My Blog List

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Who needs a tutor?

Happy New Year,

My name is Akima Marshall, and I am an affordable, certified tutor in southern Maryland. As classroom size increases in our public schools, it is important to consider securing the services of a tutor. A tutor is a great addition to any students academic plan. If you don't have a plan for your child, consider the following:

(1)What are your goals for your child's education? Does your current school provide enough support?
(2)What types of lessons would you like for him/her to experience (computer based lessons, field trips, etc.)?
(3)What are your child's academic weaknesses and strengths?
(4)Are there any gaps in your child's knowledge?

Parents are often the first to recognize academic weaknesses. Don't wait. Give your child an academic advantage, and consider hiring a tutor.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Winter Blues

Mid-December is often the most diffcult time to teach. It's right between the holidays, and most kids ( and teachers) are looking forward to the Christmas break. So is anyone really paying attention to instruction? And even if they are retaining the information, will they remember lessons taught before the break. As a classroom teacher for the past 10 years, I would say there is a 50/50 chance that the students will retain information taught before the Christmas break. However, most knowledge (obtained in the month of December) is lost between the sheets of wrapping paper lying underneath the Christmas tree. It breaks my heart to start all over again in January as if I've never taught the lessons. So to limit the amount of information lost after 10 cups of cocoa,(1) Review the last lesson before the break. (2)Take out some of the graded worksheets and reveiw the concepts. (3)Surf the internet and review major concepts (i.e. cell, atom, mendelian genetics).(4) Expand on teachable momemts (5) Enjoy your family

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Special Report - 'Going Natural'

The "natural hair trend" is not new to me. I've been natural for the past seven years, but I am happy to see more professional African American women promoting this way of life. How do you feel?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sunday, October 24, 2010

USA Science & Engineering Festival Video Contest

I'm not sure if this group won the overall prize, but I hope they did. This is a great representation of students appreciating science education. Check out

My trip to the USA Science & Engineering Festival October 24

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Do you know the parts of the water cycle?

Condensation, Evaporation, Precipitation, Transpiration, Run-off

Saturday, October 16, 2010

I Love My Hair - Sesame Street Video

This a great video that encourages self acceptance amongst girls.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Homecoming Fun

As many of you may remember, the Homecoming game is always filled with anticipation and excitement. It really doesn't matter if your team has a winning record or not. Homecoming is the game that everyone attends, and those of us that graduated from HBCUs we know the pagentry and tradition that comes along with this event. It's soo much more than a football game. It's that chance to reunite with long lost class mates, and time to reflect on those high school or college days. Take the time this year to attend your Homecoming Game!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Standing Out - In an Overcrowded Classroom

Classrooms are filled to capacity. Schools all over the United States are experiencing an increase in the student to teacher ratio. How can a middle or high school student stand out in this type of environment?

  • Move to the front of the class. Request a front row seat

  • Establish a relationship with the instructor

  • Email the instructor

  • Slip the teacher handwritten notes (because we get so many emails, it is a welcome change to get a handwritten note from the student or parent)

  • Meet with the teacher before or after class for extra help

  • Use email to ask questions about the lesson or homework

  • Use online support provided by the teacher, school district, or state

  • Visit the textbook publishers website

  • Join academic clubs or organization (i.e. National Honor Society, Future Teachers of America, or National Society of Black Engineers). This type of organization often provides field trips and instruction outside of the curriculum.

  • Visit your local library. Many libraries provide free tutoring.

  • Visit your local community college. Most provide a summer and after school programs for high school and middle school students

Fantastic Science Resources for Parents and Students

Science Resources - Science related website maintained by the Smithsonian Institute - Maryland State Department of Education Website. This site includes helpful biology test questions This is a science based website that contains a collection of science related articles. AP biology wiki created by Shelly Peretz Interactive DNA website maintained and created Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Biology based website by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Science based website Created and maintained by Stevens Institute of Technology - The Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education - A website that describes the anatomy of the cell, and chemical processes that occur in every cell. It was created by Jim Sullivan virtual dissection of the frog, and it is maintained by the Berkeley Lab - Website sponsored by the National Zoo located in Washington DC. The website describes the organisms in the zoo, as well as, their native habitats. - Ask a Scientist website sponcered by the US Department of Energy- on this site scientist answer questions, and students ask science related question. - General science website sponsored by the National Institute of Environmental and Health Sciences and The National Institute of Health - A science based website developed by renowned scientist Bill Nye.

Originally posted at

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meters, Liters, and Grams - Oh my?

The beginning of the school year is always exciting and fast paced. An entire month has practically gone by with out a new blog post, but I have been busy teaching the youth and learning new things to fill this blog.

Science for Me - is now in the editing stages. I feel like I need more content; that's really unusual because during the summer (when I was not in the classroom) I felt like I had more than enough content. However, today I know I need to add more info.. I'm entertaining adding an entire chapter about the metric system.
The metric system is really simple, but American children struggle with the concept. I don't know why???? I grew up using the metric system (in Europe) so the fact that it remains difficult for my high school students boggles my mind. In science and math the metric system is used all over the world. It is the common system of measurement. Whatever happen to America converting by the year 1990 or was 2000? Many students struggle because this system is unfamiliar. This is definitely a disadvantage especially for minority youth.
Parents don't be afraid to review the metric system with your children. Even if you don't know it yourself, encourage your children to review the information that they learned in class

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Study Tips

Science For Me - Study Tips
(image of DNA from Maryland State Department of Education)

Get a study buddy, and review questions and notes. Makeup quizzes with
your study buddy

Read a paragraph, and make a corresponding question and answer

Read titles and subtitles. Make an outline using both

Ask the teacher to give test and quiz dates early. If the teacher does not give dates, try to estimate when a test will take place!

Use social networking to build a study group of your classmates, and other students taking the same class.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Rosemary an Interesting Herb

I enjoy learning about herbs and their natural properties. Its funny that there are soo many natural products to cure common, everyday ailments. So lately, I've been researching rosemary. I have purchased rosemary in the past to supplement hot oil treatments or as a hair rinse, but today I decided to make my own rosemary oil. Rosemary is often used to increase hair growth. It is also antibacterial and antifungal. So it helps relieve dandruff. So I purchased a package of rosemary from my local grocery store. I've heard that fresh rosemary is actually more potent, but dried rosemary is also effective (but not quite at the same level). I decided to make rosemary oil by plucking the leaves off, and placing the leaves in olive oil for four weeks. I know that this is the long, drawn out method, but unfortunately I do not have glass pots and pans to boil the oil (only metal pans & the metal would actually seep into the oil). Maybe I need to change my pots and pans. For the final step, I will place the containers of rosmeary and oil in a sunny window.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Inspiration Board

Recently I read the following post on LeasaPea Musings Blog

From LesaPea Musings: What wonderful things inspiration boards are. These few images have inspired me greatly and I just had to share them with you. Do you have an inspiration board, wall or mobile??? I need to get started, what about you? But if you don't have one, consider working on starting one this weekend. It could be antique pictures with a mix of modern, fashion, movies or beautiful pictures of loved ones and scenery, with scripture verses. Also anything would be suitable, for example an old window, an antique mirror frame with a cork board inside and I'm thinking I'll use an old door. I guess it depends on how big or small you want to go.

More from Lesa Pea

My comment: I love this post. I have been toying with the idea of completing an inspiration board for a while now. I really like the fact that it doesn't have to be a plain poster board. If you don't mind, I'm going to post this on my own blog, and when i actually complete the board I'll post the pic. Thanks for the great idea

Stay tuned for my inspiration Board.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Meet the Author - Deborah Owens

A Purse of Your Own by Deborah Owens

I actually stumbled upon this author while attending an authors expo here in my local area. I especially like the fact that she is encouraging financial literacy from a "real" woman's perspective. By "real", I mean a woman with a family, relatives, some level of debt, etc. So right now I am reviewing the first chapter. I will be back with a book review later on this week

Monday, August 9, 2010

Science for Me - Update

To do List:
Pick up Business Cards
Start Design for Book Cover
Create Rough Draft Plant and Animal Cell
Work on Brochure (Cut and Paste from website)
Finish Chapter on the cell
Order two posters (one of business card- one of book cover)
Purchase triod stand
Make a chart of for names, emails, phone numbers
Get some more tutors (recruit)

This is the site of most of my work these days - Borders.

New Business Cards II

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Hail No!

Here are some pictures of the hail that hit us last May. Let's just say I had $7000.00 worth of hail damage. At the time the storm hit, I was sitting in my bedroom after work. Luckily, I wasn't on the road driving. Unfortunately, I park my car in an uncovered location. So it sustained a lot of damage. Thank god I wasn't driving. I failed to mention that this was my brand new used car. It could've been worse.

I think it is very interesting how this storm came out of nowhere, and people less than 10 miles away had no rain or hail. At the time, I was watching the evening news, and there was no warning.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Educational Product Review - Learning About Cells by Debbie Routh

The products in this blog have been purchased by me, and I have not been compensated for this review. Learning About Cells, is a great addition to the biology classroom. It provides a variety of activities, and describes the cell in simple yet explicit text. The practice activities provide adequate space for student feedback, and the answer choices are located within the text of the activity. I will use this workbook as apart of my classroom this year. Thanks for reading.Akima

Monday, July 26, 2010

New Business Cards

I've had the same business cards for the past 4 or 5 years. So its time for an upgrade. I think I will be using A Touch of Heaven again. Its a nice wholesome business, and I try to support other small businesses when possible. Oh yeah, I've just started working on the website for Science for Me. It should be done by this weekend. Eventually, I will move this blog to that website, but for now this is my residence. Until later.....

Working Hard or Hardly Working?

I'm not sure which one I'm doing at this point. As far as the book, Science for Me, I have organized each chapter into a folder. This strategy has helped with organization. Sometimes you have to do it "old school". Today I found myself in Borders Cafe writing amongst the other customer. There are soo many people that regularly sit in the cafe. What do these people do for a living? Most of them would have to be freelance writers or something of that nature. What a life? Or should I say what a work life?
It continues to be unbearibly hot in the DC metro area. Well, atleast its summer break for most teachers and students. Most people don't realize that this area has 100% humidity most of the time. So I'll use that tired statement we hear so often during the summer, "It's not the heat, it's the humidity".
My goal is to get some followers. I wonder how to do that? I have decided to start networking again. I will attend a luncheon tomorrow. Maybe I can promote the blog. More info later

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Welcome to My Blog - Creating Science for Me

Hello everyone,
If you have made it to this page than I'm sure you know a little about Science For Me. Science for Me is my creation. It is a series of science workbooks for teens and preteens that struggle with science concepts. The series focuses on making complex concepts easier to understand. Within the series we will also include resources to provide additional experiences for parents and the students.

I have decided to create this blog to chronicle my experience creating this series of books, and to give myself more accountability. Ideas are great, but implementing an idea is tough. Hopefully, you will follow me on this journey from writing to publishing to promoting. My goal is to attend the Harlem Book Fair in 2011 with a published book in hand.

Status so far:
I have not finished writing the book at this point. So far I have (1) Preface (2) Appendix 1(3) Glossary of Terms. I am using a book entitled The Complete Guide to Self Publishing to assist this process.

For the next thirty days I will be on summer break so I am determined to finish the rest of the first book of the series