Science Tutoring 5 Guidelines

Being a Mentor and Science Coach to a student goes well beyond Tutoring the material at hand. No matter the subject, the student must be supported in every way possible on their journey to independence.

Through the years, I have come to realize that there are a few simple guidelines for working successfully with any trainee or student.  They have served me well and I’d like to share my Science Tutoring 5 Guidelines.

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Next Generation Science Standards in Three Stages

This one is going out to all the teachers and parents who are staring at the Next Generation Science Standards and sayin’ Whaaaaa?

Next Generation Science Standards in Three Stages

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Science Education Inside and Outside the Classroom

Science Education Inside and Outside the ClassroomScience Education Inside and Outside the Classroom

In my career, I have watched curriculums, educational benchmarks and standards change both inside and outside of the Classroom. The Principles of Science, however, are a rarely changing stabilizing force. Observation, Exploration and Discovery drive Theories toward Laws as we learn ever more about our Universe.


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Coaching Exhausted Students at the End of the School Year

Coaching Exhausted Students at the End of the School YearThis was a Very Powerful Academic Year. I learned a great deal about the needs of my students, while I hope they gained helpful strategies, from me, that that will lead them to ultimate success in the sciences and beyond. At this time I’d like to share some simple observations about how we negotiated the final weeks of the year. As always, the fourth quarter is a time of panic and fatigue for ALL students, when failure seems imminent in the face of mounting pressure for final grades. This, however, was NOT my first rodeo.



Academic Coaching Accessibility adaptability Acknowledgement


As a Coach, I know that the last ten seconds of the race is JUST as important the first ten seconds and that my job is to encourage my students to stay strong up until the very end.

This requires a 24/7 commitment……OKAY…..16/7…..a person’s gotta sleep.

My students MUST trust that I am there for them; that I am chugging away behind the scenes and anticipating what they might need to succeed in the final stretch.


As parents and teachers in the know are WELL aware, the final quarter of the school year is a myopic time when material that RATIONALLY should be covered over the span of weeks, is presented in a matter of days. I do NOT blame the teachers, it is just, unfortunately, the nature of the contemporary overachievement ‘beast’.

But fear NOT!! As I said above, this is not my first go round.

My Chemistry Student

For each of my students, the rigors of the end of the academic year were surprisingly similar. They were given the option for either cumulative or fourth quarter final exams. Each class voted for a fourth quarter only test, assuming that being responsible for only a fraction of the total subject matter would be “easier”. It WASN’T. This brings me to my primary point, which is that each was SLAMMED with the most conceptually difficult elements of Chemistry in this final grueling stretch of the year.

This is a contentious systemic issue which I can discuss with anyone who cares to do so, just email me for my Skype address and brew some tea for a LONG chat.

Suffice it to say, we had to adapt VERY quickly to the situation.

Download (PDF, 414KB)

As I have stated before, I am a VERY visual learner.

My motto is always: “If you can picture the narrative, you will own the narrative”.

Slides (example set above) were made and gone over and over……..and over. Questions were asked and color-coded notes were taken in wire-bound notebooks.

Coaching Exhausted Students at the End of the School YearTest formatting was also a hurdle. Chloe’s exam would be entirely in SAT-style Scantron form. Luckily, this was only a partial concern in that it was mentioned at the beginning of the year, given extra attention in in an afternoon after-school program delivered by the instructor and pronounced boldly on the Review Subject Checklist sheet for the final. In our last session before the final we ran through test questions in Organic Chemistry, in detail, with a promise made that she would complete the other subject sections on her own.




When it comes right down to it, the only question that matters is: What is the student walking away with, from this or any class, as a lesson on how to deal with life as a committed, capable and confident human being?

The “Take-Home” Message for Chemistry is actually pretty basic.

Coaching Exhausted Students at the End of the School Year

What matters is that these simple concepts are understood to be an integral part of what it means to be an educated, responsible adult.

I have asked my students to express how they experienced this year with me. I’ll bring you those responses when I get them. It IS the summer after all.

I AM confident that they are looking forward to continuing our time together in The Fall.

I see this our together as a journey, one that will end with them going off to start their college careers as independent thinkers who are ready for ANYTHING that life may thrown at them.

Coaching Exhausted Students at the End of the School Year Coaching Exhausted Students at the End of the School Year




Academic Coaching A Case Study in Chemistry

I have worked with my Chemistry Girls now for just about a year and I would like to share some of my boots-on-the-ground observations in a quick Case Study of our time together.

My Last Post outlined the Essential Factors in preparing for the Mentoring experience and the Next will add to the list of Factors which are necessary for successful Coaching (Look for Assessment, Accessibility Adaptability here soon), but I’d first like to talk more about the human dimension of what I do.

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Academic Coaching Expectations Pacing Assessment

Academic Coaching


Academic Coaching involves the coordination of all resources available to a student to help inspire them to become the agent and advocate for their own learning experience. An Academic Coach is not just a tutor, he or she is a mentor.

What informs MY Coaching is my own experience as an instructor.
I’d like to share the three elements that I find essential when approaching the implementation of any curriculum.

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The Mole as a Chemistry Kit Essential

The Mole

The Mole

Not THAT Mole, the other one.

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Customized Lesson Planning for the Classroom and at Home

Lesson Planning

Lesson Planning, with an eye toward the ultimate goals of the school Year, can be THEE most daunting task for teachers and Home-School Parents.

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Day One Lesson Plan Observation Skills


Day One Lesson Plan Observation Skills

Observation is the bedrock of scientific investigation.

As I have said before, the world is messy and, unfortunately, we do NOT like messy. The question becomes: Who gets to decide how the mess gets cleaned up? Historically, it has been a small group of self-appointed investigative reporters who have spent years thinking and writing about just this topic. Today, however, each of us has the ability to get involved in the process and make our contribution.

The following exercise is a simple way for students in ANY classroom to stand shoulder to shoulder with these thinkers of the past.

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Explore History Revisits The Mysteries of The Pyramids at Giza

Explore History Revisits The Mysteries of The Pyramids at Giza

Explore History Magazine

Travel and History for the International adventurer

Explore History is one of the latest titles premiered by the shockingly prolific Imagine Publishing Company.

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