Trusted Tips and Resources

Trusted Tips & Resources

The Trusted Saskatoon tutors share tips for learning over the holidays


Trusted Sakatoon tutors and educators

DOES YOUR HOLIDAY TO-DO LIST INCLUDE LEARNING?

Like most families, you and the kids are probably looking forward to a break from the normal hectic routine. No rushed mornings, no after-school homework battles, and lots of downtime spent with loved ones. While your holiday to-do list may include baking, decorating, and travelling, there’s one to-do item that shouldn’t be overlooked this holiday season: learning.

Scheduling holiday learning keeps kids on track academically, maintains school habits, and helps make the transition back-to-school post-holiday that much smoother.

But learning over the holidays doesn’t have to be boring! Keeping the cognitive wheels turning over the holiday break can be as simple as playing board games, reading books, or writing thank you cards.

Encourage kids to do at least one learning activity a day over the holidays to help them stay on track academically.


 


 

Trusted Saskatoon tutors share Why Failing an Exam is A Good Thing.

Why Failing an Exam is A Good Thing

Wait, what?!  

We don’t mean failing a FINAL exam is a good thing, but researchers have discovered that taking pretests (testing knowledge before actually learning course material) can help students better focus and retain information on key content, helping them do better overall in classes than if they merely studied as normal.

“[A] (bombed) pretest drives home the information in a way that studying as usual does not. We fail, but we fail forward.”

As an article in the New York Times explains, students who were given pretests during multiple experiments generally scored higher than control group counterparts. Researchers believe that their wrong answers on pretests weren’t just useless shots in the dark; they actually primed students’ brains to receive the information to come, helping them learn and recall correct information more effectively later on.



 






Trusted Saskatoon Tutors discuss IQ tests

Using an IQ test for kids is an attractive tool for those looking to benchmark a child’s educational progress. With clear-cut standardized scores, IQ tests make it obvious that a child with a low score would need different instruction than one with a high score. Seems helpful, right? Unfortunately it’s not quite that easy.


While these tests have been the intelligence testing standard for the past 100 years, there has been controversy in the education world as to how effective they truly are – especially for children.

Let’s get to the bottom of the debate around IQ tests for children: what’s the problem and what’s the best alternative?


DEFINING IQ TESTS


IQ tests aim to measure mental capacity using a variety of categories – including verbal skills, visual-spatial reasoning, memory and processing speed. Children who take IQ tests are provided with a number based on how they score against their age group, which signifies whether they are considered gifted, average, or at risk of learning and behavioural issues.



THE PROBLEM WITH LABELS


Research shows that labels of all types are harmful for children – and can influence future behaviour in drastic ways. Instead of focusing on learning style, IQ tests provide children with a fixed score that teachers and parents use to determine the course of their education.


MISSING THE WHOLE PICTURE


IQ tests can be a great way to analyze specific aspects of a child’s intelligence, but they ultimately fail to look at the entire picture. Examinations of intelligence should not be fixed to a one-size-fits-all mentality. They need to consider a child’s overall pattern of strengths, weaknesses, environment, and culture.



To overcome the number of issues that come with IQ testing for children, parents and teachers should consider using programs that focus on qualitative learning and overall potential, not just quantitative scores. Instead of determining what their intelligence level is based on a few fixed categories, assessments should focus on how a child learns, and what educational tools they respond best to.




A DYNAMIC ALTERNATIVE


Dynamic tests and assessments are an effective alternative to the standard IQ test for kids. They provide children with the opportunity to work in a comfortable, open environment — one that leaves room for mistakes, exploration and creativity. This gives the administrator of the evaluation the opportunity to assess the child’s needs using a more holistic approach.

Parents and teachers should also look for tests and assessments that provide more than just a final score.





All educators and parents just want to give students what they need to thrive and succeed throughout their school years. And with different personalities, experiences, and learning styles comes a need for personalized testing.

By avoiding standardized IQ tests, and instead opting for dynamic styles of assessment, each student will be given the care and attention required for them to achieve their best throughout their educational journey.


                  

Trusted Saskatoon Tutors tip on activities for your summer learner

WHAT ACTIVITIES ARE BEST FOR YOUR SUMMER LEARNER?

Whether your child loves to read, play outside, or get techy, there are many fun but effective ways to promote learning over the break. Since the summer will be here before you know it, it’s a great idea to start planning now what activities you’ll use to avoid summer learning loss. Our quick tips can help!

Ways to incorporate reading into your summer plans:

  • Take a trip to your local library
  • Bring a book with you to the park or the beach
  • Read a chapter in the morning, when your child is used to learning and before other plans cause distraction

                                     


Use these ideas to make reading an enjoyable pastime for both you and your child.

Ways to incorporate physical activity into your summer plans:

  • Sign your child up for a team sport
  • Encourage learning a new skill such as swimming
  • Go on walks and explore your city
                                     

Be sure to take advantage of all the different opportunities to get outside and get active.

Ways to incorporate educational technology into your summer plans:

  • Challenge your child to a new high score on an educational app
  • Start a tech project together – like a toy robotics kit
                                     

Teach kids through your own tasks – ie. baking a cake, or fixing a bicycle

Between 65,200 educational apps, various tech-based toys, and even just household activities, there are an endless supply of tech projects to use to encourage summer learning for your child.


Trusted Saskatoon Tutors tip on Tech-Savvy Kids

Kids today are born Tech-Savvy - They'll never have to be taught to use a keyboard or how to operate a tablet



Which is great news, because education increasingly incorporates technology into the classroom. Technology has become essential to how we access information and how we organize our lives. But just because something is new and useful, doesn’t mean that the old way is no longer relevant.

This is especially true when it comes to writing. Even in the age of technology, there are still plenty of times when putting pen to paper is needed—such as when writing an essay portion of an exam. However, as it turns out, writing isn’t just required for school: writing is an activity that has been shown to have numerous benefits to the brain and the body.



Whether journaling thoughts, chronicling the day, attempting poetry or starting a novel, old-fashioned pen and paper has an immense impact on emotional well being, helping students organize their thoughts and even improve their moods.



Despite being viewed as an old-fashion activity, writing by hand is still considered a valuable skill that has many cognitive benefits both in and out of the classroom.











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