Signed Number Accuracy

Students working with signed numbers in higher math often make sign errors in calculations. Why? How is this prevented?

Students need to learn the rules for working with signed numbers in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. They need to work problems that present signed numbers in many situations. Keep the drill going until the student has really learned how to work with signed numbers.

Have your students consider the signs in a problem first. If possible, write the sign of the answer before doing the arithmetic part of the problem. Be careful using signs with the distributive property. Frequently students get the first term distributed but forget a second term in the parentheses.

Have your student work with a list of the sign rules when doing any math work requiring signed numbers.

Have a student struggling in math? Get immediate help. Contact Beth Silver at or 310-720-0390.

Tools for Proofreading

Proofreading for students is a most important task and often a difficult one to do. Here are some tools that are helpful.

Prizmo Go is an app that allows a student to take a picture of what needs to be read and the app will read it aloud. This helps the student hear and recognize written mistakes. The app can be stopped and corrections made immediately.

NVDA is an app that is put on the computer which will read aloud anything on the computer screen. A student with an essay document can have the NVDA read the writing. The student will then be able to hear and recognize written mistakes. It can be stopped and corrections made immediately. It can also be used for reading information from websites on the computer.

Do you have a student who is struggling with writing? Get immediate help. Contact Beth Silver at or 310-720-0390.

Is Re-Reading Good? Maybe Not!

Students spend many hours re-reading information in the hope of understanding and comprehending what the reading says. For many students re-reading is a waste of time.

If a student does not comprehend information on the first read, chances are the second, and third read will not produce any more understanding. Why? The student is using the same method of reading each time the piece is read. Nothing is done differently, therefore there is no greater understanding.

A student should read a selection by paragraph. The student stops at the end of a paragraph and then is able to tell in his or her own words the information that was just read. This paragraph by paragraph reading comprehension will give the student an excellent understanding of what has been read.

Have a student struggling with reading comprehension? Get immediate help. Contact Beth Silver at or 310-720-0390.

School Materials and Organization

Students need to have their work spaces organized with their school materials and other tools.

Help your student set up a work area. Make sure it has ample space and good lighting. A student working at night is a student who is already tired, make sure the light is bright and focused where it needs to be.

Paper, pens, pencils, erasers, highlighters all tend to wear out, so you need to be aware of reorders. Make sure that your student has copies of textbooks at home to use. There is nothing more frustrating than having an assignment from a textbook and not having one available to use.

If your student must turn in work electronically, make sure all the electronics are in working order. There are various apps that can be used for scanning on a telephone. Make sure the app your student is using works well.

Have a struggling student? Get immediate help. Contact Beth Silver at 310-720-0390 or

Check Grades?

Parents frequently wonder if they should be checking their students’ grades. The answer is, ” Yes, you should check grades.” Then the concern is why.

Grades are an indicator of how well your student is doing. Missing or ungraded assignments are as important as the ones that are done. Look for a pattern in the grades. Is it test scores that are an issue? Is the daily work getting done? Are long term projects being handled correctly and getting finished?

It is easier to help a student with study skills for a pattern. If test grades are an issue, then the student needs to be learning information as it is presented and not wait until a test is announced. Doing homework is no guarantee that a student has learned the information.

Is your student struggling with academic grades. Get immediate help. Contact Beth Silver at 310-720-0390 or