Thursday, February 28, 2013

Essay body paragraphs

All SAT and ACT examinees-- PLEASE READ AND TAKE NOTES to improve your essay score:

The first sentence of any body paragraph should be what I call a mini-thesis. This sentence refers back to your main thesis, puts it in context of the evidence you plan to cite in the paragraph. This keeps your essay organized and focused, which keeps your score high.

There’s no need to get fancy here.  Read more... Essay body paragraphs

Saturday, January 12, 2013

How to take a practice SAT test

Love this blog, love this post-- please pay attention if you're trying to get a baseline SAT score (or figuring out if your studying is paying off)!

Click below:
How to take a practice test by Mike McClenathan

Friday, November 30, 2012

"Frame My Future" Scholarship Contest from

Have you created a free account to receive scholarship information on yet?

If not, you're potentially missing out on thousands of dollars in free scholarship money.  

The best aspect of is that it only sends you available scholarship updates that are tailored to your interests, merit, and learning goals.  You don't even have to search for scholarships on your own-- they come to you!  This one landed in my inbox today.

"Frame My Future" Scholarship Contest - FastwebThe "Frame My Future" Scholarship Contest is open to full - time undergraduate and graduate students attending a U.S. college or university for the 2013 - 2014 academic year. To enter, you must submit an original creation with one image, in a digital JPEG image format, that expresses what you hope to achieve in your personal and professional life after college. Some example entry piece ideas are: photograph, short typed explanation, collage, drawing, graphic design piece, painting, or anything you can create within one image. Your entry must be your own work and must follow the theme: This is how I "Frame My Future."

Plan to take advantage of the break between the holidays by setting up an account, entering your criteria, and receiving scholarship notices that can help you save on college expenses!

Disclaimer:  As with all services or products I promote on my blog, I'm not advertising for or affiliated with any of them-- I just want you to have access to what I consider some "golden nuggets" of resources for learning skills and college admissions.


Thursday, November 29, 2012

Family Communication and Study Skills Workshop Coming This Winter: What are your questions?

A special opportunity is coming this winter!

Carol DeMarco, MSW and guidance counselor;  Ari Tuckman, PsyD., and I are collaborating to bring you a workshop event that will address communication between parents and students about school, understanding ADHD in teenagers, and which study strategies are most helpful for middle and high school students.  The event will be held at Radley Run Country Club, 1001 Country Club Road, West Chester, in February or March 2013.  It will be open to the public.

In order to bring you the most targeted information relative to your concerns, please take part in the simple survey we've put together.  Survey participants will receive updated workshop details and a 50% discount on the registration fee for the event.

ACCESS THE SURVEY BY CLICKING HERE!  Or, continue reading for more information:

Some of the following questions we hope to answer are:

Why do our conversations about grades always escalate into a screaming match?

My child was an A student in elementary school.  Now, he's not putting forth the effort he needs to get good grades.  What happened, and what can I do about it?

Does my teenager have an attention deficit disorder, or is she just being a teenager?  

I don't know if my child ever actually learned how to study.  She stares at the books for hours, but her test grades are so-so.  Is there any hope?

My high school student comes home every day saying he has no homework.  When I check his grades online and see zeros for missing homework, he always has an excuse.  How can I help him be more proactive without constantly sitting on top of him? 

I'm not sure if my adolescent child is depressed, or if he's just shutting me out.  Either way, what can I do to be a part of his life in a healthy way? 

My child seems to have it all together.  Should I be worried? 

What are your questions concerning your teenage child and his or her behavior or performance in school or at home?

So that we cover all bases and answer your questions, we ask that you please take part in our short survey.  There are only 5 questions, and responses are ANONYMOUS.  

Survey participants will receive a code to apply a 50% discount to the workshop registration fee and will be informed of workshop details, including date and time, as they become available.  


THANK YOU for taking a few moments to help make our event informative and beneficial for all who attend!  We can't wait to release the final details of the event!  Stay tuned!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Tips for a Successful IEP Meeting from NCLD

What is your role as a parent at your child's IEP meeting?  Read this article from the National Center for Learning Disabilities to learn more.

Also, did you know that you can request an IEP meeting when you feel your child's progress is slow?  Although the annual evaluation is mandated, parents can request additional meetings.  Read more here.

If you have an IEP meeting scheduled and would like me to serve as support to you and/or advocate on your child's behalf, please contact me.  We can work together to make sure that your child is getting the most out of his or her educational opportunity.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Registration Deadline for Dec. 1st SAT is Thursday, Nov. 1st

Thinking about taking the December SAT?  A wise move if you're a Junior and want to get a better baseline and more information about what you can do to improve your score than what the PSAT results will provide.  Remember, scores don't count unless you send them to colleges.  For more information on the Score Choice score reporting policy, click here.

Register for the December 1st SAT exam on the College Board website, or by clicking here.

By the way, I never advise going in 'cold' to an exam.  At minimum, kick around the College Board SAT website to learn more about format, scoring, and tips for answering questions from each section of the exam.  Sign up to receive the SAT Question of the Day in your email inbox (and do them!), and order a copy of the College Board "Blue Book", which contains ten authentic practice tests.  Practice until you're comfortable enough not to be thrown for a loop on December 1st. 

If you want to be more prepped than just minimally, email me for further suggestions.  I can help you tailor a one-month prep plan to make the most of your first 'real' SAT experience! 

Mrs. Silva