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Can Shakespeare help you solve ACT Science?
Every year, students pass on the idea of taking the ACT because they are turned off by the idea of taking an ACT science section. We often hear reasons such as “I don’t want to take an extra section” or “science is my weakest subject in school”. We also see students who plateau on ACT science and cannot seem to get that high score. What students don’t realize is that your approach to ACT science is really no different your approach to reading comprehension!
The common approach to ACT Science...
Let’s face it, we’re tired of having to remember new “tricks” that we are expected to remember throughout the duration of a three hour test. Not only are we given different “tricks” for math, writing, science, and reading comprehension, these “tricks” will most likely serve us no purpose once the test is finished.
The Hillview Prep difference: A consolidated and versatile approach.
Rather than teaching “tricks”, we must understand that we can use comprehension strategies to develop natural abilities and skills that are versatile across all sections of the ACT. What’s even greater about these abilities and skills? They can be used on any standardized test, any aspect of academia, and in real world situations!
Reading Comprehension vs. ACT Science: they’re different, or are they?
Are you struggling with ACT Science? Try improving your reading comprehension! What does reading comprehension have to do with science? Simply put, both sections have the same approach and same comprehension methods.
The Correlation: Structure.
Thesis vs. hypothesis; charts/graphs vs. body paragraphs; conclusion vs. well, the conclusion: Science experiments and reading passages have the same structure! It’s no surprise that a student who struggles with ACT science also struggles with ACT reading comprehension.
Struggling with ACT science? This doesn’t mean that you’re bad at science! It means that you must improve your reading comprehension skills. Let’s kill two birds with one stone: At Hillview Prep, our structural approach to reading comprehension, and science, allows students to comprehend and classify more efficiently, ultimately improving pacing, accuracy, confidence, and scores.
That is the Hillview Prep difference.
Testing is better than studying!
What?? You don't believe we said that. Do you? Yes, testing helps with retrieving of information. Think of filing away your important documents in your filing cabinet. How quickly can you retrieve the document you filed today, yesterday, or a few weeks ago? If you can retrieve the information quickly, you can answer questions on the SAT, ACT or any other test—or just be more productive in life. Thus, testing—in non stressful situations—is the best way to learn, because you practice retrieval of stored information.
Take notes by chunking and consolidating information.
Students who take Cornell style notes do not realized the importance of consolidation: it helps them to understand and practice how the brain works best. There's no need to review your book again—you can just review your 'consolidated notes'!
Why are Cornell style of notes important?
It helps you practice how to learn—putting information in chunks, helping your working memory, which has limited storage capacity. Working memory is like a computer's RAM. It is fast but has low storage capacity. Scientists believe you can put at most 'seven' units of information, though only three or four units is best. Think of it like having three or four storage shelfs.
Consolidation helps you deal with your working memory.
Clump similar things into one spot or shelf. Write things down and classify them. Classification helps with understanding and memorize things. Two processes: encoding and retrieval, which many people don't focus on.
Retrieval requires practice.
It is similar to filing things in your cabinet, but then not remembering where it is. What you never did was practice retrieval. Quizzing is therefore absolutely essential, and students need to be experts at practicing retrieval: at quizzing. Teaching is also a retrieval practice.
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Are you planning to apply to a Catholic high school next fall? High school admissions is becoming more and more competitive each year and it doesn't hurt to get a head start! Here are some pointers for beginning your journey...
1. In October, download application information and set up date to visit schools
2. Fill out the application, and sign up to take the HSPT®
3. If possible, take the test at the school of your first choice.
Sacred Heart Cathedral
Sacred Heart Atherton
Notre Dame Belmont
Joseph Notre Dame
De La Salle
Santa Catalina School
Notre Dame Salinas
Mission College Prep
St. Francis Central
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The SAT and ACT are significantly different tests, and in many ways, they measure different skills. So depending on your particular strengths and weaknesses, you may perform much better on one test than the other. Admissions officers and educators often describe the difference between SAT and ACT in these terms: the ACT is a content-based test, whereas the SAT tests critical thinking and problem solving.
Beginning in Spring 2016, the SAT will focus on knowledge and skills that are more essential for college and careers. It will be designed to better capture what students have learned in class. Your child might prefer the SAT if he or she:
The ACT leans toward testing what students learn in school. As of late, slightly more high school students have been taking the ACT over the SAT.
Your child might prefer the ACT if he:
How do I sign up to take the HSPT®?
The HSPT® is ordered and administered by individual schools or dioceses. Contact the school where you’d like to take the test for details regarding their registration process.
Can I take the HSPT® more than once?
STS recommends that the HSPT® should only be taken once by each student. Under extenuating circumstances a school may decide to allow a student to retest. However, this should be dealt with by individual schools or dioceses on a case by case basis.
Auditory learners are those who:
Auditory learners are naturally drawn to conversation. You may be an auditory learner if you prefer to read your textbook aloud; in classroom settings, you may find that lectures often help you understand those dense college textbooks that you are supposed to read. (Hint: Do not skip your lecture ;))
Auditory learners can take advantage of YouTube, Vimeo and other websites, where many educational videos are free and widely available. They should also look for audiobooks to listen to in the car or on smartphones or MP3 players.
However, limited test prep content available in the audiobook field. We suggest that great literature will broaden your vocabulary and popular science articles can help you learn to think critically. At Hillview Prep, we can help the auditory learner! We use metaphors extensively for reading comprehension and math. You will be surprised by how effective metaphors are for these sections!
Since small classroom setting is preferred by an auditory learner, if your child is one, he or she may want to experience Hillview Prep's courses, which are offered in small group settings.
Your ideal SAT or ACT study method may turn out to be a combination of styles.
In this series of blog posts, we will focus on different learning styles and how Hillview Prep adapts teaching methods to the learning style and multiple intelligences.
Visual-spatial learners learn best when they:
• follow visual cues and landmarks
• imagine what something looks like as a memory aid
• look at photos or images on a screen
• look at whole words printed on a page
• use visual recall as a learning strategy
• view their own videos performing a task or activity
• watch Youtube!
• watch someone else perform a task or an activity
Methods @ Hillview Prep
We use Microsoft's Surface tablet with a cloud based app to teach, learn and communicate. The Surface tablet allows for a rich visual media, which is great for visual learners.
You may be a visual learner if you prefer visual aids such as charts, or if you frequently return to your textbook to clarify lecture content.
Aspergers students typically show strengths in their visual processing skills, with significant weaknesses in their ability to process information via auditory means. Our use of visual methods can help Aspergers students better understand his/her environment.
Some gifted students are also visual learners. They often learn best by comparing and contrasting a piece of literature to a video, or they may be great in geometry. Graphic organizers are a great resource to use with these learners. At Hillview Prep we combine real-life objects and figures with geometry to help the visual-spatial learners to grasp and retain concepts.
Is your child a visual learner? Not sure what type of learner your child is? Contact us!
We offer a free one hour consultation!
Hillview Prep is an ed-tech company that is changing how education is provided. We are using Microsoft surface with a cloud-based student/instructor network that offers instant sharing, integrated chat, and efficient note taking through a browser or a mobile device.
We find that the Surface is the most versatile tablet in the market for education. The Surface has eliminated the need for paper, pens and even whiteboards.
The Best Digital Pen & Paper
We use Microsoft's Surface tablet, the closest emulation to a pen and paper. Take faster notes, share material quickly, and organize more efficiently.
It is super easy to highlight text, write notes and just work with the Surface. It is also easy to integrate with the cloud, so both teachers and students have access to material anywhere and at anytime.
The Surface Pen and digital ink has positively impacted our teacher and student productivity. Fast and effective feedback is critical in learning material, especially harder concepts. Often in instruction there is a lag between instruction and feedback to and from the student. With the use of Surface and our cloud student/instructor network, we provide and receive instant feedback. Digital ink is transformational in feedback for students and teachers. It is as simple as creating annotations, markups and highlights.
Learn Efficiently, Store Notes On The Cloud
Your notes are instantly stored on the cloud and can be accessed and edited through your mobile device and desktop at any time.
Why study for SAT/ACT and HSPT/ISEE during the summer?
Summer is supposed to be fun! Why study at all? According to New York Times, the average summer learning loss in math and reading for American students is one month per year. This learning loss is cumulative, summer after summer. It has a big impact on students’ success, including high school completion, college education and job preparedness.
Yes, but ... I will be on vacation when you are offering classes.
We know! —And we have a solution. We have a cloud-based student/instructor network that offers instant sharing, integrated chat, and efficient note taking through a browser or mobile device. Our students have the ability to access their course from anywhere, interact with our instructors anytime, and receive instant support.
We work around your schedule, so you can have fun and learn at the same time. Learning does not have to be painful or time or location constrained. That is the Hillview philosophy and difference.
So, what are you offering in the summer?
We are offering HSPT/ISEE (private high school placement test) and SAT/ACT classes, including a workshop on high school and college admissions.
What is your class size?
We believe in small classes and individual attention. We limit our classes to 10 students. Students have however 24 x 7 access to material and instructors via our cloud based mobile software technology.
How do I know if the courses are valuable?
We guarantee that a student will see an improvement of at least 20%. We will continue to support the student beyond summer via our cloud based mobile system to ensure that he or she succeeds.
What is the schedule? Can I pick and choose?
Absolutely, we have a flexible schedule build around your schedule. Check out our summer 2016 program at http://www.hillviewprep.com/summer—hillview.html.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions and/or need more information.
Founder & CEO
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Take Control of Your Abilities
Yes, YOU! You can take control of your own abilities with perfect preparation. At Hillview, we diagnose your strengths and weaknesses in order to build awareness of your abilities. Ability is defined as the *talent, skill, or proficiency in a particular area*. We show you how to take control of that specific ability just like baseball coaches help you perfect your swing.
1. Perfect Your Swing
We believe that process is the key to learning. In baseball, you are advised to practice your swings. No one can guarantee when or if you will hit a home run. There are too many factors in play to forecast a home run. The same is true of your test score. We believe that if you practice your swing—the right methods and the best content—you will do well in the tests.
2. Build Your Foundation
Everything rests on a strong foundation. At Hillview Prep, discover the ideal strategies that compliment your strengths and weaknesses in SAT/ACT or HSPT/ISEE concepts and testing approach. Our curriculum adapts to your learning style. We discovered that people are:
* Abstract vs. Literal Thinkers
* Visual vs. Auditory Learners
* Fast vs. Slow Readers
* Kinesthetic vs. Tactile Learners
Hillview Prep adapts to your learning style and provides you with proper guidance. For example, are you an abstract thinker? Then the SAT is more suited for you. If you are a literal thinker, then Hillview recommends the ACT.
Come and test drive us. I promise it will be worth your time and money—or your money back. I guarantee it.
Founder & CEO