Thursday, August 28, 2014

Interesting News on Brain Synapses and Autism

In the article "Study Finds That Brains With Autism Fail to Trim Synapses as they Develop" by Pam Belluck in the New York Times 8/22/14, scientists discovered an effect inform studying brains of children with autism.

They found, "malfunctions in the system of clearing out old and degraded cells, a process called autophagy".  A child is born with many  synapses or connectivity in the brain.  As a child grows, the brain lowers these synapses.  Scientist found that children with autism had too many synapses.  This could be causing the noise sensitivity, flapping, etc.

"If all parts of the brain  talk to all parts of the brain, all you will get is noise."  This might be one of the causes of autism.

Now the real research begins as what we can do to intervene help reduce the synapses.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Almost the 4th of July

Life was very busy for the last six months.  I started two other blogs.  One for parents on how to help with their child has trouble learning.  I also wrote a blog for teachers on teaching in 2013.  I see I need to update the title.

I was busy about six hours a week.  Other students came in and out for help on an as needed basis.  My student who had trouble learning to read now likes reading.  My high school students still can not do math.  Mainly because they won't study, do homework, or show up to school on a regular basis.  Tutoring once or twice a week cannot overcome an attitude that says "I can't".

When a student tries, I can make a difference.  Trying to learn math in three sessions because a student is confused is still difficult.

I do make math interesting and fun.  I combine technology and repetition.  I purchased math books because many students today say their teacher does not use a book.  They only have worksheets to work with.  I am old school.  I like a book to look through.  I like to see examples.  I do google things often.  I have trouble learning from videos though.  So not every student can look at a video and understand.

I am enjoying a small summer break but plan to start tutoring again in August so students can feel empowered for the new school year and keep on track.

I bill once a month.  That keeps down on the paper work.  Next year I will try to sub more.  It is a great way to see what is going on in the classroom.


Wednesday, November 13, 2013

November - Giving Thanks

Working with six students is so much fun.  I need to decide when I have enough students to no longer sub.  I do like subbing though.  It keeps me current and updated to what is going on in our schools.  I would love to see some input about San Diego Unified Schools…

I do need to set policies about canceling a tutoring session.  I understand when a student is sick but I would like them to reschedule not just drop me for the week without notice.  But that is something to work on later.

I attended my first meeting as a member of the board for Point Loma Association.  7:30 am is early in the morning.  If I could have a job at 9 am I would take it but the two that called were 7:20 am and 8:20 am.

I enjoyed taking the class Digital Literacy's 2 though the district.  I learned some cool things.  I made my first pod cast.  I like it.  I also made this video using screencast-0-matic, You Tube and Caption tube.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

It Takes Time to Build a Busines

All summer I had only one student as my customer base.  I worked twice a week with him.  In one week I now have five more students.  I am excited about all the new students.  I am working with three students for 7th grade math and one student in pre-calculus. I also want to sub in the local school district.  It is a way to see how the material is being taught.  I like to make relationships with the teachers to supplement what they are doing in the classroom.

I have joined a few local organizations to make contacts- The Point Loma Assembly and the Point Loma Association.  I also attend the La Playa Trail Association meetings.  I enjoy learning about the community where I live.  I also like to learn.  I think I bring the love of learning into to my tutoring business.

I still have not purchased the Woodcock-Johnson general intelligence test because of its $1,600.00 cost. I would like to purchase a portable printer to bring on the road with me at students' houses.  My home computers seem to run slower and slower so I need to remember I will have to replace my technology equipment on a regular basis.

I set up a new and separate checking account and credit card account.  I hope to keep my records in better order.  I paid my business tax online so I am set up for another year.  I still have a lot of work to do on my web site.  I am enrolled in a technology course through San Diego Unified.  This is helping me set up more technology for my business.  I have Google+ for Point Loma Tutor as well as a facebook page.  I learned how to do a screenshot and sent a lesson to one of my clients when he was away on vacation.

So I am making progress but it still seems slow.

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Web Site

I thought I was taking it easy by hiring someone to set up my web page.  But she got a real job!!  I would like to have the admin password so I can finish my web site.

Check out my site at www.pointlomatutor.com  Please offer any comments on how to make it better. I am using word press to make my site.  I have found some good videos on you tube on how to do a word press website.  But I am stopped as I never received the admin password.

So far I have been emailing her each day asking for some response.  Ok it has only been three days but it is breaking my determination to complete my web page.  I guess I should work on the things I can change and pray I will receive the admin password soon.

I have a few comments to add from happy clients.  I am going to a business swap next Tuesday so it would be great to make some major work done on the site.  It will take discipline to finish but I need to do it.

My dad just got an iphone.  I am so excited.  I hope to teach him how to use it.  The phones are free now at the AT&T or Verizon stores if you want the 4S version.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Summer Tutoring

So far I only have one student but three others are interested.  Now I just need to find times that work for the others.  I thought 1/2 hour would be enough for a seven year old students.  But one hour flies by.  I break each 15 minutes into interesting segments.

For example today we started working with sight words.  We do ten every session.  First the student writes them on three by five cards.  We read them together.  I use them in a sentence.  We review them.  Next we worked on phonics.  We are practicing short vowel sounds.  It is so hard to tell the different sounds with the contestants.   It was getting hard and then the time was up.  We switched to blocks with the short vowel sounds to make words.  We worked on rhyming words,  We wrote the words down.  Next we started to write a story about what the student wanted to do for the rest of the summer.  Tutoring was not on the list.  We will work on the story, add pictures, and then add words from our sight word lists.  I am enjoying the time.

I still need to have my web site finished.  I emailed Irene who is helping me to complete this project but so far no response.  I thought being housebound for a month I would have completed the web page but that did not happen.  So it is still a work in progress.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Another Month Gone

I subbed one day in May at Dana Middle School.  It was a fun day.  I helped each group go to the auditorium to have spring pictures taken.  I was team teaching so I just hung out in classrooms and listened to the regular teacher teach.  It is interesting how San Diego Unified meets the needs of the Special needs students.

I also tutored a sixth grader on percents, decimals and fractions.  I only had two sessions to review material with her.  I loved working with her but her grade was not good.  I tutored Wednesday and Thursday and her test was Friday.  She might also have test anxiety.  I hope to work with her over the summer.

Big plans- I have started to work on my web site again.  I actually met with my web designed once.  I then picked out pictures to use for my site.  Now I could write the text.  So it is up to me to push the web page on.

I had foot surgery on Wednesday, June 5th.  My foot has not been right since Dec 5th when I went out to visit Becca.  At that time the ball of my foot hurt.  I just wore thick socks and sneakers and I could hobble easily.  When I returned and made it through Christmas, I saw my doctor who ordered an x-ray.  Then I saw a podiatrist.  He felt it was a naroma so he gave me a shot of cortisone.

Well the shot really didn't help. In fact I could see a white line growing up my leg.  So after a month I went back to the podiatrist. My second toe was curling.  My foot hurt when walking far.  My doctor said to wear Birkenstock sandals. the podiatrist said this was all due to my bunion.

So I scheduled surgery.  Then I was scared so I asked for a second opinion from an orthopedic at UCSD who specializes in feet.  She said to wait a month and come back so she could check it out.  She said I would need full bunion surgery.  My podiatrist felt shaving off the bunion and then using a metal strip to tie the first and second toe bones together would work.

So now I have two weeks of just putting my foot up.   No real walking, shopping, exercising, etc.  So I think I will be able to finish my web page because I can't do much else.

I finished the Day of Service and we had around 500 people in our church and community participate.  I will also try to write up a summary about that while I am relaxing.