-sound correspondence in the beginning stages of learning to spell as it helps with understanding the words that make up a specific sound.

Once children have mastered basic phonemes they will be confident in splitting a word up into smaller sounds (d-o-g or n-igh-t). This can then help them in learning to spell effectively without the assistance of adults.

Spelling rules

You could also introduce your child to the rule-based strategy for spelling which involves different rules that they can use when attempting to spell a tricky word. Keeping these rules in an easily accessible place such as their desk or workbooks where your child can easily reference them will be important in helping them to remember them.

We have listed some helpful rules below which you can begin introducing to your child;

  • When to use ‘ed’ at the end of a word
  • I before E: The rule is “i before e except after c (e.g., receive, receipt, deceive, conceive) or when sounding like ‘a’ as in neighbour or weigh.”
  • Words with “ch”: Use “ch” at the beginning of words (e.g. chair, cheese, chin) and “tch” at the end (e.g., watch, witch, patch)
  • Words ending -tion usually make the ‘shin’ sound

There are also several rhymes that can help children to understand where vowels and consonants are placed in a word, such as the following:

When two vowels go walking, the first one does the talking: This helps children when they are spelling long vowel sounds. Examples include boat and seat.

Big elephants can always understand small elephants (because): Silly sentences such as this one can help children spell ‘tricky’ words.

** These are only some of the rules in spelling. A quick Google search for ‘common spelling rules’ can help you find more.

Spelling tip: discuss these rules when reviewing spelling errors with the child

Look, say, cover, write and check

This is a simple yet sometimes challenging way of helping children to remember how to spell words and one that is often used in schools. This involves utilizing the whole-word approach.

Definition: memorizing the spelling of a word without needing to understand the individual parts that make up the word.

They can follow the steps below:

  1. Look at a spelling word
  2. Cover the spelling word
  3. Imagine the covered word in your mind
  4. Write the word from memory
  5. Check what has been written against the uncovered word

Look, say, cover, write and check Activity

Give your child a word they are having difficulty with and ask them to write the correct spelling down on a mini-whiteboard or piece of paper. They will then write the correct spelling down as many times as they can within a minute, embedding the spelling in their minds.

Extra Tips to Improve Spelling:

Read with your child

When you come across a word that demonstrates a certain pattern or rule, you can point this out to your child and reiterate the rule.

e.g. if you see the word vacation you can remind your child that many words that end with a “shin” sound are spelled with the suffix “tion” such as creation, medication, or fiction.

Other helpful strategies include helping children to find words within a word, such as ‘hen’ in ‘when’ or keys in donkeys and monkey.

Final note

When working with a child or student in the area of spelling, remember to keep your cool, even if you believe they should be understanding something they aren’t. If you get impatient with them, they can become anxious or feel inferior which will ultimately lead to a less constructive learning session.

Keeping spelling sessions short can also help maximise productivity. I would recommend aiming for no more than 10 minutes for children with a shorter focus span and up to 15 minutes for older children or children who are willing to work for longer periods of time.

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The importance of student confidence

What is more important in a student’s education than English, maths or science?Confidence. Student confidence is the most underrated area of education. Often it is neglected, leaving some of the nations most intelligent students believing they can’t. Or worse, thinking they are stupid. In my many years as a qualified teacher and then as theContinue reading “The importance of student confidence”

How to choose a tutor.

Tutors are a fantastic resource to help educate today’s students in a world that is rapidly moving ahead. They can offer a level of interaction and education on a personal level that is just not possible in modern-day schooling. But how do we choose the right one?

We Have The Edge When It Comes To Learning.

We Have The Edge When It Comes To Learning.

If you had never owned a laptop before and wanted to purchase one, how would you go about it? For starters, you might go to a store and browse through all the different models, everything from HP to Acer, Dell to Lenovo. However, how would you go about choosing one from the other?
It can be a challenge to do this, unless you first clearly outline what you are looking for, what your laptop will be helping you with, what specifications you want, and so on. With a clearer idea in mind, you can then work on finding one that suits your needs. Choosing a tutor is much the same. How do you distinguish one from another? It is simple when you break it down into clear, actionable steps. With that in mind, here are four important reasons why Evergreen is one of the best tutoring companies in Melbourne.

1. We tailor our lesson content to your needs

Have you ever been in a classroom and found it difficult to concentrate on what the teacher was saying? Was it because they were delivering the lesson content in an unengaging manner? We at Evergreen understand that students learn best when they are highly engaged with the lesson content, and so, our tutors work at delivering lessons in a way that works best for the student, and that they find easy to engage with.

This is due to our tutors having a strong combination of academic and interpersonal skills. That is, all of our tutors either have a degree in their subject area, or are working towards one. They are all skilled problem-solvers, lateral thinkers, and have great social skills. They work with students at their own pace, delivering content to them in a way that students find engaging, insightful, and interesting.

For example, let’s say one of our English tutors was working with a student on writing topic sentences. Perhaps the student was finding it a challenging process, and struggling to remember key information. The tutor would work at finding a way to engage with the student. By finding out what personally interests them, and then helping them construct paragraphs about their favourite topics. After all, some students may find it easier to write about lions and tigers over Animal Farm; even if the underlying analytical principles are the same!

Our 100% online lessons offer many benefits

While other tutoring companies may employ a mixture of traditional face-to-face learning and online lessons, Evergreen likes to keep up with the times. That is why our lessons are 100% online. This means that our students can learn in an environment they feel comfortable in. As a bonus, they don’t have to spend time and money on commutes, and be able to get ready quickly for lessons.

There are also additional benefits to online learning, including:

A permanent record of the lesson’s content.

Our tutors work with students in Google Docs, and frequently use this to write important content. Google Docs automatically saves everything written on it, so students can revisit it whenever they like, to help with both recollection and revision. Students can also ask their tutors to save their whiteboards for maths.

Instant access to a wealth of resources.

Throughout the lesson, tutor’s may discuss some great online resources for students, to help with their studies. Part of what makes our lessons so effective, is that tutors can post links to these resources in Google Docs, and go over them, in real time, with students. This means that students will not only learn about important resources, but they will also be able to work through any potential problems with the tutor, and have their issues solved during the lesson.

Our commitment to effective learning methods is seen in everything we do

Evergreen Tutoring Services was built upon the philosophy of delivering high-quality, engaging one-on-one lessons with students, at their own pace. Our director, Jessica Evergreen, is a qualified high school teacher with years of experience engaging with students, working with them to solve problems, and making lessons fun and interesting.

Jessica’s philosophy and commitment to learning is seen across everything she does with the company. She consults with both tutors and students, advises them, supports them, and helps them achieve their goals in a clear and direct manner. For Jessica, Evergreen Tutoring Services is not just a job, it is a calling, and she applies this passion to learning across everything she does.

When you book with Evergreen Tutoring Services, you are more than just a number. We will consult with you to understand your goals and objectives, what you want to achieve, and what potential challenges you may be up against. Our aim is to work with you to find a tutor best suited to your needs. Choosing to work with Evergreen means choosing a commitment to quality and proven successful education methods.

We offer a wealth of unique study resources

At Evergreen, we have a commitment to listening to our students, hearing their concerns, and developing personalised solutions for them. For example, some of our VCE English students came to us and said that a great study resource for exam revision would be some A+ practice responses, that they could work through and use as a guide. So, we asked some of our tutors to develop some high-quality text responses to past exams. Our students can go through these with our tutors, discussing why it was an effective response, and how they can use it as a guide for their own.

We also offer a multitude of written and video responses that discuss different learning strategies. Including, how to overcome common challenges, tips for remembering important quotes, and so on. In short, Evergreen Tutoring Services understand that learning is about the student, and we are committed to providing lots of resources to help students achieve their goals.

Contact us for more information

We could keep going on about why it is a great idea to contract Evergreen Tutoring Services, but we feel it would be more beneficial to hear from you!
Give us a call today on 0409 083 909 to tell us about your learning goals, some challenges you are facing, what you want to achieve and how you want to achieve it. With this information, we will be able to get started on booking you some one-on-one sessions with one of our amazing, engaging tutors.
Need help understanding your latest maths assignment? Don’t worry, our brilliant maths tutors can help with that! Want to not only learn about the underlying metaphors within Shakespeare’s plays, but have fun whilst doing so? Our amazing English tutors are here for you!

With the best tutors around, a comprehensive service, and competitive pricing, contracting Evergreen’s services is a fantastic idea! Let’s work together to achieve your goals!

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What do ‘themes’ mean in English?

What do ‘themes’ mean in English?

I have a habit of teaching people things I’ve newly learnt. Whether this has been through reading, things I’ve been told, information online, or through my experiences of everyday life. One of my golden mantras that shape my tutoring philosophy is that when a student can confidently explain a concept back to me in their own words without using notes, I know that they have achieved understanding.  The more eloquent and succinct the speech, the more points they get. (Challenge #1 – find the Einstein quote that relates to this). Too often, we students (myself included) fall into the trap of reading from a textbook and ‘smiling and nodding’ before proceeding to blank upon the challenge of recalling the knowledge. 

I always find it incredibly useful to engage with any explanation by relating the information to everyday life. The aim is to make it memorable so you can hold their precious, hard-earned attention. Making important points memorable through various techniques is something you will come across often in your literary analysis. The challenge is to be able to identify and analyse literary techniques with an emphasis on why they are used and how they are used to create the author’s intended impact on the reader/audience. (Challenge #2 – which techniques in English can be used to relate something to something else for the benefit of the reader’s understanding?). With this preamble finished, it is (finally) time to delve into themes.

So, what are themes?

When the word ‘theme’ is mentioned, my first thought is of a theme park. This usually ends in disappointment as I realise that this option is not on the cards. I then start thinking about somewhere like Disneyland. Those of us lucky to have been to will know it is full of Disney-themed rides and activities. Dreamworld in Queensland is similar in that it has attractions from another major animation studio in Dreamworks (think Shrek, Madagascar, Kung Fu Panda). Think about themed restaurants you know of. Maybe a place made to look like an American diner or somewhere that looks culturally traditional. What these things share is that they permeate the whole area. The theme is what different aspects of the place or design are brought together by. It is the ‘big idea’ or a ‘thread’ that shapes the presentation/appearance.

How do I apply this to my English class?

Applying this to English, we can take the idea of ‘big ideas’ and say that themes are possibly the most important aspect of any work. They are what the author is trying to get across (like a package you’ve bought online), and the words are just the vehicle (like the plane or ship that brings it to you). When you eat a meal, you have the food (the author’s work) and all of the flavours (themes) that come with them. The theme is linked to what something is ‘about’. Have you ever asked for a film recommendation and then rejected the idea after asking what it was about? The ‘about’ gives you the theme. I generally accept offers to watch superhero films – it is very common for these to have themes like ‘good versus evil’ and ‘teamwork’. You can find a more comprehensive list by having a look at Netflix categories online. (Challenge #3 – what themes are common in your favourite film genres?).

A lot of literary works incorporate themes to guide them and resonate with the audience, while the authors generally add their own personal opinions regarding the topic. The themes are what stick with you long after you’ve forgotten what actually happens in a novel or film. I have very little memory of the specific events in Romeo and Juliet, but I definitely remember it was about love.

What are themes for?

Identifying and understanding the themes present in a literary piece are key skills to have as they can guide you towards the overall ‘meaning’ or purpose of the work. This will allow you to appreciate the author’s contention, which can then help you pick out quotes or aspects of the work that relate to these themes, which you can explore in your analysis. Explaining and analysing appropriate quotes is where the majority of your marks will come from.

My task with this piece was to teach you about themes in English, but I hope you have become more knowledgeable in general, having reached the end of this prose. Thanks for your attention!


English tutor at Evergreen Tutoring Services

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How to use Formal Language in your writing

Formal language is a way of articulating your thoughts, ideas, views and beliefs in a professional sounding manner. Formal language is used to express ideas in the most articulate way possible and as such, does not use slang, colloquialisms, contractions, or jokes. It is important to recognise that when you speak, or write, you changeContinue reading “How to use Formal Language in your writing”

How to edit your work to improve your grades and refine your essay

How to edit your work to improve your grades and refine your essay

Here is a checklist that can help you gauge how well your essay will score as you write it:

  1. Have I answered the question? Ensure that every sentence you write has a purpose. The purpose should be to add further detail to your argument rather than attempting to answer what you want the question to be. Be certain you know what is being asked of you before you even start writing. One of my top tips is to underline and highlight the keywords in the question. This can help draw your attention to them and get yourself focused on where you need to pay particular attention to.
  2. Read the marking criteria. This is provided for the examiner to assess your work. If you know where your marks will come from, you can then work towards achieving the criteria. Have a go at assessing one of your own essays to see what you generally do well and where you can pick up more marks from.
  3. Have an outline/framework. Provide a structure for your analysis in your introduction, so you know what to write for each paragraph. Keep your paragraphs focused on a key point rather than talking about everything you know all at once. Is your essay logical? Does it flow well, or does it jump around randomly?
  4. Be concise and specific. Your marks will come from the content rather than the number of words and paragraphs. Avoid restating the question or spending too long providing numerous quotes. Every sentence needs to say something that you haven’t already said.
  5. The “So What?” rule. This is my golden prompt for analytical writing. Ask yourself this after every sentence to check whether you have explored the quote or idea in full detail. If you have chosen a technique, have you said all that you can about it?
  6. Make it easy for the examiner to give you marks. For example, rather than burying your main points in the middle of a long paragraph, put the most important information at the beginning or the end of your paragraph as this is the information they are most likely to remember. If this concept interests you, do some research into the serial position effect for more information.
  7. Provide a leading sentence at the start of your paragraphs. Similar to the previous point, this helps the examiner tune in to your work and help direct your focus to this specific aim, thereby helping keep the rest of the paragraph on track by adding detail.
  8. Have a look at previous examples of high-scoring essays. Can you identify what makes them stand out and why they are high-scoring? What can you learn from these, and how can you borrow some of these factors to improve your own essays?
  9. Use a range of sentence structures and vary your vocabulary. Try your best to think of the examiner as a real person. It is your job to try and entertain them – think about how many similar essays they will be reading and how bored they will be towards the end. If you can make them feel good while reading yours, chances are they will be more inclined to give you better marks. Conversely, a boring and repetitive essay will likely lead to a quick loss of interest.
  10. Provide a conclusive conclusion. By this, I mean you should tie together everything you have discussed in a concise manner. This serves as a nice summary for the examiner to help them remember what you explored and why they should award the marks to you. I encourage you to add personal flair here as well – if the content was supposed to be persuasive, give your personal opinion and back this up with evidence. Was the content effective in achieving its aim? Why or why was it not effective? Make sure you provide a direct answer to the question.
  11. Read and re-read and re-read again. Have you fully understood the author’s contention and content of the work? Does the essay flow? Do your points make sense? Have you exhausted every possible point of analysis using the “So What?” rule? Do your examples and analysis work in the context of the essay question?  Have you spelled words correctly and remembered your grammar and punctuation?
  12. Develop your mindset. Perhaps you think you’re bad at English and feel like you have no chance of getting a good grade. Maybe you don’t really care and don’t see the point of this. If you don’t want to do well, chances are you won’t. Instead, find whatever motivation you need to achieve what you want. Maybe you still don’t have much interest but still want to achieve a decent grade. If that is the case, make it as painless as possible by following this checklist and the advice of your teachers. If you are willing to put in the effort of using a tried and tested method of improvement and to learn from your mistakes, with a focus on improvement rather than results. With a positive mindset, the grades will transform as a positive side effect of your hard work.

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