“Make your bed!”


“Make your bed!”

You probably heard this often growing up, and may have yelled it in exasperation a few times as well. At Little House, it is quite common to hear a tutor say this to a student, but it has little to do with actually making a bed.


Many students have trouble connecting the sounds to the letters of “b” and “d”, and often get them mixed up. The phrase “make your bed” is a useful tool that tutors at Little House use to help them.


We start with a picture of the word “bed”, in which the word actually looks like a bed.

(see below)


The first way we help our students remember the sounds of “b” and “d” is with this picture. The word wouldn’t look like a bed if the “d” and the “b” swapped places.


Of course, students don’t always have this picture to look at when reading and writing, so we have to teach them another trick.


Putting our hands on the picture, palms down, we turn our wrists and pull in our fingers so that both hands are making a “thumbs up” over the “b” and “d” in the picture. The movement we make is like pulling the covers of a bed up, and we call this “making our bed”. Then we help our students mimic the action.


Once students have learned this trick, “b”s and “d”s are a breeze. Whenever they get confused over “b”s and “d”s, their tutor just has to say “make your bed”, and they figure it out right away. After a while, students begin to “make their bed” without having to be asked.



Online resources: a student’s best friends


Online resources: a student’s best friends

 Throughout elementary and high school, I was a forgetful person. I would forget everything from what homework I had to do, to where I left my lunch bag. My parents often said that I would lose my head if it wasn’t screwed on. As a tutor, I’ve had many students who are just as forgetful as I was. It can be stressful for students, their parents, and their tutors when they forget the textbook they need to finish their homework, or the book they need to write a report on for English. However, I’ve found that in most of these cases there is no need to panic or rush back to school to get the forgotten item. What many parents and students underestimate is the immense collection of resources available online. One of my students last week left her math textbook at school, which would have made it difficult to do her homework. When she showed up to tutoring, all we had to do was a simple Google search to find a full copy of the textbook online. This also works for novels. Google Books is an amazing database of full and partial novels, many of which can be accessed for free. If a novel isn’t on Google Books, the Vancouver Public Library also has great collection of eBooks that can be borrowed for free. Also, many schools have paid for subscriptions to online databases that can be accessed through the library’s Webcat site (http://webcat.vsb.bc.ca/). These databases are full of wonderful and reliable sources that can help a lot with research projects. I recommend checking with your school’s librarian to get the access information. The internet is amazing, and is for so much more than cat videos and Facebook. Learning how to use it as a tool for learning is valuable for students as well as their parents.