for STEM:  ​"HIT THE GROUND RUNNING"  SUMMER COLLEGE PREP INTENSIVE
(esp for 2017 H.S. graduates planning to take a required STEM course @ college in Fall)


Goal:                                           TO SIMULATE THE 1ST MONTH OF THE STUDENT'S                                                                                                                                                                 • specific college STEM course that starts in FALL'17                                                                                                                                                                OR                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     • specific AP STEM course that starts in FALL'17
Summer Duration:                  • 8 sessions (your choice of EITHER   Mon thru Thu over any 2 weeks  OR    Mon and Thu over any 4 weeks)
Available Subjects:                  • Calculus, Chemistry, Biology, or Physics (for all subjects, virtual lectures &  labs are available options)

Materials Provided By                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  OnCall Tutor:             • personalized notebook w/ flow chart guides for independent study
          College Student:            • textbook & syllabus from Fall2017 semester of student's college course                                                                                                                          (if these are not available yet, textbook & syllabus from most recent semester should suffice)

                  AP Student:            • AP prep book (approx $20) specified by tutor

                 All Students:            • optional subscription ($150) to ThinkWell online lectures, for which we provide in-person & online tutoring                                                          • optional subscription ($125) to specified online labs, for which we provide in-person & online tutoring                 
Session Locations:                  • initial session in-person @ your home
                                                   • subsequent sessions @ your home, taught via hybrid (ie, in-person or online, according to student's choice)
Tutor’s Credentials:                 • See "Tutor Experience" page of this website

Follow-Up:                                 • continued hybrid STEM tutoring available as needed (ie, not necessarily weekly) throughout student’s next                                                             year in HS or college, regardless of the school's location

Student Reviews of Dan’s Math/Science Tutoring (relevant excerpts from "Student Reviews page of this website):
PHYSICS
Daniel is a great tutor. I have learned a tremendous amount from him in a very short time. He is very committed to helping me succeed and I am grateful to be working with him. Daniel enabled me to succeed in my college physics course at NJIT.
CHEMISTRY
Daniel proves to be a very organized and efficient tutor. His genuine passion for helping people is demonstrated through his patience and flexibility. I am convinced that this man is a chemistry genius. With his help, I earned an A in general chemistry at Rutgers. THANK YOU DAN!
CALCULUS
Dan is a thorough, patient and well prepared tutor. He is very knowledgeable in Calculus and we will continue to work with him. He asks strategic questions to ensure his students truly understands. He is a very reliable and organized tutor. My kids look forward to more sessions with him.
BIOLOGY (limited availability)
Dan provided tutoring to my son Zachary in Bio. He helped Zachary significantly improve his grade. Dan helped him think through the complex subject matter in a easy to understand way. I would definitely recommend Dan for assistance in Bio.

Methodology Overview of Dan’s Math/Science Tutoring:
The conceptual foundation supporting all my tutoring – regardless of whether the subject is Math or Science or SAT Prep, or the presentation method is online or in person – is the same:  HELPING STUDENTS HELP THEMSELVES.
My tutoring reviews concepts by helping students methodically learn from the mistakes they make.  For Math & Science in particular, each session coaches students through their re-solving of the problems they incorrectly answered during attempts they made during their independently study between tutoring sessions.
I don’t waste students’ time by reviewing problems they solved correctly.
I imaginatively call these procedures the “LEARN-FROM-YOUR-MISTAKE methodology”.








Student Feedback About LEARN-FROM-YOUR-MISTAKE Methodology:
FROM A COLLEGE STUDENT:  I hope all is well, my friend! I just wanted to send a quick email to see how things are going. Everything is going good on my end! We just finished our first round of exams and I scored extremely well on each exam. I just wanted to express my gratitude to you because you have helped me tremendously! I wouldn't be in the position I am in now without your guidance. For 15 years, I tried to find a study method that worked for me, but each new method failure until I met you. You taught me the correct way to study and it has been success every since!
FROM A HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT:  Daniel is an outstanding academic in this field, but what sets him apart from the rest of tutors is his teaching methodology: -Dan makes sure that the student masters the basic key concepts of the subject, which builds a strong understanding of the material. -He teaches her how to approach studying and problem solving, which enables her not only in AP physics but all subjects areas as well. -Daniel is available with online consults, for any last minute before test questions and follows up with in person sessions, with great flexibility. -He personally follows up almost on daily basis about the student's progress and grades, by keeping a continuous communication with the parents. I can't wish for a better tutor and highly, highly recommend him.
 

​The Problem That This Methodology Addresses:  Transitioning into College STEM Academics:
The goal of this Summer College Prep is arming students with college-level STEM study skills BEFORE they enter college in Fall.  EVERY YEAR throughout my past decade of tutoring STEM (mostly Math & Science) to 1st-year college students, I see the following consequence of their not having “Hit The Ground Running”:

Though the 1st few months of college are disruptive for many entering Freshmen, for many Freshmen taking rigorous Science & Math courses – courses required of students hoping to enter technical fields that focus on people (eg, health care), but use Science & Math in the process  – for these Freshmen the initial months of college can be academically devastating.


The result:
As Midterms approach, these flailing Freshmen seek my tutoring for help w/ their required Science & Math courses.  But because they’ve never really learned the fundamentals, their catching up is a huge, time-consuming, and sometimes overwhelming struggle.  Overwhelmed students often abandon their dreams at this time. But this discouraging downward spiral can be prevented.


The two main causes of this downward spiral:

  1. Science & Math courses are very cumulative.  In other words, before you learn “C”, you must learn “B”.  Before you learn “B”, you must learn “A”.                                                                                                                                                            So in the chaotic  1st month of college when students are adjusting to college life, they should also be learning “A” – the fundamentals.  But they’re too distracted to learn the fundamentals.  Later, by mid-semester, when “C” then “D” then “E” are being taught in rapid succession, students who never really learned “A” are flailing.  They’re trying to build a house on a rickety foundation.
  2. College academics differs from high school academics in many ways, not just the complexity of the subjects taught.  The most profound difference is this:                                                                                                                                                                               Whereas in high school academics students are provided with more guidance in their learning, in college they are more often given only the goal – it is up to them to figure out how to reach it.  How this plays out in college Science & Math courses:                     Students are given the answer key for the HW problems.  But of course, merely having these answers won’t help them on the exams, upon which almost all of the course grade is based.                                                                                                                                       Rather, it is up to students to figure out how to reach these answers in a way that will help them prep for the exam.  In other words, they’ve got to study. Simply obtaining the correct answers, without deeply understanding the underlying concepts & how to quickly apply them, will not help students prep for the exam.  They need something that
  • Provides a framework for a conceptual overview of the subject.  Onto this framework they can build-on the details.  A textbook inherently has this cohesive & complete structure.
  • Is easily & quickly referenced.  A textbook has a Table-of-Contents & an index.  Just as important, after frequently using any textbook, students get a spacial familiarity – associated with a conceptual familiarity – of where things are, including the probable location in the book of concepts-that-students-may-need-to-study-further.
  • Guides students in their study.  The textbook’s end-of-chapter problems, which are categorized according to the associated sections in the chapter, provides this guidance.  Whether the student correctly answers such a problem is an indicator of comprehension, and the categorization is a map for further study.

The course textbook does all of these. This textbook is a critical tool for student study.
The solving of textbook’s end-of-chapter problems is a guide in the students’ use of this tool.
But as I’ve found from tutoring high school students, many high school courses don’t often use textbooks, so students are not familiar with the use of textbooks.
Moreover, even in college, HW problems are often online, instead of in the textbook. 

Methodology Specifics:  The Solution That’s Based On Both Modern IT & My STEM Teaching Experience:
Again, the goal of this Summer College Prep is enabling students to “Hit the Ground Running” in their required STEM courses when the students enter college in Fall.

I have found that most successful students of STEM use the following study procedure, which exploits the binary characteristic of the quantitative problems that STEM courses use as practice & HW. In other words, when a student attempts to solve a problem, upon inspection by the student when checking the Answer Key, the solution is clearly EITHER correct OR incorrect. There are no shades of gray.
The college student can thus use Problem-Solving as

  • an assessment of conceptual comprehension
  • a practice in applying the concepts
  • overall prep for the exams, upon which almost all of the college course’s grade is based

Here is a flow chart of this study procedure, as augmented by my tutoring: 









​Description of this Study Procedure Flow Chart:

Cycle1 (occurs in day BEFORE tutoring session)
Problem Solving:          ​Student attempts to solve problems himself/herself
Correctness Check:    Only the Answer Key’s solution – not the Answer Key’s explanation of how it obtained the solution -                                                                          is compared to the student’s solution
Independent Study:    Upon student’s remote request, the tutor can guide the student to study specific pages/sites in materials                                                                 used by the course.
Error Analysis:              Student introspection aimed @ learning from errors made in incorrect answers.

Cycle2 (occurs during tutoring session)
Problem Solving:          Student solves only problems he/she answered incorrectly during Cycle1, but this time w/ strategic coaching                                                         from the tutor.
Correctness Check:     The tutor can now provide a complete explanation.
Study w/ Tutor:            The tutor gives the student a mini-lesson as needed.
Error Analysis:              none

I have developed my STEM tutoring to augment this study procedure.

Details of Study Procedure, AND HOW MY TUTORING AUGMENTS IT:

As noted earlier - my tutoring is a hybrid (ie, online and/or offline, and only when needed, as determined by objective measures) augmentation, which is based on Problem-Solving as a context for reviewing concepts


THE INTERNET COMPONENT (ThinkWell.com)
For initially learning material:                                  • viewing online lectures from expert professors
For assessing comprehension of material:           • solving online problems associated w/ these lectures

THE TEXTBOOK,  TUTORING, & e-COMMUNICATION COMPONENT
Then, for further review when necessary, as indicated by whether the online problems were solved correctly, the following is done.

  • between sessions:                                                                                                                                                    After reviewing an online lecture, the student independently studies in the textbook that will be used in the upcoming college course, thereby getting familiar with this textbook.  For effectiveness & efficiency of studying, this study is guided & monitored remotely by the tutor, via e-communication (including phone-photos & Skype mini-sessions) w/ the student.  Then the student attempts again to solve the online problems s/he was previously unable to solve.

If the student is still unable to correctly solve the online problems, THEN

  • during next session:                                                                                                                                                                                                     The tutor coaches (esp asking strategic questions) the student the student’s own re-solving of problems that s/he had solved incorrectly (including not known how to start) even after s/he had independently studied accordingly in textbook

 All Thinkwell.com prep packages involve the same interactive IT-based structure.  The student can continue to use this IT-based STEM learning packet through the tumultuous 1st year of college.  Moreover, regardless of where the college is located, we will continue to provide tutoring to supplement this package and the student's STEM learning.


Summary

This "Hit The Ground Running" Summer program can be summarized by the acronym “TEACH”:

  • Transition   - For the TRANSITION into college.
  • Easing         - EASING the transition’s disruption of student performance in STEM courses.
  • Academic   - My tutoring is ACADEMIC COACHING. It guides students’ STEM practice so that they’ll
  • Coaching       perform better in STEM courses, just as athletic coaches guide athletes.
  • Hybrid        - Both online & in-person components, as detailed above.


ESSAY, STEM, & SAT/ACT/MCAT TUTORING (in-person and/or online)